Training School recommended reading list

Basic training for dogs and puppies

"The Power of Positive Dog Training" by Pat Miller. Pat Miller is a prolific writer for many dog magazines, including Dog Fancy and Whole Dog Journal, and this book is a must for every pet owner’s library.

"Culture Clash" (2nd Edition) by Jean Donaldson. A popular book that challenges our assumptions about how dogs think and how we think about them.

"Don’t Shoot the Dog!" by Karen Pryor. Use operant conditioning not only to train your dog, but to change the behavior of your child, your spouse, your boss, or others. Really!

"Clicking With Your Dog Step-by-Step in Pictures" by Peggy Tillman. An illustrated guide on teaching your dog manners and tricks by using a clicker.

"The Other End Of The Leash" by Patricia McConnell. Entertaining book on how our behavior influences the behavior of our dogs.

"For The Love Of A Dog — Understanding Emotion In You And Your Best Friend" by Patricia McConnell. A look at canine emotion and body language. Do dogs share an emotional life with us? A must read for every dog lover.

"Dr. Dunbar’s Good Little Dog Book" by Ian Dunbar. 2nd edition, Dr. Dunbar is a psychologist and veterinarian who has been instrumental in promoting kinder, gentler dog training all around the world. In 1993, Dr. Dunbar founded the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT), the largest dog professional dog trainers’ association in the world.

"Labrador Retrievers for Dummies" by Joel Walton and Eve Adamson. Not just for labs! This is a great primer for anyone with a new dog or puppy of any breed.

The Gentle Leader™ Booklet and DVD. Comes with the Gentle Leader™ system or may be obtained by contacting the Animal Humane Society Training School. Describes correct use of the Gentle Leader™ Gentle Leader™ headcollars are available at Animal Humane Society's Training School.

"Way To Go! How To Housetrain A Dog Of Any Age" by Karen B. London, Ph.D. and Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D. A step-by-step plan to get your dog eliminating outside.

"Positive Puppy Training Works" by Joel Walton, Certified Professional Dog Trainer. Dr. Dunbar says, “If you have a puppy, or are thinking about getting a puppy, buying this book is the smartest thing you can do.”

"The Ultimate Puppy Tool Kit™" Developed by Urban Puppy Inc. Distributed by Premier™ The experiences and learning your puppy has during the first 16 weeks of life are crucial to the development of a behaviorally healthy dog. This step-by-step toolkit will help you get your puppy off to the right start.

"Before And After Getting Your Puppy" by Ian Dunbar. Sold as a single book or as 2 books. Invaluable advice on what Dr. Dunbar calls the six developmental deadlines for puppies.

Pet selection and breed information

"Paws to Consider: Choosing the Right Dog for You and Your Family" by Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson. Many breed books will give you information about a breed’s eventual size, color, and history, but little else that’s helpful to the average pet owner. This book divides dogs by breed types and describes how the original function of the breed impacts life in your home.

Dogs and children

"Living With Kids And Dogs…Without Losing Your Mind" by Colleen Pelar

"Raising Puppies and Kids Together A Guide for Parents" by Pia Silvani and Lynn Eckhardt

These books are a necessity for any home with children and dogs. They are filled with advice on how to live successfully with your dog and a child of any age. If you are planning a family or are expecting a baby, get one of these books now!

Many of these books can be found in your local bookstore. Others are more easily found at Dogwise, specializing in quality dog books. You can find Dogwise on the Internet at or call 800-776-2665.

Another behavior resource

Need advice about your pet’s behavior? From litter box issues to problems with your guinea pig, this is the number to call! Call 763-489-2202 to leave a message and an Animal Humane Society Training and Behavior staff person will return your call with information on any pet issue you might be having.

Call and information are free of charge and open to the public.

If you adopted your pet from us or if you are an enrolled Training School student, please call the Training School directly at 763-489-2217 for an immediate response.

For caring, compassionate advice and resources to address all your animal concerns.

Contact the Pet Helpline