Reading List for People Owned by Dogs

Your dog can't do his own homework, so he needs you to do it for him!
Your dog can't do his own homework, so he needs you to do it for him!

There's plenty of great resources online for how to properly care for your dog. You can find out how to feed, breed, and train your pup all with just a few clicks. But just like with everything on the internet, anyone can write anything and get it out there.

You want to make sure that what you're reading is true or valid. When you read an article (even one written by me, as trustworthy as I may be), you should at least be Googling similar subject matter to ensure that at least someone else out there is thinking along the same lines.

The wrong information can set back your dog's training or be terribly dangerous for her health. It could potentially even kill her!

Sometimes, it's best to get some published material under your belt before you delve into the world of digital information. Here are some recommendations for great books that can get you started.

(Just so you know: I am not going to recommend Cesar Millan's books because I seriously disagree with some of his methods, even though some of them are fine.)

Training and Behavior

If you're still of the mind that rubbing a dog's nose in her feces or crating her for punishment makes sense, then you're way behind on the times. Modern behaviorists now tell us that punishment does more harm than good in training our dogs and that positive reinforcement is the only way to go.

The Loved Dog

Train your dog to love and respect you and to experience his life joyfully and playfully! You don't have to use any intimidating techniques to have a well-behaved dog who's a member of the family. (Pretty much any book by Patricia McConnell is excellent and will fix any behavioral issue your dog has.)

Control Unleashed

For the stressed dog or a dog that you'd like to be reliable with all the freedom of being off a leash, this book will give you utter control in all situations.

It's Me or the Dog

I admit I haven't heard too much about (or read) this book, but I love Victoria Stillwell's television show of the same name. Her techniques are great, and she seriously has a special touch with the dogs she trains.

Bonding and Communicating

You might not inherently know how to communicate with your dog. In fact, you might not even know that you don't know how to communicate with your dog. You may think you're doing it right, be doing it wrong, and then wonder why your dog has some strange behavior! These books will help you understand on a new level.

The Other End of the Leash

For the Love of a Dog

It's tough to understand the nuances that a dog perceives in your movement or the intricacies of an emotional relationship between you and your pup. These two books (both by Patricia McConnell) will help you master each of these concepts, respectively.

Bones Would Rain from the Sky

This book focuses on improving the relationship you have with your dog to iron out behavioral issues or to just create a smoother-running household. Even if your dog is an angel, you'll seriously deepen your understanding by reading this book.

Health and Nutrition

You feed your dog food that's advertised as "premium" and take your dog to the vet. That's all he needs, right? It's not as obvious as you think. Here's two books that are great resources for feeding and keeping your dog healthy. For a full list of my recommendations on this topic, see my hub on do nutrition: Are You Slowly Killing Your Dog?

Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog

An all-encompassing guide to the vet procedures your dog will go through and all of his nutritional needs (though it doesn't entirely cover how to fulfill them; that's what the next book is for). It's the best introduction to holistic medicine for dogs I've ever seen.

Work Wonders

The perfect book to teach you how to feed the Raw Meaty Bones diet to your pooch. If you're not convinced he needs it, read the hub I linked above.

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Let Me Know!

This is one of those hubs where I love hearing your suggestions. Is there something you've read (or a friend/trainer has recommended) that you want to share? Something you've heard about but isn't listed here and want to hear an opinion on (if I know it)? Think one of these recommendations I've made sucks? Let me know and leave a comment! The more knowledge this hub and its comments can offer, the better.

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Comments 8 comments

Karen Lowell 8 years ago

A just for fun book is I, Jack, by ? SOrry lent it to a friend, but google it. It is written from the perspective of a labrador and is HILARIOUS for young and old alike. There is a whole glossary of terms used in the book that now comprise a huge part of our family lingo. Examples: ape puppies = children, big furry clip clop paws=horses, pack lady/pack leader = the man and woman of the house, etc. My 9 year old LOVED it, we all loved it!


helenathegreat profile image

helenathegreat 8 years ago from Manhattan Author

Wow, that sounds great, Karen! THanks for the suggestion; I'll definitely look into it.


Peter M. Lopez profile image

Peter M. Lopez 8 years ago from Sweetwater, TX

I am definitely owned by my dog. He trained me, actually, more than the other way around.


helenathegreat profile image

helenathegreat 8 years ago from Manhattan Author

That's where the title comes from, Peter; I don't think you're the only one. ;)


Jungle Talk profile image

Jungle Talk 8 years ago

What a great selection of books. I'm thinking about a new dog and I have been reading some general breed books, but they don't seem to have the indepth impact that these look to have. Thanks so much for your hub, it's great!


helenathegreat profile image

helenathegreat 8 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks, Jungle Talk! You might want to check out my hub called Rescue, Buy, or Adopt. It'll have some more resources for you and a couple things to consider.

And if you find any other great books, come back and recommend them!


Bibliopet 7 years ago

Lovely books and great choice. I think you'd also like these ones:

1. Beef Casserole for the Dog's Soul, a treasury of barkalicious stories to read to your dog

2. Pack of Two by Caroline Knapp

3. Kindred Spirits, how the remarkable bond between humans and animals can change the way we live by Allen M. Schoen DVM, MS

4. The Nature of Animal Healing, the path to your pet's health, happiness and longevity by Martin Goldstein DVM

5. Dogs Never Lie About Love AND The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats by Jeffrey Masson (in fact everything he's ever written, including When Elephants Weep with Susan McCarthy.

6. The Loss of a Pet, a guide to coping with the grieving process when a pet dies by Wallace Sife PhD.

7. Animals as Healers and Teachers, true stories and reflections by Susan Chernak McElvoy

Peta xx


helenathegreat profile image

helenathegreat 7 years ago from Manhattan Author

Great recommendations, Bibliopet. Some of those I am very familiar with, and some of them I've never heard of! I will look into all of them, though. Thanks!

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