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We have searched the web to find the best books available to you  for selecting, raising, training and enjoying your dog. To ensure you get the best customer service possible,  we have joined forces with Amazon.com and the SitStay Go Out Store, to bring you our recommendations for all kinds of Golden- and dog-related books and videos.
In association with Amazon.com SitStay GoOut Store Rewards!

It's easy!

1. Click on the topic below to find the books and videos we recommend. The star () marks those we think are perfect for every golden retriever owner.
2. Or, search for the book you want here:

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3. If you have just gotten a new puppy, or have one arriving shortly, you can go directly to our Puppy Buyer's Bookshelf to see the nine books we recommend for our puppy buyers.
4. If one of the books meets your needs, look in your local library or, to buy it on line, click on the icons below  to make your purchase..
5. Remember, books make great gifts for your dog-owning friends!

ballWhat are we reading?  

ball Competition Obedience

ball Puppy Buyer's Bookshelf

ball Field Training and Hunting

ball Golden Retriever

ball Agility

Puppy Selection

ball Conformation Showing

ballPuppy Raising

ball  Advanced Dog Behavior and Training

ball Caring for your Dog

ball  Other Dog Activities

ball Basic Dog Training

ball Dog Breeding

ball Dog Behavior

ball Other Fun Books about Goldens

ballDog Nutrition

ball  Pet Loss

What are We Reading?

Peak Performance Peak Performance: Coaching the Canine Athlete by Chris Zink shows us how to prepare our dog for any athletic endeavor and to keep them healthy and active for their entire lives.
Our rating: under review
On Talking Terms With Dogs: Calming Signals by Turid Rugaas. The book and the video by the same title are awesome! Not yet widely available in the US, this Norwegian author provides a wonderful study on the calming gestures made by dogs and how we can use them in our interactions. "It is down-to-earth, practical and so logical... This is essential reading for everyone who works with dogs." -Dr. Gaille Perry, Veterinarian, Professor, Dog Trainer, Australia.
Our rating:

Golden Retrievers

The World of the Golden Retriever: A Dog for All Seasons, by Nona Kilgore Bauer. If you are going to buy only one book about goldens, this is the one we recommend. It has wonderful photographs of goldens, introduces you to some of today's top kennels, and offers information about the many activities in which goldens can participate.  It also has lots of photos of many of the dogs in Gaylan's pedigrees ;-).

Our rating:

The Golden Retriever : All That Glitters, by Julie Cairns. Julie's newest book on golden retrievers contains all the information a novice golden retriever needs. A terrific book!  Our rating: 5 Stars

The New Golden Retriever, by Marcia Schlehr.  If you want to study the golden retriever breed, who better to learn from than the author and illustrator of the Study of the Golden Retriever, also known as the Blue Book. Published in 1996, The New Golden Retriever traces the development of the breed from its creation to today. Marcia's wonderful drawings illustrate her discussion of the Standard. Required reading for students of the golden retriever!

Our rating:

The New Complete Golden Retriever 2nd ed, by Gertrude Fischer. One of the Great Ladies of golden retrievers, Gertrude wrote the consumate book on the breed. Although published in 1984, it remains one of the most complete books on goldens. Gertrude was in California when I first started in goldens. I can still remember introducing this gracious woman to Dream, our first golden and grand-daughter of her own special dog, CH Holman's Mister Charlie WC.

Our rating:

Also recommended...
We recommend two books by British breeder and judge, Valerie Foss:

Golden Retrievers Today

The Ultimate Golden Retriever

If you are interested in English-type golden retrievers, these are the books to read.

Our rating:

The Golden Retriever, by Jeffrey Pepper. Long-time golden breeder, exhibitor and judge, Jeff Pepper offers a nice book with excellent photos of the top dogs of this century.

Our rating:

Puppy Selection
Your Purebred Puppy : A Buyers Guide,  by Michele Lowell .  This is the guide we have used for years to assist folks in finding the right breed for their situation.  Michele goes through each dog breed and offers an honest assessment of the dog's temperament, activity level, appropriateness with children, and trainability.  

Our rating:

The Perfect Match : A Dog Buyer's Guide, by Chris Walkowicz. Although we have only skimmed this book, Chris is one of our favorite authors on dog-related topics. We expect this book to be as good as her Old Dogs, Old Friends : Enjoying Your Older Dog.

Our rating: not yet reviewed (check back!).

Puppy Raising

SIRIUS Puppy Training, by Ian Dunbar.  Positive puppy training that involves the whole family.  Teach your pup to sit, down, stand, stay, come and heel before they are six months old.  A necessity for your library!

Our rating:

How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend: A Training Manual for Dog Owners, by the Monks of New Skete.  This 20-year old classic will teach you how to develop a deep and lasting relationship with your dog.  Wonderful techniques for puppy training.  If you buy no other book when you get your puppy, get this one!

