There are so many behavioral and dog training books available that simply choosing one can already be overwhelming. Below we offer our choices for the best books available, as well as a simple buying guide to help you decide on others.
Whether you’re looking to fully understand your furry best friend or learn some obedience dog training techniques, you’ll find something for everyone in our best dog training books list.
Before buying a dog training book, there are certain aspects to consider. The author’s style, as well as their credibility, will go a long way to ensuring you get the most out of your training. The readability of your selected book will also determine how well you related to the material, while its main purpose can help ensure you’ll get what you need out of it.
The author’s reputation and credibility as an expert dog trainer must be taken into serious consideration, as there are many authors in this field who simply deem themselves to be experts.
The author’s personality and training methods should also come into question, as they must be able to motivate you to learn before you can motivate your dog to learn. The more invigorating and personable the writing style, the more likely you can relate to it.
A good dog training book should be written in a way that is easy to understand. If it reads like a dictionary or a medical textbook, you most likely won’t get anything out of other than confusion.
If an author’s personality can be described as fun and entertaining, this is likely to shine through in teaching and draw you in further. If several chapters offer a mix of photos or illustrations it can help reduce the monotony of continuous reading, while increasing understanding.
Many dog training books are specifically designed for different types of owners, different obedience problems, and offer different disciplines. Before buying any book, be sure to identify what you wish to accomplish in your training and if the content of the book is a good match.
Best Dog Training Books
You might have already guessed that some of the best-selling dog training books were written by celebrities who ply their trade on national television. From Zak George to Brandon McMillan and Cesar Millan, you’re probably already familiar with the methods these authors use.
For those who were saddened by the recent passing for former First Dog, Bo Obama, you might be familiar with Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz and Larry Kay, who trained him.
If you’re looking for less mainstream dog training books, you might enjoy reading ones by Mike Ritland and Pat Miller. Or if you want to look into authors who started this whole craze, then books by William R. Koehler and Richard A. Wolters might be worth looking into.
Dog Training Revolution
by Zak George and Dina Roth Port
The author of this book is recognizable as he has plenty of YouTube videos and he also works on Animal Planet. In Dog Training Revolution, he gives readers plenty of information on dog training from ensuring that you choose the right dog, to correcting bad behavior, basic training, healthcare for your dog, and much, much more.
The training from this book is designed for your pet’s energy levels and unique traits. This in effect leads to quick results and a happy pup.
This book is a bestseller It features a revolutionary way of training your dog and a whole wealth of tricks, tips, and fun games that are designed to enrich your relationship with your dog.
Lucky Dog Lessons
by Brandon McMillan
Brandon McMillan has a show on CBS called Lucky Dog, and in this book, he provides training through a step-by-step training guide. In his show, he makes use of unadoptable dogs in order to show that his methods can be used on any canine.
Brandon start off Lucky Dog Lessons by building control and focus before he gets into his playful, and kind approach that will give you the 7 common commands. He tackles all sorts of behavioral issues such as barking, chewing, and housetraining problems.
In this bestseller, Brandon also includes some stories of his most challenging and favorite dogs of all time.
by Cesar Millan and Melissa Jo Peltier
Known from his TV show on National Geographic, Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, the author is a well-known television personality who has also appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show. His expertise makes him a well sought-after dog trainer in the US.
In Cesar’s Way, he shares his knowledge on dog psychology and discusses different behavioral issues and how you can correct them. He also goes further to explain the differences between punishment and discipline and how you can improve the relationship with your dog through pack instincts.
Training the Best Dog Ever
by Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz and Larry Kay
The authors of this book trained Bo Obama – the white house dog of Barack and Michelle Obama. When it comes to credibility, being vetted by the President of the United States is about as good as it gets. They also trained each of Senator Ted Kennedy’s dogs and many other celebrities.
Training the Best Dog Ever makes use of positive reinforcement procedures instead of punishments and reprimands to train dogs. The book features a 5-week program with 10-20 minute sessions for each day.
Sessions include basic training, potty and crate training, hand feeding, and correction skills to avoid behavioral issues with your puppy.
In the 5 weeks, your dog should is supposed to achieve the following;
- Potty training success
- Bonding with the family
- Enjoying the crate
- Relaxing during meal times
- Not pulling their leash
- Responding to essential hand signals and verbal cues
- Accepting grooming and bathing
- Being friendly with strangers
Be the Pack Leader
by Cesar Millan with Melissa Jo Peltier
In Be the Pack Leader, Cesar Millan gives you a guide on how you can take the relationship with your dog to an even higher level. In order to do this, you must develop the necessary skills that will help you become a calm-assertive dog owner.
