A Book Worth Your Time:Embracing the WILD in your dog by Bryan Bailey

Embracing the wild in your dog_Front



Some time ago, dogs became as interwoven in the American culture as baseball, apple pie and the Fourth of July. In fact, in most households, the dogs have even trumped evolution itself and jumped straight to being four-legged humans where they are adorned with human names, designer outfits and fad diets that would confound even the best nutritionist. In most cases, we’ve granted them our human intelligence and our sacred human emotions as well. They are no longer dogs to us, they’re family! Yet, for all that man has done to carve the wolf from the wild to create a surrogate human, today’s dog is still a wolf at heart and the accompanying instincts borne from such ancestry defines how the dog approaches its world.

The ontogeny of anthropomorphism, where we attach our human traits to our pets, is the most damaging and paralytic problem associated with dog ownership today. Believing in a fairy tale world where dogs possess the same moral consciousness and sense of altruism as attributed to humans has led to a drastic increase in leash laws, dogs being outlawed in a rising number of city and national parks, some breeds being banned in several states, an alarming escalation of aggression to humans, a rising cost in homeowner and business insurance, and a record number of clinically maladaptive dogs.

This book is not a training book. It does not cover obedience topics such as heel, sit, down, stay, and come. Instead, it’s about righting the ship of American dog ownership by changing our perception of our dogs. It is about the author growing up in the Alaskan wild under the tutelage and guardianship of a Special Forces survival instructor who introduced him to the ways of wolves and the similarities they shared with dogs. It is about the wisdom and splendor of nature and the many life lessons she provides. Mostly, it’s about developing a deep understanding of the authors of your dog’s behavior; nature and the wolf. In doing so, you will truly learn who and what your dog really is, and the whys and hows of its behavior. You will learn the tools that nature gave them to survive and coexist in both the mountains and in our homes. You will learn how activating and deactivating natural impulses and mechanisms in your dog will lead to the harmonious existence and the control you always dreamed of.

Most of all, you will come to embrace the wild in your dog and the grace and the peace that is breathed into its acceptance.

Photo courtesy of Protrainmemphis.com

Photo courtesy of Protrainmemphis.com


“When did we lose our way? As a nation of dog lovers, we have become hopelessly lost. We no longer own dogs for pets; instead we own make-believe humans in fur coats, and we treat them as such. In our failure to recognize what it is we really own, we have wandered into a fairy tale existence where we believe dogs and humans reason and act out the same. This belief has left us hurt, woefully confused, and without answers when our dogs act out in ways we don’t expect.”


“That Professional dog training, as an occupation, has no federal or statewide accreditations and no national oversight committee to govern its conduct or to control the vast amount of information that is doled out by its practitioners. Anyone who thinks he or she can train a dog can print business cards, develop a website, and label themselves a professional. There is no formal education, certification, or residency requirements, and to make matters worse, there are no required background checks!”

Photo Courtesy of Protrain Memphis

Photo Courtesy of Protrain Memphis


FINAL THOUGHTS: While I might not have agreed with some of the points in Embracing the WILD in your dog, I DO feel it is a thought-provoking, well-written and a WORTHWHILE read. It caused me to look at some aspects of my dog’s behavior in a different light. I might not choose to “control’ my dog’s behavior in some ways that were “inferred” in this book, but it DID cause me to THINK and that makes it a valuable and important read. I might not share some of the opinions stated in Embracing the WILD in your dog,  but I have enormous respect for the amount of research/experience that Author Bryan Bailey has that led to the writing of a book that held my attention from the first page until the end.  (158 pages).  Embracing the WILD in your dog will definitely give you things to think about, and just might cause you to throw some pre-conceived beliefs fed to you by various pet industry “experts” right out the window. I encourage you to pick up a copy and decide for yourself.

VISIT BRYAN BAILEY’S NEW WEBSITE by clicking on the photo below:




Raised in Fairbanks, Alaska, Bryan Bailey grew to appreciate the wildness of the land and its abundant wildlife. In particular, he developed a fondness for the gray wolves that roamed the vast mountain ranges and forests near his home. Under the guidance of a Special Forces Survival Instructor, he spent years studying the social interactions of wolves in their packs and discovered that, beyond obvious physical similarities, there were also
behavioral similarities between the wolves and the sled dogs that were his family’s pets.

Bryan has traveled to Europe, Africa, the jungles of southeast Asia and the remote regions above the arctic circle in his lifelong pursuit of studying social predatory behavior with an emphasis on how instinct, passed from the gray wolf, has affected the behavior of our domestic dogs.

Served in the United States Navy 1977-1993. As a member of the elite bomb disposal team, Bryan served as a trainer and supervisor for the highly classified U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Projects, “Short Time”, an enemy combatant swimmer/diver detection and neutralization program utilizing dolphins; “Bottom Look”, an enemy mine detection and neutralization program utilizing dolphins; and “Quick Find”, a ASROC (Antisubmarine Rocket) and SUBROC (Submarine Rocket) detection and recovery program utilizing sea lions.

