View Full Version : How to pick your training books - Good Article

7th November 2008, 03:08 PM
http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA66...q=dog+training_ (http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6606465.html?q=dog+training_)

Dogs are indeed our best friends. In 2006, there were over 72.1 million dogs in the United States, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association's U.S Pet Ownership and Demographics Sourcebook (2007). A majority of owners report that their dog is a “member of the family” and that acceptable canine behavior and optimal care are high priorities for them.

The human-animal bond, the close connection between people and their pets, is forged by positive interactions, but unacceptable canine behaviors that result from poor training, such as jumping up or biting, can negatively impact this bond and lead to human injury, legal problems, and an overwhelmed owner possibly giving up a dog to a shelter. Many pet owners, especially those who can't afford the expense of a private trainer, often turn to libraries to find guidebooks, DVDs, and other resources produced by knowledgeable specialists that offer useful training solutions to behavior problems. But owners facing serious problems should first consult with their vet before beginning a behavior management program.

Training trends

In recent years, the field of dog training has shifted from an emphasis on “alpha” domination and punishment to a focus on positive leadership and reward-based instruction supported by the latest scientific knowledge. These methods promote the human-animal bond and are more effective, more fun for both owner and animal, and safer than training styles that use intimidation techniques to manage behavior.

Excellent titles on positive dog training include Jean Donaldson's The Culture Clash: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding the Relationship Between Humans and Domestic Dogs, 2d ed., Patricia McConnell's The Other End of the Leash, and Pat Miller's The Power of Positive Dog Training , 2d ed. While these books will appeal to sophisticated readers, without well-marked headings and extensive illustrations, they are not practical for the average dog owner.

Celebrity doesn't mean better

Although library patrons demand the latest titles by the hot trainer of the moment, collection development librarians should purchase selectively. Cesar Milan, star of the National Geographic television series The Dog Whisperer and author of Cesar's Way, has negatively impacted the field of dog training and confused the public. Milan overemphasizes pack behavior and dominance, disregards the role of anxiety, fails to consider medical or neurological causes for behavior problems, and demonstrates risky management techniques.

In contrast, British trainer Victoria Stilwell (It's Me or the Dog: How To Have the Perfect Pet) uses a positive-based approach, stressing the importance of understanding canine communication signals and providing clear instructions for teaching basic commands.

Building your canine collection

Start by perusing the catalogs of the major publishers in the field: John Wiley's Howell Book House, Bowtie Press and its Doral Publishing division, and T.F.H. Publications. Small presses like James & Kenneth (www.jamesandkenneth.com), which publishes dog training expert Ian Dunbar, are good sources of training guides, audiobooks, and DVDS, while niche publishers like Alpine Publications (www.alpinepub.com) cover specific breeds or aspects of dog training.

Also check the web sites of respected professional trainers and behavior consultants like Patricia McConnell (www.patriciamcconnell.com) and Suzanne Hetts and Daniel Estep (www.islanddogpress.com), which offer their own training materials for sale, as well as canine e-commerce sites like Dogwise (www.dogwise.com), which publishes its own titles and sells the materials of other publishers. Bark and Dog Fancy magazines are excellent sources of reviews.

When evaluating your existing collection or buying new titles, look at the author's qualifications and approach to training. Writers with credentials from reputable certifying organizations such as Diplomates of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists (ACVB), Animal Behavior Society (ABS), Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists (CAAB), and Certification Council of Pet Dog Trainers (CCPDT) should be favored. And membership in the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT) speaks to a trainer's positive approach.

In the dog house

As for weeding titles, some older “classics,” although still requested, are now outdated. Although largely positive-based, Barbara Woodhouse's training techniques (as outlined in No Bad Dogs: The Woodhouse Way, 1982), including the forced sit & down, “quick smacks,” and leash jerks, are not consistent with the modern approach. Similarly outdated is the Monks of New Skete's How To Be Your Dog's Best Friend (1978), which advises owners to knee dogs in the chest when they jump up in greeting and use “alpha wolf roll-over” and “shakedown” procedures for “major transgressions,” although the Monks' Divine Canine (2007) omits these techniques. Replace with more up-to-date “dog friendly” guides written by individuals with training in canine communication, learning theory, and motivation.

