100 books like Agility Right from the Start

By Eva Bertilsson, Emelie Johnson Vegh,

Here are 100 books that Agility Right from the Start fans have personally recommended if you like Agility Right from the Start. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The New Click to Calm: Solutions for All Dogs in a Challenging World

Elsa Blomster Author Of Retrieving for All Occasions

From my list on fun and effective dog training.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Swedish dog trainer and author who love training dogs in a fun, positive, and force-free way. I got my first Golden retriever in 2005 and learnt a lot about dog training and especially clicker training. When a friend gave me a dummy I really started to enjoy gun dog training and realized that there weren’t many people who trained gun dogs in a force-free way so I took all my knowledge from my reward-based obedience training and translated it into gun dog training, discussed training methods with a lot of people, held classes in force-free gun dog training and eventually collected all my thoughts and training advice into a book together with my friend Lena Gunnarsson.

Elsa's book list on fun and effective dog training

Elsa Blomster Why did Elsa love this book?

This book has saved and helped so many dogs. Having a reactive or aggressive dog is very difficult, in this book you’ll get lots of training advice on how to help your dog. Your dog doesn’t have to have severe issues for you to find this book helpful – it’s so much easier to start training before the problem has escalated. You’ll get advice on calmly escorting your dog away before trouble arises, stopping resource guarding (ex-food guarding), and dealing with dogs barking at the door.

By Emma Parsons, Emma Parsons,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The New Click to Calm as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Our dogs’ behavior issues can often limit their lives and add challenges to ours. Emma Parsons offered hope and revolutionary solutions to thousands of owners of aggressive dogs as well as to professional trainers with her groundbreaking book Click to Calm, Healing the Aggressive Dog.

Now, she’s done it again. In her new book, The New Click to Calm: Solutions for All Dogs in a Challenging World, Emma has not only updated the Click to Calm protocol to enable more rapid behavior change but she teaches us how to apply it to help dogs with more common, less intense behavioral…


Book cover of Don't Shoot the Dog: The Art of Teaching and Training

Stephen McGarvey Author Of Ignite a Shift: Engaging Minds, Guiding Emotions and Driving Behavior

From my list on the power of ideas and positive thinking.

Why am I passionate about this?

I wasn’t always a reader. Diagnosed with a learning disorder in elementary school, I hated reading and school. Eventually, I discovered my passion for psychology, neurolinguistics, and persuasion and influence, and have now become a lifelong reader! Through my boutique consulting firm Solutions In Mind, my colleagues and I have been coaching executive teams to make the changes required to improve sales, organizational behavior, and communication. In my latest book, Ignite a Shift, I equip readers to think about how they and those around them think, feel and do. With greater awareness you’ll be able to better establish and meet your goals and persuade and influence others to do the same. 

Stephen's book list on the power of ideas and positive thinking

Stephen McGarvey Why did Stephen love this book?

This best-selling book, from the incredibly talented Karen Pryor, looks at behavior through a scientific and practical lens. When it comes to animals and humans, we aren’t that different in terms of our behavior and how it can be corrected positively. Through encouraging reinforcement, we can learn new ways of taking in and dealing with conflict in a more constructive way. I have found the methods suggested in this book extremely beneficial and have successfully incorporated them in my own life. 

By Karen Pryor,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Don't Shoot the Dog as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Karen Pryor’s clear and entertaining explanation of behavioral training methods made Don’t Shoot the Dog a bestselling classic with revolutionary insights into animal—and human—behavior.

In her groundbreaking approach to improving behavior, behavioral biologist Karen Pryor says, “Whatever the task, whether keeping a four-year-old quiet in public, housebreaking a puppy, coaching a team, or memorizing a poem, it will go fast, and better, and be more fun, if you know how to use reinforcement.”

Now Pryor clearly explains the underlying principles of behavioral training and reveals how this art can be applied to virtually any common situation. And best of all,…


Book cover of Animal Assisted Interventions: Professionals Embrace the Power of the Dog

Elsa Blomster Author Of Retrieving for All Occasions

From my list on fun and effective dog training.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Swedish dog trainer and author who love training dogs in a fun, positive, and force-free way. I got my first Golden retriever in 2005 and learnt a lot about dog training and especially clicker training. When a friend gave me a dummy I really started to enjoy gun dog training and realized that there weren’t many people who trained gun dogs in a force-free way so I took all my knowledge from my reward-based obedience training and translated it into gun dog training, discussed training methods with a lot of people, held classes in force-free gun dog training and eventually collected all my thoughts and training advice into a book together with my friend Lena Gunnarsson.

