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Great reads on dogs and dog training
I often get asked for book recommendations. I think that making a regular reading habit is one of the best investments that you can make in yourself.
Below you will find that I have compiled several lists of resources. Although no one book has all the answers, the more you learn about dogs, the better prepared you are to handle situations with your dog.
GENERAL DOG BOOKS
Is That A Wolf or A Dog? by Marcangelo L. Benevenga
Marc loves dogs but has always dreamed of owning a pet wolf. It was something he thought could only happen in fantasy books…until he visited Italy with his family. On the streets of Venice, Marc learns about the rare Czechoslovakian Wolfdog. Marc becomes determined to own this beautiful dog, but there is a problem. Back home in Toronto, there are no Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs. Marc has to import a puppy from Italy and names her Arya, but he quickly learns that she isn’t like regular dogs. Marc quickly learns the challenges of owning a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog: Arya is intelligent, mischievous, and an escape artist. Are these dogs always this difficult to train? Will Marc’s dream turn into a nightmare? Will he and Arya develop the relationship he has always dreamed of?
Bailey’s Responsible Dog Owner’s coloring book
Let Dogs Be Dogs by the Monks of Skete and Marc Goldberg
No matter what training method or techniques you use with your dog, the training is unlikely to be optimally successful unless it is predicated on understanding the dog’s true nature. Dogs need food, water, exercise and play, rest, veterinary care–the basics. But since dogs naturally want to be led, they also need focused and compassionate guidance.
Through abundant stories and case studies, the authors reveal how canine nature manifests itself in various behaviors, some potentially disruptive to domestic accord, and show how in addressing these behaviors, you can strengthen the bond with your dog and keep the peace.
This book promises that, especially in an ever-accelerating world filled with digital distractions, you can learn from your dog’s example how to live in the moment, thereby enriching your life immeasurably.
Love Me Gently captures the everyday challenges of raising a pup through a child’s eye and is an invaluable guide to help children ages 3-8 discover the meaning of unconditional love through the responsible care of a rescue pup. Kids learn simple lessons such as allowing the dog to eat and sleep uninterrupted, patience in training, gentle handling, and safety around the house for both child and animal. Young readers are empowered and encouraged to make good choices to last a lifetime.
A Sound Beginning by Julie Dorsey-Oskerka, Patricia Rattray & Rebecca Cann
This step-by-step book, including a CD of calming piano music, is a 14-day program designed to make it easy for anyone to prevent mistakes and create a positive start from the very first day you bring your new dog home. Safely introduce kids, new adults, other pets, and establish a routine that will build trust and confidence to last a lifetime…setting your dog up for success!
Adam’s Task, by Vicki Hearne
Adam’s Task, Vicki Hearne’s innovative masterpiece on animal training, brings our perennial discussion of the human-animal bond to a new metaphysical level. Based on studies of literary criticism, philosophy, and extensive hands-on experience in training, Hearne asserts, in boldly anthropomorphic terms, that animals (at least those that interact more with humans) are far more intelligent than we assume. In fact, they are capable of developing an understanding of “the good,” a moral code that influences their motives and actions.
Drawing on an eclectic range of influences—Nietzsche, T. S. Eliot, Disney animal trainer William Koehler, and Genesis from the Bible, Hearne writes in contemplative, exploratory, and brilliant prose as she interweaves personal anecdotes with philosophy. Hearne develops an entirely new animal training system that contradicts modern animal behavioral research and that, as her examples show, is astonishingly effective.
Widely praised, highly influential, and now with a new foreword by New York Times bestselling author Karen Joy Fowler, Adam’s Task will make every trainer, animal psychologist, and animal-lover stop, think, and question.
For the Love of a Dog by Patricia McConnell
In For the Love of a Dog, McConnell suggests that one reason we love dogs so much is that they express emotions in ways similar to humans. After all, who can communicate joy better than a puppy? But not all emotional expressions are obvious, and McConnell teaches both beginning dog owners and experienced dog lovers how to read the more subtle expressions hidden behind fuzzy faces and floppy ears.
For those of us who deeply cherish our dogs but are sometimes baffled by their behavior, For the Love of a Dog will come as a revelation–a treasure trove of useful facts, informed speculation, and intriguing accounts of man’s best friend at his worst and his very best. Readers will discover how fear, anger, and happiness underlie both people and dogs’ lives and, most importantly, how understanding emotion in both species can improve the relationship between them. Thus McConnell introduces us to the possibility of a richer, more rewarding relationship with our dogs.
