Books

The Total Dog Manual is the book I wish had existed when I first started thinking about getting a dog. It doesn't have a lot of depth but it covers a LOT of ground--from whether getting a dog is the right decision for you all the way through to training and healthcare issues. How to Raise the Perfect Dog is by the oft-reviled Cesar Millan--I followed a lot of his advice in here about introducing Chance to his new home, establishing threshold boundaries, and feeding rituals. I briefly and tentatively attempted the leash-popping method described in here and popularized on his show, "The Dog Whisperer," but it didn't work for me (working with Matt Beisner of THE ZEN DOG was far more effective). The Other End of the Leash is one of the cornerstone works on dog behavior, written by an actual, honest-to-goodness animal behaviorist, Patricia McConnell--this one is worth the price of admission if for no other reason than the photos in the middle of the book that explain what different dog "expressions" actually mean. Finally, 101 Dog Tricks is a straightforward, well-laid-out aid for clicker-training commands, from the basics like sit and stay to fancy stuff like fetching the newspaper.