Mark Vette – Internationally renowned Animal Behaviourist, Educator, Author and TV personality

Dog Zen – Everything You Need To Transform Your Dog

My first ever book is here!

I am so excited to finally announce the release of my first book! This book is the culmination of my life’s work; 40+ years studying dog behaviour and treating dog behaviour problems through my clinic, television shows and online video series. I wrote it so you too can transform your relationship with your dog and create a world for yourself and your dog that is happy and stress-free, and I am so excited to finally be able to share it with you all!

This book tells the fascinating story of how dogs evolved to be our best friend over 40,000 years. You’ll learn how dogs think, see and understand the world; and most importantly – learn to truly understand your dog and by doing so, be able to train them and build a harmonious relationship for life.
This is a comprehensive, up-to-date, science-based resource on dog evolution, cognition and training that will not only tell you exactly how to train your dog, but also why it works. I take the latest science and translate it into a language you can understand and apply with your own dog, in a way that’s interesting, fun to read and full of stories and beautiful photos of the dogs in my life.
‘Love is Understanding’. To truly love your dog, you must first understand it – Dog Zen will help you do this. Using this book, you’ll be able to train your dog in a way you never thought possible – everything from teaching basic commands right through to fixing behavioural issues all in a way that achieves amazing results, lovingly.


Here’s what you’ll learn in each section of my book.



In this section of my book, we take a look at why we have dogs in our lives and the astounding story of what makes a dog a dog, and how dogs co-evolved alongside humans over the last 40,000 years. You wouldn’t have a wolf in your living room, so how is it that their descendants the dog have become our most trusted companions, living with us literally as part of our family?

Part A investigates this unbelievable collaboration, to find out what defines a dog and allows them to live with us so harmoniously. We’ll learn how to see through their eyes, understand their brains, and delve deeply into the mind of the dog, their senses, and how they perceive the world.

Our relationship with dogs has been built over tens of thousands of years, which is why it’s so important to nourish and cherish it – it really is the most unlikely and fantastic tale, and one I’m sure you’ll enjoy.
This story has never been told like this, in a way in which you are actually able to use the information and apply it to your own dog. I have never before shared the research I have done on this topic, so you’ll be the first to read it!

PART A THE DOG covers:

  • Why do we love our dogs so much?
  • Becoming the dog
    • From wolf to dog – the most unlikely of tales
    • Proto-dog and self-domestication
    • Village and pariah dogs (of which there are 850 million!)
    • Human-led domestication and breeding
  • Inside the dog’s mind
    • Senses – how a dog experiences the world
    • Drivers – what motivates a dog
    • Emotions – our bond and its significance
    • Intelligence
    • How dogs learn

Read a sample here.



Have you ever wished your dog could speak to you? Well, they can – just not in the way you think!

Part B explores how we can learn what our dog is “saying” to us, and what we are “saying” back to our dog. Your dog doesn’t know what you want it to do unless you tell them in their language, so in this section I’ll teach you how to build a Shared Language with your dog, so you can communicate with them in a way they actually understand!

We’ll also cover how to put your dog in a Learning State. If you’ve ever tried to train your dog and feel like you haven’t gotten anywhere, it’s almost certainly because your dog wasn’t in a Learning State – and if a dog isn’t in this state, they are physically incapable of learning – so no wonder training might have seemed so impossible – yet done correctly, it’s easy!

You’ll also learn how to create a Lifelong Bond with your dog, in which your dog looks to you for direction in all situations. This alone will transform how you are together and create a happy and loving relationship. We’ll also cover all the Basic Tools and Techniques of dog training, and how to teach the most important Basic Commands such as Sit, Down, Wait, Come, No and Leave It.

When you build these foundations with your dog you’ll find that your life together is stress-free, loving, happy and enjoyable. Just the way it should be!


  • Shared Language
    • Understanding the dog’s social signaling and language
    • How dogs understand us
    • How to establish a shared language
  • Learning State and the Essential Rules of Training
    • Learning state (the true secret to training a dog)
    • The Dog Zen essential rules of training
  • The Dog Zen Toolkit
    • Clicker
    • Leads
    • Safety slip collar
    • Going back to the den
    • The crate
    • The clip station
    • The muzzle
    • Contrast training
  • Basic Commands – The Foundation of our Shared Language
    • Sit
    • Down
    • Zen Down
    • Wait and stay
    • Wrong
    • No!
    • Leave it
    • Heel
    • Come (recall)
    • Nicely
  • Creating the Bond
    • Your role as mentor
    • Joining Up
    • Meet and greet

Read a sample here.



