Books

I love this book: Plenty in Life Is Free: Reflections on Dogs, Training and Finding Grace
Kathy Sdao has a sense of humor; she loves dogs; she loves training dogs; she makes it both pleasurable and straightforward in this short and sweet book.

I’ve recommended Jean Donaldson’s book Culture Clash for years but this book is newer, better, easier to read AND includes a DVD of techniques–and it’s still by Jean Donaldson–so if you buy one book, buy this one:
Train Your Dog Like a Pro

Another book by Jean Donaldson:
The Culture Clash: A Revolutionary New Way to Understanding the Relationship Between Humans and Domestic Dogs
Positive training methods (including clicker training) explained with an eye toward the science of training. Donaldson clearly loves dogs. Suffers from a tendency toward wordiness, but every time I read it I find something new in those words.

Techniques for Helping Your Dog Learn to Focus on You, Instead of …
This book is full of methods that can help you work with a scatter-brained dog:
Control Unleashed – Creating a Focused and Confident Dog

What to Do With a New Puppy
Ian Dunbar loves dogs and treats them kindly. His methods are positive… and they work. They work really well.
Before and After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Dog

Great Books and DVDs on Dog Training and Why I Like Them

Jean Donaldson The Culture Clash: A Revolutionary New Way to Understanding the Relationship Between Humans and Domestic Dogs

Karen Pryor Don’t Shoot the Dog!: The New Art of Teaching and Training
Clicker training explained by a master. A master with a sense of humor. She just came out with a new book (reviewed in July, 2009); if you want to order it, here’s a link: Reaching the Animal Mind: Clicker Training and What It Teaches Us About All Animals

Bobbie Anderson Building Blocks for Performance
Teaching puppies how to learn. Invaluable.

Bob Bailey is one of the pioneers of clicker training. He has a five hour treatise on animal training on his DVD set: The Fundamentals of Animal Training by Bob Bailey

Turid Rugaas wrote a wonderful book that will help you observe your dog and understand what is going on in that brain: On Talking Terms With Dogs: Calming Signals. There’s a DVD that goes with the book, too: Calming Signals: What Your Dog Tells You

Jane Killion’s book When Pigs Fly!: Training Success with Impossible Dogs describes very specific methods for training challenging dogs. Sometimes it seems like every other dog out there is learning something quickly–and your dog isn’t. Killion has some very specific methods for those moments. We all have challenges!

This isn’t a book, but Susan Garrett’s DVD on basic agility training is amazing: two hours of practical exercises using one jump:
Success with One Jump

And Susan’s DVD on crate games will help your dog love his crate:
Susan Garrett’s Crate Games for Self-Control and Motivation

Canine Massage

I know it sounds nutty. Really. But massaging your dog is a source of pleasure for both of you, and will making training more enjoyable. Cindy DiFranco’s DVD is a good introduction: Hands On – Canine Therapeutic Massage for Sports and Pet Dogs

Some Ideas for Improving Your Own Fitness

I train using Gray Cook’s system for flexibility and balance, as well as strength and power. (I also do what my high school coaches called “wind sprints.”) There’s a book Gray Cook book and a video Gray Cook video.

Starting Agility
Margaret Bonham’s book is a good place to start:
Introduction to Dog Agility

More Than You Ever Wanted to Know About Standard Poodles

The Complete Standard Poodle

The Best Book on Poodle Grooming
Poodle Clipping and Grooming: The International Reference (Howell Reference Books)
Shirley Kalstone’s book explains the breed standard and how to groom a poodle for the show ring. The book also has a HUGE amount of information about grooming tools and techniques. Instructions are also given for a wide variety of fun and practical clips too.

Introducing Children to Dogs
My friend Wendy Wahman (who has three charming poodles of her own) wrote this book Don’t Lick the Dog: Making Friends with Dogs to help parents introduce their children to dogs safely. Her illustrations are wonderful, and the book makes a great present for a child.

If you didn’t find what you were looking for, you can search the two million books at Portland’s wonderful Powell’s Books:

Click here to visit Powell's Books!