Dog books reviews

Testimonials

Laure-Anne, you are the BOOK LADY ! You provide that function BRILLIANTLY for us all. As long as you can manage the books and tell us what’s worth reading, you are worth your weight in GOLD!,Eric Brad (author, dog trainer, Canine Nation podcast host).

“Laure-Anne, I received my holiday gift to myself of the stack of books I ordered based on your reviews! Your reviews are a great gift to the Do No Harm animal behavior community. I’m currently listening to Bad Science in my car…Great find! Thank you for all your amazing work!” Linda Michaels (MA Psychology, Dog Psychologist On-Call, Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training)

Dog book reviews

I climb a mountain of books to keep up with dog behaviour: on training, genetics, ethology, psychiatry, client coaching, you name it. The more I climb the mountain, the farther away the top seems to be. Still, each book fills a missing piece of the puzzle, and that’s good enough for me.

My memory being patchy as hell, I keep extensive notes on what I read, then condense my notes in one spot: this page. A few years down the road, and I am still like a kid in a toy store: the interplay between these ideas mesmerizes me; I get lost in that sweet intellectual maze, and I cherish every nugget of insight.  Here’s to plenty more books! 

Navigation tips and a nudge

  1. Must-haves have an asterisk (*). Do not wait another moment before you get cracking.
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Enjoy!

Want your dog book reviewed?

Please mail me on info at canisbonus dot com, so I can send you my postal address (I only review hard copies).

Reviews are free to avoid a conflict of interest, so there is no guarantee of a raving review. If it’s good, I share it on Amazon. If it’s not, I try to keep my comments kind and fair.

I want to read each book with the attention it deserves. As there are a few in the pipeline already, we could be talking months before your review appears.

* Culture clash

cover_culture_clash

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2005 SUMMARY: Modern dog training perspectives in layman’s terms. This is the best summary I can muster. There’s no way to do it justice in a few words. AUDIENCE: If you’re  professional, read it now, recommend it to your customers, give it to shelter adopters! REVIEW: The Culture Clash lays out the pillars of […]

Author: Donaldson Jean
Genre: pop science

* Dog Trainer’s Complete Guide to a Happy, Well-Behaved Pet (the)

Benal - Dog traers complete guide

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2011 SUMMARY: Based on a podcast series, the book gives science-based, powerful, and force-free tips on how to raise a polite and well-adjusted dog. AUDIENCE: Although pet owners are the target audience, professionals will find themselves recycling her analogies and explanations when talking to clients. REVIEW: One thing kept going through my mind […]

Author: Benal Jolanta
Genre: owner manual, pop science

* Ethical dog trainer (the)

barry_ethical

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2009 SUMMARY: Ethical toolkit for the dog trainer, including a review of contemporary divisive issues. AUDIENCE: A smooth read for anyone involved in dog training professionally, and wanting to explore the ethical aspects of our profession in a short and pleasantly written format. REVIEW: An absolute must-read. In fact, THE must -read of must-reads. […]

Author: Barry Jim
Genre: professional manual

* Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior and Training. I to III

Lindsay_handbook_

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2000 SUMMARY: Comprehensive review of every possible aspect of dogs. This book is a one-spot scientific tool kit for every aspiring (and established) behaviourist AUDIENCE: One of the most quoted body of work on dogs and behaviour, both in academic and technical circles. For the scientifically literate specialist trainer or the companion animal […]

Author: Lindsay Steven R.
Genre: professional manual, survey of peer-reviewed literature

* How to run a dog business

boutelle_how_to

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2007 SUMMARY: An invaluable guide to running your own dog business: from operational to strategic advice. AUDIENCE: Definitely pick this one up it if you want to start your own dog business. REVIEW: It is jam-packed full of tips, lessons learnt and best practices. It offers you an exhaustive list of known risks and challenges, […]

Author: Boutelle Veronica
Genre: professional manual

* Human half of dog training (the) – Collaborating with clients to get results

van Fleet Human half

AUTHOR: Rise Van Fleet PUBLISHING YEAR: 2013 SUMMARY: A manual on how to spot, understand, and capitalize on the myriad resistance moments from our human clients. AUDIENCE: This book is aimed at dog training and canine behaviour therapy professionals, be they private or group instructors. REVIEW: I am a little biased reviewing this book as […]

Author: Van Fleet Rise
Genre: professional manual

* Tail Talk

Collins - Tail Talk

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2007 SUMMARY: Very thorough, yet compact and attractive visual guide to dog’s body language. AUDIENCE: If you have to choose a book about dog body language as a dog owner, pick this one. If the stuff is new to you, read it again and again, and it will transform how you understand your dog. […]

