My First Book is Out – Why I Wrote a Dog Training Book

Many people have been asking me: “Where have you been?  There is so much content for you to write on given the recent debates.”  This is true.  But, I have been busy writing my first book!

During the month of September, I took some time off to write my first book—Common Man’s Guide to Man’s Best Friend: A Common Sense Approach to Dog Training.  That book is now available for less than $5 on Amazon in a Kindle version, or free for those who have Kindle Unlimited.  A hard copy of my first book can also be found on that same Amazon page, or here.

About the Book

“Common Man’s Guide to Man’s Best Friend: A Common Sense Approach to Dog Training” starts with providing some background on dogs, and their first interactions with humans.  The book then transfers to discuss some commonalities between dogs and humans.  The book intends to bring dog training to a comprehensive level for all ages by distilling complex dog training theories and principles to a very basic level.

In an effort to keep “Common Man’s Guide to Man’s Best Friend” a simple guidebook, readers will be happy to find that this is a daily reader, with minimal pages.  Thus, this book can be passed to all members of a family, and can be completed with relative ease.  In the end, this book is meant to build confidence in handlers by providing a basic foundation of leadership using three foundational pillars, consequently empowering the relationship between the handler and the dog.

Why I Wrote the Book

Back in July, I took a two-legged trip to Utah and Mexico.  Utah has been a place of solace for me, where I visit a friend that served in the United States Marine Corps together.  Generally, visiting Utah is a good litmus test of whether I still have the grit in me from the old days.  Most of the time, though, it is way to see how different life is in rural America, yet how similar we are as Americans.


On that two-legged trip, my dogs Coconut and Lawrence traveled with me.  This was Coconut’s second visit to Utah.  My friend and his wife were more than accommodating by watching over my dogs, while I continued on to Mexico for a few days.  Naturally, I had to accept: denying your dog to roam forty acres is like denying a child to play on a playground.

Unfortunately, the day of my return—we hypothesize during my drive back from Salt Lake to Salina—tragedy struck: Coconut escaped her pen, roamed into the street, and, consequently, was fatally struck by a vehicle.  That night, my friend and I gave Coconut a proper burial.

After the burial, Lawrence and I spent time to collect our thoughts next to the new grave.  That hour had a feeling of surrealism to it, as a full moon was out, the stars were shining, and the horses that Coconut once chased gathered to pay their respects.

Who Saved Who

That next morning I had to drive ten hours back to Phoenix with only one dog.  Suffice it to say, it was more than enough time to properly reflect on not just last night, but my relationship as a whole with Coconut.  At the end of the car ride, I came to a profound conclusion: Coconut gave to me, as much as I gave to her.

Indeed, as is spelled out in “Common Man’s Guide to Man’s Best Friend,” the dog and the handler have a yin and yang relationship.  I began to understand that relationship between Coconut and I.

Coconut was extremely submissive.  It was my duty as her handler to help her find her courage.  It took almost six months to stop Coconut from peeing herself when she met people.  This included people she already knew, like myself.  Eventually, Coconut embraced her new found courage and excitedly met new people, as well as felt comfortable exploring new atmospheres.

As for me, Coconut helped teach me patience.  Coconut found ways to test me, while also finding ways to bring me down from my fury.  Thus, in the end, it was this repetition that built my patience, and, consequently, helped me understand how to be calmer.

In conclusion, I found that just as I trained Coconut through repetition, Coconut trained me through repetition.  The result was mutual: we were both better from it and balanced each other out, thus completing the yin and yang circle.

Today, without question, I do miss Coconut; however, I feel comfort in knowing how great of a life she was able to live, and what we were both able to give to each other.  Understanding that nobody has a set life term, and, instead, that every life—no matter how long they live—is taken from us early impresses upon us to live in the moment, and to live for each other.

Authored by: Jonathan J. Cianfaglione