Elsa's book list on fun and effective dog training

Elsa Blomster Why did Elsa love this book?

This book moved me to tears after just reading a couple of pages. The authors describe lots of cases where dogs (and their handlers) have helped people in their lives – calming students, giving elderly people hope, and making them want to do things again. If you want to work together with your dog and help other people in f ex schools, old age care centers, etc. this is a great book. It takes you through the basics of what the dog needs to know, how to teach it, and lots of things to think about when you choose a dog trainer to help you educate your dog.

By Sara Karlberg, Helena Eriksson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Animal Assisted Interventions as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a book for anyone who wants to learn more about what a social working dog is. Maybe
you’re curious about what it might be like to work in a school or some form of health care together
with your best friend? Maybe you’ve already done an assessment test and are looking for or have
already started the course that best suits you? Or maybe you have a family member who you think
would benefit from sessions with a dog team but want to know a little more before you propose it?
The authors have based the contents of…


Book cover of Mission Control: Training the High Drive Dog

Elsa Blomster Author Of Retrieving for All Occasions

From my list on fun and effective dog training.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Swedish dog trainer and author who love training dogs in a fun, positive, and force-free way. I got my first Golden retriever in 2005 and learnt a lot about dog training and especially clicker training. When a friend gave me a dummy I really started to enjoy gun dog training and realized that there weren’t many people who trained gun dogs in a force-free way so I took all my knowledge from my reward-based obedience training and translated it into gun dog training, discussed training methods with a lot of people, held classes in force-free gun dog training and eventually collected all my thoughts and training advice into a book together with my friend Lena Gunnarsson.

Elsa's book list on fun and effective dog training

Elsa Blomster Why did Elsa love this book?

Training high drive, energetic dogs is a lot of fun, but also challenging. In this book, you get advice on how to channel that energy into the training and behavior you want, no matter what type of training you’re interested in: gun dog work, agility, basic obedience, etc. You’ll learn how to teach your dog to be steady, stop barking and spinning when he gets frustrated and focus on you. All of the course uses reward-based, positive methods.

By Jane Ardern,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mission Control as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Do you have a high-drive dog that’s raring to go? That’s great! A motivated dog is fun to work with, and clearly enjoys the challenges you are setting. But do you sometimes wish you could reign in some of that enthusiasm and produce the results that you both deserve? Is your dog too excited to wait on the start-line in agility? Is he distracted by people, other dogs, and all the sights, sounds and scents in the environment? Does he struggle to process instructions? Does he bark and spin if he gets frustrated? Is he failing to focus on you?…


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

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

From my list on dog behavior and advocacy.

Why am I passionate about this?

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.

Alana's book list on dog behavior and advocacy

Alana Stevenson Why did Alana 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 Reaching the Animal Mind: Clicker Training and What It Teaches Us about All Animals

Emma Parsons Author Of Click to Calm: Healing the Aggressive Dog

From my list on for those who compete in canine sports.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m passionate about these topics is because I'm a world-renowned dog trainer and an elite agility competitor. In both of these activities, I need to know my learning theory as well as how to break behavior into tiny pieces. When counseling canine behavior clients, I teach them these skills as well. My hope is that if they learn how their dog's brains work, they might make more of an effort to teach their dogs more cooperative skills. There are so many activities that people and dogs can share, one such being agility! People love to teach it (form of play) and the dog's confidence grows, as many as the obstacles are introduced.

Emma's book list on for those who compete in canine sports

Emma Parsons Why did Emma love this book?

Another winner by Karen Pryor! In this book, Karen talks about the methodology of clicker training and why it is such an important teaching tool. With the sound of an audible signal (the click), we can teach the animal that what he/she did, at that moment in time, is the reason why they are receiving reinforcement. As Bob Bailey once said, “The clicker is used as a scalpel to carve out behavior.” 

Scattered throughout the text are video URLs to demonstrate some of the concepts. For example, a reader can go to the URL and watch a cat do agility!

Whatever canine sport you are in, the clicker can be a valuable tool in your toolbox.

I love this book because, as a dog trainer, I want to use tools that communicate effectively to the dog. This book talks about clicker training and why it can be used to pinpoint…

By Karen Pryor,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Reaching the Animal Mind as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the founder of “clicker” training, the widely praised humane approach to shaping animal behavior, comes a fascinating book—part memoir, part insight into how animals and people think and behave.

