The Bad Dog Blues

Bad dog!
Troubleshooting the family dog’s problem behaviors can completely derail your thoughts, time, and budget.

In fact, I had a whole different blog post planned for today, but I just couldn’t find the words.

I can't think straight because my dog has just started chewing up shoes, papers, Legos, and the occasional headlamp.

She’s in her second round of obedience training and we’ve already worked though house training, pulling on the leash, nipping, whining, and running away. I thought she was happy and had finally settled down. So this new bout of destructive chewing has me at a loss.

Where can a pet owner turn when Rover won’t behave? (or in my case, a beautiful 60-pound Collie mix named Arcee) 

A lot of dog training classes and behavior modification products cost a pretty penny. I've got a basket full of expensive dog toys that Arcee turns her nose up at.

In my experience, the Des Plaines Park District offers good and reasonably-priced dog training classes, but in this case, I need more information to supplement the classes. And since I’m already spending plenty on replacement shoes, I need it to be free.

Here at the library, we’ve got free resources that can teach you how to help your dog become a happy, healthy, well-behaved part of the family.

We have books, DVDs, and online classes.

We even have resources geared toward kids, so they can learn to be responsible pet owners too.

Let dogs be dogs: understanding canine nature and mastering the art of living with your dog. Monks of New Skete and Marc Goldberg

Let Dogs Be Dogs: Understanding Canine Nature and Mastering the Art of Living with Your Dog

by the Monks of New Skete and Marc Goldberg

A foundational guide for dog owners on dog care and training that shows them how to lead, provide for, and be a friend to their canine companions.

636.70887 MON

The Secret History of Kindness: Learning from How Dogs Learn. Melissa Holbrook Pierson

The Secret History of Kindness: Learning from How Dogs Learn

by Melissa Holbrook Pierson

A well-researched and thorough examination of current methods of dog training based on psychology; useful to those who want a deeper, beyond-the-basics understanding of the techniques. 

636.70835 PIE

101 dog tricks, kids edition : fun and easy activities, games, and crafts. Kyra Sundance

101 Dog Tricks, Kids Edition: Fun and Easy Activities, Games, and Crafts

by Kyra Sundance

Having your children train the family dog to perform tricks is an ideal way to build a safe and respectful relationship early on. This book will teach you everything you need to know to get your children involved in training the family dog. It also includes a fun arts and crafts section.

J 636.70887 SUN 

Our very own dog. Amanda McCardie

Our Very Own Dog

by Amanda McCardie

Ages 3-7.

Sophie is a boisterous and lovable Jack Russell, brought home from a rescue centre. The book follows her delightful adventures. The smaller caption text gives readers information about caring for dogs. Families in the early stages of bringing a dog into their lives should find this a reassuring guide to understanding their new pet. 

J 636.7 MCC 

The Very Best of Dog Whisperer. Cesar Millan


The Very Best of Dog Whisperer

Cesar Millan has an uncanny ability to rehabilitate problem dogs of all shapes and sizes. Cesar has captured the national spotlight as America's favorite dog expert. Relive his most challenging moments and greatest transformations on this very special show.

DVD 636.7 DOG

Rescue Your Dog from Fear: Tried-and-True Techniques to Help Your Dog Feel Secure Peggy O. Swager


Rescue Your Dog from Fear: Tried-and-True Techniques to Help Your Dog Feel Secure

by Peggy O. Swager

This book brings to dog owners and dog trainers newer and proven ways to help resolve fear issues in their dogs. From explaining the root of his timid behavior, to handling aggression and adjusting your own tone of voice, you’ll have all the information needed to make your companion feel safe and loved. 

Available online 

Universal Class

Universal Class is an online learning resource offered by the library. It has self-paced online classes (under pet care and animal courses) including:

  • Dog Training 101: A Guide for Beginners
  • Dog Training All-In-One: Beginner to Advanced Techniques
  • Advanced Dog Training
  • How to Choose the Right Dog for You
  • Dog Psychology 101
  • Dog Grooming 101
  • Pet Sitting & Dog Walking Business 101

To create a free Universal Class account, you will need a Des Plaines library card and an active email account. 

For more books or DVDs to help you understand and train your “best friend,” look for the call number 636.7.

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