Author: Collins Sophie
Genre: owner manual, professional manual

100 silliest things people say about dogs

100 silliest things

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2009 SUMMARY: 100 common myths debunked. One by one. AUDIENCE: The book takes an extreme position on a few controversial points, which may unduly sway the layman’s view. So, not to be put in the hands of complete beginners in dog behaviour. REVIEW: This book is a little gem. It has a backyard […]

Author: Semyonova Alexandra
Genre: pop science

101 Dog Tricks

sundance - 101 dog tricks

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2007 SUMMARY: Step-by-step manual for tons of dog tricks. AUDIENCE: Owners, and dog trainers in need of inspiration for their school’s curriculum. REVIEW:  Style and contents:  It does what it says on the tin: 101 dog tricks that are fully illustrated and explained step-by-step, all featuring Kyra Sundance’s gorgeous partner in crime, her […]

Author: Sundance Kyra
Genre: owner manual

Animal Behavior Desk Reference, a dictionary of animal behavior, ecology and evolution

Barrows - Animal behavior desk reference

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2000 SUMMARY: Specialist dictionary/encyclopedia on ethology. AUDIENCE: A must-have for the animal behaviour student. REVIEW: Fantastic reference for in-depth, reliable, and distinct definitions of animal behaviour concepts. More book reviews Like the main page: If you like what I do, please let me know by clicking ‘like’ on the main page (not on this individual […]

Author: Barrows Edward M.
Genre: dictionary

APBC book for Companion Animal Behaviour

appleby APBC

PUBLISHING YEAR: (last revision) 2010 SUMMARY: In-depth analysis of some common issues surrounding companion animal behaviour, including legal and welfare issues.  It focuses mainly on dogs, but has some chapters on cats/rabbits. AUDIENCE: Not quite for the academic, not quite for the layman: this one falls neatly into the professional category. Read it if you want […]

Author: Appleby David
Genre: professional position papers

Bad science. Quacks, hacks, and big pharma … flacks …

Bad Science

AUTHOR: Ben Goldacre PUBLISHING YEAR: 2008 SUMMARY: A toolbox for the critical thinker, and a scathing account of the large-scale abuses of pseudo-scientific practices: from big pharma to flower remedies. AUDIENCE: This book does not focus on dogs but if every dog trainer and behaviourist embraced its values, our unregulated profession would be rid of the […]

Author: Goldacre Ben
Genre: pop science

Behavioral Biology of the Dog

cover_beh_biol

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2007 AUDIENCE: It does not make for light reading, but it will not be insurmountably dry to the motivated layman. If you’re feeling intimidated, just familiarize yourself with the high level contents, and read individual chapters as needed. SUMMARY: The book contains review articles about: Zoology: Scientific classification Evolutionary history Domestication history Breed diversity history […]

Author: Jensen Per
Genre: survey of peer-reviewed literature

Black box method, the (Black-boxmethode)

Beekman blackbox methode

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2006 SUMMARY: Collection of a Dutch trainer’s thoughts and observations on how to steer dog behaviour. AUDIENCE: Peter Beekman fans or people who want to read the influential Dutch classics on dog training. REVIEW  Author: Peter Beekman enjoys somewhat of a cult following in the Dutch dog training world. He is a trainer and behaviour therapist […]

Author: Beekman Peter
Genre: owner manual

Bones would rain from the sky

cover_bones_would

AUTHOR: Suzanne Clothier PUBLISHING YEAR: 2005 SUMMARY: Autobiography of author’s journey through dog training. AUDIENCE: You might enjoy this book as a professional if you want to reflect upon some aspects of our relationship with dogs. I would say that it is more squarely aimed at owners, though. It does not use technical terms. REVIEW: […]

Author: Clothier Suzanne
Genre: autobiography

Canine body language: a photographic guide

cover_k9_body

AUTHOR: Brenda Aloff PUBLISHING YEAR: 2009 SUMMARY: Dog’s body language in pictures. AUDIENCE: This is more a professional handbook than coffee table material, its style is a little dry and technical. I would not recommend it for the average dog owner. If you are a dog owner looking for a similar book, search for ‘body […]

Author: Aloff Brenda
Genre: professional manual

Changing problem behaviour. A systematic & comprehensive approach to behavior change project management

