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Courage Litter by Warrior Canine Connection

Book Recommendations for Dog Lovers: Warrior Canine Connection’s Staff Picks

Are you interested in combining your love of books with your love of dogs? Well, you’re in luck — we decided to ask staff members at Warrior Canine Connection, a nonprofit that enlists Warriors recovering from post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries to help train service dogs for their fellow Veterans, their picks for book recommendations that combine those two very subjects.

The result? The list below. There’s a mix of both training books and fiction, and we encourage you to check them out.

Of course, this list is just scratching the surface, the paw-sabilities are endless.

Staff Member: Thomae, Service Dog Trainer
Book/Author:  How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend by The Monks of New Skete
Why: “This book was one of the first dog training books I picked up. Their methods are based on the philosophy that ‘understanding is the key to communication, compassion, and communion’ with your dog. Even though it was published almost 20 years ago, the principles are sound and remain relevant to the work that I do today with our service dogs in training.”

Rick, Founder and Executive Director
Book/Author:  Made for Each Other: The Biology of the Human-Animal Bond by Meg Daley Olmert and second book — Handbook on Animal Assisted Therapy by Aubrey Fine
Why: “Regarding book picks, I would recommend Meg Daley Olmert’s book, Made for Each Other: The Biology of the Human Animal Bond and Aubrey Fine’s Handbook on Animal Assisted Therapy. Both books are incredibly important in understanding the healing power of the Canine Connection from both a scientific background and through application.”

Rocky, Service Dog Trainer
Book/Author:  Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
Why: “It was the first time that I realized other people could feel as strongly about a dog as I did. And then, it helped me understand the sometimes the right thing to do does not feel right at all.”

Allison, Director of Mission Based Trauma Recovery
Book/Author:  The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell
Why: “This book is less about dog training and more about canine communication. There is no point training a dog if you don’t know what they are *saying* to you!”

This next book got two picks. So, it’s got to be a good one, right?

Cheryl, Puppy Program Manager and Trainer
Book: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Why: “It’s really a bittersweet book, The Art of Racing in the Rain is a story that so clearly illustrates the human-animal bond but is also a total tearjerker and a total heart warmer at the same time. You’ll definitely cry but it will tug at your heartstrings at the same time.”

Dan, Service Dog Trainer
Book: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
Why: “It’s fictional but it gives an interesting perspective of a being a pet dog.”

Kim, Director of Facilities
Book: Walter the Farting Dog by William Kotzwinkle and Glenn Murray
Why: “Walter the Farting Dog was instrumental in convincing my boys that reading could be fun and the fact that he was a loyal family dog made it even more believable.”

Jess, Veterans Treatment Court Program Manager & Menlo Park Site Lead
Book: The Domestic Dog by James Serpell
Why: “The Domestic Dog would be my recommendation for a more technical account of training and dog behavior. It gives great insight into dog behavior backed by scientific evidence and is very thorough. The other book I would recommend is more of a memoir of a trainer’s journey while training a very difficult dog. It is called the Education of Will by Patricia McConnell and tells the story of Will, a dog of hers that taught her many things about her training, her dog handling abilities and provided her with many instances of self-introspection and growth.”


To learn more about Warrior Canine Connection and its programs, visit www.warriorcanineconnection.org.