This is necessary if you wish for your dog to live a well-balanced, and fulfilled life that will most certainly improve his behavior and your life as well.
The main tips in this book include;
- Using the calm-assertive energy that relates to your dog
- Behavioral tools such as harnesses, leashes, and e-collars.
- How you can satisfy your dog’s needs.
- Some success stories from the author’s clients and fans.
by Cesar Millan and Melissa Jo Peltier
As you open Cesar’s Rules, you find he gets right into you how you can communicate with your dog well. As you dive deeper, you’ll find Cesar sharing his humane and effective methods for teaching your puppy how to be happy and be well-behaved.
In this book, he will address the following;
- The best training techniques, which include using the clicker and positive reinforcement methods.
- Different ways of teaching obedience commands such as stay, sit and come.
- Why balance is important and why a well-trained dog is not necessarily a well-balanced one.
- How to use the natural inclinations of your dog to create better behavior.
- The different theories and methods from a variety of well-renowned trainers, which include Ian Dunbar, Bob Biley, Martin Deelay, Mark Harden, and Joel Silverman.
- How to encourage and honor your dog’s instincts and much more.
by Mike Ritland
The author of this book taps into more than 10 years of experience as a dog trainer, and he explains his methods in a direct and easy way. Throughout Team Dog, Mike focuses on the importance of gaining your dog’s trust and offers invaluable tips on how you can achieve obedience in your dog.
His approach is unique and makes use of entertaining anecdotes and examples from his work on the battlefield. He also includes some direct tips from the Navy SEAL handbook that teaches dog owners how to pick the best dog for their homes.
He introduces pet owners to the distinctive and new authority method on how to train your dog – Yes. It’s the Navy SEAL way.
Power of Positive Dog Training
by Pat Miller
In the Power of Positive Dog Training book, Pat shares some positive dog training tools that can help you enjoy a lifetime of fun, respect, and companionship with your furry friend.
The step-by-step guide gives a six-week program that will teach you how to develop a good relationship with your dog that is based on positive reinforcement and friendship only. There is no punishment and no fear in this program.
There is also some information on the importance of understanding, observing, and reacting the right way to your dog’s body language.
by William R. Koehler
Developed over 50 years ago, The Koehler Method of Dog Training spawned a whole genre of dawn training books that followed it. It is a method based on the philosophy that a dog usually acts and chooses its own actions.
The method can be used to teach dog owners in both private and class training formats. William R. Koehler says that a learned behavior by a dog is an act of choice, which is based on their learning experience.
If these choices are learned as a result of the expectation of a reward, then the behavior is likely to be repeated and if they are learned from an expectation of punishment, there is a likelihood of cessation.
Adherents usually believe that once a behavior is taught correctly, it should be performed which makes the process of correcting your dog fair, expected, and reasonable.
by Richard A. Wolters
While a little older and more technical than the new books above, Water Dog contains revolutionary and scientific information on a dog’s mental development. The book features a step by step training without any extraneous material. Everything is covered from the day you get your little puppy until you have a finished and trained dog.
It shows you the whole training process in picture sequence, so you can follow the lessons easily. Not only will it show you what to expect of your dog, but also what your dog should expect from you.
This book is filled with information on how you can use the right commands when utilizing the Dummy-Launch. This is a training device that the author developed that makes training fast, easy and fun for both you and your dog.
The one thing that stands out about all dog trainers, is their love of dogs. At times, this love is so well reciprocated that it’s the dog who trains the human how to act.
No Ordinary Dog
by Will Chesney with Joe Layden
This book features a true story about a man who was a SEAL Team operator and handler for military dogs. It is the story of this No Ordinary Dog who saved his life.
In 2011, more than 20 SEALS descended in the compound of Osama bin Ladden, and after their mission, only one name was given to the public – Cairo. This was a Belgian military dog. His handler was Will Chesney.
Will was introduced to the SEAL canine program in 2008, and he and Cairo worked together side by side while depending on each other in order to survive the many critical operations of the War on Terror.
After training for several weeks for a secret mission, it was clear that the mission was not an ordinary one. Cairo was among the first people in Pakistan and this resulted in the elimination of bin Laden.
He became a role model for a reliable dog and went back to his job as a DEVGRU operator after the mission until a grenade blast left him with a brain injury in 2013. This book is a demonstration of the human-canine bond. It is also a heartfelt tribute to Cairo.