Dog Books Reviews


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)

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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 higher I climb, the farther up the top seems to get. No matter, each book consolidates my understanding and enriches my perspective.

I collect the notes I keep on each book in this review page. As the years flew by, the collection of reviews grew and authors and publishers started to send me their work for more reviews. I had to learn speed-reading just to keep up, and there are always at least five half-read books within a meter of me. Maybe one day I’ll reach the top of the mountain and will have no more books to read. I doubt it.

Here is the list of books I am dying to review right now. If you’re feeling particularly generous and want to help this modest reviewer out, you can donate one of these books. In that case, write me a mail with the name of the book you’d like to donate. See ‘Want your book reviewed’ if you are an author or publisher and would like one of your books reviewed here.

Navigation tips and a nudge

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

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)

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)

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2009 SUMMARY: Ethical toolkit for dog trainers including a well-written review of the usual hot-button issues. AUDIENCE: Jargon-free, short, and smoothly written: no background in philosophy required. Will benefit professional dog trainers will benefit most. It will help them tackle the ethical challenges of our profession. REVIEW: The Ethical Dog Trainer is, as far as I […]

Author: Barry Jim
Genre: professional manual

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

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

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

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

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

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

500 years of psychiatry (500 ans de psychiatrie)

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2000 SUMMARY: Succinct timeline of important milestones in psychiatry in list form. AUDIENCE: This book is written in French and has not been translated to English. As far as technical language barriers are concerned, jargon is not an issue. It will be an interesting read for anyone interested in framing major psychiatric developments […]

Author: Brenot Philippe
Genre: historical interest

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

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

Animal liberation

PUBLISHING YEAR: 1995 ed. (originally published 1975) SUMMARY: A worrying review of the institutional animal abuses of the food and research industries; and a summary of the ethical arguments for granting animals equal consideration. AUDIENCE: For a book written by an academic, it is remarkably accessible and jargon-free. Any person interaction with animals would do […]

Author: Singer Peter
Genre: pop science

Animal madness

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2014 SUMMARY: A science historian digs into the annals of animal psychiatry after her dog’s descent into mental illness. AUDIENCE: The book was written for the layman and will give solace to the owners of pets struggling with behavioural disorders. It would be a great influence to the harsher dog behaviour professionals who bother reading it; hopefully […]

Author: Braitman Laurel
Genre: autobiography, pop science

Animal Rights

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2002 SUMMARY: A pocket-sized review of the formal ethical framework around animal rights. AUDIENCE: You will probably give up in disgust if you don’t have at least a smidgin of formal education in philosophy/ethics, or at least formal training in animal welfare issues. It gets pretty dry. REVIEW  The author: David de Grazia […]

Author: de Grazia David
Genre: survey of peer-reviewed literature

Animal Wise – How we know what animals think and feel

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2014 SUMMARY: Review of the latest research into animal cognition: feeling and thinking animals under the microscope. AUDIENCE: Written for the layman and reasonably jargon-free. Academics in need of a broad survey of the literature would also benefit from it. And animal behaviour professionals will get sweeping overview of what is now known about animal cognition out of […]

Author: Morell Virginia
Genre: survey of peer-reviewed literature

Animals make us human

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2009 SUMMARY: A real-life-oriented review of the contemporary body of knowledge into animal welfare and cognition, with chapters on dogs, cats, zoo animals and cows among others. AUDIENCE: Very accessible style appropriate for non-specialists as well as pros. Rigorously researched, originally approached and compellingly simplified. That perfect triangle that will make academics, laymen AND trainers love […]

Author: Grandin Temple
Genre: pop science

APBC book for Companion Animal Behaviour

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 Pharma

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2013 SUMMARY: A scathing and exhaustive review of the dodgy practices of the pharmaceutical industry – written by an epidemiologist. AUDIENCE: This book can be of interest to the motivated behaviour therapist who wants to take a behind-the-scenes look at (psycho)pharma. REVIEW  The author: Ben Goldacre is a UK epidemiologist/columnist who wrote a popular science segment […]

Author: Goldacre Ben
Genre: pop science

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

BARK stops here, the

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2000 SUMMARY: A set of tips to help reduce your dog’s nuisance barking. AUDIENCE: Owners.   REVIEW  The author: Terry Ryan is a widely read and prolific author of short, practical dog behaviour manuals. She is a well-established reward-based trainer. Style and contents:  The book focuses on the symptom (barking) and works its way back to the any […]

Author: Ryan Terry
Genre: professional manual

Behavior Adjustment Training: BAT for Fear, Frustration and Aggression in Dogs

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2011 SUMMARY: Exhaustive manual about Grisha Stewart’s influential BAT behaviour therapy techniques AUDIENCE: Although the book is reasonably jargon-free, it relies on much experience to make the best use of it. A reader may want to read it to understand the underlying principles, whilst being coached by a certified BAT professional on execution. Warning, the review below does make use […]