A celebrated pioneer in the field of no-punishment animal training,Karen Pryor is responsible for developing clicker training—an all-positive, safe, effective way to modify and shape animal behavior—and she has changed the lives of millions of animals. Practical, engrossing, and full of fascinating stories about Pryor’s interactions with animals of all sorts, Reaching the Animal Mind presents the sum total of her life’s work. She explains the science behind clicker training,…


Book cover of Super Dog Tricks: Make Your Dog a Super Dog with Step by Step Tricks and Training Tips

Dr. Ian Dunbar Author Of Before and After Getting Your Puppy

From my list on for teaching dog tricks.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a veterinarian, behaviorist, author, and dog trainer. I researched dog interactions for 10 years at UC Berkeley and in the early 80s, put theory to practice with SIRIUS® Puppy Training, introducing off-leash, puppy socialization and training classes, food lures and rewards, fun and games, and science-based, dog-friendly dog training to the doggy world. I spread the word by founding the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. Cueing your dog to act friendly and playful helps it feel friendly and playful. Also, presenting a less threatening picture to other dogs and their owners, softens their feelings, attitudes, preconceptions, and demeanor, thereby making sidewalks, trails, and parks a happier and safer place for you and your dog.

Ian's book list on for teaching dog tricks

Dr. Ian Dunbar Why did Ian love this book?

Most of you know Sara from America’s Got Talent? Originally from Canada, Sara and her dogs are peripatetic performers; she, living her childhood her dream, and her pups realizing theirs, all living in her car, traveling the States, and performing for enthusiastic crowds. I first met Sara when she was conducting an on-stage workshop at the APDT Annual Conference: Backward Leg Weaves, balancing on the souls of her feet, and even a Faux Pee. It was stunning. 

Sara just loves trick training and dancing with her dogs because it fosters better communication, closeness, and attention. Her dogs get the opportunity to regularly ‘let off steam’ and wag with glee, but then they walk off stage, calmly by her side, because they want to walk by her side—the veritable tango of dog training. There’s more to ‘rhythm and tricks’ than meets the eye, much more: flexibility, balance, core-strengthening,…

By Sara Carson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

You've seen them on TV, now learn from Sara and her Super Collies! You'll find easy-to-follow directions and photos for all the classic tricks as well as showstoppers like taking a selfie and skateboarding!

Whether you have a new puppy or have an "old dog" ready to learn some new tricks, Sara will get you and your dog working together in no time. Learn fundamentals like food and toy drive, leash walking, and crate training, as well as tips for important day-to-day bonding and behavior. Whenever you're ready, dive into the tricks! Chapters and tricks include:

Super Simple Tricks: Sit,…


Book cover of 101 Dog Tricks, Kids Edition: Fun and Easy Activities, Games, and Crafts

Dr. Ian Dunbar Author Of Before and After Getting Your Puppy

From my list on for teaching dog tricks.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a veterinarian, behaviorist, author, and dog trainer. I researched dog interactions for 10 years at UC Berkeley and in the early 80s, put theory to practice with SIRIUS® Puppy Training, introducing off-leash, puppy socialization and training classes, food lures and rewards, fun and games, and science-based, dog-friendly dog training to the doggy world. I spread the word by founding the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. Cueing your dog to act friendly and playful helps it feel friendly and playful. Also, presenting a less threatening picture to other dogs and their owners, softens their feelings, attitudes, preconceptions, and demeanor, thereby making sidewalks, trails, and parks a happier and safer place for you and your dog.

Ian's book list on for teaching dog tricks

Dr. Ian Dunbar Why did Ian love this book?

Yup, another book by Kyra—completely different but equally as enjoyable and with many more wonderful photographs (starring Jadie the Weim). I’m sure that all the children have read and mastered everything in 101 Dog Tricks and wanted something more. Well, they got it. I wanted to make this the first choice on my list, but didn’t, because not everyone has children and I didn’t want them to feel left out. Nonetheless, I implore you all to be a child for a day and enjoy the book, and your dog.

The Kids Edition is a marvelous collection of 101 games, activities, brain games, and magic tricks, for children to teach and engage with their dogs. What makes the Kids Edition truly special, most tricks involve projects, showing children how to make stuff, such as doggy doorbells, fleece leashes, personalized dog bowls, teeter-totters, and artworks. Messenger Dog is my all-time favorite and…

By Kyra Sundance,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 101 Dog Tricks, Kids Edition as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Having your children train the family dog through trick teaching is an ideal way to build a safe and respectful relationship early on, build a bond between your dog and the kids, build confidence, and make it fun for everyone! 101 Dog Tricks, Kids Edition will teach you everything you need to know to involve your children in training the family dog. This book presents full color photos of kids working with dogs for each trick, along with training steps, to make it easy to follow along. The step-by-step approach, difficulty rating, and prerequisites will allow you and your child…