A training focus

While resources on dog health and care are included here, the emphasis is on the selection of appropriate training titles because training is often the primary reason that dog owners seek help. In addition, the market is inundated with numerous guidebooks of variable quality, and many of the best materials come from specialty publishers unfamiliar to many readers.

Also excluded from this article's scope are books that celebrate the human-dog interaction (e.g., McConnell's For the Love of a Dog): they are not quick references for training questions. The sheer volume of breed-specific books, sport-specific books (such as agility, search-and-rescue, or fly-ball), trick-training books, and general dog books also prevent us from including these materials. The breed information on the American Kennel Club web site (www.akc.org) is basically the same as the AKC's Complete Dog Book (20th ed., 2006), but a good print dog care resource with brief breed profiles is Kristin Mehus-Roe's The Original Dog Bible (LJ 04/15/05).

Dog ownership cuts across the entire literacy spectrum; we have tried to include titles that appeal to a fairly wide educational level as well as books focused around high-quality instructional photographs with short, clear captions. The easiest to use materials are well organized with multiple access points, including chapter headings, topic boxes, and indexes. Starred
titles are essential for most collections.

The selected guides, authored by trainers known in the dog-training community for their expertise, reflect the positive approach: teaching desired behaviors, eschewing punishment and confrontational techniques, and promoting the dog-owner bond.
*Arden, Andrea. Dog-Friendly Dog Training. 2d ed. Howell Book House: Wiley. 2007. 232p. illus. index. ISBN 978-0-470-11514-5. $18.99.
This straightforward, color-illustrated book by a charter member of the APDT focuses on a dog-friendly, positive approach. The essential title for libraries with tight budgets.
*Arrowsmith, Claire. The Sit Down Come Heel Stay and Stand Book: A Step-by-Step Dog Training Achievement Program. T.F.H. 2008. 28p. illus. ISBN 978-0-7938-0660-7. spiralbound. $17.95.
Designed for family use, this graphically pleasing, durable guidebook (with a hidden spiral binding) reduces positive training to a few simple, fun steps; illustrated with effective photos and engaging concepts.
*Hodgson, Sarah. Teach Yourself Visually™ Dog Training. Howell Book House: Wiley. 2006. 242p. illus. index. ISBN 978-0-471-74989-9. pap. $19.99.
For visual learners, easy-to-follow text combines with the numerous photos illustrating the exercises. Demonstrations of how to train dogs to be mannerly in the face of such distractions as children running are especially useful.
McConnell, Patricia & Aimee Moore. Family Friendly Dog Training: A Six-Week Program for You and Your Dog. Dog's Best Friend Pub. 2007. 107p. ISBN 978-1-891767-11-1. pap. $14.95.
Respected Bark magazine columnist and certified applied animal behaviorist McConnell and her associate present training concepts in a frank, positive program that is fun for owners and dogs.
Miller, Pat. Positive Perspectives 2: Know Your Dog, Train Your Dog. Dogwise. 2008. 283p. illus. index. ISBN 978-1-929242-50-4. pap. $21.95.
Whole Dog Journal columnist Miller emphasizes properly interpreting the body language of dogs in order to respond effectively and offers solutions to common behavior problems, such as digging, mounting, barking, and house training.
Owens, Paul & Norma Eckorate. The Dog Whisperer: A Compassionate, Nonviolent Approach to Dog Training. 2d ed. Adams Media. 2007. 290p. illus. index. ISBN 978-1-59337-598-0. pap. $14.95.
Owens coined the term “Dog Whisperer” long before Cesar Milan but is worlds apart from Milan's training philosophy. Espousing training with kindness, compassion, and respect, his guide gives valuable advice, from canine communication to trick training. However, the dense format and sparse photos will limit its appeal to some readers. (LJ 10/1/99)
Volhard, Jack & Melissa Bartlett. What All Good Dogs Should Know: The Sensible Way To Train. 2d ed. Howell Book House: Wiley. 2008. 144p. illus. index. ISBN 978-0-470-14679-8. pap. $12.99.
The focus of this slim classic is on training a well-mannered, easy-to-live-with canine companion. Simple cartoons effectively and amusingly illustrate the points in this well-organized, well-indexed text.
*Whitehead, Sarah. City Dog: The Essential Guide for City Dwellers and Their Dogs. T.F.H. 2008. 142p. illus. index. ISBN 978-0-7938-0661-4. pap. $18.95.
Whitehead, a member of the APDT and the Association of Pet Behavior Counsellors, addresses issues facing urban dogs and their owners. Besides the basics like teaching dogs to sit, the text also covers breed selection, puppy socialization, crate training, motivation, and managing common behavior problems (barking, jumping up). Veterinary referral is wisely recommended for more serious problems.