Graduated from ProTrain Professional Dog Trainer’s Academy. Earned designation as a Master Trainer in the areas of Obedience, Personal Protection and Narcotics and Explosive Detection. 1987-1990

Owner, Canine Companions, Inc., Bloomington, Indiana. Professional dog training, boarding, and veterinary hospital. 1993-2012

Supervised the Monroe County Sheriffs Department police K9 narcotics detection, criminal apprehension, and search and rescue teams. 1995-1998

Advisor to DAD/DAC (Dogs Against Drugs/Dogs Against Crime) and USPCA (United States Police Canine Association). 1995-2000

Selected by Indiana Department of Health and Social Services to train service dogs for children with Muscular Dystrophy. 1998-2004

Interned at Ely, Minnesota International Wolf Center and studied wolf behavior under the instruction of renowned wolf ethologist, L. David Mech. 1998-1999

Interned at Battleground, Indiana Wolf Park and studied wolf behavior under the instruction of renowned wolf ethologist, Erich Klinghammer. 1999-2000 and 2002-2003

Achieved certification as a Veterinarian Technician. Provided assistance with canine exams, lab work and performed anesthesia during surgical procedures at Canine Companions Veterinary Hospital. 2003-2010

Studied hyena and lion social behavior at the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya Africa, Hyena Research Project. 2006

Studied Hyena social behavior, Uganda, Africa. 2007

Studied wolf behavior, Denali, Fairbanks and Brooks Mountain Range, Alaska. 2006-2010.

Co-owner, ProTrain Memphis, LLC. and Taming the Wild, LLC. 2012-present

With over thirty years of education and experience studying wolves and other predators, Bryan has become a Master at understanding how nature has influenced the inner workings of the canine mind. Taking his cue from nature, Bryan utilizes her lesson plan to shape the behaviors in our dogs that are necessary for them to conform to our human existence. By doing this, and accepting the dog for the domestic wolf that it is, Bryan produces a dog that responds to his owner’s commands with not only steadfast reliability, but with the spirit and vitality of the wolf.

Bryan Bailey  is married to Kira Bailey and resides along the banks of the Mississippi River in Memphis, TN.

I was not compensated for this review. I was sent a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for my always honest review.






  1. That sounds like an intriguing and compelling read!

  2. Sounds like an interesting read. Since I’ve always had small, fluffy dogs, it’s hard for me to imagine them being connected to wolves, but I know it’s there somewhere beneath the cuteness.
    The Daily Pip recently posted…The Specials: Adopting An Abandoned DogMy Profile

  3. this sounds like an awesome book.

  4. I bet this is a great book to understand and to learn… and to make it better. It’s my fear too that there are no rules or anything for all who want to be a dog-trainer. And some of the mistakes of this dog-whisperers stay forever with us…
    easy rider recently posted…easyblog MARVELOUS MONDAYMy Profile

  5. Always good to challenge our assumptions. Even if in the end we don’t agree with the entirety of a position, it’s always beneficial to explore other’s ideas. This seems like to perfect book for Penny.

  6. Monika says:

    When did we lose our way…indeed. I’ve seen this book around and like you couldn’t agree more with some of its tenants. Thoughtful and well timed review. It seems a lot of current culture has lost its way; I hope this book wakes people up to that fact and rights the ship. ღ
    Monika recently posted…If Only the World Wouldn’t Get in the WayMy Profile

  7. Wow, what an intriguing book this sounds like. I’ve always been interested in the topic of the domestication of our dogs from their wolf ancestors. Thank you for sharing!
    The Menagerie Mom recently posted…Mancat Monday: The Door LickerMy Profile

  8. Ariel says:

    I will probably have to read this as the subject of the book I am working on intersects. But dogs are *not* wolves, and *not* humans in furry coats. They are unique in the animal world and share a relationship with man that no other animal does.

  9. It sounds very interesting and a worthwhile book to read. I enjoy anthropomorphism though and am not likely to change my feelings. I do find it ridiculous that there are no laws pertaining to dog trainers and few regulations with dog food companies. I guess the government stills view our pets as property and until that changes, it’s not likely to improve.
    M. K. Clinton recently posted…BFTB NETWoof News #DogNewsMy Profile

  10. Jodi says:

    I will say the thought of anyone saying they are a trainer scares the bejesus out of me. There is so much misinformation out there. When I think back even to the training we received for Sampson, some of it makes me cringe.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book.

  11. That looks like a really interesting book – wonder how wild Chihuahuas are! 🙂
    Lynne x

  12. That looks very interesting indeed! I don’t think Mom and Dad need to embrace any more of Maggie’s wild side, though. Just saying.
    The Army of Four recently posted…Merrick Kitchen Bites Grammy’s Pot Pie Grain-Free Biscuits Dog TreatsMy Profile

  13. Toby says:

    We will keep this book in mind if mom ever brings another dawg into the house!!

  14. sara, oreo and chewy says:

    Sounds fascinating. And yes, many of us treat our dogs like humans (myself included), but some days I marvel at the fact that I allow furry ANIMALS to sleep in my bed and trust them not to eat me in the middle of the night. Its kinda strange when you think about it…how it has all evolved.

  15. We will tell mom to check this out!

    Keep Calm & Bark On!

    Murphy & Stanley
    Murphy & Stanley recently posted…Mystery Kisser Comes Forward!My Profile

  16. Interesting! I must add this to my “to read” shelf on goodreads. I like anything to do with animal behavior, even if I don’t agree 100%.
    Terra Toby recently posted…Pet Blogger Challenge 2016My Profile

  17. Thank you very much for this review Cody and Caren! I learned a lot about dog behavior living with Oskar the Samoyed and a deep respect for a dog’s nature. I will have to pick up this book and do as you did, sift through and glean the pearls of wisdom out of it 🙂
    Marty’s Mom
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  18. Now this sounds like my kind of book. I bet I would agree with most of what this author says. Many of today’s modern trainers do such a disservice to dogs with their so called modern training methods. I am touching on it a bit on my blog this winter. If I find 5 minutes to read, this book may be one for me. 🙂
    2 Brown Dawgs recently posted…Silly Storm–Barks And BytesMy Profile

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