Charles River Dog Training Club, Inc.
Waltham, Massachusetts - www.crdtc.org
READING LIST AND OTHER RESOURCES
Probably the best source for dog books and
videos is Dogwise
(a new name for Direct Book Service's Dog & Cat Book Catalog). They publish an extensive catalog.
- The Perfect Match: A Dog Buyer's Guide
by Chris Walkowicz and Choosing a Dog by Nancy Baer &
Steve Duno have brief descriptions of all the AKC breeds (and
a few others). These books are a good starting point for your
- The Perfect Puppy
by Benjamin and Lynnette Hart covers 56 popular breeds (some notable
omissions), ranking them according to several traits such as demand
for attention, territorial defense and watchdog barking, suitability
with children, and so on. Some of the Harts' assessments are
dead-on; others, maybe not, but it's still a useful book to read.
- Your Purebred Puppy: A Buyer's Guide
by Michelle Lowell covers AKC, UKC, and some "rare"
breeds. Ignore the checklists and read the descriptions of temperament,
health problems, and so on. There's an excellent chapter on dealing
with breeders, interpreting for-sale ads, and so on.
- The Right Dog for You
by Daniel Tortora covers most AKC breeds, with elaborate tables
and lists for matching breeds of dogs and types of owners according
to various characteristics. (Some of the tables may be more confusing
than helpful). Tortora is very good at explaining how to interpret
breed standards to determine what a given breed is really
You might want to skim through some breed encyclopedias,
although the pictures may be misleading - for one thing, all of
the dogs shown are champions! - and the descriptions may be rather
skimpy. Here are some you might look at:
- The Complete Dog Book (AKC)
- The International Encyclopedia of the Dog
by Anne Rogers Clark &
- The Roger Caras Dog Book
- The Encyclopedia of the Dog
by Bruce Fogle
- The Ultimate Dog Book
by David Taylor
Next, read some breed books.
Once you or your friends settle on the breeds you're interested
in, check the library or bookstores for books on those particular
breeds (typically with titles like The Complete Golden Retriever,
All About Aussies, The Versatile Border Collie,
This is the Alaskan Malamute, Today's German Shepherd,
and so on). Libraries sometimes have these books.
mention: Bonnie Bergin's Guide
to Bringing Out the Best in Your Dog
has excellent advice on matching up human and canine personalities
and understanding how your dog learns. Bergin founded Canine
Companions for Independence (CCI), one of the first assistance
dog organizations in the U.S.
ADOPTION AND RESCUE
- Jenifer Branigan's Adopting the Racing Greyhound
- Bob Christiansen's Choosing a Shelter Dog
- Carol Cronan's Living with More Than One Dog
- Jacqueline O'Neil's Second Start: Creative
Rehoming for Dogs
- Liz Palika's Save That Dog: Everything
You Need to Know About Adopting a Purebred Rescue Dog
- The Adoption Option: Choosing and Raising
the Shelter Dog for You by Eliza Rubenstein
& Shari Kalina
- Joan Hustace Walker's Dog Adoption
- Carol Lea Benjamin's Mother Knows Best: The
Natural Way to Train Your Dog - one of the most widely recommended
dog training books - and, more recently, Surviving Your
Dog's Adolescence. All of her books are good examples
of traditional training methods.
- The Mentally Sound Dog
by Gail Clark & William
Boyer has some excellent techniques for dealing with various behavior
problems, especially for desensitizing a fearful dog. There's
a two-volume companion video which is pretty good too.
- Barbara Handler's Positively Obedient: Good
Manners for the Family Dog is an excellent, concise book,
especially for new owners. Handler (apt name!) is also the author
of Successful Obedience Handling: The New Best
Foot Forward which is virtually required reading for AKC obedience
competition. Also good: Linda Colflesh's Making Friends: Training
Your Dog Positively.
- Good Owners,
Great Dogs by Brian Kilcommons - a very good general
training guide. There's also a companion video available.
- How to Be
Your Dog's Best Friend by the Monks
of New Skete is a classic, now somewhat dated. There's a well-produced
set of videos available, mostly dealing with puppy training.
- John Ross &
Barbara McKinney's Dog Talk: Training Your Dog Through
a Canine Point of View is a sane, well-written book with sound
advice on dealing with mischief and misbehaviors, excellent illustrations,
and well-organized, step-by-step instructions for inducive and
traditional training methods. Another favorite.