While we may never be certain what our dogs are feeling, we can understand more than we ever thought possible with the help of this riveting book. Those who consider their dogs part of the family will find For the Love of a Dog engaging, enlightening, and utterly engrossing.
The Other End of the Leash By Patricia McConnell
The Other End of the Leash shares a revolutionary, new perspective on our relationship with dogs, focusing on our behavior compared to that of dogs. An applied animal behaviorist and dog trainer with more than twenty years of experience, Dr. Patricia McConnell looks at humans as just another interesting species and muses about why we behave the way we do around our dogs, how dogs might interpret our behavior, and how to interact with our dogs in ways that bring out the best in our four-legged friends.
After all, although humans and dogs share a remarkable relationship that is unique in the animal world, we are still two entirely different species, each shaped by our individual evolutionary heritage. Quite simply, humans are primates, and dogs are canids (like wolves, coyotes, and foxes). Since we each speak a different native tongue, a lot gets lost in the translation.
The Other End of the Leash demonstrates how even the slightest changes in your voice and how you stand can help your dog understand what you want. Once you start to think about your own behavior from the perspective of your dog, you’ll understand why much of what appears to be doggy-disobedience is simply a case of miscommunication. Inside you will learn:
• How to use your voice so that your dog is more likely to do what you ask.
• Why “getting dominance” over your dog is a bad idea.
• Why “rough and tumble primate play” can lead to trouble–and how to play with your dog in ways that are fun and keep him out of trouble.
• How dogs and humans share personality types–and why most dogs want to live with benevolent leaders rather than “alphawannabees!”
In her own insightful, compelling style, Patricia McConnell combines wonderful true stories about people and dogs with a new, accessible scientific perspective on how they should behave around each other. This book strives to help you make the most of life with your dog and prevent problems that might arise in that most rewarding of relationships.
So Your Dog’s Not Lassie by Betty Fisher and Suzanne Delzio
OK. Your dog doesn’t live to please you. There, we’ve said it. Contrary to what you’ve always heard, not all dogs want to earn their owner’s approval. Sometimes they seem as if they could not care less. But this is no secret to you — you know your dog’s not Lassie.
With this book, you will come to understand and appreciate that for hundreds of years, dogs were bred for qualities like independence, dominance, and determination. While these traits make dogs excellent hunters, trackers, and fighters, they can make a day-to-day living with your pet a real challenge.
Betty Fisher and Suzanne Delzio will teach you how to employ or overcome the traits that make your dog difficult to train. They will show how to use body language, food, voice, training structure, and style to convince your stubborn dog to do what you ask. You can turn your difficult dog into a perfect pet or even a successful show dog without force.
The Art of Raising a Puppy By the Monks of Skete
For more than thirty years, the Monks of New Skete have been among America’s most trusted authorities on dog training, canine behavior, and the animal/human bond.
In their two now-classic bestsellers, How to be Your Dog’s Best Friend and THE ART OF RAISING A PUPPY, the Monks draw on their experience as long-time breeders of German shepherds and as trainers of dogs of all breeds to provide–brilliantly distilled–the indispensable information and advice that every dog owner needs.
This new edition of THE ART OF RAISING A PUPPY features new photographs throughout, along with updated chapters on play, crating, adopting dogs from shelters and rescue organizations, raising dogs in an urban environment, and the latest developments canine health and canine behavioral theory.
The Midnight Dog Walkers by Annie Phenix
Aggression is a subject that no dog owner wants to talk about, but many owners have to face it. Statistics show that aggression is the most serious problem in dogs and the top reason for owners to seek professional help for their pets. Left unchecked, an aggressive dog can become a dangerous dog. This informative volume comes to the aid of many heartbroken owners who feel that they have tried everything to correct their dogs’ unpredictable and inappropriate behavior. Author and certified dog trainer Annie Phenix shares her belief that many reactive dogs can be rehabilitated with the right training. She offers her expertise in positive, force-free training methods to desperate owners who have resorted to extreme measures to keep their dogs away from other people and animals.
BOOKS ON DOG BEHAVIOR AND BODY LANGUAGE
Doggie Drawings by Lili Chin This website contains several infographics and posters on dog body language. It’s a great resource for visuals on dog expressions and what they mean.
