I really believe that if you’re not learning, you’re not improving, and the more you learn the better off you’ll be. This is true in life and with your dog. If you’re having problems, wish that your dog was better behaved or simply would like to understand your furry best bud better; getting more info is the only way to do it. I’m constantly trying to expand my knowledge and strive to make myself a little more informed today than I was yesterday.

 Since dogs are my passion, I read as many books about pooches as I can. There are so many out there that have really helped me understand, relate and communicate with my dog and all the dogs I work with. When designing my mentorship program I wanted to make a few books required reading to help my students better understand dogs. Here are three of the four books that I think are so good that I make all my students read them (the fourth book is my book, A Better Life with Your Dog, which I of course think is awesome too).

The Other End of the Leash, by Patricia McConnell

Ever since I became a dog trainer I’ve been a huge fan of Patricia McConnell. I attended a seminar of hers a few years ago, where she educated me on some of the best ways to train dogs. She’s written many books on dog behavior and training but my favorite is by far The Other End of the Leash.

In this book she describes our relationship with the domestic dog and reveals the true impact of our behavior as seen by our dogs. She makes you re-evaluate the way you interact with your dog and shows you how to change your behavior to better communicate with your pooch. Her writing is easy and fun to read and you’ll find yourself zipping through the book with quickly.

How to Speak Dog, by Stanely Coren

This book goes into great detail on how dogs communicate. Dogs use very different tools to communicate and we need to understand them so that we can enjoy a better life with our own dogs. Stanely Coren does a great job of describing every way that dogs communicate with us using body language, sounds and movements and tells us how we can effectively “talk” with our dogs.

Because the book goes into such great detail and is a bit more academic it is a little harder to get through, but the information is invaluable.

Canine Body Language, by Brenda Aloff

This book also talks about dog communication but is highly visual. It’s filled with tons of pictures depicting the specific ways dogs talk to each other and to us. Althought he quality of the images could be better the content is invaluable. It really shows exact, real world situations that we encounter every day and breaks down exactly what the dogs in the pictures are saying.

Reading this book really helped me understand what was going on in dog parks and when watching dogs interacting on leash.

Those are just a handful of the great books out there. Have you read some others that you would recommend?

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