Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

10 Best Puppy Training Books in 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks

puppy lying with bookSo, you’re the proud owner of a new puppy — or you’re about to be! Either way, congratulations! You’re in for a confusing, frustrating, and rewarding time full of poop, love, and adorableness. Training your puppy is a vital aspect of raising a dog. It helps determine their future temperament and your relationship with them for the rest of their lives.

If you’ve been looking for puppy training books, you know that there are so many out there to choose from, so we picked out the 10 best ones on the subject. We hope that these reviews will help you narrow down your options, and you’ll find the right book for your needs.

divider-dog

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites of 2023

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution: The Complete Guide Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution: The Complete Guide
  • Goes over how to find the right puppy
  • How to select a vet and the right food
  • Has corresponding videos on YouTube
  • Best Value
    Second place
    How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond
  • Features puppy training and how to take care of an adult dog
  • Teaches housebreaking, nutrition, and the best ways to play
  • How to fix problems before they begin
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Dog Training for Kids: Fun and Easy Ways to Care for Your Furry Friend Dog Training for Kids: Fun and Easy Ways to Care for Your Furry Friend
  • Great for kids to train a puppy
  • Covers basic training and commands
  • Also a great book for adults
  • The Puppy Primer The Puppy Primer
  • Written by a certified applied animal behaviorist and ethologist
  • Teaches you how to have realistic expectations of your puppy
  • Trains you how to be a good dog owner and trainer
  • Puppy Training in 7 Easy Steps: Everything You Need to Know Puppy Training in 7 Easy Steps: Everything You Need to Know
  • Teaches understanding of puppy behavior
  • Has instructions for basic commands
  • Clear, precise instructions that are easy to follow
  • The 10 Best Puppy Training Books

    1. Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution: The Complete Guide to Raising the Perfect Pet With Love — Best Overall

    Zak George's Dog Training Revolution

    Author Zak George
    Formats Kindle, audiobook, paperback, spiral-bound
    Publishing year 2016
    Pages 240 pages

    The best overall puppy training book is “Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution.” Zak George is a popular dog trainer who got his start on YouTube and has starred in two shows: Animal Planet’s “SuperFetch” and “Who Let the Dogs Out” on the BBC. His book goes through the entire process of finding the right puppy for you, selecting the right food, and locating a vet. It has all the necessary training techniques that you can expect — how to deal with housebreaking, barking, biting, jumping, and so on. You can read his book in conjunction with his YouTube videos.

    The disadvantages of this book are that it isn’t totally focused on puppy training; most of it is devoted to finding a puppy (and if you already have one, this aspect will be pointless). Also, his advice is best for someone completely inexperienced with dogs. If you already have a fair amount of experience and knowledge, you might want to look for a more advanced book.

    Pros
    • Goes over how to find the right puppy
    • How to select a vet and the right food
    • Covers basic training and typical puppy problems (biting, barking, etc.)
    • Has corresponding videos on YouTube
    Cons
    • Focuses on more than training
    • Best for beginners

    2. How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond — Best Value

    How to Raise the Perfect Dog

    Author Cesar Millan
    Formats Kindle, audiobook, hardcover, paperback
    Publishing year 2009
    Pages 320 pages

    The best puppy training book for the money is Cesar Millan’s “How to Raise the Perfect Dog.” Cesar is a well-known dog trainer and is famous for his “Dog Whisperer” TV show on National Geographic Channel. His book covers training a puppy but will also take you through your dog’s entire life. It goes over a puppy’s development, housebreaking, nutrition, and how to correct problems before they even become problems. The advice can also be applied to a dog at any other life stage.

    However, some people have a problem with Cesar’s training techniques, which has resulted in some controversy. It also isn’t exactly a step-by-step instruction book, so it takes extra reading to get the right instructions.

    Pros
    • Features puppy training and how to take care of an adult dog
    • Teaches housebreaking, nutrition, and the best ways to play
    • How to fix problems before they begin
    • Can be used for dogs of any age
    Cons
    • Not step-by-step
    • Not everyone agrees with Cesar’s techniques

    3. Dog Training for Kids: Fun and Easy Ways to Care for Your Furry Friend — Premium Choice

    Dog Training for Kids

    Author Vanessa Estrada Marin
    Formats Kindle, paperback
    Publishing year 2019
    Pages 176 pages

    Dog Training for Kids” by Vanessa Estrada Marin is a fantastic book to give your kids before bringing home a puppy. If you have children, it’s a great way to get them actively involved in raising and training their new dog. The author runs a New York City facility specializing in dog programming for children, so this is her forté. The book covers basic training, housebreaking, basic commands (like sit and stay), and fun tricks. It will give children confidence and help them form a strong bond with their dog by giving them some control in the training process. It is also great for adults.

    Unfortunately, this book is pricey, and some people reported that it fell apart when it arrived.