O_Heare Beh change prob mgt

AUTHOR: James O’Heare PUBLISHING YEAR: 2010 SUMMARY: A guide to approaching behaviour change like a behaviour analysis project. AUDIENCE: O’Heare is a tough one to place, as he writes with perfect scientific vigour, but markets his books at the professional. One thing is for sure: you won’t get much out of this book unless you […]

Author: O'Heare James
Genre: professional manual

Clinical Behavioral Medicine For Small Animals, 1e

Overall Clinical 1e

PUBLISHING YEAR: 1997 SUMMARY: Handbook of behavioural medicine for cats and dogs. AUDIENCE: This one is definitely for the professional, and more for people on the clinical/research side of behaviour therapy than pure dog training. It’s also an ideal handbook for vets who are interested in behavioural treatments. REVIEW  By the time I’d finished reviewing […]

Author: Overall Karen
Genre: professional manual

Control Unleashed

McDevitt - Control unleashed

AUTHOR: Leslie McDevitt PUBLISHING YEAR: 2007 SUMMARY: Technical manual for running an off-leash training class AUDIENCE: An invaluable professional manual, but not something you’ll be reading in front of the fire petting Fido’s head with the old glass of Port… REVIEW: This was a bit of an awkward read, as the style needed a little grooming. The […]

Author: McDevitt Leslie
Genre: professional manual

Do As I Do

Fugazza DAID

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2014 SUMMARY: Step-by-step guide to the Do As I Do training methods to teach your dog new behaviour by demonstrating them yourself. AUDIENCE: It is accessible to the layman, but it will help if you’re familiar with training jargon and are not averse to a spot of cognitive psychology theory.   REVIEW:  I […]

Author: Fugazza Claudia
Genre: owner manual, professional manual

Dog (the), its behavior, nutrition and health

the_dog_case

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2005 SUMMARY: High-level summary of scientific knowledge on dog’s behaviour, health (some stats), and nutrition AUDIENCE: It may be more appropriate for student veterinarians who want their insight into dogs to go beyond anatomy and pathology, than for behaviourists seeking to deepen their general knowledge of the dog. REVIEW: This book is quite reminiscent of […]

Author: Case Linda P
Genre: survey of peer-reviewed literature

Dog Behavior Problems: a Counselor’s Handbook

cover_counselor_handbook

AUTHOR: William Campbell PUBLISHING YEAR: 2008 SUMMARY: Anecdotes about running a dog behaviour counselling practise. AUDIENCE: Wannabe small animal behaviour therapists. REVIEW: I was a little disappointed with this one. From the title, I was hoping it would give me a comprehensive tool kit on running a dog behaviourist practice (à la Nicole Wilde, with “So […]

Author: Campbell William
Genre: professional manual

Dog Sense

Bradshaw_Dog Sense

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2011 SUMMARY: Dog Sense is a giant research literature survey, written in layman’s terms, about dogs’ behaviour through: evolution, domestication, cognitive abilities, emotions, genetics, and training methods. AUDIENCE: It was tough selecting a readership stamp, as: Owner: It’s a long read, but in layman’s term. It will help you shed the clinging few old wife’s […]

Author: Bradshaw John
Genre: pop science

Dog’s Mind (the)

fogle - dog's mind

PUBLISHING YEAR: 1990 SUMMARY: Interpretations (often pack theory-based) of commonly observed dog behaviour. AUDIENCE: The audience is, in theory, dog owners looking to debunk myths about dogs. Unfortunately, it disseminates the occasional myth by itself, so to be taken with a pinch of salt. So I would put it in the hands of critical readers […]

Author: Fogle Bruce
Genre: pop science

Dogs as they are

Brad_Dogs as they are

  PUBLISHING YEAR: 2012 SUMMARY: Lively essays on critical dog questions through popular science. AUDIENCE: If you are an owner struggling with inconsistencies with traditional training methods, this book has your name written all over it. It’ll be the launching platform you need to discover the fascinating world of dog fact, so you can, once […]

Author: Brad Eric
Genre: pop science

Dogs: a new understanding of canine origin, behaviour and evolution

coppinger - dogs

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2004 SUMMARY: Observations of a scientist couple on the dog’s evolution. Also touches on training and sports. AUDIENCE: A little too technical to be read for entertainment purposes without being rigorous enough to be used quotable in mainstream academia. Perhaps the person who will enjoy it the most is the scientifically literate owner with […]

Author: Coppinger Lorna, Coppinger Ray
Genre: pop science

Domestic Dog: its Evolution, Behavior and Interactions with People

cover_dom_dog

PUBLISHING YEAR: 1995 SUMMARY: A collection of significant dog-related scientific research articles. AUDIENCE: Makes for a very dry read if you are unused to scientific articles. The contents would only be useful to the layman in summarised and vulgarised form, but are completely inaccessible if you don’t have a bit of a scientific bend. For […]

