Dog training books are a great tool for any dog owner to have on hand. We all know how important it is to implement training as soon as we bring home a new puppy or dog to ensure you have a well-balanced family pet. Training techniques are also very handy if you start to notice behavioral problems, want to teach new tricks, or simply want to brush up on training.
Not only do dog training books provide a lot of great information on how to train but can give you insight into how your dogs think and why they behave the way they do.
Now that you are on the market for a dog training book, we have researched to make your hunt much easier. Here’s a list and reviews of the best dog training books on the market. Let’s look!
A Look at Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||Zak George's Guide to a Well-Behaved Dog||
|Best Value||How to Raise the Perfect Dog Through Puppyhood and Beyond||
|Premium Choice||Idiot's Guides Dog Training||
|Best for Puppies||51 Puppy Tricks||
|The Big Book of Tricks for the Best Dog Ever||
The 10 Best Dog Training Books
1. Zak George’s Guide to a Well-Behaved Dog – Best Overall
|Year Published:||July 9, 2019|
|Number of Pages:||224|
Zak George is a well-known dog trainer that has his own YouTube Channel and is featured on Animal Planet. His book, Zak George’s Guide to a Well-Behaved Dog gets our pick for best overall dog training book thanks to its readability and the fact that it covers all bases.
From potty training to behavioral issues, Zak George goes over everything you need to know about the training process with information backed by specific case studies. You can even refer to his YouTube channel to see him put his techniques into action.
Not only is this book affordable, but easy to read and based on updated training techniques and positive reinforcement. The biggest complaint from readers was the small print that made it hard for some to read. Zak George also has other books out there that are worth checking out with their raving reviews.
2. How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond — Best Value
|Year Published:||January 1, 2009|
|Number of Pages:||320|
If you are looking for the best dog training book for the money, Cesar Millan has the book for you. His 2009 book titled How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond is an informative training guide at a low cost.
Not only is Cesar Millan one of the best-known dog trainers in the world, but you can also watch him in action with his National Geographic show, “The Dog Whisperer”. In this book, Cesar Milan tells you how to create an environment that your dog can thrive in and provides techniques you can implement for behavioral issues.
This book will cover your dog’s stages of development and tackle all the needed training and commands along the way. It also provides a great resource if you start to experience behavioral problems that are expected at some point in your dog’s life. The book may be a bit lengthy but it is full of valuable information.
3. Idiot’s Guides: Dog Training – Premium Choice
|Year Published:||September 3, 2013|
|Number of Pages:||272|
Liz Palika brings you the Idiot’s Guides: Dog Training book that provides 272 pages of information on how to provide a solid foundation of training for you and your dog. Liz is a reputable dog trainer with lots of experience in the field. She highlights the struggles you can face without providing proper training to your four-legged companion. This book covers all the bases and gets our pick for premium choice in the world of dog training books.
Reviewers loved how easy this book was to read and understand and raved about the balance between illustrations and informative text. Not only can you get started right away with teaching your dog the basics, but you also dive into some more challenging tricks and training issues as well.
This book is meant to give you all the tools and techniques you need to help transform your dog into a well-rounded and well-mannered member of the family. This book may come at a higher cost than some of the others and gets bought up fairly quickly.
4. 51 Puppy Tricks — Best for Puppies
|Year Published:||October 1, 2009|
|Number of Pages:||176|
The book 51 Puppy Tricks gets our pick for being the best training book for puppies. Dog trainer and author Kyra Sundance provides this 176-page guide that will help you learn how your puppy thinks and processes information so that you can provide them with what they need to become a wonderful, well-mannered family pet. This book is geared specifically for puppies and dogs that are under 1 year of age.
This book is very engaging and easy to read. It is a step-by-step guide full of techniques and tricks that will keep your puppy stimulated and interested in training. Reviewers rave about how easy it is to follow and the success they get with Kyra’s training techniques.
While this book serves as a great beginners guide for puppy owners, it is not well-suited for older dogs and the more challenging behavioral issues that some owners may need help with.
5. The Big Book of Tricks for the Best Dog Ever
|Year Published:||March 19, 2019|
|Number of Pages:||320|
The Big Book of Tricks for the Best Dog Ever is a fantastic step-by-step guide including 118 incredible tricks and activities to keep your dog happy and engaged. This book provides some interesting insight into some of the tricks behind filmmaking and what it takes to get the dogs to the point they star in movies.
This book is written by Larry Kay, who is known for his positive reinforcement training techniques. This book is not the best go-to for those looking to tackle a slew of behavioral problems but is a great tool for those wanting to focus on tricks, stunts, and activities that will enrich their dog and strengthen their bond.
6. Be the Pack Leader
December 1, 2007
|Number of Pages:||336|
Written by one of the world’s most popular and influential dog trainers and star of his hit show, the Dog Whisperer on National Geographic, Cesar Millan wrote this book, Be The Pack Leader, for dog owners that need some work in becoming the pack leader.
Cesar goes over how important it is to become a calm and assertive owner that your dog can trust and obey. The book is easy to read and is full of practical tips and a variety of techniques you can implement in your training situation. Not only does it provide insight into your dog’s behavior and perspective, but it gives you a deeper understanding of yourself and how your actions affect your dog.
