BEGINNER'S BASIC BIBLIOGRAPHY
The following bibliography is far from exhaustive. It is merely a short list of books of an introductory nature or of special value.
Read all you can : knowledge empowers you !
January, 2014 : I am going to simplify this list by removing some books not particularly suited to those who are beginners in dog training and management and by sub-dividing some sections into the most basic (read first) books and those books for further reading after reading the more basic ones.
BEGINNER'S BASIC BIBLIOGRAPHY
compiled by Pam Green, © 2003, revised 2014
The following bibliography is far from exhaustive. It is merely a short (yes, it really IS short, compared to the many good books worth reading) list of books of an introductory nature or of special value. The notations *** and ***** etc indicate exceptional value. Prices are FAR out of date and sources are indicated for books that might be difficult to order through a bookstore may also be out o date. You often can find difficult to find and/or out of print on Amazon, looking at books being sold by other sellers. Links to my reviews of some of these books are provided. Some books appear under more than one heading. I hope to make it easier for you to find what you want.
January, 2014 : I will try to separate out the most basic beginner books, the ones you should read first, then do another grop of books for further reading.
Read all you can : knowledge empowers you ! Read critically, think about what you read and argue with it, and be prepared to re-evaluate in the light of your own growing experience. Re-read again later on when you have more real expereince; some books will mean more and more as you learn more from your dogs themselves. Remember that dogs are individuals.
BOOKS OF INTEREST TO ALL
- NORMAL DOG BEHAVIOR
(You must know what is normal dog behavior before you can do anything else !)
- for beginners : books to read early in your education:
- The Other End of the Leash, by Patricia McConnell, PhD ********** review of superb book on how our natural human behaviors can cause us to mis-communicate with our dogs; how the 2 species are alike and how they are different. absolutely ESSENTIAL reading for everyone !!!
- "For the Love of a Dog" by Patricia McConnell, PhD ********* a superb book on canine emotions and the body language reflecting these emotions. Consider this a sequel to "The Other End of the Leash"
- The Well Adjusted Dog by Nicholas Dodman, DVM ,****, an excellent book on problem prevention by a veterinary behaviorist who deals with problem behaviors.
- for those seeking further information, after reading the beginner books
- Pfaffenberger, The New Knowledge of Dog Behavior, Howell *** (now a classic) on the developmental stages of the dog's life.
- DOGS, A Startling New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior, & Evolution by Ray & Lorna Coppinger , thought-provoking book about canine behavior , physical qualities, and upbringing, especially as related to working dogs. This is NOT really a book for beginers
- Dog Language by Roger Abrantes, ****** canine communication and behavior ; superb illustrations. of value to everyone !!!
- PRINCIPLES OF TRAINING
These are basic books that you should read before going on to specific types of training
- Karen Pryor, Don't Shoot the Dog, Bantam *****(training with positive reinforcement. A great classic. This book will triple the value of every other training book you will ever read. She has also written books specifically about training dogs.
- Excel-erated Learning by Pamela Reid. ****** Could have been called "Don't Shoot the Dog , the Next Generation" principles of training, with illustrations from various dog sports. extremely valuable.
- How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves, Dr Sophia Yin DVM, 0-7938-0543-0 , excellent. principles of training and detailed application to basic obedience and common problems. Could be called
- "Don't Shoot the Dog, Voyager" . Actually it would be hard to choose between this book and Excel-erated Learning. This one may be better for the beginner. Dr Yin is a veterinary behaviorist.
- My Smart Puppy by Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson *******, truely a MUST READ and just as relevant to training and managing adult dogs , not just those acquired as puppies. The "space" exercises are especially important as they are rarely discussed in other books and nowhere as well as in this book.. Comes with a DVD showing a few of the lessons.
- PUPPY RAISING / DOG AS MEMBER OF FAMILY / OWNER RESPONSIBILITY
(How to raise a puppy to be a civilized dog and valued family member; your responsibilities towards your dog.)
- basic reading -- essential for all
- Responsible Dog Ownership by Kathy Diamond Davis , , Howell ********** responsibilities of dog guardianship; absolutely MUST be read before you get a dog !!!!
- Dr Myrna Milani, DVM, DogSmart (book on issues you have to think through before taking a dog into your life) Contemporary books ********** absolutely positively MUST be read before you get a dog !!!!
- How to Teach a New Dog Old Tricks, Dr Ian Dunbar, PhD, MRCVS. ******* outstanding book on puppy rearing; a MUST read. His laer book Before and After You Get Your Puppy is also worth reading.
