I have read dozens of Pit Bull books and watched just as many DVD’s since I first got involved with the breed. Below you will find a list of books I enjoyed and recommend to other Pit Bull owners.
I’m a Good Dog: Pit Bulls, America’s Most Beautiful Pet
Filled with inspiring stories and photographs, this heartfelt tribute to the pit bull celebrates one of America’s most popular yet misunderstood dogs. Perhaps more than any other breed, the pit bull has been dogged by negative stereotypes. In truth, pit bulls are innately wonderful family pets, as capable of love and good deeds as any other type of dog. Setting the record straight, Ken Foster sings the praises of pit bulls in I’m a Good Dog, a gorgeously illustrated, tenderly written tribute to this most misunderstood of canines.
Founder of the Sula Foundation, which promotes responsible pit bull ownership in New Orleans, and the author of two acclaimed books about abandoned dogs, Foster has made it his mission to bring overlooked canines into the limelight. I’m a Good Dog traces the fascinating history of this particularly maligned breed. A century ago, the pit bull was considered a family dog, featured in family photos and trusted as loving companions for children. More recently, pit bulls have been portrayed by the media as stereotypes of everything they are not. Foster shatters that reputation through moving profiles of pit bulls that serve as therapy dogs, athletic heroes, search-and-rescue dogs, and educators, not to mention as loving pets. Foster also profiles many pit bull lovers, from Helen Keller and Dr. Seuss to actor Todd Cerveris, who took his pit bull on tour with him for the musical Spring Awakening.
Proving that there’s much to love and nothing to fear, I’m a Good Dog restores the pit bull to its rightful place as friend, family member, athlete and entertainer.
The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog
While this is not Pit Bull specific I highly encourage you to check out this DVD about training and playing tug with your dog. You will learn how to create a dog that wants to listen to cues as well as a dog that wants to be around you. Both of these attributes make training your Pit Bull Terrier so much easier.
Training the Recall with Michael Ellis
Personally I think training the recall is the most important obedience behavior you can teach your dog. Michael Ellis shows you how to get a reliable recall using motivation, fun, and reward.
You will also learn what not to do and how to correct any mistakes you may have already made in training your dog to come when called. This is one of my favorite DVD’s and I refer to it often in my own training business for a refresher on some of things that I can do to better teach my training clients (that is the Pit Bulls I work with) how to come reliably. Pretty cool. Definitely a high recommend on my list.
Pit Bull Nation
Pit Bull Nation is the story of a woman who found a pit bull and how that one dog changed the course of her life. The chain of events which follow would discourage most people, but Cindy finds a connection with these dogs that gives her the strength to overcome adversity and confront her own fears. She finds a comrade and soul mate in these unwanted dogs whose very name and image inspire media frenzy. This book is a journey over the hills and valleys of rescue work and a tell all look from behind the scenes in the killing fields where most of these dogs are being slaughtered simply because they look like pit bulls. Cindy Marabito believes there is a solution for America’s first native dog breed, the American Pit Bull Terrier. This book is Cindy’s story about these extraordinary dogs and the people who believe in them.
A journalist and animal-welfare advocate exposes the brutal tragedies and prejudice inflicted upon pit bulls in this insightful travel narrative. Upon turning 40, Michelle Sathe bypassed a midlife crisis by embarking on a great American road trip-accompanied by Loren, a young rescued pit bull. The two set out to explore 29 states in 50 days for a whirlwind sampling of regional cuisine, historic landmarks, and just plain fun, including locations such as the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, New York City, and Savannah’s scenic waterfront. But along the way, they come face to face with the sad reality confronting beleaguered pit bull prejudice and the sad reality facing beleaguered “bully” breeds in America’s shelters and in places like Virginia, where Michael Vick ran a gruesome dog-fighting ring, and Pittsburgh, where bullies are routinely kept as enforcement in a dangerous underworld. Mile by mile, as the duo forge a stronger and stronger bond, the spotlight is also turned on the incredible humane workers, volunteers, and advocates across the country who work tirelessly to give bullies a second chance.