Our rating:

How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With, by Clarice Rutherford and David H. Neil. This should be the next book you add to your collection.  Excellent sections on crate training, house breaking, and other basics for raising a puppy.  

Our rating:

Good Owners, Great Dogs, by Brian Kilcommons. This booki has grown on us over the years. Most dog owner's enjoy and respond to Brian's style and techniques. The year's he spent working with Barbara Woodhouse come through in this book.  An excellent addition to your library.

Our rating:  

The Art of Raising A Puppy, by the Monks of New Skete.  The Monks "other book." Another excellent approach to raising puppies.  Follow one of the Monk's litters of German Shepherds through their first weeks of life.  Learn the importance of the human-canine bond, from birth to death.

This book is also coming out on cassette tape so you can listen in the car or while traveling.

Our rating:  

Caring for Your Dog

DVGRR Grooming Video, by the Deleware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue. This is the best video for learning to groom your pet golden.  AND, proceeds from the sale of the video go to support golden retrievr rescue.  Keep your golden looking and feeling great using this video.  

Our rating:

Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook, by Delbert Carlson and James Giffin. This book has been our main source of veterinary information (outside our own vet, of course) for the 20 years we have been breeding dogs.  It is easy to use, well indexed, and covers most of the symptoms and diseases of primary concern to the pet owner.

Our rating:

UC Davis Book of Dogs : The Complete Medical Reference Guide for Dogs and Puppies, by School of Veterinary Medicine Staff, Mordecai Siegal. We are less familiar with this book but it has been recommended by others.  

Our rating: not yet reviewed (check back!).

The Merck Veterinary Manual (8th Ed), by Susan E. Aiello. The Bible of vet care.  If you are serious about dogs, you must have this book.

 Our rating:

Basic Dog Training
The Culture Clash: a Revolutionary new way of understanding the relationship between humans and domestic dogs, by Jean Donaldson. If you are getting a puppy or dog, you must read this book. It is now required reading for my future puppy buyers. Jean tells it like it is--dogs are NOT little, furry people.  Although we often treasure their differences from us, we also expect them to be both both perfectly canine and human. Be fair to your dog--read this book!  Check out Jean's website at http://www.lasardogs.com/homepage.htm.

Our rating: 

Mother Knows Best : The Natural Way to Train Your Dog, by Carol Lea Benjamin. Our favorite doggy author! Carol approaches both dogs and people in that matter-of-fact style that most native New Yorkers have.  She will both entertain you and educate you. We had the opportunity to meet Carol at the Westminster Dog Show two years ago and she is as wonderful in person as she is in her books. We also recommend Carol's other books on teaching tricks, fixing problems, and adopting a shelter dog.

Our rating:

Surviving Your Dog's Adolescence: A Positive Training Approach, by Carol Lea Benjamin.  Added to the list by Rosie Higdon, this book is exactly what you need as your cute puppy approaches adolescence. Teenage dogs can try the patience of even saints so us mere mortals need the guidance of someone like Carol.  

Our rating:

Behavior Booklets, by Ian Dunbar & Gwen Bohnenkamp. Easy to read, easy to use, packed full of terrific information. These booklets have become a mainstay for us in how to deal with those not-so-lovely behaviors dogs have.  Booklets include: Preventing Agression, housetraining, Barking, Chewing (plus Trashing), Digging, Shyness/Fearfulness, Fighting, and Socialization.  Get them all or just the ones for your dog.

Our rating:

Help My Dog Has An Attitude, by Gwen Bohnenkamp. We attended Gwen's Puppy Kindergarten with both Joss and Flyer while we were in California.  Her down-to-earth approach to problems dog develop helps most owners work through the issues.  Hopefully your dog doesn't have any bad habits, but if he does, this is the book for you. Learn more about Gwen on her website http://www.perfectpaws.com/.

Our rating:

A Behavior Sampler, by Gary Wilkes.  Through the anecdotes and illustrations that Gary Wilkes uses in this book,you will come to understand the magic of having a canine companion and experience the human/animal bond. This book will help you evaluate other books and videos. He presents canine behavioral concepts accurately and concisely. You'll understand his approach to training. The book covers training, problem behaviors, care and keeping, acquiring a pet and problems we cause. I believe you will enjoy this book.

This book is available through Direct Books or you can order it as an out-of-print book through Amazon.

Dog Behavior Books

The Dog's Mind : Understanding Your Dog's Behavior, by Bruce Fogle.  A fine discussion of the dog's mind in terms all of us can understand.  Definitely will help you understand the world from your dog's perspcetive.

Our rating:

Dog Nutrition

More and more dog owners are feeding their dogs natural, or even raw diets. We changed Allure and Flyer over early in 2000 and have been very happy with the results. The best book we have found is Kymythy Schultze's Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats.

Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats: The Ultimate Pet Diet by Kymythy R. Schultze. This easy-to-understand book lays out a logical argument for feeding a species-appropriate diet. It also provides clear guidance for preparing your dog's (or cat's) natural diet.
Our rating:
Give Your Dog a Bone, by Dr. Ian Billinghurst.  We have only found Dr. Billinghurst's books in the Dog and Cat Book Catalog. However, we have ordered from them before and have had good experiences. The first of Dr Billinghurst's revolutionary (and controversial) books on natural feeding for dogs.

Raise your Pups with Bones, by Dr. Ian Billinghurst. A follow-up to his 1993, Give Your Dog a Bone. In this book, Dr Billighurst introduces BARF (bones and raw food) feeding and suggests that feeding this method will produce healthier dogs.

The Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog, by Wendy Volhard and Kerry L. Brown.  From an Amazon.com reviewer--This book deserves more than just 5 stars. Besides complete instructions to formulating a natural diet for any kind of dog, incuding puppies and sick pets, Volhard and Brown explain the details of alternative veterinary care options. Also included is an entire section on toxins and allergies, a guide to herbal therapy, and a list of vitamins, minerals, and supplements and there purposes. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the natural diet or in dog health in general. In fact, I recommend this book to simply anyone!
Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats, by Richard H. Pitcairn, Susan Hubble Pitcairn (Contributor), Michael W. Fox.  From the Amazon.com review--A classic natural pet-care book from two celebrated veterinary specialists in chemical-free nutrition, treatment, and natural healing forpets, Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats offers valuable natural and holistic advice on a host of pet topics, including, but not limited to, diet, exercise, environment, coping with a pet's death, and how to care for a sick animal.

Competition Obedience

Beyond Basic Dog Training, by Diane Bauman. In the early 1980s, Diane forced the dog world to discuss the concept of the thinking dog. The debate that ensued was heated and intense, but drove many trainers to recognize their trainng methods were based on the assumption that dogs did not and could not think.  In Beyond Basic Dog Training, Diane presents a training philosophy and method based on the belief that dogs can and should be encouraged to think.  I trained with Diane in the mid-80s and have reestablished that partenership since returning to NY.  If you don't have the chance to train with her, then Diane's book is mandatory for anyone who wants to train their dog fairly and honestly for competitive obedience.

Our rating:

Beyond Basic Dog Training Workbook, by Diane Bauman.  A nice supplement to her book.  This workbook enables you to keep track of your training as you approach each exercise in dog-sized bites.

Our rating:

Field Training and Hunting           
The Working Retrievers, by Tom Quinn and Tony Bodio.  Although  we have not seen the new edition, due out this month, Tom's original Working Retrievers was a wonderful book for folks wanted to train their dog for hunting rather than field trials.

Our rating:

Tri-Tronics Retriever Training, by Jim and Phyllis Dobbs and Alice Woodyard.  Not just for trainers using Tri-Tronics electric collars, this book offers some of the best methods for starting out young puppies, yard work, the compulsive retrieve, marking drills, and handling.  Jim and Phyllis have left Tri-Tronics and started their own training center in California, the Dobbs Training Center.  Check out their web site for  their library of training tips, seminar dates (a MUST for anyone training a dog to master hunter level), and training equipment.

Our rating:


Agility is the fastest growing dog sport in the country because both people and dogs love it. Here are the videos and books we recommend.
Excelling at Dog Agility Excelling at Dog Agility: Book 1: Obstacle Training by Jane Simmons-Moake. This is Jane's newest and best book yet. A great way to start or fine-tune your agility training. Our rating:
Competitive Agility Training Videos, by Jane Simmons-Moake. This set of training videos (Obstacles, Sequencing, Advanced Handling) is jam-packed with ideas, solutions and course suggestions. Professionally done, well presented.

Our rating:

Agility Success by Angela Steinker, M.Ed. This book addresses the mental aspect of the agility game. It teaches you to consistently reach "the zone" so you can have peak agility performances.

Agility Training: The Fun Sport for All Dogs, by Jane Simmons-Mioake.  Jane and her beautiful goldens have been at the top of the American agility scene for a number years.

Our rating: not yet reviewed (check back!).

Agility Fun The Hobday Way, volumes 1-3, by Ruth Hobday. Ruth is one of Britain's finest agility trainers.  In this series of books she offers a "how-to" guide to teaching future agility stars to love the sport. I love the way this book offers lessons, courses, and easy-to-follow instructions for teaching your dog.

Our rating:

Beginning Dog Agility: From Backyard to Competition, by Julie Daniels.  Another book we haven't yet reviewed but it was nominated for Best Training Book by the Dog Writers of America in 1991.  

Our rating: not yet reviewed (check back!).

