ANN ARBOR, Mich. - On Saturday, founder of metro-Detroit’s Dogology University, Matthew Lamarand, will host a free book signing at the Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea on West Washington street in downtown Ann Arbor.
A veteran K-9 handler for the United States military, Lamarand will be giving away copies of his second book, “Dogology 202,” to Ann Arborites who purchase food or a beverage from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
A follow-up from his first book, which educated frustrated dog owners on what was going on between their pups' pointy (or floppy) ears, Lamarand’s “Dogology 202” offers applications on to how to channel the pent-up frustrations of our four-legged friends.
Passionate about pups, Lamarand said that he started to dedicate his life to dogs after his own Rottweiler helped him work through dark periods while battling PTSD.
We had a chat with Lamarand about his latest book, which focuses on high-energy dogs.
A4: Your book touches on a lot of issues that those with dogs face: self-awareness, verbal and nonverbal commands, games, and reinforcement. Which do you feel is the hardest for people to learn?
Lamarand: “It’s the first chapter of my book: Patience. I think we expect the dog to just be a dog and to understand. And the biggest complaint we [Dogology University] get is ‘our dog is messing in the house, our dog is pulling on the leash and our dog is barking at everything’ and those are things that take time.”
“You can’t just tell your dog to shut their mouth -- they don’t speak English. That doesn’t mean anything [to dogs.]”
He said that being a pet owner is a lot like being a parent and that patience is required.
A4: Once someone has read through your book and created a better relationship with their dog, what is something else that you hope readers could take away from what you’ve written?
Lamarand: “That communication is key. Communication is key in every aspect of everyone’s life - with your partner, your spouse, your friends and especially with your dog.
“We can’t communicate English to English verbally, but we can understand their movements. We can understand what they’re asking for if we just take the time to listen. It’s a two-way street.”
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As for Lamarand’s favorite game to play with his dogs? He likes to play “the sillies” - a time, right before training, when he gets to be as goofy as possible so that his dog is more interested in him than anything else.
On top of his mission to educate humans about their dogs (as well as training dogs at his Dogology University in Canton), Lamarand has also begun to train Valor, a rescued 9-week-old pit-bull puppy, to be a PTSD service dog for a veteran.
Lamarand’s mission for the next 14 months is to provide training and medical care to Valor so he can be given to a disabled veteran free of cost. Valor will also be used to battle the “bad” pit-bull stereotype and to show that breed doesn’t matter in dog obedience and training. Those interested in learning about Valor can visit the Facebook fundraising page.
Lamarand will have both of his books, “Dogology 202: Secrets to Living with a High Energy Dog,” and “Dogology 101: The Secret Language of Dog Whispering,” available at his book signing. His website has a free, downloadable e-book full of fun games for dogs and humans.
Sweetwaters Coffee and Tea is at 123 West Washington Ave.
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