The Lost Dogs: Michael Vick’s Dogs and Their Tale of Rescue and Redemption
Expanding on his Sports Illustrated cover story, Gorant (Fanatic) offers a chilling investigation into Michael Vick’ s dog-fighting operation and the men and women who brought him to justice and rehabilitated the rescued dogs. Gorant outlines the rise of Bad Newz Kennels, describing in sometimes painful detail the abuse, torture, and execution of the animals–particularly disturbing is an episode in which Vick and a friend swing a failed fighting dog over their heads like a jump rope and kill it by repeatedly slamming it into the ground–and tracing the rescue of dozens of pit bulls seized from Vick’ s property.
Gorant outlines the efforts to save these animals from euthanasia, challenging the negative public perceptions of pit bulls and reporting back on the status of dogs like Sox (now a certified therapy dog), Zippy (adopted by a family of five), and Iggy (still shy but growing comfortable with his adopted circle of friends)
Fighting Dog Breeds
While this book is not specifically about the American Pit Bull Terrier I recommened every owner who wants to understand the history of the breed get a copy of this book. From the time man used dogs to hunt, to animal baiting, to dog fighting, this book is quite extensive and I throughly love all the old paintings and pictures depicting ancient dogs. Great read, great pictures, great information and you will gain insight into the origin of the Pit Bull. Overall a great book.
The History of Fighting Dogs
This book was written by the same author who wrote the above, Fighting Dog Breeds. Again, not specifically about the American Pit Bull Terrier but you will gain a deeper insight into why the breed is like it is today.
Once again, Dieter Fleig delivers amazing depictions of ancient war dogs and presents an educated and wonderful view of them. What I like about this book is the fact he doesn’t take a side. Unbiased, informational, makes for a great addition to the Pit Bull Lovers library. Great read, great pictures, great information and you will gain insight into the origin of the Pit Bull. Overall a great book.
Colby’s Book of the American Pit Bull Terrier
I like this book because it shows the rich history of the American Pit Bull Terrier. Specifically this particular line of the breed dating back well over 100 years. One of the best things about this book is the pictures. Quite a few pictures are included in the book and many of them are from the Colby family archives. Showing dogs with children and even a young Louis Colby with one his dogs. If you don’t already have this book I recommend every owner add it to their library. Great read, great pictures, solid information, overall a great book.
The Power of Playing Tug with Your Dog
While I might disagree with the author on many points (we’ve had some heated debates. haha) the Working Pit Bull offers a different look at the American Pit Bull Terrier. It offers a variety of views that most other books about the breed either never mention or cover briefly. I love the pictures in this book. Tons of them. Always makes for a good read when you have a lot of high quality photographs in there. Great read, great pictures, solid information and offers a unique look into the breed. Overall a great book.
The Book of the American Pit Bull Terrier
Richard F. Stratton is one of the most knowledgable people around when it comes to the American Pit Bull Terrier. He has written several books about the breed and while I disagree completely with him on the subject of dog fighting, his books contain a lot of information about the breed that is worth knowing. I recommend this particular book for that reason only. Good book. Great information. The author tries to glorify dog fighting. Worth adding to your library.
Fatal Dog Attacks
While I have not personal read this book yet the reviews are exceptional and the book comes highly recommended by other Pit Bull owners. Fatal Dog Attacks explores the issue of dog bite statistics and can give those looking to prevent such incidents some good ideas on how to avoid the issue altogether. If you are interested in dog bite statistics this book is one to add to your library.
The Complete History of Fighting Dogs
I found this book highly enjoyable to read and the information was presented in a way that kept me interested. I’m easily bored by books such as this one but I was pleasantly surprised that it kept me focused for the entire read. My one issue with the book and I agree with others who have read it, toward the end the author loses a bit of focus and left me hanging wanting some more information. Outstanding illustrations make this book a fun visual read as well.