- My Smart Puppy by Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson *******, truely a MUST READ and just as relevant to training and managing adult dogs , not just those acquirredas puppies. The "space" exercises are especially important as they are rarely discussed in other books and nowhere as well as in this book.. Comes with a DVD showing a few of the lessons. By the way just about anything by this pair of authors is worth reading.
- Perfect Puppy in 7 Days, by Dr Sophia Yin, DVM, MS.***** I have to write a review of this truely excellent book, a profusely illustrated step by step guide to all the things that a perfect owner (very skilled behaviorist trainer and able to be home much of the day) would teach an 8 week old puppy the first week in the new home.Realistically most people would do well to accomplish half as much in the first month. Also an excellent chapter on what the breeder should have accomplished during the 8 weeks since the puppy's birth.
- Benjamin, Mother Knows Best, Howell *****, emphasis on puppy raising, useful for all dogs; one of my very favorite books on rearing and training. Even more valuable when read in light of McConnell's The Other End of the Leash.
- Benjamin, Surviving Your Dog's Adolescence, ("teenage" phase = 9 mo to 2 years), which is the next phase after Mother Knows Best and could be sub-titled "Mother Still Knows Best Even Though You Are a Smart-Ass Teen-Age Brat"
- further reading
- Outwitting Dogs by Tery Ryan and Kirsten Mortensen. ** The emphasis is on planning ahead, keeping mentally a step or so ahead of the dog, using that supposedly superior brain that humans brag about.
- Monks of New Skete, How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend, *** Little Brown (reccommend 2nd edition, 2003 , which corects missuse of advice about "Alpha rollover")
- Monks of New Skete, The Art of Raising a Puppy , *** Little Brown***
- Rutherford & Neil, How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With, Alpine
- Evans, Evans' Guide to Housebreaking, Howell *** housebreaking pup or adult ; and all housebreaking related problems
- McLennan, Dogs and Kids, Parenting Tips, Howell. all parents MUST read! all persons whose dog might someday encounter a child should read !! ** reviewed as one of four books in Dogs and Children ( reviews of 4 books about dog-child safety and relationship issues, parental responsibilities.)
- Living with Kids and Dogs ... Without Losing Your Mind, by Colleen Pelar, CPDT. Another MUST READ for parents. One of the four books reviewed in Dogs and Children
- Donaldson, Culture Clash, James & Kenneth **** The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson dog behavior and training, behavior problem prevention. Lasar Multimedia **
- Train Your Dog the Lazy Wayby Andrea Arden (book on puppy raising for busy people), Alpha (McMillian) **
- PROBLEM DOG BEHAVIOR
(You must also read about normal behavior, because many behaviors that owners consider "problems" are normal behaviors that clash with our human social context.)
- basic books to read first (after reading books on norrmal behavior, books on principles of training, and books on puppy raising, etc)
- Benjamin, Dog Problems, Doubleday (good basic info on problem solving)
- Evans, People, Pooches, and Problems ***** (for all owners; includes prevention)
- Dogs Are From Neptune by Jean Donaldson behavior problem solving. Lasar Multimedia ** (read Culture Clash first)
- PatriciaMcConnell and KarenLondon have written many booklets about various areas of dog behavior problems and all of these are excellent. Feisty Fidois about dogs who are "reactive" towards other dogs, eg barking , lunging, etc when on leash. A detailed and simple methodology that can be combined with the "back away" technique Aloff describes. Cautious Canine is about timid dogs Feeling Outnumbered is about problem prevention and management in a multi-dog household. They also have a few DVDs. Both are well respected highly experienced behaviorrists.
- Don't Dump the Dog by Randy Grim , book review by Pam Green . problem solving, written with humor.
- further reading
- Evans, Evans' Guide for Counseling Dog Owners , Howell (for professionals, but very readable) and likewise his Training and Explaining.
- Dodman DVM, The Dog Who Loved Too Much, Bantam ***** (behavior therapy & meds ; serious problems) ; very enjoyably written. and his later Dogs Behaving Badly , Bantam ***** (see especially the appendix). He is a veterinary behaviorist. Note : he has written several later books. Anything by Dodman is worth reading.
- Book Review of "Help for Your Fearful Dog", by Nicole Wilde, reviewed byPam Green
- Aggression In Dogs : Practical Management, Prevention, and Behavior Modification, by Brenda Aloff, published by Dogwise.com. ***** an absolute MUST READ for anyone who has a dog with even the beginnings of a dog-to-dog or dog-to-human aggression problem or has a dog who is fearful of dogs or humans (thus at high risk of developing an aggression problem). Also an excellent review of the behaviorist principles of training, using mostly positive reinforcement, and an excellent review of canine body language. If you don't (yet) have any aggression or fear problems , this book is still of great value because it will enable you to prevent most aggression problems.
