Training Books and Reviews


Click to Calm; Healing the Aggressive Dog, by Emma Parsons

Book reviewed by Patty Sontag

I would definitely recommend Click to Calm; Healing the Aggressive Dog by

Emma Parsons. If anyone is ever in a position to attend one of her

workshops, they would benefit greatly, since the workshops (and book) teach

you how to:

  • Desensitize your dog to approaching stranger dogs
  • Allow you to grab your dog’s collar without him snapping
  • Have your dog perform canine calming signals, instead of aggressive displays, on cue
  • Have your dog turn and give you eye contact whenever another dog approaches, or you tighten on the leash
  • Use your own body language when under stress as a cue for your dog to remain calm
  • And many more creative and effective uses of managing behavior through clicker training

She, herself, had an aggressive golden retriever, Ben, whom she recently lost to cancer.

For more info about her you can check her web site:

You can contact her through her web site link: [email protected] You can also read about her here: or just google her name, and many links will come up.

I have met her, she is a wonderful person and trainer, very knowledgeable about dogs and their behavior. People are clamoring to get into her Reactive
Dog classes. I believe she is available for private consults, and she regularly runs 7 week class sessions in Massachusetts.

I have to agree: often, we characterize a dog as aggressive, when in fact, it is reactive to certain situations, people or other dogs.

Catch Your Dog Doing Something Right, by Krista Cantrell.

Book reviewed by Natalia Samaj

This book is based on positive training method, but not clicker.

The book is set of exercises/GAMES to train your kerry the right way, keep

it mentally busy and get a rid of bad habits.

It starts with evaluation of the dog, so owner understands how much work your Kerry requires (as a number of repetitions, the kind of approach, treats
vs. toys etc.)

I really love the part about how to get and keep dog’s attention. I also like the set of games for tricks you want your dog to perform; from simply looking
at you, to obedience. The purpose of everything is explained.

There ar plans for bad habit, such as digging, barking, jumping on

people or shyness.

For people who are interested in energetic massage, there is something to read about “chi” and application for your dog.

I found that many traning books require unfriendly pulling or pushing of the

dog to get results. I absolutely do not agree with using prong collar for traning and especially in puppies, although it is adviced by training schools
to “get dog’s

attention”. If a trainer is not able to show the owner how to get dogs’ attention in a friendly way, she shouldn’t be called a trainer.

This book has a warning for owners of aggressive dogs and recommend seeing

behaviorist, if owner feels dog can be a danger.

The Culture Clash, by Jean Donaldson

Book reviewed by Natalia Samaj

Another gem and “must own” for dog owner. It’s a book focused on training based on understading of relationship between dogs and human (especially agressive

It includes valuable training ideas and also techniques for “mellow” owners and

“problematic” dogs.

Aggression in Dogs, by Brenda Aloff

Practical management, prevention & behavior modification.

It has lots of great pictures, drawings, and good explanations. It’s sort of long, but packed with good info.

How to Right a Dog Gone Wrong, by Pamela Dennison

Bringing Light to Shadow, by Pamela Dennison

Fight!, By Jean Donaldson

Mine!, By Jean Donaldson

Dogs are from Neptune, by Jean Donaldson

Dog Language, by Roger Abrantes

Has good pictures, but it is more difficult to see what the eyes & mouth are doing through fall & beard on terriers

On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals, by Turid Rugaas

This book is commonly know as “calming Signals”

Some websites with book reviews:

Ruff Love: A Relationship Building Program for You and Your Dog, by Susan Garrett.

It’s available through Clean Run Productions, at

Don?t Shoot the Dog, by Karen Pryor

“Susan Garrett is a wonderful resource as is Karen Pryor – I still use my beat up little copy of “Don’t Shoot the Dog.” Sharon Burnett