Bark and Lunge


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Bark and Lunge is the winner of three 2015 national book awards:

NIEAseal-2014-Winner-200 (1)Indie Excellence Award and Sponsor’s Choice Award.

Best-Book-WINNERUSA Best Book Award

2015-goldReaders' Favorite

Winner of a Gold Medal and a five-star review from Readers’ Favorite.

Bark and Lunge also was selected as a finalist in the 2013 Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest.

Prospective puppy/dog owners can save themselves a lot of heartbreak by reading Bark and Lunge, which tells the story of what can go wrong when a puppy is not properly socialized and when unsuspecting owners are bullied into using aversive training techniques. Please read this book so you don’t make the same mistakes with your puppy. Dr. Ian Dunbar, founder of Association of Professional Dog Trainers

Bark and Lunge is not an easy journey from point A to point B with loose ends neatly tied up. It is something much better: a truthful, sometimes painful, always hopeful account of life with a dog who has anxiety and reactivity issues. Kari and Rob’s love for their German shepherd Isis shines through every page of this moving saga. Their journey through various training techniques and treatments is a testament to their relentless dedication to help Isis to live a normal life. Many dog owners will relate to their story, and even those who can’t will empathize and find it a fascinating read. Nicole Wilde, author of Hit by a Flying Wolf: True Tales of Rescue, Rehabilitation and Real Life with Dogs and Wolves

How do you make sure the dog you love never bites anyone (again)?

These days, dog owners receive as much unsolicited and conflicting advice as parents do. Bark and Lunge tells what happens when one couple blindly follows the wrong advice.

My boyfriend Rob and I brought Isis home when she was seven weeks old, doting on her and taking her to the best trainers we could find. As a scholastic achiever myself, I envisioned that together Isis and I would be star pupils in puppy obedience school. Isis had other plans. She reminded me of those kids who misbehave in school because they’re too clever for their lesson plans. While I tried to be a stern disciplinarian, Rob enjoyed being a littermate, considering Isis an ideal jiu-jitsu partner.

Isis’s behavior escalates from frustrating to dangerous when she bites someone. Rob and I learn that some of the old-fashioned training methods we used may have contributed to her aggressive behavior. Eventually, we’re shown a better way to calm an anxious dog. Bark and Lunge taps into the universal pressure we feel to help our children (and dog-children) live their best lives, the disappointment we feel when they fail, the joy when they tackle a difficult challenge successfully, and the devastation of losing them too young.

About the Author

Kari Neumeyer has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School and has worked for news outlets in Washington state and the Czech Republic. She grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema-Television. Now she lives in Bellingham, Washington, with her beau, Rob, and their dog family.

Related blog post: The Next Big Thing

56 thoughts on “Bark and Lunge

  1. We had an aggressive/fearful dog we got at a shelter. Unfortunately, after many Dog Whisperer attempts at training her, we had to give her up (the shelter had a no kill policy and thankfully she was adopted very quickly afterward). We have kids in our home and she’d bitten several of us on almost a daily, if not a weekly basis. It broke all of our hearts to give her up and I’ve vowed now to never give up on a pet like that again–they become so much a part of your family.

  2. Over the years we have adopted two dogs with behavioral issues from the shelter. One was an abused guard dog that turned out to be the sweetest and most grateful dog, although she was very wary of men, and the other I am not sure of her background, but she seems to also be very wary of men. She herds people. But she too has turned out to be a great dog. We just have to put her in a room when people are over because she’s nervous and unpredictable around people that aren’t family. I’ll be interested to hear more of your story!! So glad you are featured today and I learned about your blog!

  3. My daughter and son-in-law have been dealing with a rescue dog with aggressive issues. I’m glad they’re working on it, but I sometimes fear the dog. Thanks for the insight. Enjoy your SITS Day.

  4. I actually look forward to reading your memoir. I have an anxious dog that has gotten more and more aggressive as she aged. Early on I always chalked it up to the fact that she was biten by a larger dog who snuck up behind us. Now of course anymore approaching from behind me is probably going to be warned by her barking and growling to retreat. She’s never actually bitten, but I fear she will. 😦

    1. Oh, that’s too bad. We had success with positive reinforcement training, rewarding her for staying calm, and keeping her out of stressful situations. We have similar problems with Leo barking at bikes and other dogs. It’s hard to find places to walk him where he won’t encounter those things. I’ve been hoping he’ll calm down as he gets older.

  5. Hope your querying goes well. Sounds to me like you’ve been building a platform here; at least blogging has kept your writing skills sharp. Happy SITS day.

    1. Thank you. And thanks to all the SITS-tahs who stopped by and commented today. Building a platform is a daunting task. It feels really good to hear from readers interested in reading our story. 🙂

  6. I look forward to getting and reading your memoir. But probably for a different reason then most people. I have a Human and dog reactive dog named Isis as well. She was first with a CM fan. Now, she is with me. I feel like this will be reading into my own life.

  7. Isis is a great story – and having known her I hope many embrace the story. She wasn’t the worst dog and she wasn’t the best, she was isis with her own individual challenges. Reactivity and aggression usually stem from fear – otherwise why would a dog exhibit this behavior? Remembering SIsis through Kari and hoping to read the book.

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