- RESCUE and ADOPTING THE 'PRE-OWNED" DOG
adopt a dog and save a life !!!
- basic reading
- Petfinder's "The Adopted Dog Bible" by Kim Saunders, available on Petfinder.com , ***** also very helpful guide for dogs raised by you from puppyhood. Published in 2008.
- Benjamin , Second Hand Dog, Howell **** (adopters MUST read ; of value for all dog owners)
- urther reading
- Benjamin, The Chosen Puppy, Howell (picking a puppy from the Pound)
- Christiansen, Choosing A Shelter Dog , Canine Learning Center **
- Rubenstein & Kalina, The Adoption Option, Howell
- Breed Rescue : how to start and run a successful program by Sheila Boneham, PhD, ***** (excellent and essential book giving practical strategies for running a rescue program, covering all the common issus.) This would be a MUST READ for anyone getting involved in dog rescue, whether restricted to one breed or breed group or a general dog rescue. Some of the issues would also apply to cat rescue. This book had tremendous input from many experienced rescue people.
Note : pay attention to publication dates as veterinary medicine progresses rapidly. the illnesses and injuries don't change much (though we have seen a few "emergent" diseases comealong) but the diagnostic techniques and treatments can change a lot over just a few years time..
- basic reading -- really essential
- "Speaking for Spot" by Nancy Kay DVM. *****, a MUST READ book, guiding you in being a partner to your vet and a health advocate for your dog. Also quite applicable to cats, as only the disease specifics differ. This book can also help you in dealing with your MD.
- Siegel et al, The U.C.Davis Book of Dogs , Harper Collins***** (encycopediac; by staff of UCD Vet School --- published in 1995, thus some areas not up to date). there are some other overviews of dog health ; you must have at least one such book.
- Pet First Aid, by Dr Bobbie Mammoto, DVM, MPH, American Red Cross and Humane Society of United States. (book on first aid for dogs and cats.). There are other good books on pet first aid ; you need at least one such book.
- further reading
- "Taking Care of Your Dog" (book about when to go to the vet ; how to distinguish an emergency or urgent situation from less urgent situations.).. note: this is somewhat superceded by Speaking For Spot, but the flow charts may be very helpful to you, may work well with your own way of thinking.
- The Feel Better Book For Cats and Dogs, by Randi E G
olub, CVT. very highly recommended : a MUST READ for owners
- The Pill Book for Dogs and Cats & Veterinary Drug Handbook (a laypersons book and a veterinary reference book with details about medications commonly used in vet med). choose one of these
- Your Aging Dog, Amy Shojai, 2003, *** excellent and extremely up to date, including cutting edge veterinary methods , home nursing tips, practical tips, current costs.
- Pets Living with Cancer ***( review about cancer treatment and the good quality of life that can be enjoyed by dogs with cancer.) Note : this book was written quite a few years ago and is no longer current, but it's a good introduction.
- Preparing for the Loss of Your Pet, by Dr Myrna Milani DVM, ***** helping you to think about the unthinkable long before the crisis occurs; highly reccommended to everyone.
BOOKS ABOUT TRAINING & WORKING DOGS
I won't divide these into basic vs further reading, as they are all "further" reading
- WORKING DOGS, GENERALLY
- Humphrey & Warner, Working Dogs, Dehack (P.O. box 922, Cambell, Ca 95008.$15) a great classic, describing fortunate Fields, the single most extensive experiement in breeding for various types of work.
- DOGS, A Startling New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior, & Evolution by Ray & Lorna Coppinger , thought-provoking book about canine behavior , physical qualities, and upbringing, especially as related to working dogs.
(essential for all dogs & all owners !!!!)
I reccommend reading several books; philosophies & methods differ greatly.
- My Smart Puppy by Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson *******, truely a MUST READ and just as relevant to training and managing adult dogs , not just those acquirredas puppies. The "space" exercises are especially important as they are rarely discussed in other books and nowhere as well as in this book.. Comes with a DVD showing a few of the lessons.
- Burnham , Playtraining Your Dog, St Martins (softer methods for softer dogs ; also very good material on your own attitude towards training and competition)
- Volhard & Fisher, Training Your Dog, Step by Step, Howell (good general obedience book,with excellent diagrams and great cartoons).
