Help Me Title the New Book!

stressed Malinois

stressed Malinois, image from [insert new title here!]

Book titles are important things, you know. They’re supposed to resonate with the readers, and all that.

That’s why I’m asking you to help me find one that resonates.

The new book is getting dangerously close to completion. It still needs technical reviews and final editing, but the light is visible at the end of the tunnel. But while I’ve had a working title for it, I’m really not happy with it as a final title, and I’d love to have some additional input.

What’s it about, you ask? It’s about that dog to the left, or any dog you know like him. That Malinois photo is one from the book. I didn’t take it, I don’t know the dog — but I saw it on a stock photo site and knew I had to have it. It’s from a series of rapid photos of an “aggressive dog,” and this particular snap captured perfectly the stress of arousal which is the subject of the forthcoming book.

Whether your dog is hyper with uncontrolled happiness, fearful and retreating, displaying fear-aggression, or just too hopped up to do his job/sport properly, his emotions are running away with his rational mind, and that isn’t a comfortable place to live (or fun for his humans to live with, either!).

So with that in mind, please tell me what you think of these:

What should the title of the new training book be?

  • From Over the Top to Under Control (45%, 14 Votes)
  • Fired Up, Frantic, or Freaked Out: Help for the Overwrought Dog (35%, 11 Votes)
  • The Overwrought Dog (6%, 2 Votes)
  • Driven to Distraction: Relieving the Overwrought Dog (6%, 2 Votes)
  • Help! My Dog Is Crazy! Relieving the Overwrought Dog (3%, 1 Votes)
  • Wired or Wary: Relieving the Overwrought Dog (3%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 31

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Got another title option or idea? Leave it in the comments! (Check others’ suggestions in the comments as well!) Please invite your friends to visit and vote here as well. And don’t forget to sign up for updates — it’s the widget on the right!

About Laura VanArendonk Baugh CPDT-KA KPACTP

Laura was born at a very young age and started playing with animals immediately after. She never grew out of it, and it looks to be incurable. She is the author of the bestselling FIRED UP, FRANTIC, AND FREAKED OUT. She owns Canines In Action, Inc. in Indianapolis, speaks at workshops and seminars, and is also a Karen Pryor Academy faculty member.
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14 Comments

  1. I, too, am trying to come up with a book title (anthology pitch to publisher), so this caught my eye. I’m not voting for any of the above because I think “relieving” in a title about dogs might bring to mind “toileting” for many dog owners. It’s also just not a word that I think will click for dog owners — as a verb/gerund. I might go more with something like “Relief for the Overwrought Dog,” but I also think “Overwrought” is not as salable as you might like because it’s not a word that everybody knows. (I looked up synonyms: http://thesaurus.com/browse/overwrought — and I think maybe something with fired up, frantic, and freaked out?).

    Of course, if this is a pitch, it’s most important that the publisher likes/understands your title but they might want to change it anyway.

    I pulled some words and phrases from your post that I thought “popped” more for me. These are just off-the-cuff ideas that I’m hoping will be of use in moving your process.

    The Stress of Arousal: The Dog Whose Mind Ran Away with Him

    Hopped Up and Hyper to HAPPY: Helping Your Overwrought Dog

    Help! My Dog’s Emotions Have Run Away with His Mind!

    I’ll be curious to learn the result! Congrats on seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!

    • Ha! The idea of “relieving’ as a euphemism hadn’t occurred to me at all — so obviously it was a good thing I asked! 🙂

      “Hopped Up and Hyper” is a pretty good description of a lot of the dogs I work with 🙂 but I use the same techniques on fearful dogs, too, so I would like to find a way to cover both if possible. I do like the alliteration of “Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out” ! I think I’ll add that to the list.

      Good luck with your anthology!

  2. From Frazzled to Focused! The word “overwrought” won’t capture too many, imo. Hope that’s helpful! Can’t wait to read/ recommend the book! Are you self-publishing?

  3. I like the “Help! My Dog is Crazy!” title, but I think there’s likely a better word than “Relieving” for the subtitle line. I started to suggest “Help for the Overwrought Dog,” but then realized that the word Help would then be in the title twice. :-/ I then wondered if you could say “Helping the Overwrought Dog,” or maybe “Training the O/w Dog,” or maybe even “Calming the O/w Dog.” I kind of like the latter one the best of those options. 🙂

  4. Laura, I suggest you enlist the help of the Friendly Neighborhood Google Adwords Keyword Research Tool at https://adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool – phrases like “crazy dog” or “dog jumping” or the overwhelming favorite “how to train a dog” see far more searches by regular Joe’s like me on Google, and I suspect on store shelves too. So… that in mind, maybe “How to Train a Hyper Dog” or “How to Train a Dog Who is Hyper, Frantic or Fearful” or something.

    • Good reminder — the Keyword Tool is in my bag of resources, too. I am looking for ideas on setting this apart as a stress/arousal/fear guide rather than basic “how to teach your puppy to sit.”

      • That’s cool, just remember the best book ever won’t do anybody any good if nobody buys it. Add some pizzazz! Some flash! Some painfully cheesy keywords! LOL Maybe… “How to Train a Dog – Navigating Stress, Arousal and Fear” or something.

  5. Who is your target audience, trainers or pet owners? I’d check out the search terms most often used to find books or resources for the dogs you are focusing on. I went through the same process coming up with the name for my book. I figured no one searched for ‘fear based behaviors in dogs’ and went for ‘fearful dogs’. Just a thought.

  6. Just my opinion, but the “Overwrought” in the titles just didn’t sound right. I do like ‘Fired Up, Frantic or Freaked Out’

  7. I didn’t know you had written a book! And a book about Chico! OK, not really, but that photo looks exactly like him every time he sees another dog on a leash. Before I started working with you, I searched for books to help with this problem–checking every book at my library, plus several interlibrary loans. So this discussion hits home, and I agree that it’s most important to emphasize that this isn’t a basic puppy training manual; it’s a book to help you help your stressed-out dog. Congratulations on your book, no matter what it’s called!

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