As the age-old saying goes, “prevention is better than cure” – and this is just as true when it comes to raising and training your dog.

In many ways Part C is the most important. It is all about how to raise your puppy into a happy, well-adjusted, well-trained dog that will be your best friend for life, free from behavioural issues.

Doing the right thing at the right time when you get your puppy is fundamental. This part of the book contains extensive information about what to consider when you are thinking about getting a puppy, how to choose the right puppy for you, and exactly what to do with your puppy.

This is the only info you’ll ever need for raising a pup – do it right the first time, and you can prevent behavioural problems down the track. It’s amazing, but if every person who had a puppy followed the advice in this book, we could eliminate all preventable dog behaviour problems within a single generation. Wouldn’t that be fantastic?!

This part of the book is for anyone who has a puppy, is thinking of getting one, or anyone with an adult dog that might be curious about how their dogs became the way they did (especially people who adopted adult dogs). It is the very essence of Dog Zen.


  • Choosing the right pup for you
    • Breed
    • Individual
  • Doing the Right Thing at the Right Time
    • Nursery: 0-6 weeks old
    • Transition: 6-8 weeks old
    • Kindergarten (Formative Period): 2-4 months old – the most important time in your dog’s life!
    • Primary school (juvenile period): 4-6 months old
    • High school (puberty): 6-18 months old
    • University (sub-adult dog): 18-24 months old
    • Adult and beyond: 25 months on
    • Geriatric stage

Read a sample here.



Whoever said “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” didn’t have the right information!

When our dogs have behavioural issues, it can make life extremely hard for us. After working with dogs in my Behaviour Clinic for over 40 years, I’ve seen the stress and upset that people suffer when their dog has behaviour problems – and their dogs are suffering too.

However, there is a way to solve most dog behavioural issues, and Part D holds the answers.

In this section, you’ll find a practical “how to” for solving the top 10 most common behavioural problems people experience with their dogs. Not only will this section help you understand why the problem behaviour has occurred, it will give you a comprehensive step-by-step guide for fixing the problem and it will teach you how to ensure you maintain that good behaviour.

Using this section of the book can transform your life and help you eliminate any stress you might have with your dog!


  • Getting started
  • Hyperactivity
  • Phobias
  • Excessive submission (and submissive urination)
  • Dog-to-dog aggression
  • Human-oriented aggression
  • Barking
  • Separation distress
  • House training and house soiling problems, defecation, urination and marking
  • Destructive behaviour and bite inhibition
  • Lack of Recall
  • Proofing and fading the clicker and how to generalise behaviours

Read a sample here.



Maybe you have your own dog or maybe you’re just a dog lover. Maybe you don’t have a dog at all, but want to understand more about dog behaviour so that you can be safe and happy around dogs and teach your children how to understand dog behaviour so they can keep themselves safe. Maybe you’re interested in this incredible story of co-evolution between humans and dogs, maybe you’re interested in learning psychology or maybe you think you might like to work with dogs yourself in future! If you’re any of these people – this book was written for you.

You don’t need to have a dog with a behaviour problem to get the most out of this book, in fact you don’t even need to have a dog at all! This is for anyone that’s interested in dogs and wants to know more. It brings together the most up-to-date research and puts it into a clear, comprehensive methodology that works.



I’m so excited for you to have access to this book and with it, my lifetime’s worth of knowledge. After working with some of the world’s top dog experts last year on the set of the UK TV series Dogs Might Fly, I feel confident that this research on dog cognition, genetics and evolution is fully up to date. But more importantly, this information is given to you in a way that is interesting, exciting and delivered in a way that will help you get the best from your relationship with your dog.  Because that’s what it’s all about in the end – transforming the way you see and be with your dog so that you can get the best from this incredibly beautiful, special relationship.

I hope this book is one that will sit on your bookshelf and be used for the rest of your life!


If you’d like to order a copy of Dog Zen – Everything you need to know to transform your dog, check out our shop here.

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