Examination of the Accuracy and Applicability of Information in Popular Books on Dog Training

In: Society & Animals
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  • 1 School of Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of WaikatoHamiltonNew ZealandSchool of Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of WaikatoHamiltonNew
  • | 2 University of Waikato
  • | 3 University of Waikato
  • | 4 University of Waikato
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There is a wealth of popular literature available on dog behavior and training; sourcing reliable and trustworthy advice is important to achieving successful training. The aim of this study was to select five best-selling (at that time) dog training books, and review their general content and references to basic learning theory and human communicative cues. An Internet search was performed on three online bookstores’ websites for “best selling” “dog training” books. The books were by Millan and Peltier (), Fennell (), Stilwell (), Pryor (), and Monks of New Skete (). The results showed marked differences across all books, including inconsistencies in the depth of information provided, and some starkly contrasting training methods were advocated. Overall, these books were not all considered to function as instructional manuals. The persistent popularity of these books suggests that they have likely contributed appreciably to the type of information accessed by dog guardians.

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