Reading List

Dog Books I’ve Read since March 2011

(Click on a title to read my review of the book. Titles in bold are some of my favorites and come highly recommended.)

  1. The Power of Positive Dog Training, by Pat Miller
  2. How to Speak Dog, Stanley Coren
  3. The Art of Raising a Puppy, The Monks of New Skete
  4. Dogs Behaving Badly, Nicholas Dodman
  5. The Puppy Report, Larry Shook
  6. Why We Love the Dogs We Do, Stanley Coren
  7. The Secret Lives of Dogs, Jana Murphy
  8. The Difficulty of Being a Dog, Roger Grenier
  9. The Other End of the Leash, Patricia McConnell (read 2x)
  10. Animals Make Us Human, Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson
  11. The Perfect Match, Chris Walkowicz
  12. Flush, a Biography, Virginia Woolf
  13. The Latchkey Dog, Jodi Andersen
  14. Bad Dog: A Love Story, Martin Kihn
  15. The Hidden Life of Dogs, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas
  16. The Seven Ages of Man’s Best Friend, Jan Fennell
  17. Inside of a Dog, Alexandra Horowitz
  18. Dogged Pursuit, Robert Rodi
  19. Adopting a Dog, John Ross and Barbara McKinney
  20. The Canine Good Citizen, Jack and Wendy Volhard
  21. The Dog Who Loved Too Much, Nicholas Dodman
  22. For the Love of a Dog, Patricia McConnell
  23. The Dog Whisperer, Paul Owens
  24. Cesar’s Way, Cesar Millan
  25. The Adopted Dog Bible, Kim Saunders
  26. Bones Would Rain from the Sky, Suzanne Clothier
  27. Training the Hard-to-Train Dog, Peggy Swager
  28. Shaggy Muses, Maureen Adams
  29. If Only They Could Speak, Nicholas Dodman
  30. Love Has No Age Limit, Patricia B. McConnell and Karen B. London
  31. Dog’s Best Friend, Mark Derr
  32. Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, Richard H. Pitcairn
  33. The Well Dog Book, Terri McGinnis
  34. Dog Sense, John Bradshaw
  35. Dog Is My Co-Pilot, Ed. The Bark
  36. Rin Tin Tin, Susan Orlean
  37. Volunteering with Your Pet, Mary R. Burch
  38. Dog Years, Mark Doty
  39. Animals in Translation, Temple Grandin and Catherine Johnson
  40. Pack of Two, Caroline Knapp
  41. Surviving Your Dog’s Adolescence, Carol Lea Benjamin
  42. The New Work of Dogs, Jon Katz
  43. Natural Dog Care, Celeste Yarnall
  44. Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs, Lew Olson
  45. Clicker Training for Dogs, Karen Pryor
  46. Dogs Never Lie about Love, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
  47. The Dog’s Mind, Bruce Fogle
  48. The Animal Manifesto, Marc Bekoff
  49. In a Dog’s Heart, Jennifer Arnold
  50. Agility Training for You and Your Dog, Ali Canova and Joe Canova
  51. Why Does My Dog Act That Way? Stanley Coren
  52. A Dog Is Listening, Roger Caras
  53. Adopt the Perfect Dog, Gwen Bailey
  54. Don’t Shoot the Dog! Karen Pryor
  55. My Dog Tulip, J.R. Ackerley
  56. The Tellington TTouch, Linda Tellington-Jones
  57. Cautious Canine, Patricia McConnell
  58. On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals, Turid Rugaas
  59. Control Unleashed, Leslie McDevitt
  60. Doggerel, Angela Patmore
  61. The Big New Yorker Book of Dogs
  62. Pukka’s Promise: The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs, Ted Kerasote
  63. The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter Than You Think, Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods
  64. The Possibility Dogs, Susannah Charleson
  65. Dogs, Raymond Coppinger and Lorna Coppinger
  66. Chaser, John W. Pilley and Hilary Hinzmann
  67. Find Momo, Andrew Knapp
  68. Decoding Your Dog, eds. Debra Horwitz, John Ciribassi, and Steve Dale
  69. Dog Songs, Mary Oliver
  70. Dogs I Have Met: And the People They Found, Ken Foster
  71. If Dogs Could Talk: Exploring the Canine Mind, Vilmos Csányi
  72. Doggerel: Poems about Dogs, ed. Carmela Ciuraru
  73. What’s a Dog For?, John Homans
  74. A Wolf Called Romeo, Nick Jans
  75. Citizen Canine, David Grimm
  76. Dogs Rule Nonchalantly, Mark Ulriksen
  77. What the Dog Knows, Cat Warren
  78. Animal Madness, Laurel Braitman
  79. Unleashed: Poems by Writer’s Dogs, Amy Hempel
  80. In Defence of Dogs, John Bradshaw
  81. Pit Bull, Bronwen Dickey

