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Books on Training

There are many ways to train that can be successful if you apply them consistently. Some are more suitable than others for specific dogs – and specific trainers. Think about how suitable a particular training method is for your situation before you commit to it. Once you commit – be consistent! Don’t change techniques every time you go to a seminar!

Our sport shares characteristics for many different sports. It probably has most in common with IGP (Schutzhund). Certainly, tracking and obedience exercises are very similar to IGP.  But resources about agility, AKC tracking, nose work, traditional obedience, retriever training, and others may all be helpful to you. 


General Information

FCI Rescue Dogs Commission educational material on our sport.

Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog
By John Paul Scott and John L. Fuller
The classic study on genetics, socialization, and behavior. A must for every dog trainer.

The New Knowledge of Dog Behavior
By Clarence Pfaffenberger
Based on Scott and Fuller, covers the author’s extensive work to discover principles behind successful training

From Puppy to Working, Sporting or Police Dog
by Dick Staal

Training Dogs: A Manual
by Konrad Most
One of the earliest books on training, with surprisingly sophisticated information on theories behind training. Techniques are sometimes a bit harsh for modern practice. 

Search Phase

Scent work in general, nose work

K9 Scent Training: A Manual for Training Your Identification, Tracking and Detection Dog 
by Resi Gerritsen, Ruud Haak

Scent: Training to Track, Search and Rescue
by Milo Pearsall and Hugo Verbruggen

Scent and the Scenting Dog
by William Syrotuck
A good technical discussion of scent issues

The Nosework Dog: Understanding Olfaction and Odor
by Frederick Helfers


Introduction to Schutzhund tracking -

Dog Training with the Touch
by Tom Rose and Annetta Cheek
IGP style tracking

by Susan Barwig
An early book on Schutzhund, now somewhat dated but still with some useful advice

The following titles are all about AKC style tracking. There’s much useful information about tracking, how dogs scent, good tracklaying, the influence of sun and wind, etc. But IPO-R tracking is more like IGP (Schutzhund) tracking. 


Tracking Dog: Theory & Methods 
by Glen R. Johnson  
The classic tracking manual especially for AKC style tracking – but useful to all 

The Koehler Method of Training Tracking Dogs
by William R. Koehler
AKC tracking

Go Find! Training Your Dog to Track  
by Louis Wilson Davis   

Tracking from the Ground Up
by Sandy Ganz and Susan Boyd  
Another good AKC tracking style manual

Nosework For Dogs (Tracking and Related Applications)
by John Cree

Enthusiastic Tracking, The Step-by-Step Training Manual
by William (Sil) Sanders

Area Search


Ready! the Training of the Search and Rescue Dog
by Susan Bulanda
A standard for SAR team training

Search Dog Training
by Sandy Bryson

Search and Rescue Dogs:  Training the K9 Hero
by the American Rescue Dog Association

K9 Search and Rescue: A Manual for Training the Natural Way
by Resi Gerritsen and Ruud Haak



K9 Mantrailing - Our Way
by Timothy E. and Sara S. Perry

K9 Trailing The Straightest Path
by Jeff Schettler

Two Weeks to Operational Tracking: For Working Dog Handlers
by Jeffrey Schettler 

Start Mantrailing: Train a Dog to Find People
by Amber Higgins


Obedience and Dexterity Phase 




Dog Training with the Touch 
by Tom Rose and Annetta Cheek  
IGP style obedience

Schutzhund Obedience: Training in Drive
by Sheila Booth with Gottfried Dildei
IGP style obedience

by Susan Barwig
An early book on Schutzhund, now somewhat dated but still with some useful advice

K9 Obedience Training: Teaching Pets and Working Dogs to Be Reliable and Free-Thinking
by Susan Bulanda
Beyond Basic Dog Training
By Diane Bauman
Generally an AKC obedience book, but with lots of information about broadly applicable training principles

Companion Dog Training: A Practical Manual on Systematic Obedience Dog Training In Word And Picture
by Tossutti, Hans
The 1964 Revised Edition includes bringsel instruction, but this is essentially a book about pet training

Awesome Obedience: A Positive Training Plan for Competition Success 
by Hannah Branigan
AKC obedience, clicker training


The dexterity exercises are most closely related to agility but also to some exercises from the various Ring Sports.

Agility Training for You and your Dog
by Dianne Goodspeed, Ali Canova, Joe Caniva
The Beginners Guide to Dog Agility
by Laurie Leach
Agility for Starters
by Connie Sellers

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