From stinky carpet to scared neighbors, has your untrained dog caused you problems or embarrassment? Have you tried dog training in the past but failed?
Brandon McMillan, an Emmy award-winning dog trainer, has this to say about our stubborn canine friends:
“One of the most common things people tell me is, ‘My dog is untrainable.’ I tell them there are no untrainable dogs—just untrained humans.”
You can pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars for classes and to personal dog trainers, or you can grab a book written by the same trainer for just a few dollars.
And with this in mind, we have assembled a list of books that will help you and your pet overcome even the worst bad habits.
What Did These Dog Training Books Do To Qualify For This List
Any time you are ranking the best of something the results are usually somewhat subjective but we have did our best to come up with a list of books that dog owners will truly find useful. To come up with this list we took into account:
- quantity and quality of user reviews
- sales data
- public perception
- opinions of readers of this genre
- commercial success
- and of course personal opinion
Take a look at the best Dog Training Books you can read right now:
1. Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution: The Complete Guide to Raising the Perfect Pet with Love
Book Summary: Zak George is a new type of dog trainer. A dynamic YouTube star and Animal Planet personality with a fresh approach, Zak helps you tailor dog training to your pet’s unique traits and energy level—leading to quicker results and a much happier pup. Packed with everything you need to know to raise and care for your dog, this book will help you communicate and bond with one another in a way that makes training easier, more rewarding, and—most of all—fun!
- Book Reviews:
What a fantastic book! We have a Jack Russell terrier rescued from a puppy farm and she was scared and nervous about everything, we got this book and followed zak’s advice and now she is a lovely, outgoing dog who loves everyone now. I highly recommend this book.
-Antonia Lidia Simeon
This is a great book on sensible and ‘common sense’ empathetic methods for teaching dogs. More importantly, it’s a great book for training humans to train dogs! Used alongside his youtube videos you’ll find yourself in your dog’s world learning what makes her tick and using this to train yourself to control her:-)
2. 101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog (Dog Tricks and Training, 1)
Book Summary: 101 Dog Tricks is an international bestseller in 18 languages with over a half-million copies sold worldwide! This beautifully designed book features step-by-step instructions with easy-to-follow color photos of each step.
Each trick is rated with a difficulty rating and prerequisites to get you started quickly. Tips and trouble-shooting boxes cover common problems, while Build on it! ideas suggest more complicated tricks that build on each new skill.
Tricks range from simple ones like Sit, Shake Hands, Fetch, and Roll Over, to extraordinary ones like Tidy Up Your Toys into the Toybox and Get a Soda from the Fridge. Organized by theme, it’s easy to find the next trick to work on with your dog.
Trick training will help you bond with your dog and integrate him or her into your family. Tricks also help keep your dog mentally and physically healthy and establish paths of communication between you. Many tricks build skills used in dog sports, dog dancing, and dog therapy work. 101 Dog Tricks will inspire you to do more with your dog!
- Book Reviews:
I got my first puppy a few weeks ago. I bought this book in anticipation. By 10 weeks old he has learned to sit, down, stay, come, roll over, shake paws and fetch.
Granted he is a collie and very smart but this book lays an easy to follow step by step guide to every trick.
Wow! I have had dogs for 50 years, but this is definitely the best, most fun, training book I’ve had. The instructions are clear, and I have a number of successes already even though my Shih Tzu puppy is still only four months old.
To add to the fun, many of the commands include the hand signal as well. Since I purchased this, I’ve also bought several other books by this author. She definitely has a gift for giving clear, easy-to-follow instructions.
3. Puppy Training in 7 Easy Steps: Everything You Need to Know to Raise the Perfect Dog
Book Summary: Teach your pup the ropes with Puppy Training in 7 Easy Steps. This step-by-step guide shows you how to combine positive reinforcement with your dog’s natural instincts during training. They’ll learn essential manners and boundaries―while both of you bond and have lots of fun!
