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Animal Care Books

These are some of the books in my own personal collection that I recommend and that I have used in writing the material for this website and for caring for my own pets and those at our shelter.  Most are available from Amazon.  This list will expand to include other topics as I have time. In the mean time if you have any questions about a book for a specific problem not covered please feel free to email me and I will make a recommendation if I can.


 Two Best all round books on dog/cat care:

Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Cat Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

both are by Delbert Carlson, Liisa (really are two ii's!) Carlson, Debra Eldredge, and James Giffin and new editions of both published in 2007.

 Basic Training and House Manners

These are good basic books on getting started on a positive foundation. I highly recommend anything by Patricia McConnell. Also from my own experience, I highly discourage any method of training that emphasizes punishment, fear, or anything painful or not fun for both you and your dog.

Dogs DO NOT do things intentionally to make you mad and they do not understand anything that does not immediately follow their action. For example, yelling at a dog because you find an "accident" makes no more sense than yelling at a baby who has wet their diaper. Even if a dog looks "guilty" they are not feeling guilt as we know it, they are simply reacting by being afraid of a misguided owner. Training should be fun, and based on showing your dog what you want, and rewarding him for doing it---NOT on frightening a dog or punishing it into submission. In the example of "finding an accident", if you find an accident your only sensible recourse is to clean it up, not punish the dog!  Then be certain you take the dog out to the appropriate area to eliminate more often and reward him for doing his business in the right place. It won't be immediate, but your dog will learn. And in the meantime, thatís where crate training and just plain keeping a closer watch on the dog come in. If you catch a dog in the act, a mild scolding and redirecting (as in taking it outside to potty) is in order but never punish or even show disapproval at something thatís already done. The poor dog just won't have a clue.  A lot of dog training is training you to understand the world from the dog's perspective!

 The Power of Positive Dog Training by Pat Miller

Family Friendly Dog Training by Patricia McConnell

Rover, Get Off Her Leg by Darlene Arden

Way to Go--how to housetrain a dog of any age by Karen London and Patricia McConnell

 Clicker Training

Many people swear by clicker training. It is described on the website www.clickertraining.com.  It employs a little handheld, very inexpensive device that makes a clicking sound and cues your dog to perform an action.  I have found that some of my dogs react very well to clicker training and some have not responded as well, but I readily admit that any lack of progress may have totally been my fault. So many people have gotten such good results from clicker training that I believe it is a very workable method.

Getting Started--clicker training for dogs by Karen Pryor

Clicking with your Dog by Peggy Tillman

Click for Joy by Melissa C. Alexander

 Good Books on Understanding your Dog

Seeing the world from their point of view and understanding why they do what they do

Canine Body Language by Brenda Aloff

Culture Clash--A Revolutionary Way to Understanding the Relationship Between Humans and Domestic Dogs by Jean Donaldson

The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell

For the Love of a Dog--Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend by Patricia McConnell

On Talking Terms With Dogs by Turid Rugaas

Barking--the Sound of a Language by Turid Rugaas

 Just Plain Good Reading

 Anything by James Herriot (All Creatures Great and Small, All Things Bright and Beautiful, All Things Wise and Wonderful, The Lord God Made Them All)  These stories of the experiences of a British country vet in a simpler time are some of my all time favorites!

 Lessons from a Girl's Best Friend by Michelle McKinney Hammond - The story of a once reluctant dog lover and her two Shih Tzus

 Purrables from Heaven--Devotions for Cat Lovers by M.R. Wells, Dottie Adams, and Connie Fleishauer

 The Gospel According to Sam by William Miller great chronicle of an Episcopalian priest and his Airedale, Sam

 Saturdays With Stella--How My dog Taught Me to Sit, Stay and Come When God Calls by Allison Pittman

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