This book covers a lot of ground and includes the success stories from Cesar’s clients. Be the Pack Leader has a reference guide with illustrations and step-by-step procedures that will help you combat some of the most challenging behavioral problems.
7. Training the Best Dog Ever
|Author:||Larry Kay and Dawn Sylvia Stasiewicz|
|Year Published:||September 25, 2012|
|Number of Pages:||304|
Training the Best Dog Ever is written by authors Larry Kay and Dawn Sylvia. This 304-page guide to dog training focuses on positive reinforcement through building trust and giving rewards. These authors steer away from corrective collars and reprimanding, which may not be preferred for all owners.
This training only takes up 10 to 20 minutes of your time each day and is recommended for both puppies and adult dogs. Training the Best Dog Ever is illustrated with step-by-step photographs and covers all the bases of training from potty training to basic commands to more complex behavioral issues.
8. Lucky Dog Lessons
|Year Published:||October 2, 2018|
|Number of Pages:||336|
The celebrity dog trainer and Emmy-winning star of the CBS show Lucky Dog, Brandon McMillan gives his training advice in his 336-page book, Lucky Dog Lessons. This book is recommended for training any dog in any circumstance. Brandon McMillan is known for taking on the most difficult rescue dogs and training them to be well-rounded family pets.
Since this book is written by a reputable author with loads of experience in dog training, you can rest assured you are getting some great information for your situation. The book includes a lot of real-life accounts of Brandon’s training experiences and guides owners along the way.
The biggest complaint per the reviews of this book was the fact that it is lengthy at 336 pages and does not include illustrations that a lot of dog owners rely on for reference.
9. The Ultimate Guide to Raising a Puppy
|Year Published:||October 1, 2019|
|Number of Pages:||224|
The Ultimate Guide to Raising a Puppy is a 224-page guide written to help owners of brand-new puppies. The author, Animal Planet star Victoria Stilwell, goes into detail about choosing the right canine companion, introducing the puppy into your home, and going over their growth stages and how to handle life with your new pup.
This book covers a wide variety of training issues that need to be tackled when bringing home a new puppy and many dog owners found this guide to be very helpful and easy to read.
Some reviewers found the book informative but not as helpful as they had hoped. There were complaints that the author did not include as much practical advice and training techniques as they were looking for.
10. Dog Training for Kids: Fun and Easy Ways to Care for Your Furry Friend
|Author:||Vanessa Estrada Marin|
|Year Published:||November 26, 2019|
|Number of Pages:||176|
Dog Training for Kids is a great option for both kids and adults alike. It is a very easy-to-understand book that is fun and engaging for children that are ready to learn how to properly train their beloved dog. This book covers all bases including basic obedience, tricks, essential commands, games to try, and even breaks down the best way to handle certain situations.
This 176-page book was published in 2019 and written by Vanessa Estrada Marin. She has made this book very easy for children to follow along, included detailed illustrations, and encouraged patience and kindness during the training process. It is not only a great option for those looking to train their dog but those that are thinking about bringing home a new puppy and need some great insight on how to train and care for a dog.
The only complaint about this book is the construction. Some buyers advised that their copy fell apart easily and the binding was not very strong.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Dog Training Books
All the dog training books we listed today are well-reviewed and highly recommended for all dog owners. There’s no need to purchase every well-reviewed book out there so you need to be able to narrow down the right book for you and your training needs.
Look into the author of the book and ensure they are a credible source of information. Many reputable dog trainers have extensive experience in all things canine and this can give you comfort that they are a source you can trust.
If you do not recognize the name but have stumbled across a book that looks like a good fit, do your research on the author, and learn a little more about their history and experience.
For books geared toward dog training, it is best to check the publication date. Some best-selling books written by the experts could have been published several years ago but may still be valid today while others may be outdated due to an update in research and training techniques. We are always learning more and more about our canine companions and more recent books tend to be based on the most recent studies.
When purchasing this kind of book, you want to ensure it is easy to read. You want a book that is easy to understand and doesn’t bore you. Dog training books should include images to help you understand what you are reading so that you can implement the techniques at home.
Some experts in the dog training field may use certain terms that are not so easy for the average person to understand. If a book you are reading is constantly using terms and verbiage you are not familiar with, it is not going to be so easy to learn from.
Training Methods and Purpose of the Book
Dog training books are not a one-size-fits-all kind of subject. You will find that certain books may be geared toward certain groups such as puppies, or certain behavioral problems such as leash pulling or excessive barking.
If you are only looking to tackle a certain problem you are having with your dog, a book that focuses solely on that problem may not be a bad idea. If you are looking for a more all-encompassing type of training book, you will need to do your research and ensure it covers all the bases you need for your training situation.
Different dog trainers will do things in different ways. What works for some people, will not work for all people. It’s best to examine your preferred methods and what you would feel most comfortable doing then work to find a book that is compatible with your style.
Zak George’s Guide to a Well-Behaved Dog is a great overall choice for any dog owner that wants to pick up training tips and techniques from a very well-known dog trainer.
How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond will provide you with a lot of great information about raising and training your dog straight from a world-famous trainer, Cesar Millan.
Idiot’s Guides: Dog Training is another great option that is easy to read and understand and covers all bases of dog training.
Now that you know what the reviews have to say, you are well on your way to discovering the perfect dog training book for you and your canine companion.
Featured Image Credit: Bequest, Pixabay