Discover dog training fundamentals, and start implementing straightforward techniques that build up your pup’s skills in stages. You’ll gain a solid understanding of your puppy’s perspective, behavior, and body language―so you know why they’re doing what they’re doing, not just how to change their behavior or train a command.
You and your pup will learn all the essentials with this handy guide that makes dog training easy.
- Book Reviews:
This is an excellent book. It very simply, clearly, and concisely covers the basic concepts and tenets of puppy training—potty training, crate training, socialization, and the basic commands. No rambling monologues about the trainer’s bona fides and philosophy. Just direct, to-the-point ideas and instructions. Highly, highly recommended for folks who are about to adopt a puppy.
I found this book excellent. Clear, simple, sensible, with easy to understand principles and applications. I bought it for my daughter and her family for their brand new yellow Lab puppy, Pearl. We’ve been putting the lessons into practice and getting great results. At not quite 4 months, Pearl is learning to become civilized, attentive and responsive in spite of her crazy energy. It’s a work in progress but this book will be a great guide in the months to come. Highly recommended
4. Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week Program Using the Power of Positive Reinforcement
Book Summary: Training the Best Dog Ever, originally published in hardcover as The Love That Dog Training Program, is a book based on love and kindness. It features a program of positive reinforcement and no-fail techniques that author Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz used to train the White House dog, Bo Obama, and each of Senator Ted Kennedy’s dogs, among countless others.
Training the Best Dog Ever relies on trust and treats, not choke collars; on bonding, not leash-yanking or reprimanding. The five-week training program takes only 10 to 20 minutes of practice a day and works both for puppies and for adult dogs that need to be trained out of bad habits.
Illustrated with step-by-step photographs, the book covers hand-feeding; crate and potty training; and basic cues—sit, stay, come here—as well as more complex goals, such as bite inhibition and water safety. It shows how to avoid or correct typical behavior problems, including jumping, barking, and leash-pulling. Plus: how to make your dog comfortable in the world—a dog that knows how to behave in a vet’s office, is at ease around strangers, and more. In other words, the best dog ever.
- Book Reviews:
I read this book before I got my Shiba Inu puppy. He was 8 weeks old when I got him and immediately started using the techniques from the book. After 4 weeks he has “sit”, “down”, “stay” perfectly, and walks on a leash with reasonable ease. And he seems to understand what we are doing with this training thing. People are amazed that he can do so much at such a young age. I couldn’t be happier.
I’ve trained several dogs, but in the last several years it has been mostly adult foster dogs. I hadn’t had a puppy in nearly 14 years so I wanted to pick up a book to help keep me on track. This book is really easy to read. I really like how it is broken down in short lessons by week. I started this the second day I had my puppy (13 weeks) and we are just ready to start week 4. This book is great to keep me on track. There are a few things in this book I didn’t do. Hand-feeding is not something I did.
I was concerned about getting the puppy transferred over to eating out of a bowl, he already had quite a transition from how he was living in his previous home. I also found that the food in hand game suggested created some issues and interfered with some of the other things I was trying to train so I dropped that. I would suggest this book for sure. It’s an easy read and easy to follow to guide you when training your puppy.
5. The Art of Training Your Dog: How to Gently Teach Good Behavior Using an E-Collar
Book Summary: The Monks of New Skete, longtime breeders of German shepherds and renowned dog trainers of all breeds, have co-developed a new training technique. In this book, the monks and Marc Goldberg, who pioneered the approach, offer a leap into the future using a game-changing tool: the remote electronic collar. The Art of Training Your Dog presents their compassionate and efficient system for the first time, with background and advice on choosing the right collar.
Using a light touch—one that many humans can’t even feel—at just the right moment, helps to focus a dog’s attention. The authors help you create effortless teaching moments that tie into your dog’s natural pack instincts and help strengthen the bond with your dog. In as little as just 6 weeks, most pups will master skills like great leash manners; obey commands such as “sit”, “down”, “stay”, and “place”; stop troublesome behaviors; and play safely off-leash with consistent recall.
