The best books on dog behavior & advocacy

Who am I?

For 19 years, I have been professionally helping dog and cat parents resolve dog and cat behavioral problems in a humane and kind way. I follow science-based, gentle techniques when working with animals and teach clients how to remedy dog and cat behavior problems without the use of aversives such as shock or choke collars, physical prompting, shake cans, squirt bottles, leash corrections, or scolding.


I wrote...

Training Your Dog the Humane Way: Simple Teaching Tips for Resolving Problem Behaviors and Raising a Happy Dog

By Alana Stevenson,

Book cover of Training Your Dog the Humane Way: Simple Teaching Tips for Resolving Problem Behaviors and Raising a Happy Dog

What is my book about?

In Training Your Dog the Humane Way, animal behavior specialist, Alana Stevenson provides dog owners with a simple, accessible guide to the most effective positive dog training techniques available. Alana presents easy-to-follow methods and advice for teaching dogs and resolving behavior problems in a humane way. She provides solutions for such problems as house-soiling, play-biting, separation anxiety, fear of strangers, aggression, lunging while on a leash, and car sickness.

Readers learn the most effective way to teach their dogs — through kindness and benevolent leadership.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Clinical Behavioral Medicine For Small Animals

Alana Stevenson Why did I love this book?

A bible for resolving dog and cat behavioral issues. It is packed with scientific advice and research on everything from cat and dog development and training to medications and positive ways to resolve dog and cat behavior problems. Good to read through its entirety as well as to have on hand as a reference.

By Karen L. Overall,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Clinical Behavioral Medicine For Small Animals as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Animal behaviour treatment is a growing component in today's veterinary practice. This is an authoritative, scientifically-based reference on preventing, diagnosing and successfully treating behaviour cases. Every kind of problem, from aggressive behaviour to self-mutilation is discussed. It offers step-by-step guidelines, so practitioners can successfully manage behavioural problems from the first indication.

* A practical guide to preventing, diagnosing, and treating small animal behavior cases. * Covers every class of problem--from the most common to those rarely seen. * Emphasizes evaluation and step-by-step diagnosis of normal versus abnormal behavior. * Provides easy-to-use client instruction protocols you can photocopy. * Focuses on…


Book cover of The Dog Whisperer: A Compassionate, Nonviolent Approach to Dog Training

Alana Stevenson Why did I love this book?

The original dog whisperer, Paul Owens, teaches dog parents how to positively train their dogs according to how dogs learn. He uses a humane, science-based approach, and includes breathing exercises people can do when stressed so that they can teach their dog in a calm way. The Dog Whisperer goes over how to teach and train your dog during distractions and context learning, as well as introduces readers to clicker training, shaping behaviors and target training. This is a good book on humane, positive training to have on the shelf.

By Paul Owens,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Dog Whisperer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gentle, positive, and fun training for you and your dog!

In this updated edition, Paul Owens and Norma Eckroate offer more in-depth training with additional notes, tips, and problem-solving to make training even easier! In addition to the bestselling nonviolent training features that made the prior edition a classic, this second edition includes:
Updated material on the power of non-force training Information on the newest, most effective gear for all levels of training A new tricks section that will provide fun for both you and your dogWith guidance from The Dog Whisperer, 2nd Edition, you'll learn compassionate training methods for…


Book cover of How to Right a Dog Gone Wrong: A Road Map for Rehabilitating Aggressive Dogs

Alana Stevenson Why did I love this book?

How to Right a Dog Gone Wrong offers an easy-to-follow, step-by-step approach to rehabbing a dog who is dog reactive both on and off-leash. It’s a good book and means of support for dog owners who have problems with their reactive dogs. This book provides solid techniques and is filled with honesty and empathy.

By Pamela S. Dennison,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Right a Dog Gone Wrong as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How to Right a Dog Gone Wrong will help anyone with a dog that has aggressive tendencies, whether it is a young dog that shows aggression when you remove the food bowl, a dog-aggressive dog that you are afraid to walk in the park, or a dog that is aggressive towards family and friends. Readers will gain an understanding of the causes of aggression and the various ways of dealing with it. Finally, they will learn a step by step program of rehabilitation that has been used successfully on hundreds of dogs, large and small, in all breeds.


