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Making friends with Amichien Bonding

It’s been a couple of days since we welcomed Frank the beautiful border collie into our lives and we’ve diligently followed Jan Fennell’s Amichien Bonding techniques. If you’re wondering who Jan is, she’s often known as the “Dog Whisperer” because she’s essentially done with dogs what Monty Roberts has done with horses, namely talk to them in their own behavioural signal language. So what on earth is Amichien Bonding all about? Well, there’s a really good explanation (extract below) on this website:


What is Amichien® Bonding?

Amichien Bonding is a unique, holistic method of working with dogs devised by Jan Fennell, the “Dog Listener”, based on kindness and cooperation. It is a way of communicating with dogs, using their own instinctive language, that is simple and effective, yet involves no pain, no force and no special gadgets. The word “Amichien” is a combination of two French words – “ami” (friend), and “chien” (dog).

Why does Amichien Bonding work?
Domestic dogs, which are direct descendants of wolves, are pack animals. Amichien Bonding is based on pack behaviour and works with your dog’s natural instincts. Like wolves, dogs follow a strict code of hierarchy. They know from the time they are born that their very survival depends on having strong leaders. Many people unintentionally give their dogs mixed signals as to who is in charge, leaving the dog no choice but to assume the role of leader – regardless of whether it is capable of the job.

Why should I want my dog to elect me leader?
It is obvious that a dog cannot successfully manage a household. When the dog takes on leadership of the “pack” (the family), its reactions to daily events are often considered bad behaviour. Because the dog cannot be successful in the leadership role, it becomes stressed, and behaviour worsens. Stress often manifests itself in these behaviours: Destroying objects in the home, Inability to relax, Excessive barking, Tail chasing, Obsessive behaviour, Foot chewing, Aggression and Soiling the home.

How will Amichien Bonding help?
Learning Amichien Bonding enables you to communicate clearly and effectively with your dog using its own language, which it naturally understands. Utilizing this method allows you to show your dog that you are a benevolent leader, ready and able to protect and look after it at all times. Removing the stress of leadership from your dog allows it to relax and to realise that the choices it was making are no longer necessary; in this way, most problem behaviours will naturally subside.

I’ve been really surprised and delighted at just how quickly Amichien Bonding has worked as Frank has shown us that he understands now that WE will look after our pack so he doesn’t need to worry about anything…the result has been an exceedingly chilled out old chap (^_^)


I admit I don’t have much to compare Amichien Bonding techniques with because Frank is my first dog but I really love the ethos of letting the dog elect you as its pack leader because you prove yourself to be leader material using the techniques that Jan shares. It feels like a very natural way to work with a canine friend and you don’t need any thingamabobs and whatnots (gadgets) just a good memory to remember how to send the right signals at the right times (^_^)

 Amichien Bonding is a stress-free, gadget-free, non-confrontational process achievable by anyone with an open mind and respect for dogs. At no time is pain, intimidation or force used in this work, yet it is very effective.

Anna x



  1. We love the “Dog Listener”. Far better than just ‘training’ your dog to behave in a way that YOU want. Dog listening is a skill that can be learnt and I learn more and more everyday. Frank is a very lucky man to have new parents that are so in time with his needs. X

  2. Pingback: DIARY: Cats & Dogs | love is your compass

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