Animal Training & Behavior Books

animal training books & animal behavior books

When I began the Animal Training Perspectives series, I had a few thoughts I wanted to share.

However, I was surprised during a question session with readers, prior to the series, when I was asked what my favorite animal training and behavior books were.

Which was a fair question, but truthfully I had to think about it because I don’t just do just one type of animal behavior or animal training.

This means that my library is pretty diverse since I work with a variety of species in different venues that cross many different parts of the “industry.”

Plus, I’ve been in my career with animals a long, long time and so have boxes of animal books in my storage room and only a few make it into my household book cases.

I also have my own work and methodology which you can read from my columns posted here on the site–and if you want to know about the integrative animal training methods I use, they can be found in my book, What Animals Can Teach Us about Spirituality.

Now my active book shelves tend to contain reference books that tell me about the natural history and behavior patterns of animals versus, “How To” books but the ones that are out of the storage area and that get hands on use include:

For general ease of reading and comprehension of different principles of training for both pet owners and pet professionals I can suggest

Of course there are many others but that is all I am going to share for now and I’ll be posting the favorites of the people who took the time to list them at another time…and I have a few dog training and behavior books waiting for reviews in the pile.

Photo Credit: ReadingInPublic

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  1. Glad to see you list Ken Ramirez’s book.
    I was surprised his book didn’t show up in any of the other lists.
    It is a bit expensive, but a good resource.

    I really enjoy Karen Pryor’s Don’t Shoot the Dog, I think it is the best general resource for the average pet owner who wants to learn more about how training actually works. The book is detailed, but fairly easy to read.

    Other general reading books I enjoy (and often recommend) are Pryor’s Lads Before the Wind and many of Temple Grandin’s books.

    Last year I read Paul McGreevy’s Carrots and Sticks, which is a fairly new text book aimed toward animal training. I really enjoyed it and thought it did a good job explaining even some of the more advanced behavior principles. I’ve been meaning to write a review of it on my blog, but haven’t yet.

    As far as general behavior textbooks go, my hands down favorite so far out of the handful I’ve encountered is the 2nd edition (1975) of Ferster, Culbertson and Boren’s Behavior Principles. It is long out of print, but occasionally there are not to inexpensive used copies online.


    P.S. — Your amazon link to the Mazur book isn’t functioning properly.

  2. P.S. See that you’ve switched to Disqus for your comments.

    I’ve been really pleased with it on my blog so far. I think it is a good system.

  3. Yes, I bit the bullet and am making some changes to the site. I have not quite figured out how to manage all of the comments and some spammers are getting through.