- Bauman, Beyond Basic Dog Training, Howell (for those seeking CDX, UD, and O.T.Ch.)
- Holmes, The Obedient Dog , Trafalgar Square (Obed, Working Trials, Agility as practiced in the United Kingdom. some very interesting material)
(something dogs and owners enjoy)
(note : there are many many more books on this subject; I am not well read on this subject.)
- Simmons-Moake, Agility Training, the Fun Sport for All Dogs, Howell
- TRACKING & OTHER SCENTWORK
- Johnson, Tracking Dog, Theory & Methods, Arner *** ("the Bible" for trackers)
- Brown, Bring Your Nose Over Here, $5, Brown, 6816 Carlton NW, Alburque, NM 87107. some useful ideas which can be used to modify Johnson's method.
- Cree, Nosework for Dogs, Pelham (tracking, article search, scent discrimination ; tests as practiced in the UK. very interesting.)
- Bryson, Search Dog Training, Boxwood (search & rescue ; also protection training for practical purposes; plus some excellent puppy rearing advice.)
- Holmes , The Farmer's Dog, Popular Dogs **** (read this one first because it explains the predatory nature of herding ! That predatory basis should be understood by everyone whose dog has any herding ancestry at all, which includes some breeds not in the AKC Herding Group..)
- Holland, Herding Dogs, Progressive Training, Howell **** Sets out a step by step system for variety of types of dog ; excellent re personality types and problem solving. I highly reccommend this book for every herding trainer, especially those with AKC breeds. (However he incorrectly describes Bouvier as naturally driving dogs ; they are really gathering dogs.). This is probably the best single book to read and the first one to read. when you are actually going to train a dog in herding.
- Lithgow, Training & Working Dogs for Quiet Confident Control of Stock, Univ. of Queensland *** (appendix is remarkable & of interest to all dog owners! an essential book if you will be working cattle.)
- Taggert, Sheepdog Training, an All-Breed Approach, Alpine. intended primarily for AKC breeds. At the time written, it was the only book directed at breeds other than the "strong eye" Border Collie and Kelpie..
- Jones, A Way of Life : Sheepdog Training, Handling, & Trialing, Farming Press. . intended for those training Border Collies for ISDS trials.
- Fogt, Lessons From A Stockdog, Working Border Collie, Inc ** (excellent re problem solving) intended primarily for highly motivated Border Collies with excellent instinct, but has useful ideas for the rest of us.
- Hartley , The Shepherd's Dogs, Whitcombe & Tombs. (some very unusual ideas.)
(as a sport or for real)
Protection training is NOT something any beginner should consider. It requires a serious level of training skill and huge amounts of dedicated work. I therefore list only the one book that adequately warns you why you should wait until you have that level of skill and dedication.
- Weiss & Rose, Protection Dogs for You & Your Family, Denlinger **
(an essential introduction for all who think they want / need protection dog).. The first several chapters are the ones for you to read as they warn you of the tremendous responsibilities and liabilities in owning a dog who is trained to bite. They recommend and discuss the alternatives that would fit most people's needs. The role they call "GentleGiant" can be filled by a 70 to 90 lb dog such as Bouvier.
The sections on puppy rearing and training are directed ONLY at the highly competitive Schutzhund or other protection sport trainer.. I have huge disagreement with some of that advice , advice that is contrary to what most people want in a companion dog.
The authors are both highly competitive. Weiss is an MD and so has probably treated plenty of dog bite injuries..
- GUIDE DOGS, HANDICAP ASSISTANCE DOGS, THERAPY DOGS
- Tucker, The Eyes That Lead, Howell
- Davis, Therapy Dogs, Howell (excellent guide to preparing your dog for therapy work, visiting nursing homes , etc. includes precautions to safeguard your dog's welfare in this work.)
- Teamwork and Teamwork II by Stewart Nordensson and Lydia Kelley, TopDog Publications. wonderful books on how people with physical disabilities (including severe disabilities) can train their own dogs; the first volumn concerns basic obediance and vol II concerns various service dog tasks. based on the experience of a variety of physically challenged people.
- Schwartz, Friend to Friend, Howell (various ways dogs serve as helpmeets, workers)
- PHYSICAL ASPECTS OF WORKING DOGS
- Elliot, The New Dogsteps, Howell (structure & gait, including specialized for special work)
- Zink, DVM, Peak Performance, Coaching the Canine Athlete, Howell (sports medicine)
Related topics :
- My TOP TEN Books just my own not so humble opinion on the books that every dog person should read.
- Annotated Bibliography, a far more extensive list of books , almost all of which I have read.