Jump to content
BC Boards

What are your favorite basic training books/DVD

Recommended Posts

I might be adopting a 3 year old who has no basic skills. I have met him and he is very keen (and very high drive) and very cuddly. He has been in foster a very long time (years) I have been told that he is good around the house, never chewed anything etc. His foster home has just not had time to work on his basic manners.

He would be my 4th rescue and looks like the most challenging yet and I want to make sure that I give him a really good foundation.

My husband is away and has not met him yet, and we have a deal that no dogs come home without joint approval of all human and canine residents. I bought a house without him seeing it (he was gone extensively that year) but it is a no go with dogs.

So I am looking for a reading list of your favorite books. I already have Controlled Unleashed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"The Power of Positive Dog Training" by Pat Miller

"Parenting Your Dog" by Trish King (this one is more of a puppy through senior book so you've missed the first 3 years, but it's still a good read)


I second "Don't Shoot The Dog" and anything by Patricia McConnell or Pamela Dennison. Jean Donaldson is also a good author and I'd recommend "The Culture Clash" as a good general knowledge book, but it's kind of an intense read. Very wordy.


Although I kind of find it weird that this dog has been in foster care for so long and no one's taught him anything....If that were our rescue, we'd have put him in a different foster home. I'm thinking of basic manners as "sit", "down", no begging, walking on a leash, politely waiting for food etc, general house manners. That is all very simple stuff to teach a dog, so I'd be questioning the rescue. No offense to anyone....my idea of basic skills might be different than yours.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MsDD, I agree completely. As a foster, it's my job to teach my foster dog basic manners, obedience and how to be a polite member of the family. I cringe when some of our fosters allow their foster dogs on the furniture, on the bed. That is a hard habit to break.


I do not allow the dogs on the funiture or on my bed. They have their own places to rest and sleep. Just once, I called Lewie up on the bed with me because I had been out of town for the weekend and missed him. I thought a nice cuddle would be good for both of us. That was in April. I still haven't completely broken him of getting on my bed if I'm not home.


Foster dogs should be taught how to be well-mannered. Their adoptive families can teach them bad habits.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It would seem to me that if he's been living in a house and hasn't eaten the furniture, he's got some basic manners :rolleyes:. Perhaps he's not leash-trained and doesn't have a recall? You also might be surprised to find out what he does know once you have him at home. I've discovered with three dogs that they pick up a great deal from watching the other dogs, even though a great many trainers might disagree with the one room school house theory.


I am an English instructor and my bookshelves overfloweth, so I'm careful about bringing more books into the house...


I did a great deal of reading last winter before the pups came home as they were the first puppies we'd both owned since childhood! There's a great deal of mostly repetitive information out there...and some conflicting advice re: training theories. Before you purchase books, borrow them from the library to see which one is really going to be most useful for you.


For practical training exercises, I found the Dog Training GUide at PetExpertize.com to be a very basic, user- friendly guide...plus, its free...though the website is an online store. The guide is downloaded as a pdf and contains basic training suggestions and lessons with checkoff charts to measure progress, which is a good way to stay on track with what you would like to teach the dog.




I've also been using the Karen Pryor clicker training book for beginners --I did buy a copy of that one there's free information on the Karen Pryor website as well and I recently bought a book called "Clicking your Way to Obedience rally".


I'm currently reading Control Unleashed (borrowed it from the local library). I know it comes highly recommended but its still $25 for a used copy on Amazon! Too expensive! Glad you already have a copy.


I read Patricia McConnell's books and frequented her website when working with a rescue who came to us a bit nippy. She's interesting in terms of understanding canine behavior. Again, borrow the book first.


My best advice is once you understand him a bit and have a good idea of how he'll react around strangers, take him everywhere you can. I keep a crate in the back of my SUV and one or the other of these critters goes with me whenever possible. Obedience classes are a good idea too...




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for everyones suggestions. Except for my first dog (who was not a collie) I have been lucky and my dogs have all come with basic manners, my first Border Collie straight out of the shelter came with recall. I know so much more about training now that I know I need and want to learn more.


I fully agree with the one room school house theory, I have found that the new dog copies the existing resident. My best example is I taught Jester (the non collie) down when she was on the move and it took awhile to figure out how to make her understand what we wanted. The two Border collies just followed what she did, when I said down. The downside is they also learn the weird behaviors, Jester had really sloppy sit and when she was unhappy flapped her back legs , and this now lives on in Brody.


When I met him he was a really friendly outgoing dog. What I know he is missing is things like recall, a good sit, stay etc. He has some basic house manners and knows some of the concepts, it is just in a busy house with lots of dogs he gets distracted. There are multiple reasons he has not been placed, but basically they wanted him to go to a Border Collie home, that was very active with their dogs, no small animals of any species, and limited contact with children. And I think they have just got used to having him around.

But sadly I now do not know what is going to happen as he has just hurt his leg and we are waiting to find out how badly and I am looking for an agility team mate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So I am looking for a reading list of your favorite books. I already have Controlled Unleashed.

Gwen Bailey's books are excellent (puppy, rescues, behavior, etc.). there is one from earlier this year called Training Your Superdog: How to Unleash Your Dog's Potential that has good foundation info, problem solving, good all-around book and not geared exclusively to puppies.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the best thing for you to do, if you get him is to let him settle in for a couple of weeks and then take a really good basic obedience or recall class. Taking a class like that will help you with the skills you want him to lear and, at the same time it will help your bond grow stronger.


Hope his leg is ok though...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Once again thanks for everyones advice, I have ordered a collection of books from the library. There has been a change in plan though, the 3 year old dog is staying in his foster home, once the reality of him leaving happened they decided he had found his home.

Now we are waiting to see if a 5 month puppy works out for us, we will be finding out in a few days. The sad part is there will always be a rescue border collie waiting somewhere for us if the puppy does not work out.

This will be a new adventure for us, we have only adopted adults before and have no youngster experience :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...