Starting puppies off right has a major, beneficial effect on future behavior. The titles below stress the importance of socialization during the critical three to 16 weeks of life and explain how to meet a puppy's needs to prevent behavior problems.
Owens, Paul & others. The Puppy Whisperer: A Compassionate, Nonviolent Guide to Early Training and Care. Adams Media. 2007. 292p. illus. index. ISBN 978-1-59337-597-3. pap. $14.95.
Similar in format to The Dog Whisperer (above), this offers sound advice for selecting, socializing, and training puppies. Black-and-white photos illustrate the concepts.
Rutherford, Clarice & David H. Neil. How To Raise a Puppy You Can Live With. 4th ed. Alpine. 2005. 160p. illus. index. ISBN 978-1-57779-076-1. pap. $11.95.
Each edition improves on the previous one, with practical advice on puppy selection, development, training, and problem-solving. Available separately, an instructive DVD ($26.95) demonstrates the management of puppies in home settings. (LJ 7/92)

Families with dogs and children may experience conflict; parents can maximize the benefits of owning a family pet by managing the added chaos and risks.
*Pelar, Colleen. Living with Kids and Dogs…Without Losing Your Mind: A Parent's Guide to Controlling the Chaos. rev. ed. C & R Pub. 2007. 164p. illus. index. ISBN 978-1-933562-66-7. pap. $16.95.
A certified dog trainer stresses building positive relationships between dogs and children and avoiding interactions that can lead to dog bites. Excellent advice. (LJ 9/15/05)
*Scott-Fox, Penny & Ingrid Kallick (illus.). And Baby Makes Four: A Trimester-by-Trimester Guide to a Baby-Friendly Dog. T.F.H. 2007. 96p. illus. index. ISBN 978-0-7938-0567-9. $9.95.
Written by a CCPDT-certified dog trainer, this very user-friendly guide makes it easy to desensitize dogs to the sounds and objects that will be associated with a new baby. The process helps parents consider in advance the effect that their new lifestyle will have on their pets.


7th November 2008, 05:57 PM
Thanks for that! :thmbsup:

7th November 2008, 07:21 PM
And this is the other half - didn't all fit in first post:

By learning to understand dogs' communication signals, we can interpret their emotional state and manage their behavior more effectively.
Collins, Sophie. Tail Talk: Understanding the Secret Language of Dogs. Chronicle. 2007. 128p. illus. index. ISBN 978-0-8118-6077-2. $14.95.
With a foreword by veterinary behaviorist Karen Overall, this volume helps owners recognize the communication signals of dogs through high-quality color photographs interpreted by the author.
Dodman, Nicholas H. The Well-Adjusted Dog: Dr. Dodman's 7 Steps to Lifelong Health and Happiness for Your Best Friend. Houghton. 2008. 252p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 978-0-618-83378-8. $24.
Dodman, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist and author (The Dog Who Loved Too Much), discusses canine communication, behavioral needs, and medical problems that underlie some behavioral disorders. The rationale for the use of psychotropic drugs to manage selected behavioral problems will interest some dog owners.
Fogle, Bruce. If Your Dog Could Talk: A Training Guide for Humans. DK. 2006. 160p. illus. index. ISBN 978-0-7566-1335-8. pap. $15.
Based on veterinarian Fogle's Know Your Dog (LJ 12/92), this visually appealing volume provides well-illustrated, simple descriptions of basic dog behavior, ranging from mating and birth to communication and social interactions. Educational and entertaining.

Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine Faculty at Tufts University. Puppy's First Steps: The Whole-Dog Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, Well-Behaved Puppy. Houghton. 2007. 286p. ed. by Nicholas Dodman. illus. index. ISBN 978-0-618-66304-0. $24.95.
This solid volume tutors educated lay readers on selecting and bringing home a puppy, adjusting to the puppy's world view, and handling training and health questions. Sidebars and black-and-white photos call attention to topics such as training and proper equipment. The level of detail varies, but short chapter resource lists round out the work.
*Fogle, Bruce with Patricia Holden White. New Dog: Choosing Wisely and Ensuring a Happily Ever After. Firefly. 2008. 192p. illus. index. ISBN 978-1-55407-356-6. $29.95; pap. ISBN 978-1-55407-357-3. $19.95.
In advising how to choose and welcome a new dog, vet Fogle's attractive and sensible guide addresses training, behavior issues, and health care. Basic positive-based training sequences are clearly explained. Tip sidebars supplement the brief, clearly written text; high-quality captioned photos deliver most of the content. Only 36 dog breeds and mutts are introduced. More breeds are covered in Fogle's Dogs (Eyewitness Guides: DK, 2006).

While the preceding titles include general health information, the focus here is on medical issues. Drug information is minimal—consult a veterinarian to learn more about medications and other therapies. Online, visit the pet health web site Veterinary Partner.com (see below). Remember: these guides aren't substitutes for individual veterinary care.
Eldredge, Debra E. & others. Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook. 4th ed. Howell Book House: Wiley. 2007. 628p. illus. index. ISBN 978-0-470-06785-7. $34.99.
Three veterinarians and a physician bring a wealth of expertise to this edition. Inside covers feature an index of signs and symptoms for quick access to the rather dense text. Medical terminology and complex wording appear frequently, making the glossary and resource list important aids. Given the book's length, photos, line drawings, and tables are few.
*Halligan, Karen. Doc Halligan's What Every Pet Owner Should Know: Prescriptions for Happy, Healthy Cats and Dogs. Collins: HarperCollins. 2007. 324p. illus. index. ISBN 978-0-06-089859-5. $24.95; pap. ISBN 978-0-06-089860-1. $15.95.
Emphasizing canine (and feline) wellness, Halligan, director of veterinary services for the Los Angeles SPCA, gives clear advice about preventing illness and injuries through sensible nutrition, regular grooming, dental care, and partnering with your veterinarian. (LJ 1/07)
*Merck/Merial Manual for Pet Health. Merck. 2007. 1345p. ed. by Cynthia M. Kahn. illus. index. ISBN 978-0-911910-22-0. $29.95; pap. ISBN 978-0-911910-99-5. $22.95.
An in-depth, thoroughly indexed reference featuring high-quality information includes 300 pages devoted to dogs, contributed by veterinarians. From physical characteristics to routine care and breeding, from normal to problem behavior, the manual presents a thorough background before moving on to disorders and diseases organized by body system. Clearly labeled color drawings, words in boldface, and short paragraphs help readers cope with the text dense with medical terminology. For a more owner-focused, readable guide, try Louise Murray's Vet Confidential (LJ 6/1/08).

Frost, Shelley & Katerina Lorenzatos Makris. Your Adopted Dog: Everything You Need To Know About Rescuing and Caring for a Best Friend in Need. Lyons: Globe Pequot. 2007. 235p. illus. bibliog. index. ISBN 978-1-59921-047-6. pap. $16.95.
For readers looking for a dog to rescue and those who find a dog in need but aren't ready to adopt, authors and experienced rescuers Frost and Makris outline adoption and fostering basics, special health issues, behavior assessment and training (written with trainer Barbara O'Connor), and how to have fun with your rescued dog. Readability is somewhat marred by different fonts, layouts, and inserted quotes. Other titles on this topic include Sue Sternberg's excellent Successful Dog Adoption (Howell Book House, 2003) and Bardi McLennan's Rescue Me! (Bowtie, 2007).
Schmidt-Röger, Heike & Susanne Blank. The Senior Dog. DK. 2007. 160p. illus. index. ISBN 978-0-7566-2206-0. pap. $16.95.
Color photos of senior dogs demonstrate the points made in the well-organized, honest text. The authors emphasize the role of the veterinarian as an owner's partner in keeping his or her older dog healthy. Sidebars narrate personal stories. For more in-depth coverage of lifelong enrichment activities and training strategies for older dogs, see David Taylor's Old Dog, New Tricks: Understanding and Retraining Older and Rescued Dogs (LJ 11/1/06).

