Frequently Asked Questions
There’s a lot of information out there on how and why to train your dog. It can be pretty overwhelming. Unfortunately, there’s lots of information that is directly contradictory. That’s why I’ve built an online dog training library.
Here are some great resources to check out for solid advice on your dog. Use them, even if you don’t use my services.
Here’s what I read and recommend in my online dog training library.
If you only want to read 3 books:
- Don’t Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor: a great read that outlines several different training options for many different scenarios. A perfect introduction to training by a professional dog and dolphin trainer.
- The Official Ahimsa Dog Training Manual by Grisha Stewart. A practical guide to basic manners for dogs with a great introduction to learning theory.
- The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson. A look at the way dogs and humans interact and how to improve that relationship.
For Human-Canine Interactions
- The Other End of The Leash by Patricia McConnell, Applied Animal Behaviorist. A great book for learning about human and canine behavior, and how dogs might interpret our behavior.
- How To Behave So Your Dog Behaves by Dr. Sophia Yin. A scientifically sound approach to explaining dog behavior and training theory, plus how to apply these concepts with your own dog.
- Click to Calm by Emma Parsons. Help dogs displaying aggressive behavior with tons of recipes and foundational behaviors. Written by a professional trainer who had an extremely reactive dog who now competes in obedience trials!
For Hyperactive Dogs
- Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out by Laura VanArendonk Baugh. Help hyperactive, scared, or aggressive dogs become cool cucumbers.
- Control Unleashed: Creating a Focused and Confident Dog by Lesli McDivitt. Help your pets focus on you and relax in stressful situations. Helpful for shy, hyperactive, or reactive animals.
For Totally Nerdy Dog Owners
- Canine Behavior: a Photo Illustrated Handbook by Barbara Handelman. Learn how to read your dog’s body language in this incredibly useful book.
- The Science of Consequences by Susan M. Scheider. This book is dense – but so worth it. You’ll love how it explores consequences on a deep, scientific level. It even talks about genetics!
- Coercion and its Fallout by Murray Sidman. Also dense (I said this was the nerdy section!), this book looks at whether or not punishment and the threat of punishment is the most effective way to change behavior.
Beyond the Online Dog Training Library: Free Resources
If you’re not ready to pull the trigger and buy the above books, that’s ok. My online dog training library has plenty of free resources as well. Check out the below websites for well-respected organizations and the information they provide. I often direct clients to these websites to back up what I’m saying. Many have great resources of their own!
It doesn’t get much better than a veterinary behaviorist. The amount of school that these guys go through is insane. They’ve got a degree as a veterinarian, but they specialize in behavior issues. They’re the first place to go if you’re worried that your animal might need medication to help with their behavioral issues.
The IAABC is another great resource. As a bonus, they also have a horse, cat, and parrot behavior division! I’m a member of their dog behavior consultant division.
Sophia Yin was a veterinary behaviorist. She knows her stuff, and has some great graphics and videos!
Victoria Stilwell from Animal Planet’s “It’s Me or the Dog” is another great one. If you like the idea of a TV show but hate the fear and coercion of other TV personalities, you’ll love Victoria.