Book cover of The Big Book of Tricks for the Best Dog Ever: A Step-By-Step Guide to 118 Amazing Tricks and Stunts

Dr. Ian Dunbar Author Of Before and After Getting Your Puppy

From my list on for teaching dog tricks.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a veterinarian, behaviorist, author, and dog trainer. I researched dog interactions for 10 years at UC Berkeley and in the early 80s, put theory to practice with SIRIUS® Puppy Training, introducing off-leash, puppy socialization and training classes, food lures and rewards, fun and games, and science-based, dog-friendly dog training to the doggy world. I spread the word by founding the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. Cueing your dog to act friendly and playful helps it feel friendly and playful. Also, presenting a less threatening picture to other dogs and their owners, softens their feelings, attitudes, preconceptions, and demeanor, thereby making sidewalks, trails, and parks a happier and safer place for you and your dog.

Ian's book list on for teaching dog tricks

Dr. Ian Dunbar Why did Ian love this book?

The Big Book of Tricks is big, with 116 tricks and activities in all. (Eat your heart out Kyra!) Oodles of gorgeous, sequential photographs and very clear, straightforward, step-by-step instructions. The canine models include Larry’s Spider and Flashy Ferrari’s (Perondi) Stunt Dogs and the range of tricks is indeed eclectic, but well organized, comprising beginner, intermediate, movie, performance, dancing, stunts, and sports, including Head Balance and Butt Balance (brilliant for building rock-solid Stays), Hop Up and Hugs of various sorts, Crawl Weave, which looks easy for dogs but a challenging workout for the trainer, and Wipe Your Paws, a must-teach for muddy Labradors.

I’ve known Larry since he wrote his first dog book and we’ve shared a few bottles of Côtes du Rhône, and I know Chris by reputation… and my word what a truly amazing reputation… the Stunt Dogs perform over 1,000 shows a year. All his dogs…

By Larry Kay, Chris Perondi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Big Book of Tricks for the Best Dog Ever as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Show off your dog! And let your dog show off, too!

Using the secrets of professional dog trainers, this fully illustrated guide with hundreds of step-by-step photos show how to teach your pet 118 tricks and stunts. Organized from beginner level to pro, these tricks run the gamut from the kinds of things any well-behaved dog should know—fetch, paw shake, roll over—to stunts that will delight your friends and family, from dance routines to flying disc acrobatics. You’ll even learn the tricks behind filmmaking with dogs to create your own movie magic and performance showstoppers. And there are benefits far…


Book cover of The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs

Melissa Holbrook Pierson Author Of The Secret History of Kindness: Learning from How Dogs Learn

From my list on proving we don’t deserve dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was one of those little girls for whom all imaginary best friends were animals. I fantasized about running away to the woods with only a dog. I daydreamed endlessly about horses (and grew up to write a book about the strange and compelling relationship between women and horses). When I was adult enough to get my own dog, the love exploded like a firecracker. I wanted to learn everything I could about her—which of course led to learning perhaps even more about myself. My interests extend to the junctures of the natural world and that of humanity; I’ve also written books about the nature of home (The Place You Love Is Gone) and motorcycling.

Melissa's book list on proving we don’t deserve dogs

Melissa Holbrook Pierson Why did Melissa love this book?

You’ll have picked up a theme here: dog behavior is pretty simple. It’s human behavior, illuminated by how we act toward dogs, that’s damnably complicated. In this book a supremely well-informed behaviorist and trainer turns her scope not on the animals she’s studied so intently, but on the humans who interact with them. Only in that context can we understand why our pets do what they do: they do stuff because we are another kind of animal entirely. As primates, we persist in treating everyone else as if they were a primate, too. McConnell asks us to “get out of” ourselves—to think like a dog, to understand the needs of the Other, which is the essence of compassion. This book is a rare beauty: thoughtful, kind, ultimately radical in its request that we learn a little about the species we bring into a human world to unwittingly demand it adapt…

By Patricia McConnell,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Other End of the Leash as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Learn to communicate with your dog—using their language
 
“Good reading for dog lovers and an immensely useful manual for dog owners.”—The Washington Post
 
An Applied Animal Behaviorist and dog trainer with more than twenty years’ experience, Dr. Patricia McConnell reveals a revolutionary new perspective on our relationship with dogs—sharing insights on how “man’s best friend” might interpret our behavior, as well as essential advice on how to interact with our four-legged friends in ways that bring out the best in them.
 
After all, humans and dogs are two entirely different species, each shaped by its individual evolutionary heritage. Quite simply,…


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