PetLvr Book Club: What's On My Must-Read List

I write a lot about pets and animal behavior, but I read about these subjects even more. As a result, I’ve developed a fairly substantial collection of books about pets.

I’d like to share with you a few suggestions. Each of the books I’ll discuss is a “must read” for pet owners, in my opinion. Without further ado, I call to order the first meeting of the PetLvr Book Club.

The Dog Who Would Be King

by: John C. Wright and Judi Wright Lashnits

The Dog Who Would Be King tops my reading list for its compelling case studies of dogs with serious behavior problems, as well as its common-sense advice for owners in similar situations. The book’s feline counterpart, Is Your Cat Crazy (the answer is yes!) isn’t quite as fun to read, but equally useful for owners. Both books belong in every pet owner’s collection.

John C. Wright’s true stories about his work as an Animal Behaviorist inspired me to study animal behavior after I received The Dog Who Would Be King as a birthday gift. I’ve read it at least a dozen times since, and still aspire someday to work as an Animal Behaviorist in the mold of Wright. Nearly every common dog problem is covered in this book, along with quite a few very uncommon and unique problems. Even if your dog’s particular quirk isn’t mentioned, you’ll probably feel better about your own pets after reading about some of the bizarre behaviors treated by Dr. Wright!

I don’t agree with every solution proposed in Wright’s books. For example, I think he’s a little too quick to suggest bark collars to his clients, and prescribes their use in some situations where exercise and training could serve the same purpose. However, he stresses that every dog and situation is different. What works for one dog may not work for the next. He emphasizes the importance of professional help for serious problems like biting, and his solutions for less serious problems are solid.

I recommend Dr. Wright’s books for any pet owner who’d like to gain a more thorough understanding of the behavior of dogs and cats. Wright describes complex concepts like counter-conditioning and behavior chaining simply and effectively. You won’t even know you’re learning a science. You’ll be too busy marveling at the neurotic dogs Wright describes, and second-guessing the author by trying to unravel each behavioral puzzle before he does!

Note: The PetLvr Book Club will be a recurring feature, but has nothing to do with PetLvr Product Reviews. I will not accept books for review, as I simply don’t have the time.

Amazon links are provided for your convenience and include our affiliate link .. but please patronize your nearest independently owned bookstore if you are able.

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