Author: Serpell James
Genre: survey of peer-reviewed literature

Dominance in dogs: fact or fiction?

barry_dominance

  AUTHOR: Barry Eaton PUBLISHING YEAR: 2010 SUMMARY: List of pack theory counter-arguments (I mean, against the pack theory) AUDIENCE: For those of you who have developed a real aversion to the dominance theory, it will crystallise your arguments. For those of you who interpret every dog behaviour in terms of dominance, it might make a dent. REVIEW: Another must-read […]

Author: Eaton Barry
Genre: pop science

Dominance theory and dogs

O-Heare Dominance

AUTHOR: James O’Heare PUBLISHING YEAR: 2008 SUMMARY: A gargantuan literature survey on dominance research. AUDIENCE: REVIEW James O’Heare, true to self, starts of by tidying up the house. He disentangles the relevant ethological concepts (status-rank-hierarchy, conflict, societies, etc.) for the unfamiliar reader. He then gets to the crux of the book: a detailed historical critique […]

Author: O'Heare James
Genre: survey of peer-reviewed literature

Dr Dunbar’s Good Little Dog Book

cover_dr_dunbar

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2003 SUMMARY: Illustrated positive training exercises using Ian Dunbar’s now treat-prompt classic method. AUDIENCE: First-dog owners about to adopt a dog. REVIEW: Another must-read, if only for how much clout Dr Dunbar enjoys among positive trainers. Ian Dunbar has acquired a solid reputation as one of the pioneers of humane, gentle training methods. It gives […]

Author: Dunbar Ian
Genre: owner manual

Emotional lives of animals (the)

Bekoff - Emotional_

  PUBLISHING YEAR: 2008 SUMMARY: Collection of anecdotes and observations supporting the case for “bioanthropomorphism”, i.e. the assertion (which I share) that animals have emotions. This assertion is still disputed by hard-line scientists in the field, given the difficulty in quantifying and verifying emotions. AUDIENCE: Dog owners with an interest in animal welfare, and who […]

Author: Bekoff Marc
Genre: pop science

Empowerment Training

O-Heare Empowerment

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2011 SUMMARY: Background theory and implementation techniques to promote empowerment in the domestic dog. AUDIENCE: Specialist trainers with a solid scientific background and/or applied behaviourists/behaviouralists. REVIEW: I am quite conflicted about writing this review as I will not give it a lot of stars, yet I love what the author is about. His […]

Author: O'Heare James
Genre: professional manual

En toch is het een lieve hond! (And still it’s a good dog)

de meester lieve hond

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2013 (posthumously for Rudy de Meester) SUMMARY: Interviews with owners of dogs with serious behaviour problems. Collaborative work by a vet behaviourist and a historian. AUDIENCE: If you speak Dutch and have a dog with issues, this one’s for you. And it should be compulsory reading for anyone involved in helping owners with their dog’s behaviour. […]

Author: de Meester Rudy, Hattinga van 't Sant Elian
Genre: interviews

Encyclopedia of Animal Rights and Animal Welfare

Bekoff - Encyclopedia animal rights

PUBLISHING YEAR: 1998 SUMMARY: Series of essays by the leading experts on all matters relating to animal welfare. AUDIENCE: You will predominantly use this book to reference your academic essays/articles, or to refine and structure your understanding of a concept. It lies more in the realm of intellectual exploration than practical guidance. REVIEW: The book […]

Author: Bekoff Marc, Meaney Carron A.
Genre: dictionary

Encyclopedia of Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare

Mills Encyclopedia animal behaviour

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2010 SUMMARY: A giant encyclopaedia of animal behaviour. And I mean ‘giant.’ AUDIENCE: Academics in search of close-to-standard, accepted definitions of animal behaviour concepts. REVIEW: 1000+ pages of essays and definitions by an army of the most respected researchers in animal behaviour. This unmissable encyclopaedia is now used in many universities as the […]

Author: Daniel Mills
Genre: dictionary

Excel-Erated Learning

cover_excel-erated

PUBLISHING YEAR: 1996 SUMMARY: Foundations of learning theory. Including some reference to historic scientific work. AUDIENCE: A must-read to all wannabe behaviourists and for science-curious owners. REVIEW: I very much enjoyed this book. The author’s PhD in animal behaviour gives the text the academic credence. This is not insignificant in the ever so muddled and subjective political […]