The New Knowledge of Dog Behavior by Clarence Pfaffenberger
Is it heredity or environment that shapes the dog? Researchers J.P. Scott and John L. Fuller, authors of Genetics and Social Behavior of the Dog, bred and cross-bred dogs in their quest to understand human heredity and behavior. Their research yielded a gold mine of data that Pfaffenberger turned into practical information for dog breeders and trainers. Learn about the critical stages of puppy development, how breed differences make dogs suitable for specialized work, and how to breed and socialize temperamentally sound dogs—reprint of a 1963 classic.
The Dog’s Mind, by Dr. Bruce Fogel
“Quite simply, this is an excellent book. It is well-written, with snatches of dry humor. It should be mandatory reading for anybody who keeps a dog or has intentions of so doing.” -R. W. F. Poole, Daily Telegraph
How do dogs perceive the world about them? How do they see, hear, learn, relate to their owners? How large are their brains, what is their emotional makeup? Why do they suffer from stress, and how can it be coped with? Over the last few years, a substantial body of knowledge has been built about dog behavior psychology. Combining more than twenty years of practical experience as a veterinary clinician with personal knowledge and understanding of the latest international research, Dr. Bruce Fogle has written the most inclusive and relevant book on how the canine mind works.
Calming Signals – The Art of Survival by Turid Rugaas This is an article written by the author who discusses the calming signals used by dogs to communicate. Dogs have about 30 calming signals. By understanding these signals, we can better communicate with the dogs in our life.
How to Speak Dog by Dr. Stanley Coren
At long last, dogs will know just how smart their owners can be. By unlocking the secrets of dogs’ hidden language, psychologist Stanley Coren allows us into the doggy dialogue, or “Doggish,” and makes effective communication a reality.
Drawing on substantial research in animal behavior, evolutionary biology, and years of personal experience, Coren demonstrates that the average house dog can understand language at about a two-year-old human level. While the actual conversation of the sort Lassie seemed capable of in Hollywood mythmaking remains forever out of reach, Coren shows us that a great deal of real communication is possible beyond the giving and obeying commands.
How to Speak Dog provides the sounds, words, actions, and movements with which we can effectively communicate with our dogs and deciphers the signs that our dogs give to us. With easy-to-follow tips on how humans can mimic the language dogs use to talk with one another, original drawings illustrating the subtleties of their body language, and a handy visual glossary and “Doggish” phrasebook, How to Speak Dog gives dog lovers the skills they need to improve their relationships with their pets.
Canine Body Language by Brenda Aloff
Ever wish you could talk to your dog? With this bible of canine body language, you can learn to read him! Well-organized, loaded with photos and detailed explanations, it helps you interpret your dog’s emotions and, indeed, thoughts. Winner of the DWAA Maxwell Award for 2006, Best General Reference Book
BOOKS FOR TRAINING DEAF DOGS
Living With A Deaf Dog by Susan Cope-Becker
The first of its kind, and based on the author’s firsthand experience of living with a deaf dog, her own Boston Terrier. Includes research on the topic of canine deafness, how-to’s for training and communicating, plus collected personal experiences of deaf dog owners from all over the world. Contents: getting and keeping the deaf dog’s attention, over 25 hand signs (some illustrated), training and safety tips, testing a dog for deafness at home, BAER testing/what, where, and why, genetics of canine deafness, deaf dog myths (aggression and brain damage), stories about deaf dogs from their owners, resources for products, books, organizations, and an opportunity to assist in deaf dog research.
Hear, Hear! A Guide To Training A Deaf Puppy by Barry Eaton
Ideas for getting attention, teaching basic commands, help, and encouragement you’ll appreciate if you have taken on a deaf puppy! (This book is geared more toward training a puppy but still has good information if your dog is older.)
Amazing Gracie by Dan Dye & Mark Beckloff
This is Gracie’s story, a deaf and partially blind, mostly white Great Dane with a delicate constitution and penchant for small miracles. Dan would save the loneliest pup in the litter, Gracie in the middle of a bitter Kansas City winter. And over the next ten years, Gracie would save Dan – helping him learn the meaning of happiness. Dan teaches himself how to cook (since Gracie has an anorexia-producing dislike for commercial dog food), and within three days is baking her the cookies that will transform their lives. If you like dogs, this is a good book. If you are privileged enough to live with a deaf dog, you will love it.
The Pocket Dictionary Of Signing by Rod R. Butterworth, Mickey Flodin
This book is the most complete pocket guide to basic American Sign Language. It’s small enough to carry with you.