    Pros
    • Great for kids to train a puppy
    • Covers basic training and commands
    • Author specializes in dog programming for children
    • Gives children confidence and can help form a bond with the dog
    • Also a great book for adults
    Cons
    • Pricey
    • Book might arrive falling apart

    4. The Puppy Primer

    The Puppy Primer Kindle Edition

    Author Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D.
    Formats Kindle, paperback
    Publishing year 2010
    Pages 117 pages

    The Puppy Primer was written by Dr. McConnell, an ethologist and certified applied animal behaviorist who has worked with both cats and dogs for over 25 years. She teaches dog owners about having realistic expectations with their puppies. This means understanding the difference between teaching a puppy to sit and wait for food versus sitting when guests come for a visit! It covers socialization, positive reinforcement, the best and worst ways to play, and basic training. Overall, it doesn’t teach you how to train your dog — it trains you to be a good dog owner and trainer.

    The only real disadvantage with this book is that it is relatively basic information. It will work well for beginners, but most people with experience might not learn anything new.

    Pros
    • Written by a certified applied animal behaviorist and ethologist
    • Teaches you how to have realistic expectations of your puppy
    • Covers socialization, positive reinforcement, and best ways to play
    • Trains you how to be a good dog owner and trainer
    Cons
    • Best for beginners

    5. Puppy Training in 7 Easy Steps: Everything You Need to Know to Raise the Perfect Dog

    Puppy Training in 7 Easy Steps

    Author Mark Van Wye
    Formats Kindle, audiobook, paperback, spiral-bound
    Publishing year 2019
    Pages 178 pages

    The author of “Puppy Training in 7 Easy Steps” is the CEO of the Zoom Room, which uses positive reinforcement dog training and has locations across the U.S. The book offers methods that help you understand your puppy’s body language and behavior, which means you’ll be able to figure out why they’re acting a certain way. It teaches everything from housebreaking and socialization to walking on a leash and how to best puppy-proof your place. The instructions are written in a clear and precise manner and are easy to understand and follow.

    However, it’s best for beginner dog owners because most of the information is fairly basic. Also, it’s not that in-depth and might be too focused on treats for some trainers.

    Pros
    • Teaches understanding of puppy behavior and body language
    • Has instructions for basic commands, socialization, and food aggression prevention
    • Clear, precise instructions that are easy to follow
    Cons
    • Better for beginners
    • Not that in-depth and too treat focused

    6. Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days

    Lucky Dog Lessons

    Author Brandon McMillan
    Formats Kindle, audiobook, hardcover, paperback, audio CD
    Publishing year 2016
    Pages 336 pages

    Lucky Dog Lessons” by Brandon McMillan uses techniques that will help any dog or puppy, whether from a rescue or a breeder, become a well-adjusted friend in 7 days. Brandon McMillan is known for his “Lucky Dog” show on CBS, where he rescues “unadoptable” dogs and transforms them in a week. It starts with building trust and leads to training basic commands, and it offers solutions to common behavioral problems. It also provides advice on how to train dogs of different sizes.

    On the downside, it is a long book with a large amount to read — parts of it are stories from McMillan’s own life. Also, many of his training techniques involve the use of different equipment that you’ll need to purchase.

    Pros
    • Any dog or puppy can be trained in 7 days with the techniques
    • Helps build trust and offers solutions for behavioral problems
    • Advice on training dogs of different sizes
    Cons
    • Long read with many stories
    • Need to buy equipment for his techniques

    7. The Art of Raising a Puppy

    The Art of Raising a Puppy

    Author Monks of New Skete
    Formats Kindle, audiobook, hardcover, paperback
    Publishing year 2011
    Pages 352 pages

    The Art of Raising a Puppy” was written by The Monks of New Skete, who are actual monks who have been breeding German Shepherds and training all breeds of dogs for about 30 years. This book is more than just a training book — it takes you from how to find a puppy to training, socialization, and general care. They stress the importance of building a strong bond with your dog.

    However, this is a long book that doesn’t provide much actionable training, though it does have plenty of stories. It also goes into great detail about gestation and the development of young litters, which most puppy owners don’t need to know.

    Pros
    • Written by monks with 30 years of experience in dog training
    • More than a training book — teaches everything from picking a puppy to general care
    • Stresses building a bond with your dog
    Cons
    • Long book with not enough actionable training
    • Too much detail on litter developments and gestation

    8. Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week Program Using the Power of Positive Reinforcement

    Training the Best Dog Ever

    Author Larry Kay and Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz
    Formats Kindle, paperback
    Publishing year 2012
    Pages 304 pages

    Training the Best Dog Ever” was written by Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz. She was an experienced trainer who worked with many dogs, including former White House dog, Bo Obama, and Senator Ted Kennedy’s dogs. Unfortunately, she passed away shortly before this book was published.