- Book Reviews:
Could not wait to get my hands on this book. it is awesome. easy read. now let’s get it inaudible! so i can listen to it too.
Excellent entry level DIY ecollar book. Very well written and accessible to any pet dog owner.
6. Cesar’s Rules: Your Way to Train a Well-Behaved Dog
Book Summary: #1 New York Times bestselling author Cesar Millan shows you how to communicate well with your dog and shares the most effective and humane methods for teaching your dog how to be a happy, well-behaved member of your household.
In Cesar’s Rules, he addresses:
• The most popular training techniques, including positive reinforcement and using a clicker
• Ways to teach basic obedience commands sucha as sit, stay, and come
• The importance of balance, and why a well-trained dog does not necessarily mean a balanced one
• How to use your dog’s own natural inclinations to create better behavior
• The methods and theories from a variety of renowned trainers, including Bob Bailey, Ian Dunbar, Joel Silverman, Martin Deeley, and Mark Harden
• Encouraging and honoring your dog’s instincts
• And much more . . .Filled with practical advice, anecdotes, tips, and trouble-shooting techniques from Cesar and his colleagues, this is the ultimate guide to a well-behaved and well-balanced dog—from a new puppy to an old dog who can still learn new tricks.
- Book Reviews:
I bought this book when I got my first dog. I had never had my own pup before and this book was instrumental in our training. It changed my whole perspective on our unique human/canine relationships, and taught me how to build the relationship with my dog to our mutual benefit, not just to control an animal that I “own”.
It’s really beautiful, actually.
I’ve bought this book for many friends and fam who get a dog, and highly recommend it to anyone.
Great book! You have to read this to understand dog Psychology before you even think of raising a puppy. This is not a “how to train your dog to do stupid pet tricks” kind of book. It will guide you to raising a very well mannered dog that is a pleasure to live with.
7. Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days
Book Summary: Lucky Dog Lessons begins with the basics—building trust, establishing focus and control, and mastering training techniques. From there, McMillan explains his playful, careful, and kind approach to training the 7 Common Commands he teaches every dog: SIT, STAY, DOWN, COME, OFF, HEEL, and NO.
Next, McMillan provides solutions to common canine behavior problems, including house training issues, door dashing, chewing, barking, and common mealtime misbehaviors. Lucky Dog Lessons includes easy-to-follow steps, illustrative examples, tried-and-true tips and tricks, and photographs to demonstrate each technique.
Throughout the book, McMillan shares inspiring stories about his favorite students and gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at the show and some of his most unique and challenging canine encounters, including some never-before-seen outtakes. Brandon McMillian believes that no dog is beyond saving, and the loving, positive, successful methods he offers will work wonders with even the most challenging dog. Create the happy pet family you want with Lucky Dog Lessons.
- Book Reviews:
This book is well written, really easy to read and has a lot of great insight into different dogs’ personalities and behavior. Unfortunately, I have not read the whole book, because my Husky took a special interest in it, before I had a chance to finish it. I will be getting a replacement, and hopefully I’ll get to the chewing section in time 🙂
I chose this book in the beginning because we have a six month old Yellow Lab named Stella. We are older and she is a bundle of energy. We were beginning to think that we were in over our heads and then we found Brandon McMillan and he taught us how to really enjoy her by training her to be a well-mannered puppy. It’s been a lot of work , both on Stella’s part and ours but Brandon made it so down to earth and easy to understand. His love for dogs is apparent on every page of this book. I loved this book!!
8. Respect Training for Puppies: 30 Seconds to a Calm, Polite, Well-Behaved Puppy
Book Summary: Respect Training for Puppies: 30 Seconds to a Calm, Polite, Well-Behaved Puppy is a BALANCED training method that includes positive reinforcement for good behavior, plus corrections for unwanted behavior.
