How to choose a good dog training book/guide

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There probably are enough books on dog training and dog behaviour to fill a whole library on their own!  Most of them will probably make interesting reading but its hard to know which one's will be suitable to use on your own dog(s).

When it all comes down to it every dog is different - & I'm not just talking about differences in breeds.  Indicidual dogs within a breed are unique.

I have spaniel's and all of them have entirely different personalities.  This is why its hard to make one set of rules fit different individual dogs.

For example, "it's me or the dog" might have been on tv and the dog she was trying to improve was agressive, so she does this with him and she does that with the owners and at the end.....(miraculously!!!) the dog is perfectly well behaved.  Now you also have a dog who is aggressive and decide that you will try out her techniques.....can it work?.....well the odds are slim, because there are various different types of aggression and it isnt until you know how to differentiate between them that you can begin improving the behaviour.  So unless your dog just happens to be displaying the same kind of aggression in the same circumstances and in the same way it hasnt got much chances of working and could even end up making your dog worse.

Therefore rule one is never follow advice that you see on tv or in book when it comes to potentially serious problems such as aggression.  Some one may wind up getting hurt.

It is often said that you should obey some one in a position to know what they are talking about even if you dont quite understand why.  Well that may be true in many cases but when it comes to you training your dog its vitally important to understand why a particular technique might be effective.  As another example - we ae often told that we need to be the dominant one in our relationship with our dog, whilst many of us accept that - its only when it is explained to us how a wolf or dog pack works that we truly understand the sense of it.

So when you are considering buying a training or behaviour book make sure that the reasons why they work are explained.

Once you learn why and how something works you are better able to tweek and adapt bits in order to adjust the rules to your dogs needs.

Instinct is also a very important factor.  For example when you are reading something about training and behaviour and you find yourself thinking  - that doesnt seem quite right I dont like the sound of that - dont just assume that they are the experts and so know better than you do whats best for your dog - if you are in doubt do some more research on it and if you still dont like it - dont follow it.

NEVER follow advice which promotes physical punnishment, choke chains, shock collars or scent release collars because they are harsh, needless and the citronella in scent collars can actually be addictive to dogs causing them to bark more!

Dont just look at one option and decide thats the best - how do you know if you havent heard of any others?  Be open minded and listen to advice from experienced owners and trainers that you personally know.  Sometimes its from such people that you get some fantastic information.

I saw a program which was following police dog trainers and sheep dog trainers the other day and it was one of the best programs on training I had even seen - I learned more than I ever have from a tv show - & I'm a psychologist!

I hope this has been of help to you all. 

Thank you for reading this.


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