Recommended Reading

Reading Recommendations


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Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet, by John Bradshaw

A century ago most dogs worked for their living, and were bred to be healthy, hard working, and companionable; nowadays we breed dogs more for their looks than for their health or suitability as pets and too often treat them like wolves or furry humans. Dogs are neither. In Dog Sense, Bradshaw reminds us of their rights, gripes, and specific needs by showing us the world from a dog’s perspective, teaching us how to live in harmony with them.

Inside of a Dog, What Dogs See, Smell and Know, by Alexandra Horowitz

Horowitz introduces us to dogs’ perceptual and cognitive skills. What’s it like to be able to smell not just every bit of open food in the house but also sadness in humans, or even the passage of time? How does a tiny dog manage to play successfully with a Great Dane? What is it like to hear the bodily vibrations of insects or the hum of a fluorescent light? Why must a person on a bicycle be chased? What’s it like to use your mouth as a hand?

Decoding Your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How to Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones, by American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.

Veterinary Behaviorists are uniquely qualified to consider potential medical explanations for behavior while understanding how to appropriately treat a wide array of behavior Twenty authors weigh in on important questions about many different aspects of dog behavior and what dogs, want and need. These board certified Veterinary Behaviorists also underline why training in a positive rather than punitive way is both more fun and more effective for the human and the dog.

The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs, by Patricia B. McConnell

McConnell teaches readers how to speak consistently to dogs to avoid confusing them and sending them conflicting messages.

Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs, by Suzanne Clothier

Clothier explores our life with canines and offers lessons to help readers change upsetting misbehaviors and habits, see the world from a dog’s perspective, and connect more deeply with our pets.

Canine Body Language: A Photographic Guide: Interpreting the Body Language of the Domestic Dog, by Brenda Aloff

Dogs attempt to communicate with humans and other dogs all the time through their body movement, facial expression, and proximity to things and other beings. Canine Body Language is a photographic documentation of dogs in their day-to-day activities: alone, together, in the water, having fun, feeling stressed, and in relation to human beings. To supplement the photographs, Aloff gives the reader detailed descriptions of what is happening.

The Power of Positive Dog Training, by Pat Miller

Miller demonstrates how you can train your dog, have fun, and build a lasting relationship at the same time by replacing punishment-based training methods with reward-based training methods.

Do Over Dogs: Give Your Dog a Second Chance for a First Class Life, by Pat Miller

A Do-Over Dog is any dog that deserves a second chance in life, including strays, adoptees, rescues, and your long-time companion that may have some behavioral challenges. Miller shares ideas on how to assess any dog in order to anticipate its behavior and training needs. The book discusses how to make the best use of the Honeymoon Period when it is important to teach new behaviors and establish good habits; the best way to deal with problem behaviors that are common in Do-Over Dogs including fear, resource guarding, and separation anxiety; and more.

The Thinking Dog: Crossover to Clicker Training, by Gail Tamases Fisher

Clicker training has proven to be the most effective means of developing a thinking dog, one that works in partnership with the trainer. Fisher shares her own crossover experiences over the past thirteen years while teaching how dog training has evolved over the past 100 years, the strengths and weaknesses of various training styles, and to what extent you can integrate your previous methods of training with clicker training, as well as challenges you will face as a crossover trainer from whatever style of training you have used in the past.

Plenty in Life Is Free: Reflections on Dogs, Training and Finding Grace, by Kathy Sdao

Sdao reveals how her journey through life and her decades of experience training marine mammals and dogs led her to reject a number of sacred cows including the leadership myth in dog training. She describes in narrative fashion how she has come to focus her own training philosophy, which emphasizes developing partnerships in which humans and dogs exchange reinforcements and continually cede the upper hand to one another.

Before and After Getting Your Puppy, by Ian Dunbar

In the 1970s, Dunbar sparked a dramatic shift in dog training — away from leash corrections and drill-sergeant adult dog classes based on competitive obedience and toward a positive approach using toys, treats, and games as rewards for teaching basic manners, preventing behavior problems, and modifying temperament. In this book, Dunbar combines his two popular puppy-training manuals into one indexed hardcover edition. Dunbar’s guide is based around developmental deadlines, including completing your education and preparation, assessing a puppy’s prior socialization and education, teaching errorless housetraining and chew toy training, and completing a socialization program of meeting strange dogs and people.

Puppy Primer, Second Edition by Patricia McConnell

This updated and expanded edition contains positive reinforcement tips and tricks, special topics, and more in a tone that is upbeat and encouraging. New to this edition is information about the benefits of positive reinforcement and the importance of realistic expectations.

Beginning Family Dog Training, by Patricia McConnell

McConnell shares gentle and effective methods rather than punishment-oriented techniques that so often lead to aggression. Covering commands from sit and down to heeling and coming when called, this book explains how dogs communicate, think, and learn in order to train them effectively with scientifically based, humane methods.

The Culture Clash, by Jean Donaldson

As Donaldson, director of the Academy for Dog Trainers at the San Francisco ASPCA, shows, generations of dogs have been labeled training lemons for requiring actual motivation when all along they were perfectly normal. Numerous dogs have been branded as canine misfits simply because they acted like dogs. Barking, chewing, sniffing, licking, jumping up, and even having arguments is as normal and natural for dogs as wagging tails and burying bones. However, all dogs need to be taught how to modify their normal and natural behaviors to adjust to human expectations and avoid the culture clash.

Don’t Shoot the Dog, by Karen Pryor

Pryor teaches methods of reinforcement training. As she says, “Whatever the task, whether keeping a four-year-old quiet in public, housebreaking a puppy, coaching a team, or memorizing a poem, it will go fast, and better, and be more fun, if you know how to use reinforcement.”

Reaching the Animal Mind: Clicker Training and What It Teaches Us about All Animals, by Karen Pryor

Pryor is responsible for developing clicker training— a safe, effective way to modify and shape animal behavior. In this book, she explains the science behind clicker training and how and why it works.

Living with Kids & Dogs without Losing Your Mind: A Parent’s Guide to Controlling the Chaos, Volume 2, by Collen Pelar

Pelar has chapters devoted to each stage of a child’s life with parental pointers for setting their family up for success while raising kids and dogs together. You will learn how to help your child and dog develop a strong relationship built on trust and cooperation; how to recognize canine stress signals and know when your dog is getting worried about normal kid activity; how to identify serious behavior problems before someone gets hurt; how to provide specific help for managing the interactions with dogs through each stage of your kids’ lives from infancy through the teen years; and more.

Therapy Dogs Today: Their Gifts, Our Obligation, Second Edition, by Kris Butler

Butler explores the complex issues that surround the environments in which therapy dogs do their jobs. This new edition contains the fundamental wisdom and some of the stories from the original version while interweaving the latest issues and trends for therapy dogs and their handlers.