K999, for last chance dogs!

"your last call before the rescue centre"

Recommended Reading

During my early studies and research I found it difficult sorting through the huge volume of books to find the information I was looking for. Here is a list of some of the books I found most useful early on in my theory work or which I would recommend to other dog owners.

I am also a big fan of Ian Dunbar and his philosophies, so always recommend his work.

As with all theory work, it is a good idea to read a few different books offering differing views to give a good overall knowledge and understanding of your dog and the problem.


How to Speak Dog by Stanly Coren.  A great book on body language with some helpful diagrams. This book not only explains the sounds, actions and movements which will help owners to communicate most effectively with their dogs; it also deciphers the signs and signals our dogs are giving to us.

Canine Body Language: A Photographic Guide: Interpreting the Native Language of the Domestic Dog by Brenda Aloff.  
A really good guide to body language, plenty of photos, (in black and white, but they still get the point across). It's a bit pricey though, so maybe check out eBay or Amazon pre-owned.

The Dog?s Mind, understanding your dog's behavior by Bruce Fogle
This book is a bit more technical, it goes into great detail about the psychology of dog behaviour and is probably a bit much for the casually interested.

The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson. This book describes in a realistic way how dogs perceive their interactions and lives with us making working with our dog much clearer. She explains how modern thinking makes much more sense than the old style bully type training.


In Defence of Dogs: Why Dogs Need Our Understanding by John Bradshaw. This was one of the first books I read which closely reflected my own views on dogs as domestic companions. This is another book new or would be dog owners should read as it provides a comprehensive and realistic overview of how the domestic dog perceives us and how we, in turn, should perceive and interpret the dog.


The Natural & Everyday Guide to Understanding & Correcting Common Dog Problems by Cesar Milan with Melissa Jo Peltier. Whatever you think of him, this book explains in an easy to read format what it is to own a dog, from the dog's point of view. It offers a good perspective for first time dog owners (just ignore any 'being the Alpha' ideas or domination/submission theory).


Aggressive Behavior in Dogs, a comprehensive technical manual for professionals by James O?Hare. A very technical, in-depth book covering subjects such as categorical, anatomical and physiological aggression, biology of stress, neuropsychology and genetic influences. It would be of most use for more advanced studies.

Barking, the sound of language by Turid Rugaas. 
Turid Rugaas is well known for her work on identifying and utilising canine calming signals here she offers understanding and managing barking behaviour.

Mine! A practical guide to resource guarding in dogs, by Jean Donaldson. A practical how-to guide on resource guarding, including food bowls, objects, beds, crates and owners.


The Pit Bull Placebo: The Media, Myths and Politics of Canine Aggression, by Karen Delise. This is a fantastic piece of comprehensive research covering dog attacks on people from the end of the 19th century to the present day. The basic conclusion reached is there always have been attacks on people by dogs, but how the modern sensationalist media presents (or doesn't) the stories can lead certain breeds to become vilified. No longer are the actual or probable reason for the attack considered but only the headline grabbing myths and assumptions are presented. Pitbulls are just the latest dog in a long line of story selling 'devil dogs' created by the media, with Bloodhounds the first and even Newfoundlands fell foul of the media treatment early on!


How to Raise the Perfect Dog by Cesar Milan. Hodder & Stoughton. This book is based on Cesar's own detailed experiences raising individual puppies from some of the most popular breeds. He describes what to expect at each stage of puppy hood, and offers his advice for guiding the pups through these stages (again, just ignore any references to domination and submission). It also shows that being a certain breed doesn't have to define the type of behaviour that can be expected from the grown adult. Dogs are dogs first and breeds second.


The Way of the Wolf by L.David Mech. A noted wolf research biologist, 'wolfman' Dr L David Mech has studied wolves and their prey full-time since 1958. In this book Mech focuses on wolf behaviour and biology, offering an overview of the animals' social hierarchy, communication methods, feeding habits, courtship, and reproduction.

Stories; some good canine non-fiction....


The Lost Dogs by Jim Gorant

The Wolf Talk by Shaun Ellis

Dogtown: Tales of Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Redemption by Stefan Bechtel

Buster's Diaries as Told to Roy Hattersley by Roy Hattersley.


and fiction....

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein