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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-30-2013, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Top Five Books for a new dog owner

I'd like an overall book on training etc but I REALLY REALLY want a REALLY good book on canine psychology. And then one on pointer dogs because that's something I want to train my dog in somewhat.

thanks,
Soaren
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-30-2013, 01:20 AM
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That question is nearly impossible to answer since there are so many different schools of thought and training methods that all seem to work. The New Skete Monks seem to have a very thorough book on basic dog psychology. But a training manual is going to be the one that works best for that particular dog and that specific owner. It is all about what you are comfortable with and how much time you are going to invest to get the results that you want. I am assuming that your dog is not a GSD because I have never heard of a herding dog trained to be a pointer. Their predatory instincts are very hard to overcome and very difficult to get get the dog to do something so out of character or breed guidelines. I'm not saying it cannot be done, it is just going to take longer and require more patience to get there. Good luck and let us know how it works out..

Wheelchair Bob
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-30-2013, 01:13 PM
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Top five:

(1) The Other End of the Leash, Patricia McConnell -- as good as you'll get by way of "canine psychology" introductions.

(2) Bones Would Rain From the Sky, Suzanne Clothier -- not really a training book or about dog psychology; more a philosophical meditation on our relationships with dogs, how we choose to interact with them, and what the rewards are of doing so carefully, conscientiously, and with awareness of the quality of our relationships. I reread this book often.

(3) The Power of Positive Dog Training, Pat Miller (if you want a more thorough version) OR Family-Friendly Dog Training, Patricia McConnell (if you want the quicker version and want to involve the whole family) OR The Puppy Primer, Patricia McConnell (if you want the quicker version and have a puppy). Basic training primers, good place to get started with just about any dog.

(4) The Adopted Dog Bible, Kim Saunders/Petfinder.com. It doesn't actually matter if your dog was purchased or adopted, this is a good broad overview of basic health issues, caretaking practices, training tips, etc. Good introductory book that covers all the beginner bases.

(5) Control Unleashed, Leslie McDevitt -- I add this one with some hesitation, because it is really not geared for the novice owner. But the information in it is SO good and SO thorough that if you are thinking of doing any sports or work with your dog, it has to be on your list at some point.


If you want more on "dog psychology," some good pop treatments include John Bradshaw's Dog Sense, Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs (although his actual intelligence metrics are somewhat controversial as they tend to emphasize trainability over independent problem-solving skills), and maaaaybe Alexandra Horowitz's Inside of a Dog, although IMO it is decidedly second-tier next to the others.

I would not recommend the Monks of New Skete for dog psychology. Not by a long shot.

As far as pointer training goes, that's something you can't really get out of a book, and probably can't get out of a dog that hasn't been specifically bred for it. Instinct is crucial for a good working bird dog.

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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-30-2013, 01:50 PM
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I'd also recommend The Other End Of The Leash, by Patricia McConnell.


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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-30-2013, 02:44 PM
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Pointer dogs? Well you don't train "pointing" - it is an instinctive part of the hunt sequence and hard wired into pointers to stop there and not complete the rest of the sequence. Not a GSD "thing" though you may see it momentarily.

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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-30-2013, 02:46 PM
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I just ordered "The Other End of the Leash", to see if I can pick up any insight into Joey's psychology.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 07-30-2013, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jocoyn View Post
Pointer dogs? Well you don't train "pointing" - it is an instinctive part of the hunt sequence and hard wired into pointers to stop there and not complete the rest of the sequence. Not a GSD "thing" though you may see it momentarily.
I'm trying to think how you even would try to train it, and the best I can come up with is to do it as a completely artificial trick: (1) capture the point position; (2) put it on cue; (3) add the presence of a bird as a secondary cue (this would require having some sort of caged game bird as a practice prop, which seems difficult to obtain and quite probably inhumane to use); (4) fade the original cue and use the bird's presence as the exclusive final cue.

That does not get you anything close to an actual bird dog. It just gets you a dog who can point at an obviously present game bird, and that's only IF you can also convince the dog not to just chase the bird for fun instead (which is gonna be a tall order for a lot of prey-driven GSDs).

It could be a fun little challenge and you could probably spin it into an amusing trick (here I'm imagining a dog who cheerfully POINTS! to toy sailboats, a hair dryer, a tennis ball, etc., all the while ignoring an actual game bird strutting around in the background), but that's about as far as it would go.


Also, back to the original question, I forgot to list Patricia McConnell's For the Love of a Dog as another good "dog psych" recommendation.

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-04-2013, 12:06 PM
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I really like the books by the Monks of New Skete. Although they aren't specifically about psychology of dogs, I think the authors have a lot of good insight into the relationship between dog and owner and how a dog's mind works.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-10-2013, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Merciel View Post
(1) The Other End of the Leash, Patricia McConnell -- as good as you'll get by way of "canine psychology" introductions.
I've read "The Other End of the Leash" by Patricia McConnell couple months ago, it's quite good and isn't expensive. Definitely a good recommendation.

Hope it helps, John.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 01-03-2014, 12:02 AM
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I can't say enough good things about this book, they really breakdown the behaviour and is easy too read & understand. It goes over from day one to year one of your pups life.

Control Unleashed, Leslie McDevitt --http://www.cleanrun.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&Product_ID=30 80&ParentCat=175
Control Unleashed®: The Puppy Program is meant as “preventive medicine” for puppy raisers. Many common behavior problems can be either prevented or minimized by starting a puppy with good foundation training from the beginning. In addition, this book provides a program that will help you create a puppy that is ready for sport-specific training at the appropriate age—a puppy with the ability to focus on whatever you want, for as long as you want, whenever you want.

“Paying attention” is its own skill set and teaching it should be separate from teaching your puppy more complex behaviors. Without attention, you won’t get as far as you want with all those other behaviors you’re going to teach because it’s likely they will fall apart in the face of distraction. So it is wise to teach the attention skill set as the “base of operations” for your puppy training. The attention skill set includes: Discrimination skills, self-control skills, and arousal regulation skills.

Last edited by pressured41; 01-03-2014 at 12:06 AM.
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