Author: Stewart Grisha
Genre: professional manual

Behavioral Biology of the Dog

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

Beware the straw man

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2014 SUMMARY: Entertaining summary of research studies on the behaviour of domestic dogs, giving the layman a great introduction to the basics of the scientific method. AUDIENCE: Non-academics, be they owners or trainers, will very much enjoy this book. It gives them the tools to evaluate claims about dog behaviour critically. In fact, this book is […]

Author: Case Linda P
Genre: pop science

Black box method, the (Black-boxmethode)

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

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

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

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


PUBLISHING YEAR: 2013 SUMMARY: A behind-the-scenes look at the life of Chaser, the dog with the world’s largest vocabulary of understanding human words. AUDIENCE: Smooth like honey. Everyone will enjoy reading this: any jargon is explained in a conversational way and the rest is pure charm. REVIEW  The author: John Pilley is a retired and, by the […]

Author: Pilley John W.
Genre: autobiography

Clinical Behavioral Medicine For Small Animals, 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

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

Crazy bitch

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2013 SUMMARY: Layperson’s autobiography about her life with two large dogs; one of them attacking the other in sudden episodes of intense aggression. AUDIENCE: Written for the layman, it is a smooth and pleasant read. [Caution to untrained readers: Do not accept the theoretical and technical passages uncritically. Get confirmation from an evidence-based source before accepting these points.] Behaviourists could […]

Author: Tibbetts Peggy
Genre: autobiography

Do As I Do

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

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

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 Food Logic

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2014 SUMMARY: Review of the relevant scientific research and industry facts about dog food. AUDIENCE: This book is accessible to science-curious owners – you don’t need a degree in biochemistry to follow it. And it should be compulsory reading for any dog professional before they venture an opinion about owners’ food choices. Author Linda Case, […]

Author: Case Linda P
Genre: pop science

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 who loved too much (the)

PUBLISHING YEAR: 1996 SUMMARY: Informal collection of case studies by American veterinary behaviourist Nicholas Dodman. AUDIENCE: This book will be most useful to professional animal behaviourists but it is jargon-free so can be understood by all audiences. REVIEW The author Nicholas Dodman is a well-established British-educated/US-based veterinary behaviourist and dog behaviour researcher. Style and contents The book […]

Author: Dodman Nicholas
Genre: case studies, historical interest, pop science, professional manual

Dog’s Mind (the)

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

  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 bite: but balloons and slippers are more dangerous

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2005 SUMMARY: A scathing look at scare-mongering and ill-researched statistical claims about dog bites. AUDIENCE: The book, with its informal and entertaining style, was written to help the layman assess bite risk rationally. Every dog professional should read it too, though. REVIEW  The author: Janis Bradley’s academic background (Philosophy and English) didn’t predispose her to write about epidemiology, […]

Author: Bradley Janis
Genre: pop science

Dogs don’t look both ways

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2014 SUMMARY: Autobiography of a family dog narrated by the family dog himself. AUDIENCE: This book was written for entertainment, not education. It is written without jargon and does not require an academic or technical background. Any owner can pick it up and enjoy it. REVIEW  The author: The author, Jane Hanser, does not have […]

Author: Bracker Kiko, Hanser Jane
Genre: autobiography

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

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 animal behavior for veterinarians and animal scientists

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2011 SUMMARY: Abridged review of the behaviour research on cattle, sheep, goats, horses, pigs, dogs and cats. AUDIENCE: Don’t pick it up unless you are well-versed in biology, psychology and zoology terminology. Or at least not without your trusty scientific dictionary. The intended readership is decidedly academic. REVIEW  The author: Katherine Houpt is a huge name in […]

Author: Houpt Katherine A.
Genre: survey of peer-reviewed literature

Domestic Dog: its Evolution, Behavior and Interactions with People

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?

  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

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

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

Elke pup een goede start (A good start for every pup)

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2015 SUMMARY: Richly illustrated week-by-week guide on raising a happy, well-behaved and orthopaedically healthy pup. AUDIENCE: This books is aimed at a layman’s audience v but, in my view, will great benefit professional dog trainers in charge of giving puppy classes. The authors Martine Burgers trained as a physiotherapist (for humans) then specialised in veterinary ostheopathy. Sam […]

Author: Burgers Martine, Turner Sam
Genre: owner manual

Emotional lives of animals (the)

  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

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)

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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)

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

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

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

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

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

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

K9 Behavior Basics

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2013 SUMMARY: Introduction to the essentials of dog ethology and operant conditioning aimed specifically at an audience of police dog trainers/handlers. AUDIENCE: The book was written for trainers and handlers of dogs for special operations and search-and-rescue missions who have a background in traditional, coercive training. Authors Resi Gerritsen has a PhD in psychology and is […]