Dog Books I’d Like to Read

Culture Clash, Jean Donaldson
How to Train Your Dog Like a Pro, Jean Donaldson
Ruff Love, Susan Garrett
How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves, Sophia Yin

Any recommendations? What are some of your favorite dog books?


33 thoughts on “Reading List

  1. I’m seconding Queen of Zoom – definitely read Jon Katz’s books. You can also check out his blog and all sorts of other interesting things at his website

    1. I have to agree with the comment below. Cesar Milan does not belong on the list. Those who really subscribe to positive reinforcement do not even embrace the Monks of New Skete, let alone Cesar. (That said, I have also read the Monks’ books, and was still able to take some good things away from them. Can’t say the same for Cesar.)

      The very good positive reinforcement trainers and authors, like Patricia McConnell, Pat Miller, Karen Pryor, Jean Donaldson and the others, are science-based, and see the bond between you and your dog very differently than simply “being the alpha.”

      Some of my favorite books (other than the ones you’ve already found): Temple Grandin, Animals in Translation; Jean Donaldson, Dogs are from Neptune; Karen Pryor, Don’t Shoot the Dog. And for great photos to learn doggie behavior and body language, try Brenda Aloff, Canine Body Language: A Photographic Guide and Barbara Handelman, Canine Behavior: A Photo Illustrated Handbook.

      How I envy that you will have all of this knowledge before you get your dog — I feel I am just trying to play catch up all the time with my rescued GSD mix. And oh, how lucky that dog will be to have you!

  2. You’re picking great books! Patricia McConnell and Pat Miller are particularly wonderful! If you are considering a rescue, be sure to read Patricia McConnell’s brand new book, Love Has No Age Limit, and Pat Miller’s book Do Over Dogs. And if you are considering a puppy, Ian Dunbar’s books are superb.

    Your patience will help you so much in the long run. I only wish I had a smidge of the knowledge I’ve picked up with my rescue when I started with her! Please make sure you are blogging when you finally find that special dog, so we can find out how it’s going!

  3. To delve into dog cognition research, read:

    Dog Behaviour, Evolution, and Cognition by Dr. Ádám Miklósi.

    Dog Sense, Dr. John Bradshaw’s new book.

    and a book you should buy for your local animal shelter – Dr. Patricia McConnell’s new book on adopting older dogs.



  4. Trying to decide what WP template to use, I just stumbled across this site and noticed that Garth Stein’s novel, “The Art of Racing in the Rain” isn’t included in the Dog Books List. It’s a wonderful book with an absolutely marvelous, powerful, touching ending and I feel it should definitely be on your reading list. Hope you enjoy it, and no, I don’t have anything to gain by recommending this book to you.

  5. Hi Abby,

    Before we got our Dachshund Jarah, I also did over a year of research into natural dog behavior and natural dog training. For me the books and DVD’s of Turid Rugaas were a tremendous help. For me it really was a leap of faith to do things so completely different than I was used to do with my other dogs, but I’m so glad I did. It paid off big time!! I started with Turid Rugaas’ book and DVD about “Calming signals” and then that lead me to reading more of her work.

    To get an idea of what Turid Rugaas is all about I’m giving you a link to two of her articles on this webpage:

    Her books and DVD’s can be found on this page:

    Just like Julie commented, I can also highly recommend the book “Dog Sense” by John Bradshaw. This link will lead you to an interview with the author and an excerpt from the book:

    I can also recommend a fascinating training method called SATS, developed by Kayce Cover . Personally I don’t believe in “dog training”, and I am most certainly not a fan of Cesar Milan’s methods. I would like to see “training” more as a form of communication( using the knowledge of natural dog behavior/language), based on mutual respect and leadership. SATS fits in there beautifully.

