If you’ve got a new dog, or just want to brush up on general training techniques, but don’t have any specific problems you need to work on or interest in slogging through a bunch of excess behavioral research, these are my favorite books.
Plenty In Life Is Free by Kathy Sdao
Plenty In Life Is Free has an easy-to-read and relaxed narrative style, making it very accessible while still full of science-based training advice. It includes both information about training, and personal stories about how the author’s training style and understanding of dogs has evolved during her career as a marine mammal trainer, and her conversion to a professional dog trainer. It doesn’t include many specific instructions for training specific tricks, but focuses on general information you can apply to anything you’d like to train your dog to do, and perfecting basic obedience.
Getting Started: Clicker Training for Dogs by Karen Pryor
Getting Started: Clicker Training for Dogs is basic, yet excellent clicker training. The information is perfect with someone who’s never done clicker training before and is interested in learning. A number of specific tricks are broken down into steps for you, and general clicker training is explained so that you can apply it to anything you’d like to see your dog do. Applying clicker training to basic obedience, such as loose leash walking and recall, is also detailed. The book is available alone, or as part of a kit with a clicker and quick reference cards with brief instructions for some of the tricks and behaviors outlined in the book.