Cheryl S. Smith

Books by Cheryl S SmithSelf-confessed dog person Cheryl S. Smith was, for reasons forever to be unknown, refused a dog by her parents. She has been making up for it ever since, as all the years since leaving college have been spent with one or several dogs. It hasn’t always been easy. After a first dog who was hauntingly human and well-behaved, Cheryl adopted a series of misfits who didn’t fit into society particularly well. She had to learn how to manage a fear biter, keep a free spirit within bounds, and help overcome severe insecurity. For many years, she had to also manage to maintain a full-time job and appear to be a “normal” member of the working class. Now, as a fulltime writer, she’s pretty much gone irrevocably to the dogs.

As she learned more about dogs, her desire to know more only grew, and she has attended a regular series of training, behavior, and veterinary conferences. Once she began writing about dogs, she interviewed top trainers, behaviorists, and researchers, and continues to do so. At some point she had learned enough that she began training for Legacy Canine Training and Behavior.

Cheryl has competed in conformation, obedience, agility, and freestyle, and dabbled in herding, tracking, rally, flyball, and retriever training. She has also taken part in animal assisted activity visits and is an evaluator for the Delta Pet Partners program. She has judged 4-H rally, helped host doggie fun days, and is a Canine Good Citizen evaluator.

Cheryl hosts a regular call-in pets radio show called PetSmith, in which she fields many phone calls from people experiencing problems with their dogs (or cats, birds, horses, llamas). She also takes questions via her website at

Cheryl has written for M*A*S*H and Kate & Allie, and won awards for both humor and dog writing. She was a founding member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, and is a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant. Her writing has won five Maxwell medallions (the dog world equivalent of a Pulitzer), as well as a variety of special awards from the Dog Writers Association of America, including the “best in show” President’s Award. She currently writes the nutrition column for Dogs in Canada.

Her books include:

The Rosetta Bone: The Key to Communication Between Humans and Canines (a book to help humans and their dogs understand one another better) (Howell)

Dog Friendly Gardens, Garden Friendly Dogs (a book to help gardeners and their dogs understand one another better) (Dogwise)

Visiting the Dog Park: Having Fun, Staying Safe (a book to help owners understand their responsibilities and dog-to-dog interactions better) (Dogwise)

Grab Life by the Leash (the most recent book, celebrating all the good things that dogs and their people do for each other) (Howell)

The Trick Is in the Training (with Stephanie Taunton, on teaching tricks to dogs) (Barrons)

Quick Clicks: 40 Fast and Fun Behaviors to Train with a Clicker (with Mandy Book, a primer on clicker training just coming out in its second edition) (Dogwise)

The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Showing Your Dog (everything you need to know to show your own dog) (Crown Publishing)

Cheryl is a fan of rescue and mixed breeds, though she may someday hook up with another Keeshond or take a fling with a Portuguese Water Dog. For now, her Border Collie/sighthound mix Nestle and relative newcomer Teddy fill up the office quite nicely. Outdoors, her feral cat colony of old-time movie stars (Marlena, Cary, Bogart, Kate, Greta, Astaire, and Stewart) and rescued llamas (Lewis, Clark, and Meriwether) keep things lively, along with her coop full of banty chickens and pond full of koi.

Author Cheryl S Smith


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