Author: Gerritsen Resi, Haak Ruud, Prins Simon
Genre: professional manual

Let’s play with our dog

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)

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

Low Stress Handling, Restraint and Behavior Modification of Dogs and Cats

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2009 SUMMARY: Illustrated manual of handling procedures for dogs and cats that promote calm and collaboration over struggle and panic. AUDIENCE: Mainly aimed at the veterinary clinic (technicians and vets), this book will also benefit behaviourists and shelter workers who routinely deal with aggressive dogs. The chapter on preventive behavioural health for puppies […]

Author: Yin Sophia
Genre: professional manual

Luisteren is leuk (Happy Handling)

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

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

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

Minding your dog business

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2010 SUMMARY: Tips and tricks for making your dog business sustainable. AUDIENCE: Dog professionals like dog trainers, sitters, walkers and behaviourists who have had their dog business for a while and want to fix it to make it sustainable (financially, and workload-wise). REVIEW The authors Rikke Jorgensen is a communications expert and business […]

Author: Boutelle Veronica, Jorgensen Rikke
Genre: professional manual

No walks no worries

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2014 SUMMARY: Exhaustive manual for helping dogs on restricted exercise. AUDIENCE: Written for the layman, with well-illustrated contents and no jargon. REVIEW  Style and contents:  Short, richly illustrated manual on how to prepare your home and your dog for a period of confinement and restricted exercise. The gems I love that they hired a […]

Author: Ryan Sian, Zulch Helen
Genre: owner manual

Oh, 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

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

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)

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)

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


PUBLISHING YEAR: 2011 SUMMARY: Review of the scientific research into paranormal claims. AUDIENCE: Whilst not tackling dog-related topics specifically (bar one experiment on canine telepathy), this book will sharpen the critical thinking chops of the reader when it comes to paranormal claims. This can be useful to counter the many esoteric approaches to dog behaviour and […]

Author: Wiseman Richard
Genre: pop science

Pit bull placebo (the)

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2007 SUMMARY: Critical investigation of public beliefs and press coverage of the latest scapegoat breed, the Pit bull; and of fatal dog attacks in general. AUDIENCE: Any dog professionals working with dog aggression or bite risk assessments needs to read this book. REVIEW The author: Karen Delise was trained as a veterinary technician. She is also a […]

Author: Delise Karen
Genre: pop science

Playtime for your dog – Keep him busy throughout the day

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

Possibility dogs

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2014 SUMMARY:  In Possibility Dogs, Susannah Charleson sets out to find out all about he world of service dogs, with a focus on psych dogs. She also talks of her project for recruiting shelter dogs for the task. AUDIENCE: Most every one, from psych dog professionals or handlers to the wide public wanting to hear about psych dogs from […]

Author: Charleson Susannah
Genre: interviews

Preventing puppy problems

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)

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

Psychology Squared

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2016 SUMMARY: Pocket guide to major concepts in Psychology. AUDIENCE: Entirely jargon-free, it can be read by non-academics no problem. REVIEW The authors Christopher Sterling and Daniel Frings are Psychology lecturers at London South Bank University. Style and contents About 125 pages, each accompanied by an illustration page. You can easily read this […]

Author: Frings Daniel, Sterling Christopher
Genre: pop science

Raising puppies and kids together

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

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

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

Science of consequences

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2012 SUMMARY: A multidisciplinary look at the scientific body of knowledge on the concept of consequences. AUDIENCE: I will say ‘academic’ because it is laced with interconnected theoretical concepts that you’ll need a solid academic grounding to follow comfortably. Or many coffees and Advils and iron-clad willpower. REVIEW  The author: Dr. Susan M. Schneider is a biopsychologist. She is […]

Author: Schneider Susan M.
Genre: survey of peer-reviewed literature

Selfish Gene (the)

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

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

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

Stress in dogs

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2006 SUMMARY: A professional review of stress in dogs: its physiology, causal factors, signs and influence on the behaviour and welfare of dogs. AUDIENCE: An interesting read for professionals. REVIEW  The authors: Clarissa von Reinhardt: Clarissa von Reinhardt is an old timer in dog training. She has worked with dogs for years and is a huge figure […]

Author: Scholz Martina, von Reinhardt Clarissa
Genre: professional manual

Things your dog doesn’t 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

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

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)

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

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

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

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

Veterinary psychopharmacology

PUBLISHING YEAR: 2006 SUMMARY: Textbook of psychotropic pharmacological compounds and their use in clinical practice, as well as their pharmacokinetics, costs, adverse effects, etc. AUDIENCE: GP vets who want to refine their pharmacological approach to pervasive behavioural complaints. REVIEW  Hold on to your horses there, as I am not going to hold back on jargon in this one. The authors: […]

Author: Crowell-Davis Sharon, Murray Thomas
Genre: academic textbook

Welfare of Dogs (the)

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

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?

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


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