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    © St. Petersburg Times, published October 22, 2000

    PEOPLE TRAINING: "I have learned that people hate to train their dogs. They just want them to behave," writes celebrity dog trainer Inger Martens in Paws For A Minute (Quill, $13). Martens will be among the speakers at the Times Festival of Reading at Eckerd College. Her talk is at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11.

    In her book Martens offers advice she has given to her Hollywood clients -- including Kevin Costner, Jim Carrey and LeAnn Rimes, the latter pictured in her book with Raven, her Pomeranian.

    First, save yourself a lot of grief by figuring out beforehand what kind of dog best suits you. Macho dogs, whether big or small, with an in-your-face sense of self and energy to match, are not the best companions for workaholic owners who only have time for a brief walk around the block, she says. Such folks would do better with the diva, she of an independent and aloof nature.

    Next figure out what sort of a dog owner you are, because therein lie most obedience problems, Martens says. If you're a coaxer who believes that repetition and even pleading are acceptable dog-training methods, you will end up with a dog that ignores you. On the other hand, the lesson Fido learns from a smacker can be that aggression is okay. "Lead your dog, praise him. Don't terrorize him," she says.

    In other words, Martens' book explains what dogs have known all along: Man's best friends aren't the problem; their owners are.

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