It’s summer! As if you didn’t have enough things to do to keep your Berner cool, here’s a summer reading list!
When I got my first Berner, my breeder gave me a list of books to consider. I’ve loved having those books as a resource.
Many of the books on that list are now on my shelf or in my Kindle app and I refer to them frequently.
A few of those made this list and I’ve included a few suggestions of my own.
There are plenty of other books to consider. Let’s start with a baker’s dozen.
So pull up a beach chair or a big comfy couch and get reading.
The Bernese Mountain Dog,
Yesterday and Today
By Silvana Vogel Tedeschi
This is my favorite Bernese Mountain Dog book.
It contains terrific information, beautiful illustrations and photographs. The author covers topics that include the origins of the breed, the development of the standard, temperament and behavior, conformation, breed traits and breeding, choosing and raising puppies, health, feeding, grooming, education, activities and orthopedic diseases.
Amazon has this book, but at a very high price. Here’s a link to buy the book at a reasonable price.
The Complete Bernese Mountain Dog
By Jude Simonds
I purchased my copy on Amazon.com. It was an old library book but in decent shape.
At the moment, it has five yellow post-it notes peeking out of its pages. That tells you that I value what’s in the book and refer to it often.
The author covers the origins of the BMD, and BMD’s in Switzerland, Great Britain and the United States, breed standards and characteristics, your first Berner from finding a breeder to picking the right pup, training, general care and management (grooming, housing and feeding), working dogs, the show ring, breeding, whelping, hereditary defects, ailments and diseases.
The New Bernese Mountain Dog
By Sharon Chesnutt Smith
I purchased this from Amazon too. The author covers the origins of the breed, the development of the breed in the United States, the standard, conformation, obedience, carting, breeding, raising Bernese puppies, nutrition and health.
The Bernese Mountain Dog Today
By Dr. Malcolm B. Willis
This is a very comprehensive book but probably not for the new Berner owner.
The chapters on breeding and genetics went way over my head, so this is a book more valuable to someone who needs that kind of information.
The author covers origins of the breed and the standard, feeding the Bernese, training, carting, showing, genetics, mating, whelping, important dogs in Britain, Switzerland and the United States, breed improvement, genetic traits, defects and disease.
It’s available on Amazon or at this link.
A LITTLE STORYTELLING
Bad Dog: A Love Story
By Martin Kihn
I have the Kindle version of this book.
It’s a lovely story about an untrained Berner named Hola and her owner Martin, who is a writer turned management consultant.
Martin’s got some problems in his life, among them alcoholism and a failing marriage.
So what does Martin do? Hoping to save his marriage, he gets himself into dog training, specifically preparing Hola for the Canine Good Citizen Test.
I loved the book and will now have to read it again after getting myself into competitive dog training….not for the same reasons as the author, of course.
You can get the Kindle version or here is a link where you can find the book.
The author Martin Kihn’s website is here, check out his videos.
Show Dog: The Charmed Life
and Trying Times of a
Near-Perfect Purebred (2012)
By Josh Dean
This is a delightful look inside the world of show dogs. Magazine writer Josh Dean spent a year following a young show dog named Jack, a Champion Australian Shepherd, during his first year of competition. There’s even a Berner in it. It’s a fun and interesting story.
The book is available on Amazon (and elsewhere)
Here is a link to the author Josh Dean’s website.
Showing Kunga: From Pet Owner
to Dog Show Junkie (2012)
By Alxe Noden
This is a nice book about a newcomer to the show ring.
It’s a good read for someone who is interested in getting into showing dogs, and just as good for those who have been in the “fancy” for a while.
The book is available on Amazon.
The Absolute Beginner’s Guide
to Showing Your Dog (2001)
By Cheryl S. Smith
If you loved the show dog stories and want to learn a bit about dog shows, try this book. It’s for exactly who it says it’s for.
It will give you a clue as to what you’re looking at when you find yourself at a dog show for the first time and don’t understand what’s happening in the ring, or outside the ring for that matter.
You can find it at Amazon.
Here’s a link to the author Cheryl Smith’s website.
I’m a big believer in positive reinforcement training. Here are a few books that fit the bill.
Don’t Shoot The Dog
(The New Art of Teaching and Training)
By Karen Pryor
I have the “revised edition” (2009) that includes clicker training. Available here.
And here’s author Karen Pryor’s website.
Click! Dog Training System (2007)
By Karen Pryor
A simple book on clicker training with drawings for us visual learners. Available here.
And, again, here’s author Karen Pryor’s website.
How to Teach a
New Dog Old Tricks (1996)
By Dr. Ian Dunbar
Good Little Dog Book
By Dr. Ian Dunbar
By Mary R. Burch
If you’re interested in taking the Canine Good Citizen test, this book is a good one to have.
I bought this one for my Kindle app. It’s a good idea to take a class to prepare for the CGC test and this is a great supplement to your class.
It’s available on Amazon and other bookseller sites.