What are some books you would recommend for dog training that you or someone you know found helpful.


  1. Courage

    Well… it’s always good to read styles you don’t agree with. The Monks of New Skete (sp) are the guys who started the “alpha roll”, and it’s interesting to read the original books talking about it and realize just how far people have taken it, and how they never meant for it to be taken into some of the levels that people do. Just like it’s good to read books by Khoeler (sp again…) and Barbara Woodhouse in order to see where Millan got his style. But, they’re not books I’d use to train any dog because they’re out of date (ie, even if Millan is recent, his style is 20+ years old and has been proven to cause problems.) So, one of the things I would recommend is to watch out for books where “khoeler” or “Woodhouse” is mentioned as the trainers or something like that.
    Books like “The other side of the leash” or “Bones would rain from the sky” are wonderful books, but aren’t training manuals. They’re more behavioral books, and sometimes their style of writing is insulting and abrasive unless you agree with the author (ie, someone who uses a choke chain tends to find the works insulting.) However, one book that I do like is Jan Fannel’s “The Dog Listener” about Amichien bonding, which I’ve found helpful for dog owners who have aggressive dogs (or who want to avoid aggression in their dogs) without using aggressive methods on the dogs themselves. But, again, it’s not a training manual. A newer good book that you can tend to find fairly cheap these days is “The Loved Dog: The Playful, Nonaggressive Way to Teach Your Dog Good Behavior” by Tamar Geller.
    I did not like “Dogs: A Startling New Understanding of Canine Origin Behavior & Evolution” by Ray and Lorna Coppinger. Mostly because from my point of view it was a completely flawed examination of dog behavior comparing and arguing that dogs are not wolves. Ie, they hate the idea that dogs are being genetically reclassified as wolf subspecies, so they fight against it in their book. But, they use as examples of wolves captive wolves and wolves who, through hunting, are nervous of humans. Basically they completely ignore eskimo and native american accounts that wolves didn’t USE to keep this distance, and they ignore accounts where wolves weren’t keeping this distance where they weren’t being hunted. And because they only use captive wolves or wolves during easily observed periods of the year, and ignore wolves or wolf-mixes who live in homes with humans… it’s just a very biased book.
    For puppies, I prefer Ian Dunbar’s “Before and After Getting Your Puppy” and it goes over basic puppy training. HOWEVER, some people find it abrasive because he tends to do a whole “If you don’t do this, your dog will have this behavioral problem.” Some people feel this is defeatist, and insulting, making them feel like complete failures (to me, when I read it, it seemed more like a warning about what COULD happen.) Remember, Ian Dunbar got his greatest start with puppy training, so his books tend to be more about the root of behavioral problems and how to avoid them, and not always about how to fix them in adult dogs though he does do that too.
    Then there’s the real Dog Whisperer, or at least one of them (dog whisperer is a sort of honorary title, and Millan isn’t the only one to hold it. In fact… Millan as far as I know was never GIVEN the title but usurped it, which is insulting. He doesn’t whisper.) Paul Owens’ books are WONDERFUL, and I’ve always enjoyed them as training type manuals. I haven’t ever seen his movies, but I wouldn’t be worried about anything in them. Karen Pryor’s books are wonderful training manuals, if you want to go with clicker training.
    Hope this helps.

  2. Mutt for the Truth

    All of the books by Cesar Millan.
    “It’s me or the Dog” by Victoria Stillwell
    “Canine Body Language” by Brenda Aloff
    All of the books by Monks of New Skeet
    “The Power of Positive Dog Training” by Pat Miller
    As you see i read a lot – and it isn’t limited to just one type of training! I LOVE the book by Brenda Aloff btw, very helpful.

  3. Callie C

    If you have never trained a dog before try dog training for dummies (no offense, it really does help)

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