These are our reading recommendations for understanding dogs. Many are not dog-specific for an important reason. No longer can we pretend the neurology of dogs and humans is fundamentally different; it isn't. Neuroscience constantly pushes our understanding forward and we now know that the functions of the reptilian brain (layer one) and the limbic system (layer two) are the same in all ways that matter. Dogs also have a neo-cortex (layer three) and pre-frontal cortex (executive function).
The last two are different (mostly just smaller and less developed) but where they are similar, dogs are closer to us than we previously thought. The idea of dog psychology being completely different from human psychology is largely outdated at this point. It really only holds from the perspective of dogs being apex predators, which has, of course, major implications. In any case, anyone truly interested in understanding dogs and how to train them will find plenty of knowledge on these pages.
Affective Neuroscience by Jaak Panksepp
The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions.
Emotions drive behaviour. This is a scientific book but very accessible. Understanding the affective systems in mammals is at the core of how we help insecure and fearful dogs. Through neuroscience how our understanding of the canine mind continues to expand. No longer do we train based on assumptions. We now can train with knowledge and actual science behind it. To truly understand fear and aggression on a biological level, read this book!
Behave by Robert Sapolsky
The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
Range by David Epstein
Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Sports, Art, Music, Math, and ...
The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge
Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Scienc
Excel-erated Learning by Pamela J. Reid
Explaining in plain English how dogs learn and how best to teach them