I have found helpful information from all of these sources but don’t necessarily agree with everything in them. I am very much a positive trainer with corrections rarely layered in after dogs (never puppies) have totally mastered commands and only when they are administered fairly and when you know for absolute sure that your dog knows what you are asking and he refuses. Please excuse the format below. This page has just been posted to the site and no time to reformat it to fit the website until after puppies are in new homes.
1. Puppy culture – Raising a puppy from birth to 12 weeks. There is super information in this video that we agree with.
2. I recommend all the DVD's sold on Leerburg.com. Keep in mind that most of these DVD's are a little specific to German Shepherds and protection training but there is a lot of helpful information on these DVD’s. In general, Golden Retrievers have much softer temperaments than German Shepherds and so some of Ed Frawley’s methods need to be modified to be suitable for our puppies.
"Your Puppy 8 Weeks to 8 Months" (a Leerburg DVD) is my favorite resource if you were only going to buy one DVD. Good information and easy to follow.
3. Most Michael Ellis videos if you want to do any type of competitive obedience (He has a lot of detailed DVD’s if you become serious about training for competition). Again, his specialty is primarily with protection dogs, in Schutzhund training, and in Mondio Ring training. However, I have found most of his training philosophy to line up with mine and helpful with any type obedience training.
4. Connie Cleveland, Janice Gunn, and Bridgette Carlson DVD's for competitive obedience. “Dog’s are problem Solvers – the Connie Cleveland method” would be my recommendation if you were going to do competitive competition and only wanting to buy one DVD; I like the information on what to train, but I don’t agree with many of her methods; I haven’t found the “ear pinch” to be necessary to teach a dog to take a dumb bell nor most of her corrections; I prefer more positive training methods; but the DVD gives you a good understanding of what needs to be trained in order to take a dog to the highest levels of competitive obedience. Though I don’t like many of the methods taught here, this is an excellent DVD for learning what needs to be taught to a competitive obedience dog. Bridgette Carlson’s “Got Attitude” has a lot of tips on motivating your dog to work for you.
5. For agility, I like all the DVD's by Susan Garrett, Greg Derrick, and Susan Salo.
1. How to Raise a Puppy You can Live With – one of my favorites if just looking for one book
2. Before and After Getting Your Puppy – Dr. Ian Dunbar –
3. Puppy Possibilities: A Positive Approach to a Well-behaved Pet
4. Another Piece of the Puzzle: Puppy Development is a book about the puppy stages and how puppies develop…very good.
5. The New Knowledge of Dog Behavior has a lot of interesting info about dog behavior in general. It is an old book but has very good information. It was written by Clarence Pfaffenberger with Guide Dogs for the Blind.
6. The Other end of the Leash – This book has very interesting information about dog behavior. The author has a PhD in animal behavior. Her book has good info on how dogs read us and how they communicate not found in other places
7. Competition Obedience: A Balancing Act - A good book to read if you are interested in competitive obedience
8. Steppin’ Up to Success – A series of 3 books on competitive obedience; very helpful.
9. The Science and Technology of Dog Training – Great book but very scientific information about how dogs learn
10. Excel-erated Learning – Similar to the above book but a little smaller, more basic, and less scientific.
11. Puppies for Dummies – good overall book.
12. Golden Retrievers for Dummies is a good overall book with lots of info.
13. Agility Right from the Start – If you want to do Agility
14. Culture Clash – One of my favorites; listed last only because I read it recently – this book clarifies and explains why dogs are not little people in dog fur and what makes them different in not only who they are but how they learn.