Author: Reid Pamela
Genre: pop science

Feeling Outnumbered? How to manage and enjoy your multi-dog household

London McConnell_outnumbered

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2001 SUMMARY: Step-by-step guide to dealing with common behaviour problems in multi-dog households AUDIENCE: Ideal for owners who are considering a multi-dog household and want to well-researched tips on problem prevention. Too generic to add much value for the professional behaviourist. REVIEW:  In the behaviourist’s caseload, multi-dog households often come hand in hand […]

Author: London Karen B, McConnell Patricia B
Genre: owner manual

Feisty Fido

McConnell _ Feisty

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2005 SUMMARY: Pocket-sized booklet explaining the industry’s best rehabilitation programme for dogs that are aggressive to other dogs when on-leash. AUDIENCE: If you’re an owner or trainer interested in on-leash reactivity, it’s definitely worth a read, and it will yield non-negligible results if you follow it to the letter. But please do not […]

Author: London Karen B, McConnell Patricia B
Genre: owner manual, professional manual

Fight!

donaldson - fight

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2004 SUMMARY: Protocol on how to deal with dog-dog aggression. Aimed at a professional audience. AUDIENCE: Pick this one up if you are unfamiliar with the force-free protocols for dog-dog reactivity. REVIEW: This book lacked a little meat on the bone, in my opinion. Or at least it didn’t tell me anything I didn’t […]

Author: Donaldson Jean
Genre: professional manual

Fired up, Frantic and Freaked Out

VanArendonk - Fired up

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2013 SUMMARY: The ins-and-outs of teaching a solid settle to serial canine over-reacters. AUDIENCE: The author primarily wrote this book for owners, but the protocols may be too demanding for that readership without the encouragement of a professional. REVIEW:  In a nutshell: Another book in the recent trend of reducing prompting, and letting the dog […]

Author: VanArendonk Baugh Laura
Genre: owner manual

Genius of dogs (the)

Hare Genius of dogs

AUTHORS: Brian Hare & Vanessa Woods PUBLISHING YEAR: 2013 SUMMARY: An informal journey through the research into canine cognitive abilities, with some philosophical and societal discussions. AUDIENCE: You won’t need to know scientific/technical jargon to follow the book, but it goes waaaaay beyond what a the average dog owner is looking for. So I would […]

Author: Hare Brian, Woods Vanessa
Genre: pop science

Getting a grip on aggression cases

cover_getting_grip

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2008 SUMMARY: A high-level approach to tackling dog aggression professionally AUDIENCE: Get this one if you are after a very good introductory book on the subject, but don’t expect THE exhaustive toolkit for all aggression problems. REVIEW: I was hoping for a book cataloging an exhaustive list of aggression issues, with detailed instructions […]

Author: Wilde Nicole
Genre: professional manual

High five with your rabbit

Muntz - high-five

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2012 SUMMARY: All-in-one rabbit care and… training guide! AUDIENCE Mainly aimed at rabbit owners, but beneficial to all amateurs of animal training. REVIEW: Bernice Muntz is a highly successful animal trainer in the Netherlands. From caiman to canary, Bernice’ training techniques have helped improve and even save the lives of countless animals whose behaviour problems […]

Author: Muntz Bernice
Genre: owner manual

Homeschool your Puppy

Tracy Erika - Homeschool your puppy

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2013 SUMMARY: Instructions on how to prime your pup to training greatness. AUDIENCE: Whilst the book is aimed at owners, its vocabulary and objectives are more suitable for the dog sport hobbyist or professional trainer. REVIEW: The author, a search-and-rescue trainer, teaches your pup solid foundations that will facilitate his later training. The book approaches […]

Author: Tracy Erika
Genre: professional manual

How the dog became the dog

Derr - How dog became dog

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2012 SUMMARY: (Non-systematic) review of the various theories behind the dog’s evolution. AUDIENCE: The book fits most comfortably in the science popularization section if you scrap the popularization part. It reads more like a textbook without peer review or citations. Try it if you’re comfortable with quite a bit of evolutionary biology jargon. […]

Author: Derr Mark
Genre: pop science

Inside of a dog: what dogs see, smell and know

Horowitz_Inside

Inside of a dog: What dogs see, smell and know  AUTHOR: Alexandra Horowitz PUBLISHING YEAR: 2009 SUMMARY: A critical and exhaustive look at what we know about dogs’ mental worlds. Written by a cognition researcher, the book takes us through the research milestones on dogs’ cognitive and sensory abilities. AUDIENCE: Written for the layman, this […]

