I just finished reading this book. As biographies go, it was a great read.
While reading this book, my mind kept reliving the life of my last dog, Miko. (Miko was an extremely free-thinking dog.) The final chapter, which dealt with Merle's end, had me in tears.
The authors opinions about on-leash vs. off-leash have to be taken into context of where he lived. Even the author played by more traditional rules when he left his home village.
Mostly, the book exempifies the kind of releationship that's possible if you able to be less of an alpha, and more of an ally with your dog.