This book will show you which behaviors you should expect your puppy to do – and how to teach those behaviors and make sure that he does them…. every time. The author will also show you in this book which behaviors you should stop your puppy from doing – and how to stop him.
- Book Reviews:
After my recent loss of our Family pet RIP Daisy ……
This is A great Book that has guided our family &get us prepared & refresh our minds on how to raise our new Puppy in 2020.
A Basic and simple guide…….an easy read.
This book had a lot of helpful advice that I will use training my puppy. Very well written and concise.
9. Dog Training for Kids: Fun and Easy Ways to Care for Your Furry Friend
Kids will have everything they need to be caring and responsible dog owners:
•Basic Training Lessons including Stopping Unnecessary Barking, Potty & House Training, Obedience, Leash Training, Crate Training
•Essential Commands including Sit, Stay, Heel, Drop It
•Clever Tricks including Roll Over, Speak, High Five, and Leap
•Super Fun Games including Obstacle Course, Frisbee, Tunnel
•And More — Equipment List, How to Train Your Dog to Be Calm at the Vet, How to Dog Proof Your HomeWhether young dog lovers will be raising puppies, adopting rescues, or getting their first dogs, this all-in-one book will give them the confidence and knowledge to properly train, take care of, and establish a lasting bond with their well-behaved furry friends.
- Book Reviews:
This book breaks things down in a very organized manner. There are also helpful safety tips throughout which I think is something that’s often left out of training books. I especially loved that the book touched on what to do with city dogs—I don’t have a spacious home or a big backyard as a New Yorker, and the fact that the author took this into consideration made this book even more special. Can’t recommend this enough. I’ve purchased a book for my parents who are thinking of getting a new pup, too!
My daughter is 7 and is able to read this book and understand the concepts with ease. She is feverishly attempting to train our terrier. The only thing I haven’t seen her do is to work on one thing before moving on to the next. She also tends to use too many treats which upsets the tummy. Perhaps she overlooked that part in the book. Either way, both she and the dog are having tons of fun!
10. Zak George’s Guide to a Well-Behaved Dog: Proven Solutions to the Most Common Training Problems for All Ages, Breeds, and Mixes
Book Summary: Celebrity dog trainer and YouTube star Zak George creates the most watched dog training content in the world and has helped millions of people with their dogs. In this problem-based guide, he makes it easy to look up and solve the exact behavioral issue that you’re struggling with—whether you’re dealing with a new puppy, an adult dog you’ve had for years, or a recently adopted rescue. He also helps you prevent many of these problems from becoming established in the first place.
Packed with case studies and examples from Zak’s videos so you can see his dog and puppy training tactics in action, this book contains step-by-step instructions for dealing with:
• Jumping up
• Play biting
• Not listening
• Thunderstorm phobia
• Separation anxiety
• And much more!
Delving deeply into why dogs do what they do and how to work through any problems that might arise, Zak proves that it’s never too late to correct behavioral issues.
- Book Reviews:
This book is a great companion to Zak’s YouTube Channel. I have a 11 week old golden retriever that I have taught to leave it, lay down, paw/touch, look at me, and walk on a leash all using the videos! I was still having a lot of problems with her separation anxiety, food stealing (or attempting to), and constant chewing and biting. I got Zak’s book to help guide me in these areas because even though she’s a puppy, I didn’t want to let bad habits go unchecked. There is a lot of advice and helpful information on any specific problem or concern you could have. If you love positive, treat and reward-based training, this book is for you.
Love Zak’s approach to training!!! This book as well as his other one are both great companions to his YouTube channel and Instagram!
This book is best if you already have a dog and want to work through common problems and his other book is best if you are looking to get a dog and want to learn what it’s like to own/care for a dog.
What do you think about our list of best dog training books? If you have another genre outside of pet care that you also like to read we’ve probably compiled a list of our favorites for that genre too.
*All book mockups rendered at bookmockups.com