Resources & Reviews

Four books that will change your relationship with your dog


I had some free time with spring break this past week to finish a couple books that have been sitting on my night stand since the beginning of the semester, and they did not disappoint.

There are dozens- honestly probably hundreds- of books that claim they will help you train your dog, strengthen your relationship with your dog or transform your dog. The truth is there’s a lot of work, and a lot of homework, that goes into having a well behaved four-legged best friend.

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“How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain,” by Gregory Berns, and Berns’ follow-up book, “What It’s Like to Be a Dog: And Other Adventures in Animal Neuroscience,” where both well worth the read.

Berns is a Neuroscientist and Professor of Neuroeconomics at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. His expertise crossed over to the veterinary sciences when he began doing MRI scans on his adopted dog, hoping to find out why, and how, she loved him.

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If, “The 5 Love Languages,” or “Men Are from Mars Women Are from Venus,” are the relationship bibles of the human world, Berns’ books are for the animal world. He studies dogs’ – and in his second book other animal’s- emotions, their love for humans and their ability to empathize with human emotions by looking at their brain scans.

Another one of my favorite books is, “The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs” by animal behavioralist Patricia McConnell. Rather than being a book about training dogs, this is a book about training humans and speaking dog.

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And of course, would it be a dog-book review without the dog whisperer himself, Cesar Milan? Cesar’s book, ""“>”Cesar’s Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding & Correcting Common Dog Problems,”
by Cesar Millan and Melissa Jo Peltier has long been a go-to of mine.

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Like McConnell, Milan’s books focus on how you can properly communicate with your dog. He emphasizes establishing a social order in your home and understanding you and your dog’s role in the pack.

There are plenty of books and online resources that can teach you how to train your dog to sit, shake or roll-over. There is so much more to training a dog, and these books are excellent resources to help dig deeper into the canine brain.

What are some of your favorites dog books?

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