My Recommended Reading List

The books below are books that I refer back to again and again, either because they serve as wonderful reference materials, or they're just plain good reads. I'll continue to add to this list, as I'm a fairly avid reader, so check back regularly.


Clear Mind: A Goal Setting Workbook for Agility Handlers, by Shawna Palmer, Ph.D., and Daisy Peel, is an E-book available for purchase right here are www.daisypeel.com! This E-book is the result of me spending countless hours and much effort going through sport psychology resources to find information I could apply to agility. I wanted to write a book that was practical as well as sports specific for agility handlers. I was very fortunate to acquire Shawna Palmer as a student, as she brought with her a wealth of knowledge on goal setting, visualization, mental management, and the practical application of those aspects of sport.
Nerve - by Taylor ClarkNerve: Poise Under Pressure, Serenity Under Stress, and the Brave New Science of Fear and Cool, is written by Taylor Clark.  Taylor is a NW author and a friend of my husband's brother and my husband.  He gave us a galley copy of the book to read at Christmas, and I snatched it out of David's hands when I saw the title.  It's a great read! Taylor also wrote Starbucked: A Double Tall Tale of Caffeine, Commerce, and Culture, which is also a great read, and although it's unrelated to dog agility or training, if you're from the NW or a coffee addict (I'm both!), it's worth checking out.
With Winning in Mind: The Mental Management System, by Lanny Bassham, is in my opinion the best Mental Management book out there.  It's simple, and to the point, and rather than waxing philosophical on why you need a Mental Management program, it goes right to the heart of how to improve your Mental Management program.
Developing Jumping Skills for Awesome Agility Dogs, written by Linda Mecklenburg, is in my opinion a MUST HAVE for all agility handlers.  I swear by it, and credit much of my success in jump training to Linda and her methods.
Developing Handling Skills for Awesome Agility Dogs, also written by Linda Mecklenburg, is another must have for all agility handlers.
Outliers: The Story of Success, written by Malcolm Gladwell, is a thought provoking treatise on how those who are outside of the norm with respect to success in their field really become the outliers that they are. While it's not directly dog agility related, it, along with the next book on my list, in my opinion provides an interesting insights.
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, also by Malcom Gladwell, is interesting to me because it sheds insight in to why some of us seem to be able to make snap decisions that work, and others make snap decisions that…well…cause the wheels to fall off of an agility run.  Why is that?
 Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior and Training, Vol. 3: Procedures and Protocols is a textbook, and the print is pretty tiny, and the book is somewhat spendy, but well worth it.  I own all three volumes and don't regret buying any of them. If you're interested in dog behavior and training from a historical, ethical, cynopraxic, or scientific standpoint, these are great books to have and to read.
Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior and Training, Vol. 1: Adaptation and Learning is the first of the three volume series – I own all three.  This first volume is pretty amazing; it details the scientific studies carried out to determine at what ages dogs undergo what types of behavioral changes, socialization periods, etc. Certainly, many of those experiments seem questionable from an ethical standpoint, but the information is very, very meaty, and once you realize how people came to realize when critical socialization and fear periods occurred, and why we call them critical periods, you'll never fail to adequately socialize a puppy again, if for no other reason than to show respect toward all those puppies that suffered to provide us with that knowledge.

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