- The Toolbox: For Remodeling Problem Dogs
by Terry Ryan has a sane, well-balanced approach, emphasizing
positive training and leadership.
- Gina Spadafori's Dogs for Dummies is much
better than the title sounds - a good starter book for first-time
- Joachim Volhard &
Gail Fisher's Training Your Dog: The Step-by-Step Manual
has a somewhat more traditional approach with very well-written
instructions and good hints for motivational training. Also good:
The Canine Good Citizen
by Joachim & Wendy
Volhard - all of the Volhards' books are good.
- Three short books by David Weston &
Ruth Ross - Dog Training: The Gentle Modern Method,
Dog Problems: The Gentle Modern Cure, and Your Ideal
Dog - have colorfully illustrated practice sessions using
positive reinforcements - good books to use in teaching your kids
how to handle the family dog.
- Susan Bulanda's Everything You Always Wanted
to Know About Dogs: The Canine Source Book is a useful
compendium of resource lists - breed clubs, rescue/adoption groups,
suppliers, training clubs, etc.
- The Culture Clash
by Jean Donaldson is extraordinarily insightful and cogent - not
so much a how-to manual as a philosophy of training and living
with a dog. Excellent problem-solving advice such as counter-conditioning
for food guarding. In a perfect world, this would be required
reading for new dog owners. Also good, Donaldson's second book,
Dogs Are from Neptune, which covers a variety of canine misbehaviors.
- The Boston Dog Lover's Companion
by JoAnna Downey &
Christian Lau is a handy resource.
- Ellie Milon's 201 Ways to Enjoy Your Dog
has brief explanations of various performance events such as obedience,
agility, tracking, herding, and so on. Also good: Cyntia Miller's
Canine Adventures: Fun Things to Do with Your Dog.
- Karen Pryor's Don't Shoot the Dog isn't
conventionally a dog training book, but a widely recommended guide
to behavior modification techniques (sometimes called operant
conditioning) with examples drawn from animal training - a
kind of general methodology of training, very well-written, and
applicable to other areas of life besides dog training. Pryor
is a leading advocate of "clicker" training whose ideas
are influencing a whole generation of dog trainers. Her pamphlet,
A Dog and a Dolphin, is an good, brief introduction to
- Dogs: The Ultimate Care Guide,
edited by Matthew Hoffman, is a good compendium for new owners.
- Pamela Reid's Excel-erated
How Dogs Learn and How Best to Teach Them is a well-written
introduction to operant conditioning for dog training - a good
companion for the books and tapes by Karen Pryor, Gary Wilkes,
- Some Swell Pup, or Are You Sure You Want a
Dog? by Maurice Sendak & Matthew Margolis
is a wonderfully insightful cartoon book for children. Or adults.
CHILDREN AND DOGS
- Childproofing Your Dog
by Brian Kilcommons & Sarah Wilson
- Dogs and Kids by Bardi
PUPPY TRAINING AND CARE
- James DeBetteto's Puppy Owner's Veterinary
Care Book is especially good for first-time dog owners. Also
good: Sarah Hodgson & James DiBetteto'sYour Puppy's First
- Ian Dunbar's How to Teach a New Dog Old Tricks
is a superb introduction to lure-reward training. Dunbar's
Sirius Puppy Training video is also quite good.
- The Art of
Raising a Puppy by the Monks of New Skete
(there's also a 4-volume companion video)
- John Ross & Barbara McKinney's Puppy Preschool
is a sane, well-written training manual. Also good: Nancy Johnson's
Everyday Dog and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Raising
a Puppy by Liz Palika.
- Rutherford & Neil's How to Raise a Puppy
You Can Live With is one of the most widely used puppy books.
There's also a companion video available
- There are several good books on housebreaking:
The Evans Guide to Housetraining Your Dog by Job Michael
Evans; Shirlee Kalstone's How to Housebreak Your Dog in 7 Days;
Housebreak Any Dog: The Permanent 3-Step Method by Audrey
Carr & Ellen Davis; and M.E. Smith's You Can Teach Your
Dog to Eliminate on Command (no kidding)
HEALTH AND CARE
- Lowell Ackerman's Owner's Guide to Dog Health
is well-illustrated, with some good advice on a variety of topics.
