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I Want to Know More About… Dog Training


Dog Sleeping in her Notebook after Studying

When I first started to get interested in dog training and dog behavior, I had no idea where I should look for information. Unfortunately, the internet is filled with people willing to give you advice on every sort of problem or topic relating to dogs. Their intentions are the best but sometimes they can do more harm than good. When it comes to dog training, the internet is flooded with myths and outdated information. TV shows shouldn’t be considered as a reliable source of information, as well. One of the most famous and well-known TV shows on dog training is actually promoting the use of dangerous, outdated and counterproductive methods, whilst misinforming people.

So if we want to know more about this topic, what kind of sources should we rely on?

Books – Books can be a rich and extremely useful source of information. If you choose the right authors, you can learn a lot from these powerful tools. Here’s some of the authors and books you should start with: “Before and After You Get Your Puppy” from Dr. Ian Dunbar.  This is an amazing book on puppy training. “The Culture Clash” by Jean Donaldson is a great suggestion for a first reading, also.  Dr. Patricia McConnell has authored a number of small books on several topics; you should also give them a try! “Don’t Shoot The Dog” by Karen Pryor talks about how we should look at animal training and why it is also related with the way we behave; surely another great read. If you seek to further educate yourself on dog behavior, you can also search for books written by Kathy Sdao, Turid Rugaas, John Bradshaw, Raymond Coppinger, James O’Heare, Nicole Wilde, Dr. Sophia Yin, Karen Overall, and many, many others.

DVDs – Some of the authors mentioned above also have DVDs that you can watch and use to further deepen your knowledge on dog training. Look for Emily Larlham as well, she has some great DVDs on trick and obedience training.

Courses – The Academy for Dog Trainers by Jean Donaldson; Karen Pryor Academy; The Companion Animal Sciences Institute by James O’Heare, amongst many others, can give you the opportunity to consider dog training more seriously. Have you ever thought about working as a dog trainer? If you did, make sure you get your education on a respected school. You should also consider going to seminars, watching webinars and participating on workshops. Dog training requires constant updating; there’s always something else to be learned!

You can find good and serious information on the internet, too. Just make sure you can distinguish between what’s science and what’s just an opinion. Be demanding! Just because someone has lived with dogs during his whole life, that doesn’t qualify him as an expert. Look for certified behaviorists and qualified positive dog trainers; look for people who invest on their education and work through science, not myths and outdated ideas.


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Marilia Domingos
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