    The book is designed to work in five weeks with just 10 to 20 minutes of working with your dog every day. It’s designed to help puppies or adult dogs with bad behaviors and habits and goes through basic and complex training. It can also help dogs feel more confident and comfortable overall while out in the world.

    The flaws with this book include that it is on the long side and contains many of her own stories, making for an overly long read. Also, the information is a little disorganized because it tends to jump all over the place.

    Pros
    • Meant to work in 5 weeks with just 10–20 minutes every day
    • Helps adults or puppies with bad habits
    • Covers basic and more complex training
    • Helps make dogs more confident when out in the world
    Cons
    • Long with many stories
    • Information not well organized

    9. Puppy Training: How to Housebreak Your Puppy in Just 7 Days!

    Puppy Training

    Author Ken Phillips
    Formats Kindle, audiobook, paperback
    Publishing year 2015
    Pages 114 pages

    Puppy Training: How to Housebreak Your Puppy in Just 7 Days” by Ken Phillips is a great book for those struggling with housebreaking their puppy. Here’s an entire book devoted to the subject! It provides clear, step-by-step instructions that should work, even if you have a full-time job. It covers tips to help with housebreaking quickly and issues like there still being accidents after you’ve repeatedly taken your puppy outside. It also goes over the psychology of your puppy, which will help you better understand them.

    However, the book covers a large amount of fairly basic information, which will work well for beginners but not so much for experienced dog owners. Also, not every puppy will be successfully housebroken in 7 days.

    Pros
    • Helps if you are struggling with housebreaking
    • Clear, step-by-step instructions — works even if you work fulltime
    • Covers subjects, such as why puppies pee inside after being outside
    • Goes over puppy psychology
    Cons
    • Won’t work in 7 days for every puppy
    • Best for beginners

    10. Puppies for Dummies

    Puppies For Dummies Kindle Edition

    Author Sarah Hodgson
    Formats Kindle, paperback
    Publishing year 2019
    Pages 406 pages

    Puppies for Dummies” by Sarah Hodgson covers everything puppy-related and more than just training. It covers positive reinforcement, using redirection for problem behaviors, and puppy psychology. It goes over socialization, keeping your puppy in good health, and how to train your puppy toward good behavior. This book should help even if you’re just thinking about getting a puppy.

    However, some of the problems with this book are that it is a bit inconsistent at times. Some instructions are detailed, while the author tends to gloss over others. It also seems to need another round of editing because it contains various typos and grammatical issues.

    Pros
    • All about puppies — more than just training
    • Covers positive reinforcement, redirection, and puppy psychology
    • Importance of socialization, keeping your puppy healthy, and training techniques
    Cons
    • Information can be inconsistent
    • Contains typos

    divider-dog

    Buyer’s Guide

    There are a few things that you should be aware of before you choose your puppy training book. Our buyer’s guide is meant to give you some food for thought.

    Subjectivity

    Not any one book will work for every puppy and owner. Some books and techniques will work perfectly for your neighbor and not necessarily for you. Your puppy’s breed is a factor, as is their background. Additionally, not every dog owner will agree with the methods of every dog trainer. Take your time reading through reviews, and look at the synopsis and sample chapters if you can. Just because one book tells you to do something, that doesn’t mean you are required to follow those specific techniques if it doesn’t feel right to you.

    Woman scolding puppy for pooping on the carpet
    Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

    Stories

    Owning a dog can give you so many different experiences and stories. Most puppy training books will be full of stories. These can be helpful because you’ll realize that you’re not alone with specific puppy quirks or problems (or successes). But don’t let a long book full of stories put you off if that’s not what you’re looking for. You can skim those sections if you want to get to the “meat” of the training, as long as the techniques are good ones.

    Author

    The author is everything. Not every dog owner will agree with the author’s training techniques. Many popular authors don’t have any qualifications or actual training certificates, but they do have experience and what works for them (and usually working with celebrities gets them out there). Don’t get swept away by popularity, though. The most important thing will always be your puppy and whether someone’s instructions actually help you both.

    divider-dog

    Conclusion

    Our pick for the best overall puppy training book is Zak George’s “Dog Training Revolution,” which has great information on training your puppy. It also highlights YouTube videos that you can watch to help round out the book’s information! Cesar Millan’s “How to Raise the Perfect Dog” is well-priced and is designed to train puppies and even take you through your dog’s entire life. Finally, “The Puppy Primer” by Dr. McConnell will teach you to have realistic expectations of your puppy. Plus, she’s one of the few authors out there who is educated and certified in dog training.

    We hope that our reviews have helped you figure out which book will best serve your purposes. The right book can help you build a strong bond with your puppy and ensure that that bond will last a lifetime.


    Featured Image Credit: Piqsels

    Our vets

    Want to talk to a vet online?

    Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

    Our vets