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The 10 Best Dog Training Books

Training a dog can be challenging, especially if you don't know where to begin. Dog trainers and a variety of websites are excellent tools, but a book on the subject can provide you with a more comprehensive understanding of dog training principles and common mistakes to avoid. It's also a good idea to keep a book on hand for reference.

To help you narrow down your search options, consider this list of the best dog training books that BestForPets (bestforpets.org) recommends.

What to Look for When Purchasing a Dog Training Book

  • Author

Select a book authored by a well-known dog trainer or someone who has been certified in animal behavior, dog training, or has exhibited other experience in the field. Read the author’s biography at the start of the book to discover what kind of experience and education they have and if their advise is a good fit for you and your dog.

  • Length

Do you prefer a quick read with how-tos or a lengthy read with in-depth information? The length of a book might imply the difference between reading it and flipping through the pages. Before you buy, be sure the book contains what you’re seeking for—many broad details or one specific training topic.

  • Topic

There are methods for teaching dogs tricks, but there are also methods for teaching a dog to live in your home. Both necessitate training, but not all publications will address all types of training objectives. If your dog is housebroken and has basic manners, but you want to increase the amount of tricks he knows, avoid using a general dog training book. If you have a new puppy, you should first focus on basic behaviors that will allow it to live happily in your home, such as housebreaking and not leaping on visitors, before teaching it other talents.


Best Overall: Dog Training Revolution 

Zak George is a well-known dog trainer who has appeared on Animal Planet and on YouTube. Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution: The Complete Guide to Creating the Perfect Pet with Love is our choice for best dog training manual because it offers a fresh new perspective on raising the perfect pup. This 240-page guide covers everything from bathroom training to leash tugging to hostility. It also includes important dog ownership information, such as when to take your pet to the clinic and how to choose the best food for his or her needs. George’s approach to dog training is humane and friendly, with tips on decoding and “talking to” your pooch.

We chose Zak George’s book as the best overall since it is stronger on “how-tos” than technical training information. It delicately touches on every topic, and it’s an excellent choice for both new dog owners and veterans in need of a refresher.

Best for Puppies: The Art of Puppy-Raising

Bringing a new puppy home is a wonderful time full with kisses, cuddles, and, yes, wasted sleep. The Art of Raising a Puppy is a must-have for any new puppy owner, written by the Monks of New Skete, a group of dog-loving monks who know their business. The monks draw on their 30-plus years of experience raising German Shepherd puppies to fill all 352 pages with knowledge about training, loving, and caring for a new puppy. It will assist your puppy in adjusting to his or her new home and provides advice for each stage of a puppy’s existence.

Overall, The Art of Raising a Puppy is not only brilliantly written, but it is also jam-packed with incredibly practical advice that you may refer to at any moment.

Best for Potty Training: Housebreaking Your Dog in 7 Days

Whether you’re having trouble housebreaking your new puppy or need to potty train a new rescue dog, How to Housebreak Your Dog in 7 Days is a must-read. This book, written by pet specialist Shirlee Kalstone, will help you teach even the most “untrainable” puppies. It also includes strategies for all forms of house training, including housebreaking, litter training, and paper training. There are suggested potty routines, guidelines for dealing with accidents, and advise on how to positively reinforce your dog.

Though housebreaking can be a tedious and often difficult process, Kalstone will assist you in training your puppy regardless of age.

Best for Kids: Puppy Training for Kids: Instilling in Children the Importance and Pleasures of Puppy Care, Training, and Companionship

Everyone has heard the story about the kid who requested for a pet but never took responsibility for it. With this helpful and thoughtfully prepared guide, you can let your child take care of training. This Barron’s publication is geared toward youngsters, with the goal of teaching them how to care for, train, and nurture their new four-legged buddy. It will teach your kids the fundamentals of clicker training, socializing, and good activity. The 96-page book is photo-heavy, allowing children to envision instead of reading a dense manual with big blocks of text. Puppy Training for Kids is excellent for middle school-aged children and younger. It is simple to learn and consume.

Best for Tricks: 101 Dog Tricks: Activities for Engaging, Challenging, and Bonding with Your Dog

Now that you’ve mastered toilet training, keep your dog mentally stimulated and interested by teaching it tricks. Kyra Sundance’s 101 Dog Tricks is the perfect guide to teaching your dog every trick in the book (literally, in this case). It’s chock-full of color-coded guidelines to its 101 tricks, each one rated with a difficulty level and “prerequisites” your pup should be aware of ahead of time. The skills vary from the basic sit, fetch, and stay to the more difficult (but quite clever) “go get a drink from the fridge.” Aside from being beneficial, teaching your dog tricks may keep active puppies occupied and challenged, making them less likely to cause damage around the house. So, if you’re looking for a one-stop shop for dog tricks, 101 Dog Tricks is the book for you.

Best for Service Dogs: Step-by-Step Instructions with a 30-Day Intensive Training Program to Get You Started in Training Your Own Full Potential Service Dog

Obtaining a service dog can be a time-consuming and costly process. Lelah Sullivan’s Training Your Own Service Dog is a handbook to teaching your dog skills to assist him or her be a companion animal. Sullivan is a retired service dog trainer who teaches the fundamentals of training a dog to assist people with disabilities. Though we recommend working with a qualified service dog organization for most purposes, Sullivan’s book can assist people who need a little extra support around the house but don’t have the extra expenses to have an actual service dog. The author also maintains a Facebook group where she seeks ideas and comments on a regular basis.

Overall, after completing Sullivan’s steps, this method to self-training a service dog will help pups behave better and follow a range of orders.

Best for Agility Training: The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Dog Agility

If you want to train your dog for agility contests, Laurie Leach’s The Beginner’s Guide to Dog Agility is a fantastic place to start. This 256-page book covers everything from building your own agility obstacles to learning the ins and outs of clicker training. Agility events can be enjoyable for both you and your pet, providing an energetic, bonding experience that you will both enjoy. As the title suggests, this book is ideal for someone with no prior experience in agility training who wants to try it with their driven dog. Though Leach’s book is intended at the professional agility community, it is an excellent resource for anyone interested in learning more about this sector.


Can books teach you how to train a dog effectively?

Yes! A excellent book can teach you how to train your dog, but you must be willing to put the techniques into action. Regardless matter the book you choose, consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are all vital aspects of dog training.

Do I need classes if books don’t help me train my dog?

Classes for dog training are always a wonderful option, especially if they allow you to socialize your dog with other dogs. Sometimes having the viewpoint and understanding of a trainer might help your dog learn the abilities it need.


As a result, we are grateful that you choose BestForPets (bestforpets.org) from among the many websites that provide information on the best dog training books.

It is our hope that this article has helped you choose the best product for your dog.

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Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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