    Another very important aspect of dogs is their health , and you should really look into the shocking world of the pet food industry. There’s plenty of info to be found on the internet, just do a Google on “the truth about pet food” or something. I can highly recommend feeding your dog a natural diet of raw fish or meat, cooked veggies, and the occasional raw bone. I’ve been feeding like that for over 10 years, and rescued my allergic Old-German Shepherd from having to be put down. Luckily the raw natural diet is becoming increasingly popular amongst dog/cat owners nowadays, and there are plenty of books written about it. Ian Billinghurst, Tom Lonsdale, Kymythy Schulze are the pioneers, but I’m sure there are more interesting books out there. You can do a Google on “BARF” or on “raw natural diet for dogs”.

    For first aid and health problems I’ve also found “Natural health for dogs and cats” written by dr. Pitcairn very helpful in:

    Good luck with your reading, you have a lovely website!

    From Holland,

  6. Hello Abby. I am happy to have stumbled upon your blog. It seems we have quite a similar project going on, a blog about dogs we might be about to own once. Mine’s in German, however. So … I agree with the recommendation of the books by Turid Rugaas. They are a quick read with very helpful insights. If you like books using a more scientific approach I recommend “Dog Language” and “The Evolution of Canine Social Behavior” by Roger Abrantes. A very good book about the principles of learning/conditioning would be “How dogs learn” by Mary Burch & Jon Bailey. Good luck!

  7. Wonderful that you are reading such a variety. There is no one methodology that suits each dog/owner team about all things, all the time. Having a wealth of knowledge to sift through will allow you to be creative, flexible and adaptable in your role as your dog’s caretaker. Great project! Your dog will be one lucky little soul…

  8. This page is fantastic, although it makes me feel rubbish for not having read anywhere near as many dog books and I have a dog! I cannot recommend “On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals” by Turid Rugaas enough, I see you have it on the planned list. Everyone who has a dog should read this in my opinion, so helpful both for interacting with your dog and working out what’s going on when dogs get together.

    I’d also recommend “Train Your Dog Like a Pro” by Jean Donaldson, it includes an excellent method (Drop, Stick, Push) for ensuring that your dog “gets” what you are trying to teach before you move onto the next step in training a behaviour, it has really increased the speed with which Ted learns new things.

  9. This is reminding me to reread Thomas Mann’s “Bashan and I.” I absolutely loved it several years ago, enormously moving.

  10. Another one to add would be the newly released ‘In Defence of Dogs’ by John Bradshaw. I saw you had read another one by him – but this sounds very interesting as my husband keeps reading snippets to me as I wait for him to finish it!

  11. I’m watching a DVD series on working with fearful dogs. It’s put together by Emma Parsons who wrote Click to Calm about clicker training to help dogs build confidence. I read it a few years ago and found it really helpful. I need to get it out from the library again for working with our current foster.

    It would fit well on your list and I bet you’d like it.

  12. Another Godsend book: When Pigs Fly! Training Success With Impossible Dogs by Jane Killion……Her methods are beautifully positive and one of the best for explaining how to free shape behaviors. For anyone with Terriers, or hounds or dogs that are innately ‘non-biddable’ this will make you fall in love with your “when pigs fly dog” and make training a delight!

  13. I love this list! Someone looked at my bookshelf the other day and said slowly, “You own a lot of dog books.” I’ll lend you Ruff Love and I would love to borrow Calming Signals. I also have Sophia Yin’s puppy book, which probably has some cross over in her other book.

  14. I don’t have any books to recommend but I love your list. 🙂 What an incredible amount of reading you have done! It’s great too that you read books of authors with different opinions, because then you can form your own viewpoint from the advice that’s out there.

    One of my projects for the upcoming year is to start writing reviews of dog books for our local obedience club’s newsletter. I’m starting with your list!

  15. Just wanted to say thanks! Your page is so helpful- will definitely be sharing 🙂 I also thought I’d pass along a suggestion/contribution! I recently bought this book on Amazon I read the entire thing front to back in like an hour and it is literally the reason I even started raw feeding! Something I never saw myself doing as a vegan haha, but it’s so amazing at explaining why the diet is so important. I thought your list was so amazing and comprehensive, so I wanted to pass it along in case you wanted to add it. I hope it changes other peoples’ lives! 🙂

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