Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Examination of the Accuracy and Applicability of Information in Popular Books on Dog Training

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Society & Animals

There is a wealth of popular literature available on dog behavior and training; sourcing reliable and trustworthy advice is important to achieving successful training. The aim of this study was to select five best-selling (at that time) dog training books, and review their general content and references to basic learning theory and human communicative cues. An Internet search was performed on three online bookstores’ websites for “best selling” “dog training” books. The books were by Millan and Peltier (2006), Fennell (2002), Stilwell (2005), Pryor (1999), and Monks of New Skete (2002). The results showed marked differences across all books, including inconsistencies in the depth of information provided, and some starkly contrasting training methods were advocated. Overall, these books were not all considered to function as instructional manuals. The persistent popularity of these books suggests that they have likely contributed appreciably to the type of information accessed by dog guardians.

Affiliations: 1: School of Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Waikato HamiltonNew ZealandSchool of Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Waikato HamiltonNew Zealand ; 2: University of Waikato


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Arhant C., Bubna-Littitz H., Bartels A., Futschik A., Troxler J."Behaviour of smaller and larger dogs: Effects of training methods, inconsistency of owner behaviour and level of engagement in activities with the dog" Applied Animal Behaviour Science 2010Vol 123 3-4 131 142 doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2010.01.003. [Crossref]
2. Baum W. M."The correlation-based law of effect" Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 1973Vol 20 137 153 [Crossref]
3. Beerda B., Schilder M. B. H., van Hooff J., de Vries H. W., Mol J. A."Behavioural, saliva cortisol and heart rate responses to different types of stimuli in dogs" Applied Animal Behaviour Science 1998Vol 58 3-4 365 381 doi:10.1016/s0168-1591(97)00145-7 [Crossref]
4. Bennett P. C., Rohlf V. I."Owner-companion dog interactions: Relationships between demographic variables, potentially problematic behaviours, training engagement and shared activities" Applied Animal Behaviour Science 2007Vol 102 1-2 65 84 doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2006.03.009. [Crossref]
5. Blackwell E. J., Twells C., Seawright A., Casey R. A."The relationship between training methods and the occurrence of behavior problems, as reported by owners, in a population of domestic dogs" Journal of Veterinary Behavior-Clinical Applications and Research 2008Vol 3 5 207 217 doi:10.1016/j.jveb.2007.10.008. [Crossref]
6. Bouton M. E. Learning and behavior: A contemporary synthesis 2007 Sunderland, MA Sinauer Associates
7. Bradshaw J. W. S., Casey R. A."Anthropomorphism and anthropocentrism as influences in the quality of life of companion animals" Animal Welfare 2007Vol 16 149 154
8. Braem M. D., Mills D. S."Factors affecting response of dogs to obedience instruction: A field and experimental study" Applied Animal Behaviour Science 2010Vol 125 1-2 47 55 doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2010.03.004. [Crossref]
9. Call J., Bräuer J., Kaminski J., Tomasello M."Domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) are sensitive to the attentional state of humans" Journal of Comparative Psychology 2003Vol 117 3 257 263 doi:10.1037/0735-7036.117.3.257. [Crossref]
10. Catania A. C. Learning 1998 4th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ Prentice Hall
11. Dennison P. The complete idiot’s guide to positive dog training 2011 3rd ed. New York, NY Alpha Books
12. Dickinson A., Watt A., Griffiths W. J. H."Free-operant acquisition with delayed reinforcement" Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology Section B 1992Vol 45 3 241 258 doi:10.1080/14640749208401019.
13. Diesel G., Brodbelt D., Pfeiffer D. U."Reliability of assessment of dogs’ behavioural responses by staff working at a welfare charity in the uk" Applied Animal Behaviour Science 2008Vol 115 3-4 171 181 doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2008.05.005. [Crossref]
14. Diesel G., Brodbelt D., Pfeiffer D. U."Characteristics of relinquished dogs and their owners at 14 rehoming centers in the United Kingdom" Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 2010Vol 13 1 15 30 doi:10.1080/10888700903369255. [Crossref]
15. Dorey N. R., Udell M. A. R., Wynne C. D. L."When do domestic dogs, Canis familiaris, start to understand human pointing? The role of ontogeny in the development of interspecies communication" Animal Behaviour 2010Vol 79 1 37 41 doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2009.09.032. [Crossref]
16. Dunbar I. How to teach a new dog old tricks 1996 3rd ed. Berkeley, CA James & Kenneth
17. Fennell J. The dog listener: Learning the language of your best friend 2002 London, England HarperCollins
18. Fukuzawa M., Mills D. S., Cooper J. J."The effect of human command phonetic characteristics on auditory cognition in dogs (Canis familiaris)" Journal of Comparative Psychology 2005Vol 119 1 117 120 doi:10.1037/0735-7036.119.1.117. [Crossref]
19. Gácsi M., McGreevy P., Edina K., Miklósi Á."Effects of selection for cooperation and attention in dogs" Behavioral and Brain Functions 2009Vol 5 31 doi:10.1186/1744-9081-5-31 [Crossref]