Author: Horowitz Alexandra
Genre: pop science

Let’s play with our dog

Woodcock_Lets Play

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2005 SUMMARY: Suggestions for games to play with your dog AUDIENCE: Very useful if  you’re after some low-tech entertainment ideas for your dog on a rainy day. Also a useful and very handy (compact) book for play therapy if you are an behaviourist/specialist trainer. REVIEW: It was very short, so nice and portable […]

Author: Woodcock Dee
Genre: owner manual

Leukste spelletjes voor uw hond (Nicest games for your dog)

Eilert-Overbeck_Leukste spelletjes

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2007 SUMMARY: Suggestions for games with your dog AUDIENCE: You’d need to speak Dutch, for starters. But once you’re over that hurdle, the book is source of low-tech entertainment games ideas for your dog. REVIEW: I love that it’s tiny and very portable, so you can bring it along to your appointments. I don’t […]

Author: Eilert-Overbeck Brigitte
Genre: owner manual

Luisteren is leuk (Listening is nice)

van Weperen - Luisteren

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2014 SUMMARY: Dog training guide using state-of-the-art techniques that are human- and dog-friendly. AUDIENCE: The book was intended for enthusiastic dog owners and trainers. It has the scope and specificity to add value to any professional looking to revamp his training school curriculum. REVIEW: Jolein van Weperen is one of the Netherlands’ most […]

Author: van Weperen Jolein
Genre: professional manual

Man Meets Dog

Lorenz - Man meets

PUBLISHING YEAR: 1949 SUMMARY: Auto-biographical account of Lorenz’ life with his pet dogs. AUDIENCE: As a specialist (ethologist or specialist trainer), it is quoted in so many specialist texts that you owe it to yourself to check what the fuss is about, if only out of historical interest. As an owner, you won’t find much […]

Author: Lorenz Konrad
Genre: autobiography, historical interest

Measuring behaviour – an introductory guide

Bateson_Measuring behaviour

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2007 SUMMARY: Overview of the standards and techniques of behaviour measurement in research. AUDIENCE: If you’re past your first year in Psych/Ethology, it will serve as a wonderful, concise, refresher of the fundamentals. If you’re new to the field, it’ll give you the entry point that you need to get your feet wet without […]

Author: Bateson Patrick, Martin Paul
Genre: academic manual

Oh, Behave!

donaldson - behave

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2008 SUMMARY: ‘Dear Jean’ letters, with the typically humorous, clear, intelligent answers that Jean Donaldson has such a knack for. AUDIENCE: Dog owners after a hilariously written, but reliable, myth buster about their dog’s common behaviour. REVIEW: The format is somewhat unstructured, which is a little typical for Jean Donaldson. But it actually works […]

Author: Donaldson Jean
Genre: pop science

On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals *

cover_talking_terms

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2005 SUMMARY: Observations on stress-indicating and appeasement body language in dogs by Turid Rugaas AUDIENCE: For owners, it’ll be a real eye opener if you’re not all that familiar with canine body language. For professionals, it’s a milestone of a book in the field, and you don’t want to get caught not having […]

Author: Rugaas Turid
Genre: owner manual

One on One

Wilde_ one on one

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2004 SUMMARY: Help for tough client communication during private training sessions. AUDIENCE: A real boon for beginning private trainers. Will save you a lot of blunders and arm  you to deal with the common awkward moments in our field. REVIEW: Wouldn’t you know it, Nicole Wilde has done it again. With her usual […]

Author: Wilde Nicole
Genre: professional manual

Only Dog Tricks You’ll Ever Need (the)

bielakwiewicz_only_dogtricks

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2005 SUMMARY: Series of dog tricks and how to teach them with excellent supporting explanations on training theory. AUDIENCE: Owners who want to learn the industry secrets in a non-intimidating volume, for practical, witty, real-life tricks. Also very useful as a trainer to spice up your classes with a ‘fun’ section. REVIEW: Despite its […]

Author: Bielakwiewicz Gerilyn J.
Genre: owner manual

Other End of the Leash (the)

cover_other_end

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2003 SUMMARY: Autobiographical account of the author’s life as a behaviourist AUDIENCE: A peak for owners who are curious about the life behind the scenes of the life of a specialist trainer/behaviourist. For specialist trainers, a nice “Am not the only one” read with charming anecdote after charming anecdote. REVIEW: Very enjoyable read. Autobiographical […]