- Delbert Carlson & James Giffin's Dog Owner's
Home Veterinary Handbook is the standard of its kind.
- Some useful books by Race Foster & Marty
Smith (of the mail-order supply company): What's the Diagnosis:
Understanding Your Dog's Health Problems gives brief explanations
of common ailments and symptoms; Just What the Doctor Ordered: A
Complete Guide to Drugs and Medications for Your Dog explains
commonly prescribed remedies and treatments; Right from the
Start: Care and Training for the Life of Your Dog is a good
introduction to dogs for first-time owners.
- Also good: What Your Dog is Trying to Tell
You by John M. Simon; Anti-Aging for Dogs by John
M. Simon & Steve Duno; and Chris Pinney's Caring for Your
- The Well Dog Book
by Terri McGinnis is a kind of canine version of Dr. Spock's
- The Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog
by Wendy Volhard &
Kerry Brown, and The Natural Dog by Mary Brennan cover
a variety of topics, including excellent sections on nutrition.
(There are several other books on holistic and non-traditional
methods of health care for dogs. Some are a little kooky; others
have quite cogent, sensible advice on nutrition and general care.)
A useful overview of non-traditional care is Richard Allport's
Heal Your Dog the Natural Way.
- Two superbly useful for all kinds of canine sports
are Jumping from A to Z by Christine Zink &
Julie Daniels, and Zink's Peak Performance: Coaching the
UNDERSTANDING CANINE BEHAVIOR
- Gören Bergman's Why Does Your Dog Do
- Ian Dunbar's Dog Behavior
- John Fisher's Why Does My Dog…?
- The Dog's Mind
by Bruce Fogle
- The Body Language and Emotions of Dogs
and Dogsmart, both by Myrna Milani
- Dogwatching by Desmond
- Leon Whitney's Dog Psychology
- Responsible Dog Ownership
by Kathy Diamond Davis
- The Complete Guide to Dog Law
by Deidre Gannon
- Mary Randolph's Dog Law
- Steppin' Up to Success with Terri Arnold
volumes covering Novice, Open, and Utility,
- Diane Bauman's Beyond Basic Dog Training
(there's also a companion "workbook")
- Sheila Booth & Gottfried Dildei's Schutzhund
Obedience: Training in Drive (don't let the title scare
you - it doesn't cover "bitework") and Sheila Booth's
Purely Positive Training: Companion to Competition
- Patricia Gail Burnham's Playtraining Your
- Barbara Cecil &
Gerianne Darnell's Competitive Obedience for the Small Dog
- Jacqueline Fraser (O'Neil) & Amy Ammen's
Dual Ring Dog
- Barbara Handler's Successful Obedience Handling: The
New Best Foot Forward (virtually required reading - a superb guide
to akc obedience rules and ring procedures, handler errors, and
so on. There's also an excellent companion video)
- Choose to Heel: The
First Steps by Dawn Jecs
(intriguing approach to heelwork)
- The Complete Handbook of Dog Training
by Thomas Knott &
- Smart Trainers, Brilliant Dogs
by Janet Lewis
- Brian McGovern's Competitive Obedience for Winners
(excellent instructions on attention and footwork by one of the
leading European handlers)
- Curt Morsell's Training Your Dog to Win Obedience
Titles (more inspirational than instructive, but worth reading)
- William Oxendale's Obedience Judging: A
(an AKC judge's perspective)
- Liz Palika's "Fido, Come!"
(covers UKC as well as AKC exercises)
- The Pearsall Guide to Successful Dog Training
(somewhat dated now, but better than others of its time)
- Ruth Rosbach-Chandler's Attention Training
- Winifred Strickland's Expert Obedience Training
- Jack &
Wendy Volhard's Open and Utility Training
TRAINING FOR TRICKS
- Arthur Haggerty &
Carol Lea Benjamin's Dog Tricks uses a fairly traditional
approach. (All of Benjamin's books are good, if somewhat conventional.)