20. Haverbeke A., Laporte B., Depiereux E., Giffroy J. M., Diederich C."Training methods of military dog handlers and their effects on the team’s performances" Applied Animal Behaviour Science 2008Vol 113 1-3 110 122 doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2007.11.010. [Crossref]
21. Herron M. E., Shofer F. S., Reisner I. R."Survey of the use and outcome of confrontational and non-confrontational training methods in client-owned dogs showing undesired behaviors" Applied Animal Behaviour Science 2009Vol 117 1-2 47 54 doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2008.12.011. [Crossref]
22. Hiby E. F., Rooney N. J., Bradshaw J. W. S."Dog training methods: Their use, effectiveness and interaction with behaviour and welfare" Animal Welfare 2004Vol 13 1 63 69
23. Horowitz A."Disambiguating the “guilty look”: Salient prompts to a familiar dog behaviour" Behavioural Processes 2009Vol 81 3 447 452 doi:10.1016/j.beproc.2009.03.014. [Crossref]
24. Ittyerah M., Gaunet F."The response of guide dogs and pet dogs (Canis familiaris) to cues of human referential communication (pointing and gaze)" Animal Cognition 2009Vol 12 2 257 265 doi:10.1007/s10071-008-0188-6. [Crossref]
25. Jagoe A., Serpell J."Owner characteristics and interactions and the prevalence of canine behaviour problems" Applied Animal Behaviour Science 1996Vol 47 1-2 31 42 doi:10.1016/0168-1591(95)01008-4. [Crossref]
26. Kobelt A. J., Hemsworth P. H., Barnett J. L., Coleman G. J."A survey of dog ownership in suburban Australia—conditions and behaviour problems" Applied Animal Behaviour Science 2003Vol 82 2 137 148 doi:10.1016/s0168-1591(03)00062-5. [Crossref]
27. Lattal K. A., Gleeson S."Response acquisition with delayed reinforcement" Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes 1990Vol 16 1 27 39 doi:10.1037/0097-7403.16.1.27. [Crossref]
28. Marston L. C., Bennett P. C."Reforging the bond-towards successful canine adoption" Applied Animal Behaviour Science 2003Vol 83 3 227 245 doi:10.1016/s0168-1591(03)00135-7. [Crossref]
29. Mazur J. E. Learning and behavior 2001 5th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ Prentice Hall
30. Miklósi Á., Polgárdi R., Topál J., Csányi V."Use of experimenter-given cues in dogs" Animal Cognition 1998Vol 1 2 113 121 doi:10.1007/s100710050016. [Crossref]
31. Millan C., Peltier M. J. Cesar’s way: The natural, everyday guide to understanding and correcting common dog problems 2006 New York, NY Three Rivers Press
32. Monks of New Skete How to be your dog’s best friend: The classic training manual for dog owners 2002 2nd ed. Boston, MA Little, Brown and Company
33. Patronek G. J., Glickman L. T., Moyer M. R."Population-dynamics and the risk of euthanasia for dogs in an animal shelter" Anthrozoos 1995Vol 8 1 31 43 doi:10.2752/089279395787156455. [Crossref]
34. Patronek G. J., Glickman L. T., Beck A. M., McCabe G. P."Risk factors for relinquishment of dogs to an animal shelter" Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 1996Vol 209 3 572 581
35. Pierce W. D., Cheney C. D. Behavior analysis and learning 2013 5th ed. New York, NY Psychology Press
36. Pryor K. Don’t shoot the dog! The new art of teaching and training 1999 Rev. ed. New York, NY Bantam Books
37. Rooney N. J., Cowan S."Training methods and owner-dog interactions: Links with dog behaviour and learning ability" Applied Animal Behaviour Science 2011Vol 132 3-4 169 177 doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2011.03.007. [Crossref]
38. Schlinger H. D., Blakely E."The effects of delayed reinforcement and a response-produced auditory stimulus on the acquisition of operant-behavior in rats" Psychological Record 1994Vol 44 3 391 409 [Crossref]
39. Schwab C., Huber L."Obey or not obey? Dogs (Canis familiaris) behave differently in response to attentional states of their owners" Journal of Comparative Psychology 2006Vol 120 3 169 175 doi:10.1037/0735-7036.120.3.169. [Crossref]
40. Schwartz B., Wasserman E. A., Robbins S. J. Psychology of learning and behavior 2002 5th ed. New York, NY W. W. Norton & Company
41. Shore E. R., Burdsal C., Douglas D. K."Pet owners’ views of pet behavior problems and willingness to consult experts for assistance" Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 2008Vol 11 1 63 73 doi:10.1080/10888700701729221. [Crossref]
42. Soproni K., Miklósi Á., Topál J., Csányi V."Comprehension of human communicative signs in pet dogs (Canis familiaris)" Journal of Comparative Psychology 2001Vol 115 2 122 126 doi:10.1037/0735-7036.115.2.122. [Crossref]
43. Soproni K., Miklósi Á., Topál J., Csányi V."Dogs’ (Canis familiaris) responsiveness to human pointing gestures" Journal of Comparative Psychology 2002Vol 116 1 27 34 doi:10.1037//0735-7036.116.1.27. [Crossref]
44. Stilwell V. It’s me or the dog: How to have the perfect pet 2005 London, England Collins
45. Tami G., Gallagher A."Description of the behaviour of domestic dog (Canis familiaris) by experienced and inexperienced people" Applied Animal Behaviour Science 2009Vol 120 3-4 159 169 doi:10.1016/j.applanim.2009.06.009. [Crossref]
46. Virányi Z., Topál J., Gácsi M., Miklósi Á., Csányi V."Dogs respond appropriately to cues of humans’ attentional focus" Behavioural Processes 2004Vol 66 2 161 172 doi:10.1016/j.beproc.2004.01.012. [Crossref]
47. Wells D. L., Hepper P. G."Prevalence of behaviour problems reported by owners of dogs purchased from an animal rescue shelter" Applied Animal Behaviour Science 2000Vol 69 1 55 65 doi:10.1016/s0168-1591(00)00118-0. [Crossref]
48. Yin S. How to behave so your dog behaves 2010 2nd ed. Neptune City, NJ T.F.H. Publications

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Society & Animals — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation