Dog aggression is a common behaviour problem reported by dog owners around the world.
According to a research by veterinary behaviourist Dr Nicholas Dodman, about 42% of dog owners report some sort of behaviour problems their dogs are facing.
Aggression in dogs can become a headache for dog owners and can further deteriorate the mental well-being of dogs. Living with an aggressive dog can be difficult but understanding the underlying causes behind the problem will help you in helping your cuddly companion.
Here are 10 best books to train your aggressive dog that also helped me in tackling aggressive behaviour of my four-legged companion Bruno. These books cover a wide range of topics concerning the causes, types and things that cause aggressive behaviour in dogs.
Let’s dive right in.
Here’s a list of 10 best books to train your aggressive dog, plus few more
Help For Your Fearful Dog: A step-by-step guide to helping your dog conquer his fears, by Nicole Wilde
Fear is one of the major factors which contributes towards aggressive behaviour in dogs. Nicole Wilde is a professional trainer who specializes in training fear and anxiety in dogs.
What kind of fear does your dog have? Fear of strangers, fear of other dogs, fear of sounds, fear of riding in the car or fear of being left alone, Wilde offers a step-by-step guide to treat canine anxiety, fears and phobias.
Guide To a Well-behaved Dog, by Zak George
A complete problem-based guide on solving the behavioural issues like barking, play biting, not listening, thunderstorm phobia, separation anxiety and other problems.
You might recognize the author Zak from his hundreds of YouTube videos on training dogs and working with celebrity pets. In this audiobook, Zak delves deep into why dogs do what they do and how to tackle any problems that might arise.
According to Zak, it’s never too late to correct behavioural issues in dogs, even if they are older.
Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out: Training the Crazy Dog from Over the Top to Under Control by Laura VanArendonk Baugh
Award-winning and internationally-known trainer Laura VanArendonk Baugh has put forward a delightful book on dealing with overly-aroused dogs. Written in a conversational style with funny anecdotes, Laura proves that calming your agitated dog not only possible but pleasant.
This book will show you how to ‘clean up’ unreliable behaviour in both over-excited sport and pet dog and recognize how fear, aggression and excitement are rooted in the same problem.
Click to Calm: Healing the Aggressive Dog, by Emma Parsons
A popular book on dealing with aggressive behaviour in dogs, Emma Parsons, a canine behaviour consultant, shows you how to use our own body language as a cue to calm your dog.
A practical and easy to follow guide on how to desensitize your dog to approaching strange dogs, grab your dog’s collar without getting bitten, teach how to perform canine calming signals on cue and other simple techniques on controlling aggression problems.
The Midnight Dog Walkers: Positive Training and Practical Advice for Living with Reactive and Aggressive Dogs, by Annie Phenix
Hyper-reaction and aggression is a behavioural issue faced by many dog owners. This kind of behaviour is more prevalent in rescue dogs due to past trauma or a negative social interaction.
Certified dog trainer Annie Phenix, explains why such dogs need to be handled with utmost care and patience. Annie gives you tips on how to rehabilitate a reactive or leash-aggressive dog using force-free, positive and reward-centred techniques instead of resorting to extreme methods.
Fight! A Practical Guide To The Treatment of Dog-Dog Aggression, by Jean Donaldson
A practical guide for dogs who fight with, lunge at and don’t get along with other dogs. The behavioural issue of Dog-Dog aggression is often underlooked by dog owners as an instinctive behaviour.
This transparent and easy-to-follow manual will guide trainers and dog owners how to use behaviour modification method to retrain your dog to stop him/her from bullying or being fearful of other dogs.
Mine! A Practical Guide To Resource Guarding in Dogs, by Jean Donaldson
Another good book by leading dog training expert Jean Donaldson, Mine! delves deep into the most common innate behaviour of dogs to guard desirable things, also called as resource guarding.
Jean walks you through common resource guarding signs like becoming demonic around the food bowl, snarly on the sofa or grouchy when chewing on a bone and how to tackle them. A must-read book especially, for owners of older dogs with resource guarding problems.
How To Behave So Your Dog Behaves, Dr Sophia Yin
A lot of behaviour issues in dogs stem out of the dog-human relationship and how we behave around them. Dr Sophia Yin explains how to change the behaviour of your dog by addressing your own underlying behaviour.
This easy-to-follow book with informative graphics will guide you to a positive and scientifically proven approach for understanding and effectively communicating with your dog.
Dog owners and trainers will have a clearer perspective of how changing your own behaviour will result in a well-behaved dog.
How Dogs Think, by Dr Stanley Coren
Have you ever wondered what your pet dog is thinking? What thoughts go on his mind when alone? How does he perceive the world and our interaction with them? Does he like music, art, dancing and can he learn new things by watching other dogs or even a person do it?
Leading animal psychology expert Dr Stanley answers all your question on how a dog sees, perceives and thinks about the world. From understanding, silly and irrational behaviours to understanding moments of brilliance and creativity shown by these playful creatures, Stanley, makes you look at things the way dogs see them.
Understanding how your dog thinks will help you in better dealing with aggression problems of your dog.
Cesar’s Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems, by Cesar Millan
Celebrity dog trainer and well-renowned host of Nat Geo’s TV show Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan, reveals how aggression develops in dogs and how to correct them.
Cesar’s way of building a healthy relationship with your dog is simple: exercise, discipline and affection, in that order. Cesar cites many of his fascinating cases of handling aggressive dogs to better explain the underlying causes of the behavioural problems.
Bonus – General Dog Training Books (Must Have Books)
Don’t Shoot The Dog, by Karen Pryor
Written by groundbreaking behavioural scientist Karen Pryor, ‘Don’t Shoot The Dog’, is not a just a book on training your pet dog but a complete self-help book on changing your own behaviour and also of your children.
Pryor is a leading proponent of ‘clicker training’, a training system based on operant conditioning and positive reinforcing method. Learn how to use the clicker training method to set the right discipline in your dog without having to resort to yelling or punishing.
Pryor’s clicker training is now widely used by experts to train dogs, cats, horses, birds and zoo animals.
The Power of Positive Dog Training, by Pat Miller
Pat Miller, a renowned dog trainer introduces you the positive training tools to develop a lifelong relationship of fun, trust and respect with your dog.
Miller emphasizes the importance of observing, understanding and reacting appropriately to your dog’s body language. The book contains a set of instructions and basic exercises to train your dog using a clicker.
Train your dog Pat’s proven methods with a diary to track progress, suggestions for treats your dogs will respond to and a glossary of training terms.
101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog (Dog Tricks and Training)
Now that you know how to tackle aggressive behaviour its time to learn how to keep your dog mentally sharp and active by teaching him some tricks. Tricks are a very effective way of making your dog to exercise and build a strong bond with your dog.
The book contains 101 tricks like sit, shake hands, fetch, and rollover, to extraordinary ones like tidy up your toys into the Toybox and Get a Soda from the fridge.
Searching for the right material from hundreds of books and articles out there on the internet can be overwhelming. It is nearly impossible to differentiate sound scientific-techniques from uninformed methods of so-called dog experts.
The books mentioned above are recommended time and again by experts and veterinarians around the world. Choose the best book for your dog based on the behavioural issues you spot in him but if the problem persists you should always consult an expert dog trainer or animal behaviourist.