Author: McConnell Patricia B
Genre: autobiography

Playtime for your dog – Keep him busy throughout the day

Sondermann_Playtime

AUTHOR:  Christina Sondermann PUBLISHING YEAR: 2006 SUMMARY: Suggested interactive games and game material to keep your dog mentally and physically stimulated AUDIENCE: Pick this one up if you’re after a pleasantly illustrated (a rare boon in this type of books) book on tricks/games to play with your dog on a rainy day. Professional trainers and […]

Author: Sondermann Christina
Genre: owner manual

Preventing puppy problems

Woodcock _Preventing puppy

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2002 AUDIENCE: With its spotless contents and affordable price, it should be a standard handout for every puppy class client. SUMMARY: Pocket-sized booklet teaching puppy owners how to avoid and deal with common puppy problems using modern methods. REVIEW This book is not only insanely useful, it’s also insanely small. Whatever her secret […]

Author: Woodcock Dee
Genre: owner manual

Psychologie du chien – Stress, anxiété, agressivité (La)

Beata La psychologie du chien

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2013 SUMMARY: Fly-on-the-wall account of a French veterinary behaviourist’s practice, with the author’s reflections on the profession’s best practices. AUDIENCE: He would like the book to introduce the profession (vet behaviourist) to pet parents. Effectively, though, the book will be too high-brow for a pet parent looking for a casual read. It is […]

Author: Béata Claude
Genre: autobiography

Raising puppies and kids together

silvani raising puppies and kids

AUTHORS: Pia Silvani & Lynn Eckhardt PUBLISHING YEAR: 2005 SUMMARY: Preparation checklist and training manual for parents caring for dogs and (human) children. AUDIENCE: The book predominantly targets owners, with no jargon and basic explanations. As a pro, I found it a useful reference to prepare for those: “Help, am getting a baby and my […]

Author: Eckhardt Lynn, Silvani Pia
Genre: owner manual

Scaredy dog – Understanding and rehabilitating your reactive dog

brown_scaredy

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2004 SUMMARY: Treatment protocol for the easily frightened dog, or phobic dogs. For the layman. AUDIENCE: It sits uncomfortably between two types of audiences: too basic for the professional, and too in-depth for the dog owner. I guess the niche is the very dedicated dog owner, and for them, it very clearly breaks down the therapy protocol […]

Author: Brown Ali
Genre: professional manual

Scent of the missing

Charleson - Scent of the missing

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2010 SUMMARY: Auto-biography of search-and-rescue dog and her trainer. AUDIENCE: Written for the layman with an interest in service dogs and particularly search-and-rescue. REVIEW:  Author: The author is a US volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler, ex-pilot and no-nonsense-but-fragile hero. Style and contents: I loved it. Every single page. The author never falls into sensationalism despite the […]

Author: Charleson Susannah
Genre: autobiography

Selfish Gene (the)

Dawkins - Selfish Gene

PUBLISHING YEAR: 1976 (original), 1989 (my edition) SUMMARY: Brick-sized treatise on the mechanics of genes on population dynamics and trait expression – in (nearly) everyday language. AUDIENCE: A classic must-read if you’re remotely interested in biology –> zoology –> understanding genes AND if you enjoy complex, subtle and far-reaching theoretical speculation into evolutionary dynamics. REVIEW: Richard […]

Author: Dawkins Richard
Genre: pop science

So you want to be a dog trainer

cover_so_you

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2001 SUMMARY: Tactical and operational guide to launching your own dog training business. AUDIENCE: Wannabe dog trainers or established dog trainers after some fresh ideas on marketing, class curriculum, etc. REVIEW: A must-read. This book delivers exactly what it says on the cover: a comprehensive, detailed guide on how to set up shop as […]

Author: Wilde Nicole
Genre: professional manual

Speaking for Spot

Kay - Speaking for Spot

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2008 SUMMARY: Explanation about dog’s common medical issues, including cancer, vaccinations, operations, etc. AUDIENCE: Dog owners after some moral support, summary veterinary information, and communication strategies with the dog’s veterinary team when their dog’s health is hitting a snag. REVIEW: This book was somewhat of a revelation to me, at a time when I […]

Author: Kay Nancy
Genre: owner manual

Things your dog doesn’t want you to know

Conrad_Things your dog doesnt want you to know

AUTHORS: Hy Conrad and Jeff Johnson (art director Dean Stefanides) PUBLISHING YEAR: 2012 SUMMARY: Witty comments on dog behaviour and our dramatic attitudes to them. AUDIENCE: A beautifully designed, witty, cheeky little book about dog’s quirks for pretty much everybody. A coffee table book if there ever was one. Don’t pick this one up hoping […]

