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This list is not intended to be comprehensive in scope, but to identify books and resources that are particularly valuable for people who are exploring these topics.

Alternative Veterinary Medicine,
Holistic Health Care for Dogs and Cats

The Nature of Animal Healing: The Path to Your Pet's Health, Happiness, and Longevity, by Martin Goldstein, DVM, 1999

START HERE!!!  In a very readable style, Dr. Goldstein explains the progression of disease and the process by which health can be restored. Excellent chapters cover nutrition, vaccination, alternative treatment modalities, the healing crisis, common disorders, cancer, and more. Very clearly presents the perspective of holistic practitioners. Contains a very comprehensive Source Guide of holistic practitioners, publications, books, and products. Available from many local bookstores, public libraries, and mail order companies including Dogwise.

The Whole Dog Journal: A monthly guide to natural dog care and training

Excellent publication packed with useful information. Includes product reviews. To contact subscription services call 1-800-829-9165 (Eastern time zone).

Dog Training and Dog Behavior
Available from Dogwise and other sources.

In Focus: Developing a Relationship with Your Performance Dog, by Deborah Jones, PhD, and Judy Keller

This superb, easy-to-read book has exercises you can do with your dog that will build a strong foundation for teamwork, the key element to success in Rally, agility, standard obedience, and other activities where dogs and humans work as a team. In addition to core exercises for all dogs, the book has exercises for dogs who are not having enough fun when training (or competing) and other exercises for dogs who are having too much fun.

Click for Joy! Questions and Answers from Clicker Trainers and their Dogs, by Melissa C. Alexander

This excellent book translates the science of operant conditioning (often called clicker training) into clear, easy-to-understand bits of information. Trainers at all levels, from beginning to advanced, will find this book extremely helpful. The book presents the principles underlying clicker training and then provides clear instructions for shaping behaviors to the highest levels of precision (if the trainer is so inclined). Forward by Robert Bailey. In 2003, won the Dog Writer's Association of America's Award for Best Training & Behavior Book.

The Culture Clash, by Jean Donaldson

The Culture Clash referred to in the title is the clash that occurs when dogs do something that comes naturally to them, but which is not acceptable when living with humans. For example, biting is a perfectly acceptable behavior within canine society, but completely unacceptable when dogs live with humans.

This book debunks many of the familiar myths circulating about dogs and describes how dogs really learn. However, it goes much farther and provides specific guidelines that owners can use to (1) raise a dog that will not "clash" with humans and (2) rehabilitate a dog that has clashed with humans. In my opinion, the critically important information in this book makes it a "must read" for people who are thinking about getting a puppy (reread it before every new puppy) and for breeders, because the most critical time in the emotional development of a puppy is from 4 to 12 weeks of age.

Jumping from A to Z: Teach Your Dog to Soar by M. Christine Zink, DVM, PhD and Julie Daniels

A step-by-step program that builds a foundation for all canine performance sports. This program teaches dogs to use their bodies naturally and safely when jumping. It develops thinking dogs that can adapt to various jumping situations while running. The book includes exercises for the novice jumper and for the experienced jumper who has developed problems. Available from Dr. Zink's Canine Sports Web site.

Don't Shoot the Dog: The New Art of Teaching and Training and A Dog and A Dolphin: An Introduction to Clicker Training by Karen Pryor

Parents, teachers, employers, spouses, and dog trainers will find the information in this book extremely valuable. In short, this book is for anyone who wants to modify the behavior of another individual, human or animal, using positive reinforcement rather than compulsion, fear, or pain. A Dog and A Dolphin is a great little introduction to clicker training with a step-by-step approach. These and other excellent books (and videos) are available from the Don't Shoot the Dog Web site.

Lad's Before the Wind: Diary of a Dolphin Trainer by Karen Pryor

A very enjoyable account of the author's pioneering experiences training marine mammals. Filled with examples of using operant conditioning (aka clicker training) -- and a whistle and a bucket of fish -- to train marine mammals to perform complex behaviors for public shows. By the end of this book, you will understand all the behavioral principles underlying clicker training.

On Behavior: Essays and Research by Karen Pryor

Essays on many aspects of behavior and training written in Karen Pryor's very readable and entertaining style.

The Dog Listener, by Jan Fennell (not to be confused with The Dog Whisperer).

This book presents a straightforward program for living with your canine companion in a way that produces willing cooperation without extensive formal training. Although behaviorial scientists consider the pack theory concepts espoused in the book to be outdated, the techniques work very well for many dogs. The author, who has a behavioral consultation practice in Britain, has a fascinating perspective on dealing with separation anxiety and other behavior problems. People who live with dogs that "run the house," or have separation anxiety or other behavior problems will find the book particularly valuable.

How to Teach a New Dog Old Tricks and the companion Sirius Puppy Training Video by Dr. Ian Dunbar

An excellent introduction to positive-reinforcement training with techniques all family members, including supervised children, can use to create a well-mannered family dog. The emphasis is on off-leash, lure-reward training beginning in puppyhood, although the techniques can be used with dogs of all ages. The video illustrates the techniques described in the book. I personally use the luring techniques described by Dr. Dunbar in combination with clicker training when educating my own canine companions. Available direct from James and Kenneth, Publishers 1-800-784-5531 (Pacific time zone), and from many mail order sources of dog supplies.

Preventing Aggression (Biting) by Dr. Ian Dunbar and Gwen Bohnenkamp

One of Dr. Dunbar's Behavior Booklet series. Presents a program that anyone can implement to reduce the risk that a family pet will bite, even if provoked. Must reading for ALL dog owners. Inexpensive enough for breeders to provide as part of their puppy packages. Other booklets in the series: Housetraining, Housetraining Supplement, Barking, Chewing, Digging, Shyness/Fearfulness, Fighting, Socialization. Available from James and Kenneth, Publishers 1-800-784-5531 (Pacific time zone), and from many mail order sources of dog supplies.

Raw Diets for Dogs and Cats

The Ultimate Diet: Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats, by Kymythy R. Schultze, CCN, AHI

Provides a structured approach to feeding a raw diet with easy-to-follow instructions. Available from Hay House, Inc (books are alphabetized by author's name). In Raleigh, NC this book is available at Triangle Nutrition (1-919-847-8498).

Give Your Dog A Bone, 1993 and Grow Your Pups With Bones,1998, by Dr. Ian Billinghurst

Common sense, down-to-earth books by an Australian veterinarian who has a background in animal nutrition. Give Your Dog A Bone explains that heat-processed, grain-rich commercial foods are not biologically appropriate diets for a dog and describes a basic program for feeding a raw diet. Grow Your Pups With Bones builds on the first book and presents a second schedule for feeding a raw diet. Chapters cover the feeding of breeding adults and weaning puppies and discuss the link between nutrition and chronic degenerative diseases of dogs.

Updated 2005 July 2
Copyright 2001, 2005 Adele C. Monroe, DVM, MSPH
All rights reserved