Videos are a great way to show training methods in action. Consumer reviews on vendor web sites offer helpful insights. Dogwise offers a top ten list of videos (tinyurl.com/dogwisetopten (http://www.tinyurl.com/dogwisetopten)) voted on by members of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.
*The Dog Whisperer. Vol. 2: Solving Common Behavior Problems. 2 discs. color. 151 min. Paul Owens, Sand Castle Enterprises, dist. by Starlight Home Entertainment. 2007. UPC 1-83390-00001-7. $39.99.
An improvement over The Dog Whisperer: Beginning and Intermediate Dog Training (2004), which included distracting peripheral material, this set is topical, addressing behavior problems individually, with an emphasis on training acceptable behaviors. (LJ 9/1/08)
*PetsIncredible™ Complete Dog Training. (Animal Planet Pet Video). color. 70 min. Kellyann Conway & Traci Theis, Franklin Media Networks, www.petsincredible.com/Store.php (http://www.petsincredible.com/Store.php). 2005. DVD ISBN 978-0-9770639-1-8. $9.99 (incl. s/h). Libraries use code: EDUL08.
Professionally made with videographic clarity and conceptual simplicity, the positive-based content is excellent, and simple tasks such as house training and crate training are addressed, as well as common behavior problems such as chewing and jumping up. PetsIncredible.com also offers a DVD on Training Your Adopted Dog, which is available to animal shelters at low cost.
Puppy Smarts Training Lessons Starring Linda White. PuppySmarts.com (http://www.puppysmarts.com/). color. 33 min. 2002. DVD UPC 8-24268-00107-0. $24.95.
This DVD includes instruction and demonstration of house training, crate training, basic obedience, and how to manage chewing, jumping, and biting. Video and audio quality are good, and the lessons use positive-based training. A Dog Fancy Editor's Choice Winner. (LJ 3/1/94)
Sirius Puppy Training. color. 75 min. Ian Dunbar, dist. by James & Kenneth, www.jamesandkenneth.com. 2004. DVD $35.
Dunbar, the founder of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers, demonstrates how to train “real-life” puppies and emphasizes the importance of family participation. (LJ 5/1/89)

*American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Animal Behavior Center: Dog Behavior Problems.
tinyurl.com/ASPCAofficialsite (http://www.tinyurl.com/ASPCAofficialsite)
High-quality fact sheets on common problems and training tips that can be printed or emailed. Also covers general dog care (for adults and kids), emergency preparedness, and poisoning prevention and toxic plants.
*Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Pets for Life Program.
tinyurl.com/humanepetsforlife (http://www.tinyurl.com/humanepetsforlife)
Printer and email-friendly dog behavior tip sheets in English, Spanish, French, and Chinese are a terrific resource. The site also covers topics like choosing a veterinarian, selecting a boarding facility, and coordinating pet ownership with other life events like moving, deployment, college, and more.
Veterinary Partner
www.veterinarypartner.com (http://www.veterinarypartner.com/)
Up-to-date health info from the veterinarians and experts of the Veterinary Information Network. Especially useful is The Pet Pharmacy, with easy-to-understand drug data, although dosages are not provided. Includes nutrition, dental care, behavior, and first aid resources.

Author InformationKristine M. Alpi, Director of the William Rand Kenan Jr. Library of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, lives with Junior, a rescued English bulldog. Barbara L. Sherman is Clinical Associate Professor and Director of the Animal Behavior Service at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine and serves as president of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists

8th November 2008, 06:32 PM
Thanks, this was a really interesting article.
I usually go to the library and take out dog training books, some have been great, like Ian Dunbar and Victoria Stillwell but some have been really dire.
I bought Gwen Bailey puppy training and this has been a great book through the years.
Thanks again,