- The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fun and Tricks
with Your Dog by Sarah Hodgson is a pleasant
- The Trick is in the Training by
Stephanie J. Taunton &
Cheryl S. Smith is nicely illustrated - a good book to use with
kids who want to help train the family dog
- Mary Ann Rombold Zeignefuse &
Jan Walker's Dog Tricks: Step by Step follows the Volhards'
"motivational method" (see Volhard &
Fisher's Training Your Dog: The Step-by-Step Manual).
DEALING WITH PROBLEM BEHAVIORS
- Carol Lea Benjamin's Dog Problems is one
of the best of several question-and-answer books on canine misbehaviors
and problems. Benjamin's approach is conventional but sensible.
- Gwen Bohenkamp's Help! My Dog Has an Attitude
has some good advice on properly socializing a puppy or older
dog and on dealing with various misbehaviors.
- A brief pamphlet by Patricia McConnell, The
Cautious Canine, is a superb guide to desensitizing and counter-conditioning,
especially for fear-based problems.
- Despite their humorous titles, Peter Neville's
Do Dogs Need Shrinks? and Daniel Tortora's Help! This
Animal Is Driving Me Crazy! are classics in dog behavior,
with excellent insights and advice on a variety of canine problems.
SHOWING IN BREED
- The Winning Edge: Show Ring Secrets by
George G. Alston
- D. Caroline Coile's Show Me
- Patricia Craige's Born to Win: Breed to Succeed
AGILITY AND CANINE ATHLETICS
- Linda Caplan &
Suzanne Clothier's Agility Training Workbook and The Clothier
Natural Jump Method
- Enjoying Dog Agility
by Julie Daniels
- Ruth Hobday's Agility is Fun!
- Jane Simmons-Moake's Agility Training
- Jacqueline O'Neil's All About Agility
- Jacqueline Parkin's Flyball Training … Start
to Finish (there are now several other books on Flyball)
FIELD TRIALS AND HUNT TESTS
- Rutherford, Barnstad, &
Whicker's Retriever Working Certificate Training
- James B. Spencer's Retriever Training Tests
TRAVELING WITH YOUR DOG
- Ellen Barish's Vacationing with Your Pet
(there are additional books on vacationing with your dog in specific
states, such as California and Arizona)
- Frommer's On the Road Again: Traveling
with Man's Best Friend by Robert
Dawn Habgood (four separate volumes covering New England, the
Mid-Atlantic states, the Southeast, and the West Coast)
- Pets R Permitted (Annenberg),
Take Your Pet U.S.A. (Artco), and Touring with Towser
(Gaines pet food company)
- Cheryl Smith's On the Trail with Your Canine
Companion: Getting the Most Out of Hiking and Camping with
Your Dog (there are several other similar books on backpacking
and camping with dogs)
MONTHLY MAGAZINES AND NEWSLETTERS
- AKC Gazette
(formerly, Pure-Bred Dogs/American
Kennel Gazette) is the American Kennel
Club magazine. It covers all aspects of the dog fancy and includes
a monthly calendar of upcoming events across the nation. Now
available at newstands or by subscription from the AKC (51 Madison
Avenue, New York NY 10010).
- Bloodlines is the
United Kennel Club (UKC) magazine, with some AMBOR information.
Available by subscription:
100 East Kilgore Road, Kalamazoo MI 49001-5597.
- Dog Fancy has articles
and columns on various topics, sometimes sketchy, sometimes detailed;
the columns by Liz Palika and Gary Wilkes are always worth reading.
Available at newstands or by subscription.
- Dog World is mainly
about conformation and breeding, but some training issues are
covered, albeit in an awkward format. Available at newstands
or by subscription.
- Dogs in Canada is
the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) magazine. Available by subscription:
89 Skyway Avenue, Suite 200, Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada M9W 6R4.
- Front and Finish is
the monthly "newspaper of record" for obedience competition
with several quirky features and columns. Available by subscription:
Box 333, Galesburg IL 61402.
- The Match Show Bulletin
is a newsletter listing upcoming matches, shows, trials, clinics,
seminars, and other events. Available by subscription: Box 214,
Massapequa NY 11758.
- New England Obedience News
(Available by subscription: Box 105, Chicopee MA 01021.)
- Northeast Canine Companion
(Available by subscription: Box 377, Sudbury MA 01776.)
- Off-Lead is mainly
for instructors. Available by subscription: 204 Lewis Street,
Canastota NY 13032.
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