Reading List for People Owned by Dogs
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.)
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.
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.