Conformation Books

The Winning Edge : Show Ring Secrets by George G. Alston with Connie Vanacore. This is the book for learning to handle your own dog in the conformation ring. George has been one of the top winning handlers of the last three decades.  He teaches a straightforward and educated presentation of your dog. If you can read this book and then attend one of his handling seminars, you will be in great shape to show your own dog. (BTW, George's daughter, Jane Alston-Myer, was the handler who finished Elvis in only two months of showing!)

The New Dogsteps : A Better Understanding of Dog Gait Through Cineradiography ('Moving X-Rays'), by Rachel Page Elliott and Eve Andrade (Photographer). Pagey Elliot brought dog movement to light over twnety years ago when she used cineradiography to examine it. Pagey is also a golden lover and breeder. She and her husband brought some of the first goldens to the U.S.  She also produced the GRCA video of the golden retriever (which features yours truly and Dream).

Dual Ring Dog/Successful Training for Both Conformation and Obedience Competition, by Jacqueline Fraser and Amy Ammen. Since so many of you want to "do it all" with your dog, here is a book to help deconflict the conformaiton and obedience rings for your dog. It can be done!

Advanced Dog Behavior and Training

Excel-Erated Learning : Explaining in Plain English How Dogs Learn and How Best to Teach Them, by Pamela J. Reid, Ph.D.  I saw Pam at APDT and was impressed with her matter-of-fact approach to dog training.  This book offers a clear explanation of classical and operant conditioning without all the psychological mumbo-jumbo. These concepts are illustrated with results from both experiments that have been done on animals and situations we all face in training.  If you haven't had an advanced level college course in learning theory, this is the book for you.  If you have, it will be a good review.

Our rating:

Don't Shoot the Dog Don't Shoot the Dog! The New Art of Teaching and Training, by Karen Pryor. Dolphin-trainer and clicker-master, Karen Pryor will change your view of rewarding and punishing not only your dog, but your children, parents, spouse, boss, cat, friends, goldfish, neighbors...A must for anyone who wants to deal with their dog fairly and honestly. 

Our rating:

Dog Behavior: Why Dogs Do What They Do, by Dr. Ian Dunar.  I have long been a fan of Ian--I attended the first seminar he gave in this country back in the early '80s, and had the honor of attending what may have been his last Puppy Kindergarten seminar about two years ago.  This book will help you understand your dog, not as a furry person, but as a natural animal with species-specific drives and instincts.  Another must for the student of dogs. 

Our rating:

Dog Breeding
Born to Win : Breed to Succeed, by Patricia V. Craige. Pat Craige has long been one of the country's top breeder of  Norwegian Elkhounds under the Vin-Melca kennel name. In this book, she shares her secrets for breeding and competing for the top honors in the dog show game.  This book has become our bible for establishing a thoughtful, long-term breeding program focused on temperament, health, and soundness.  

Our rating:

The Joy of Breeding Your Own Show Dog by Ann Seranne. An older but still valuable book on breeding quality dogs--from selecting breeding animals to whelping the litter.

Our rating:

Successful Dog Breeding : The Complete Handbook of Canine Midwifery, by Chris Walkowicz and  Bonnie Wilcox (Contributor). Somewhat simplistic in its explanations but still a valuable resource for reputable breeders. 

Our rating:

Genetics of the Dog, by Malcolm B. Willis.  A book for the serious breeder seeking to understand the role genetics play in the characteristics of dogs.

 Our rating:

Other Fun Books about Goldens and Dogs
Just Goldens, by Dale C. Spartas (Photographer) and Tom Davis.  I  received this book as a gift last Christmas and expected it to be just another popular book on  goldens. But once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down.  For those of us with pet goldens, this book captures their essence.  For those of us with show dogs, it reminds us of what drew us to the breed in the first place.  Makes a wonderful gift for a golden owner.

 Our rating:

Yellowdog, by Debra Marlin.  The loss of Sonny, her first goldlen retriever inspired Debra to create this photographic journal of her goldens and their lives on Martha's Vineyard. A wonderful addition for anyone who has loved that one special golden.

Our rating:

Pet loss

The Loss of a Pet : New Revised and Expanded Edition, by Wallace Sife.  This Maxwell Award winner, given by the Dog Writers of America for Best Non-fiction, offers solice and understanding for pet owners and counselors alike.

Our rating:

Yellowdog, by Debra Marlin.  The loss of Sonny, her first goldlen retriever inspired Debra to create this photographic journal of her goldens and their lives on Martha's Vineyard. A wonderful addition for anyone who has loved and lost that one special golden.

Our rating:

Cold Noses at the Pearly Gates, by Gary Kurz.

Our rating: not yet reviewed (check back!).

It's Okay To Cry, by Maria L. Quintana, Shari L. Veleba, Harley G. King. A collection of 60+ stories from others who have lost their pets.  You are not alone!

Our rating: not yet reviewed (check back!)

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