Author: Conrad Hy, Johnson Jeff
Genre: comedy

Think dog

fisher - think dog

PUBLISHING YEAR: 1995 SUMMARY: Sample behaviour therapy cases with the author’s diagnoses and proposed treatments. AUDIENCE: Written for an audience of dog owners, but the book is unfortunately showing its age. This has shifted the audience from dog owners to professionals who are curious about that unmissable dog training figure. REVIEW: Given that the book was […]

Author: Fisher John
Genre: historical interest, owner manual, professional manual

Training the city dog

cover_Training the city dog

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2009 SUMMARY: Exhaustive training and management tips for owners of city dogs AUDIENCE: This book can be a precious help to first-time city dog owners, or if you are moving your rural/suburban dog to the city. REVIEW: “Training the city dog” is an unpretentious, simple, easy, non-technical read. And we need those once in a while. […]

Author: Kane Katherine
Genre: owner manual

Truth about dogs (the)

Budiansky_Truth about dogs

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2002 SUMMARY: Witty review of the scientific body of knowledge on the domestic dog. AUDIENCE: A gem of science popularisation, owners who are curious about the scientific body of knowledge about dog’s behaviour, perception, etc. will really enjoy it. Be critical of a couple of controversial points (punishment and pack theory) that are […]

Author: Budiansky Stephen
Genre: pop science

Two seeing eye dogs take over Manhattan

Burlingame _ two seeing eye

AUTHOR: Lloyd Burlingame PUBLISHING YEAR: 2012 SUMMARY: ‘Auto’-biography of two guide dogs in Manhattan. AUDIENCE: Owners: no technical or academic interest. REVIEW I really wanted to like this book: I hate leaving poorer reviews. I hate it all the more when the author is elderly, and blind. So, see this as my expressway to Unpopularville, […]

Author: Burlingame Lloyd
Genre: autobiography

Understanding and handling aggression

sykes_understanding_handling

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2001 SUMMARY: Loose coverage of one dog’s progress from severe aggression, suffused with author’s opinion on training methods. AUDIENCE: Dangerously open to literal application by beginning trainers dealing with dog aggression, I would recommend interpreting it with great caution. Experienced trainers will probably not benefit from this book given its shaky factual grounds […]

Author: Sykes Barbara
Genre: professional manual

Veterinary notes for dog owners

Trevor - Veterinary notes

PUBLISHING YEAR: 1990 SUMMARY: Notes from veterinarians on a wide variety of contemporary dog issues. AUDIENCE: Despite the title, it would take the world’s most dedicated owner to plough through this book cover to cover. I have mainly been using it as a reference when writing essays on specialist subjects in non-University programmes, where it […]

Author: Turner Trevor
Genre: owner manual

Welfare of Dogs (the)

Stafford -  Welfare of dogs

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2007 SUMMARY: The Dog volume in a series of books on domestic animal welfare. A condensed review on the research literature – and discussions – on the welfare topics affecting dogs. AUDIENCE: REVIEW: ‘The Welfare of Dogs‘ looks at dog welfare through welfare science and formal ethics. It was written by animal welfare researcher (and […]

Author: Stafford Kevin
Genre: survey of peer-reviewed literature

When pigs fly! Training success with impossible dogs

Killion When pigs fly

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2007 SUMMARY: Force-free training manual for hyper excited dogs. AUDIENCE: Written for dedicated owners of hyper dogs. REVIEW:  Author: Jane Killion is a big name in dog training. Her seminars sell out the world over. Her main angle is prompt-free and lure-free training. She likes to ‘capture the dog’ in the act of doing […]

Author: Killion Jane
Genre: owner manual

Why dogs drink out of the toilet?

cover_why_do_dogs

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2007 SUMMARY: List of did-you-know’s about dogs. AUDIENCE: The book is aimed at dog owners (i.e. not specifically for a professional audience), after a sensible answer to their dog’s million and one quirks. REVIEW: I very much enjoyed reading this one, to my great surprise, as I had bought it more as an airport […]

Author: Becker Marty, Spadafori Gina
Genre: pop science

Zoobiquity

Natterson Horowitz - Zoobiquity

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2012 SUMMARY: An informal comparison of the medical problems of animals and humans. Written by a human cardiologist and psychiatrist in layman’s terms. Main focus on behavioural and psychiatric issues. AUDIENCE: It won’t hurt the intellectually curious dog owner, but canine behaviourists will likely get the most out of it. REVIEW Author: You’d be forgiven […]

Author: Bowers Kathryn, Natterson Horowitz Barbara
Genre: pop science