Book cover of How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves

Alana Stevenson Why did I love this book?

Dr. Sophia Yin passed away in 2014. This book is on passive training which I implement regularly with fearful and reactive dogs. Passive training is how people teach their dogs, often unknowingly, 24-7. By understanding how your behavior affects your dog, you can teach and modify your dog’s behavior in a kind way without active instruction.

By Dr. Sophia Yin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Written by one of the leading veterinary behaviorists in the country, this revised and expanded edition of the original bestseller features brand new chapters that provide the most up-to-date science of dog behavior and explains key concepts in clear, straightforward language. How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves takes a scientifically sound yet practical approach to explaining dog behavior and training theory, and then shows you how to apply these concepts so you can train your dog to be well behaved.


Book cover of Dogs Are From Neptune

Alana Stevenson Why did I love this book?

Dogs Are From Neptune is an excellent book and tool for working with fearful and reactive dogs. Jean Donaldson provides instructions and real-life implementation of desensitization and counter-conditioning techniques for a variety of dog behavior problems – such as fear of strangers, food guarding, leash-reactivity, fear of handling, and high prey drive.

By Jean Donaldson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dogs Are From Neptune as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

But people are on another planet!
Dogdom’s most influential dog trainer and behaviorist, Jean Donaldson, is back with a newly revised and expanded edition of her popular Dogs Are From Neptune. In 41 essays, Jean highlights the common and frequently wrong-headed notions people have about why dogs behave the way they do, and explains what really motivates your pooch and how to change behavior. Jean’s innovative ideas are delivered via quirky and witty—but always scientifically based—essays that will help create “Aha!” moments for every dog lover on earth. If you loved Jean’s best selling The Culture Clash, you will enjoy…


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Traumatization and Its Aftermath: A Systemic Approach to Understanding and Treating Trauma Disorders

By Antonieta Contreras,

Book cover of Traumatization and Its Aftermath: A Systemic Approach to Understanding and Treating Trauma Disorders

Antonieta Contreras Author Of Traumatization and Its Aftermath: A Systemic Approach to Understanding and Treating Trauma Disorders

New book alert!

Who am I?

As a trauma therapist and dedicated researcher, I love uncovering valuable insights within lesser-known books. There are hidden gems, free from the pressure of commercial success, crafted by authors deeply committed to research, understanding, and the art of writing itself. Their dedication resonates with me, as I believe in the profound value of information and the power of critical thinking. Through my own book, Traumatization and Its Aftermath, I aim to emphasize that psychological concepts often lose their depth in translation and my mission is spreading awareness and fostering a deeper understanding of trauma and its intricate facets. With that idea in mind, I chose these five titles. 

Antonieta's book list on uncovering the human experience and exploring the depths of trauma

What is my book about?

A fresh take on the difference between trauma and hardship in order to help accurately spot the difference and avoid over-generalizations.

The book integrates the latest findings in brain science, child development, psycho-social context, theory, and clinical experiences to make the case that trauma is much more than a cluster of symptoms to be tamed, but instead best understood as development gone off course, away from growth and towards (only) survival.

This book prompts a profound shift in perception, inviting to view trauma as an intricate and diverse experience, a point of view that ultimately leads to sharper treatment and, hopefully, more healing. It encourages a transition from asking, "What happened to you?" to the deeper question, "What is your relationship with what happened to you?"

Traumatization and Its Aftermath: A Systemic Approach to Understanding and Treating Trauma Disorders

By Antonieta Contreras,

What is this book about?

The book is comprehensive, bold, and practical-a much-needed resource for the assessment and treatment of trauma. Instead of the traditional focus on the overall importance of healing, Traumatization and its Aftermath decodes why some people don't heal as easily as others, analyzes the various failures of diagnosis, and explains how to make therapeutic interventions truly effective.

This book offers a systemic deep dive into traumatization that clarifies myths and misinformation about the entire spectrum of trauma and provides both clinicians and non-clinicians with the right level of validation, preventive measures, conceptualization methodology, assessment tools, and healing facts that have not…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in dogs, dog behavior, and human animal relationships?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about dogs, dog behavior, and human animal relationships.

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