To some degree, what trainers, their clients and dog enthusiasts are buying from us can shed some light on what is happening in the world of dogs. While not a perfect indicator, we think we can draw some conclusions based on what has sold well, and not so well, in 2015.
There is a tremendous amount of interest in being able to read canine body language - and this is a very good thing in that dogs are sending out signals all the time that if we can read them accurately can lead to better training and behavior. No surprise then that On Talking Terms with Dogs by Turid Rugaas is our number one best seller and titles like Canine Behavior - A Photo Illustrated Handbook by Barbara Handelman along with DVD's by Sarah Kalnajs are so popular.
We see a clear trend toward adopting dogs from shelters and rescue organization - and many of these dogs are mixed breeds. So titles like Pat Miller's Do Over Dogs and How to Foster Dogs as well as many of the works of Sue Sternberg are in high demand.
Now that operant conditioning and positive reinforcement training techniques have become more mainstream, we are seeing a big boost in training books that focus on specific problems - aggression, reactivity and separation anxiety. Authors such as Grisha Stewart, Ali Brown, Leslie McDevitt, Nicole Wilde and Emma Parsons have all produced best selling books in these categories.
Book sales on the more traditional dog sports - Conformation, Competitive Obedience, and even to some extent Agility - have been declining. In the case of Agility, it may just be that there have been a very large number of books published and DVDs are sometimes a better medium for learning Agility. Countering this trend is a big uptick on anything to do with nose work broadly defined. Subjects like tracking, search and rescue, nosework, and scent discrimination are all very popular. Debby Kay's Super Sniffer books have been real standouts in this category. Also foundational training for dog sports is currently in demand - the works of Denise Fenzi and Deborah Jones have been top sellers in 2015.
Health and Nutrition books have declined in popularity if they are very general in scope and the information is easy to find on-line. Those that bring out new concepts and/or ways to evaluate food for dogs are the two notable exceptions. Examples of books like this are Canine Nutrigenomics by Jean Dodds and Diana Laverdure, Dog Food Logic by Linda Case, and Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet by Steve Brown.
Sales of breed specific books and books about breeding - once two of our biggest categories - have declined dramatically. We are seeing interest in books that deal with training identifiable groups/categories of dogs such as Dawn Antoniak-Mitchell's three books on training terriers, herding dogs and sporting dogs. While sales of breeding/genetics books have declined, there are some books that are still in demand which provide very specialized and useful tools for breeders including three books with important medical information by Myra Savant-Harris and Jerry Hope's book Breeder's Guide to Raising Super Star Dogs with its focus on helping breeders to successfully socialize puppies before they move on to permanent homes.
Newest books & products:
The Secret History of Kindness: Learning From How Dogs Learn by Melissa Holbrook Pierson. Years back, Melissa Holbrook Pierson brought home a border collie named Mercy, without a clue of how to get her to behave. Stunned after hiring a trainer whose immediate rapport with Mercy seemed magical, Pierson began delving into the techniques of positive reinforcement. She made her way to B. F. Skinner, the behavioral psychologist who started it all, the man who could train a pigeon to dance in minutes and whose research on how behavior is acquired has ramifications for military dolphin trainers, athletes, dancers, and, as he originally conceived, society at large.
Puppy Steps: Easy to Follow Positive Training System by Libby Rockaway. This new book contains everything from choosing your puppy and puppy development to training your puppy and fixing unwanted behaviors. Real step-by-step training photos help guide the reader through the process to make training steps clear and understandable. Additionally, the Fido character demonstrates concepts in a fun and entertaining way. Puppy Steps is a great resource for anyone who has or plans on getting their new best friend!
Please Don't Bite the Baby (And Please Don't Chase the Dogs): Keeping Our Kids and Our Dogs Safe and Happy Together by Lisa Edwards. Certified professional dog trainer Lisa Edwards endearing and entertaining journey to ensure that her household survives and thrives when she introduces her son to her motley pack of animals. As Lisa knows all too well, the dog/child relationship is simultaneously treasured, misunderstood, and sometimes feared. In a twist, Lisa's dog training techniques inevitably seep into how she navigates her first year with baby to mixed but enlightening results.
We want to thank all of for your continued support of Dogwise in 2015. Dogwise Publishing has some exciting new book projects in the works for 2016 - keep checking these weekly updates for information on the new titles as we release them. We are giving our staff another much deserved 4 day holiday weekend, so we will be closed Thursday and Friday this week. Back to a full schedule the following week.
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