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APDT Recommended Resources

See also: So You Want to be a Dog Trainer!

The following is a list of resources for anyone who aspires to be a dog training and behavior professional. There is much one needs to know about not only dogs, but people, business and more in order to be successful in this profession. These resources have been thoughtfully selected by the APDT Education Advisory Group and the APDT Education Committee. They are recommended as the base foundation for a well-rounded professional based upon the APDT's Body of Knowledge.

This list of resources is intended to:

  • Help you identify quality resources you can trust, so you don't have to spend time vetting them yourself.
  • Help you identify which topics you are well versed in, and which may need more attention.
  • Help you create a well-rounded resource "bookshelf."

Resource Checklist

Download Checklist

We invite you to utilize the handy checklist provided above to help you identify which resources you already possess, have read, or are familiar with. We challenge you to work toward checking off ALL resources on this list, to help ensure your education and knowledge are truly well-rounded.

Learning: Animal

Learning: Human

Canine Behavior

Canine Behavior

Title Author
What is My Dog Saying (DVD) Carol Byrnes
Canine Behavior: An Illustrated Guide Barbara Handelman
Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog John Paul Scott and John Fuller
Handbook of Dog Behavior and Training V1-3 Steven Lindsay
How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves, 2nd edition Sophia Yin
The Thinking Dog Gail Fisher
The Dog: It's Behavior, Nutrition and Health  2nd ed is 2005, Iowa State University Press, Linda Case
Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You A Better Friend to Your Pet John Bradshaw, Basic Books, 2011
Dogs: A New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior and Evolution Raymond and Lorna Coppinger, University of Chicago Press, 2001
For the Love of A Dog Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D, Ballantine Books, 2005, 2006
Inside of A Dog Alexandra Horowitz
On Talking Terms With Dogs: Calming Signals Turid Rugaas, Dogwise Publishing, 2006
The New Knowledge of Dog Behavior Clarence Pfaffenberger
The Other End of the Leash – Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D, Ballantine Books, 2002
The Power of Positive Dog Training Pat Miller
AVSAB Position Statement on the Use of Dominance Theory in Behavior Modification of animals. American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior 2009.
AVSAB Position Statement - Punishment Guidelines: The use of punishment for dealing with animal behavior problems. American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior 2007.
Association of Professional Dog Trainers 2009. APDT Position Statement on Dominance and Dog Training APDT
Association of Professional Dog Trainers 2009. Dominance Myths and Dog Training Realities APDT
The relationship between training methods and the occurrence of behavior problems, as reported by owners, in a population of domestic dogs. Blackwell, Emily J., Twells, Caroline Anne, Seawright, Rachel A. Casey. 2008. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, September/October 2008, pp 207-217.
Dominance in domestic dogs - useful construct or bad habit? Bradshaw J.W.S., Blackwell E.J., Casey R.A. 2009. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, May/June 2009, pp 135-144.
The Misbehavior of Organisms Breland, Keller, Breland, Marian,
Alpha Status, Dominance, and Division of Labor in Wolf Packs. Mech L.D. 1999. Canadian Journal of Zoology.
Whatever happened to the term alpha wolf? Mech L.D. 2008. International Wolf.
Why Won't "Dominance" Die? Ryan, David. 2010. Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors website,
Moving Beyond the Dominance Myth: Toward An Understanding of Training as Partnership Spector, Morgan, , Tufts Animal Expo Conference Proceedings, September 1, 2001
Early Canid Domestication: The Farm-Fox Experiment Trut, Lyudmila N., , American Scientist, Volume 87,
Dog training methods—their use, effectiveness and interaction with behaviour and welfare. Hiby, E.F., Rooney, N.J., Bradshaw, J.W.S., 2004, Anim. Welfare 13, 63–69.



Title Author
So You Want to Be a Dog Trainer Nicole Wilde
How to Run a Dog Business Veronica Boutelle
Minding Your Dog Business: A Practical Guide to Business Success for Dog Professionals Veronica Boutelle & Rikki Jorgensen
One on One: A Dog Trainer's Guide to Private Training Nicole Wilde
Six Steps to Creating Profit:  A Guide for Small and Mid-sized Service Based Businesses Patricia Sigmon
The Discipline of Market Leaders: Choose Your Customers, Narrow Your Focus, Dominate Your Market Michael Treacy & Fred Wiersema
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It Michel E. Gerber
NxLeveL Guide For Business Start-Ups: Helping Entrepreneurs Reach the Next Level of Success Brandan Kearney & David P. Wold
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity David Allen
Inside the Magic Kingdom Tom Connellan
The 8 Dimensions of Leadership: DiSC Strategies for Becoming a Better Leader Jeffrey Sugarmen
Whale Done! Ken Blanchard

Laws and Legislation

Laws and Legislation

Title Author
Dog Law Mary Randolph
The Ethical Dog Trainer Jim Barry, Dogwise, 2008
Legal Guide for Starting & Running a Small Business, 13th Edition Fred S. Steingold

Health and Nutrition

Health and Nutrition

Title Author
Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats Dr. Richard Pitcairn
The Merck Veterinary Manual  
UCDavis Book of Dogs, Medical Reference Mordecai Siegal
The Dog: Its Behavior, Nutrition and Health – 2nd ed is 2005 Iowa State University Press, Linda Case

APDT Chronicle of the Dog

Chronicile of the Dog

The quarterly APDT Chronicle of the Dog keeps APDT members abreast of contemporary pet dog training techniques and provides a lively forum for discussion of dog training and behavior issues.

Annual Conference

Annual Educational Conference and Trade Show


Date: Oct. 18-21, 2017
Location: Richmond, VA.

Richmond Marriott.
Richmond, VA.

APDT Foundation

The corporation is organized for charitable and educational purposes within the meaning of 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

The purpose of the foundation is to raise funds for scientific research and of education  of dog trainers.

Visit Foundation website

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