There are literally thousands of dog training books on the market. There are books by professional trainers, dog behavioral experts, veterinarians, breeders and others that have worked with dogs in the past. Every one of the books will have good ideas and strategies to use, but many will have less desirable or even distasteful training methods. It is important to understand several aspects when determining what type of dog training book that is most useful to you.
German Shepherd Specific Dog Training Books
Nearly all breed specific training books are helpful for many different reasons. They will give you the temperament of the particular breed, and most of them recommend a number of training strategies that will work well with the particular breed. In addition these books provide very specific information about problems or difficulties in working with the specific breed. It’s important to always remember that dogs are unique individuals, your dog may not have the exact behavior or temperament that is listed in the breed specific dog training book. Be ready to individualize the program based on both your personality and your dogs’.
Often books promote a specific method of training that can be used across a wide variety of breeds. These books are very useful and can help provide consistency in training the dog. Many also contain CD-ROMs or DVD’s to watch that will help you understand the training program in action. These general books can be broken down into working with small, medium and large breed dogs as there are different strategies that are effective for certain aspects of training.
Specific Dog Training Books
Many breeds have been developed because they have a specific talent or ability. Hunting dogs or tracking dogs have natural abilities to hunt or track, but they will require special training to be able to be effective and to be able to use their abilities on command. Retrievers and guard dogs require special training to hone their skills in these areas. If you own a dog that you are trying to train for a special skill, remember that a general dog training book will not likely have the detailed information that you may be seeking.
It is important to skim through the book or research the training method before you decide if this is the book for you and your dog. Many books focus on a positive training method that works on the strength of the dog and builds up their abilities. Some books require use of only their program, where others are more flexible about taking ideas from various programs or books. There are still some programs that are more punishment focused, and the great majority of people are not comfortable using these programs. Most professional breeders and trainers do not recommend these methods.
Talk to your breeder, groomer, veterinarian or rescue shelter workers to see what books they recommend. Most dog owners are happy to talk to others interested in dogs, so ask other pet owner what they have used. A well-behaved dog is always a good reference for a particular dog training book or program.