It’s important to train dogs so they come back when called for their own safety (and that of others) and to keep them near traffic or when scared (loud barks, fireworks etc). Most dogs who don’t recall or obey commands, is usually due to lack of trust. Dogs naturally love to learn, so learn from the experts, not fashionable TV shows that often use methods not approved of by genuine dog trainers.
The Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors is a network of friendly professional practitioners who work alongside a vet-led team to help behavioural problems in all species. It offers in-person and remote services (including internationally) and has useful free factsheets that you can download (by species and problem).
Steve Mann’s dog-training books
Steve Mann is one of the world’s most respected animal behavourists and dog trainers. Not only does he offer a lot of books on dog training (including by breed) but his book for children is ideal for anyone who just wants the simple basics.
- Easy Peasy Labrador
- Easy Peasy Cocker Spaniel
- Easy Peasy Labradoodle
- Easy Peasy Cockerpoo
- Easy Peasy French Bulldog
Blue Cross campaigns against irresponsible breeding of brachycephalic pets (English/French bulldogs, pugs, Boston terriers, Cavalier King Charles spaniels, shih tzus, boxers and Persian cats) that find it difficult to breathe and are more at risk from heatstroke.
What Dogs Want is a fun illustrated guide to why dogs bark and what he or she is thinking. Learn how to avoid separation anxiety, and learn why dogs wag their tails. Learn how your dog’s brain works, so you can train them at any age from puppy upwards. The author is an animal behavourist who specialises in dogs and cats with behavioural problems (including aggression, fear, phobias, anxiety, barking, indoor toileting, destructive behaviours, urine marking/spaying, repetititve behaviour, mouthing/biting, pulling on the lead, jumping up and being anti-social (in other words, everything!)
Doggie Language is a lovely book by illustrator Lili Chin, whose works are often feature on posters for vet and behaviour clinics worldwide. Learn how to recognise facial signals in dogs to know if they are happy, scared or about to attack. By learning to spot signals of your dog’s body language, you help to make him or her happy, well-trained and safer to be around. Learn how your dog uses his ears, eyes, mouth, tail and posture to communicate with you. Also read What’s Up Pup?, on how dogs (even without words) can ask to play, get scratches or just say ‘I love you’. From sniffers and ears to muzzles and rears, from tail wags to tongue flicks and everything inbetween, learn how your pup ‘talks to you’.
Positive Training for Aggressive & Reactive Dogs features iinstructions and illustrations to help eliminate aggression, barking, timidity, fear and reactivity. It includes case studies and interviews with top trainers, vets and behaviourists. The author is a highly qualified dog trainer and behaviourist in the US, who specialises in training troubled dogs (especially ones that are reactive/aggressive to people or other dogs).
don’t learn from ‘celebrity dog trainers’
Respected dog trainer Dr Ian Dunbar is not a fan of celebrity dog trainers, saying that although their methods may work for them, they often don’t work for people at home, as they don’t have the skills or experience (and some of them even use choke collars, which are highly frowned upon, by positive dog trainers). Learning how dogs thinks is often key to stop them being jealous or aggressive.
Train Your Dog Online is an 8-week course based on kind effective methods by one of the nation’s best dog trainers. Perfect for puppies and rescue dogs, it will your dog not to pull on the lead, work with distractions, respond quickly and calmly and leave things alone that you don’t want them to touch!