21 Best Dog Training Books For Puppy And Dog Owners

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Your dog doesn’t come with an instruction manual (and they don’t have a manual for their humans either!). We’ve created this list of best dog training books – written by famous trainers, behavior experts, and animal psychologists such as Cesar Millan, and Zak George – to help you figure out how to teach your pups, adult dogs, and rescues how to behave and home and while out in public.


These books have helped thousands of dog owners successfully train even the most stubborn pups – which is why they’re the most popular books available on how to create well behaved, balanced, and happy dogs.


THE BEST DOG TRAINING BOOKS


Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution: The Complete Guide to Raising the Perfect Pet with Love
– by Zak George and Dina Roth Port

best dog training books

Dog Training Revolution is the #1 best selling book on dog training on Amazon, rating at 4.5 out of 5 stars from 6,500 reviewers.

Zak’s book contains practical tips, games, and tricks to enrich the lives of both dog owners and their beloved pets.

When he’s not writing some of the best dog training books out there, you might recognize Zak as one of the presenters from Animal Planet.

He’s also the most popular dog trainer on YouTube, currently boasting 3.3 million subscribers!

In this book, Zak helps you adjust your dog’s training to suit their unique breed, personality traits, and energy levels. He draws on information from hundreds of his own training videos, and his extensive personal experience training dogs and puppies.

With his highly effective training methods, this book will give you quicker training results, and a lot less frustration for both you and your pup!

What you’ll learn

Dog Training Revolution includes:

  • How to choose the right puppy for your lifestyle
  • Housetraining
  • Basic training
  • How to cope with biting, chewing, and jumping up
  • How to stop leash pulling
  • How to deal with barking, aggressive behavior, and other issues
  • How to choose the right vet
  • How to choose the right dog food
  • Fun games and tricks
  • Travel tips for your dog
  • Links to the corresponding videos on Zaks YouTube Channel so you can follow along with his training in the book

What readers say

“Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution is a must-read for dog lovers everywhere. It has a wealth of practical tips, tricks, and fun games that will enrich the lives of many dogs and their human companions.”
– Dr. Ian Dunbar, veterinarian, animal behaviorist, and founder of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers

“His approach WORKS!! We have a new puppy. Henri, a mini Australian Shepherd. At 3.5 months old, he already knew “sit”, “lie down”, “roll over”, “look at me”, “shake”, “stand”, and “stay”. Now he’s 6 months and we’ve added “leave it”, “high five”, “bow”, “up”, and “off”. We’re working on “sit pretty”, sitting and staying until released – any time we’re going outside, and his recall. I’ve used Zak’s approach for all of these commands. It’s so fun to see him learning and enjoying himself at the same time!!
– Amazon customer

“I started watching his Youtube videos when I got two puppies and this book goes into a little more detail on his topics plus a few additional ones. Since adopting his training tips from this book as well as the videos, I’ve seen leaps and bounds in communication with my two dogs.”
– Amazon customer



How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond
– by Cesar Millan

best dog training books

Cesar Millan is the star of National Geographic’s Dog Whisperer, and a New York Times bestselling author of multiple dog training books.

As one of the world’s top dog behavior experts, he believes that anyone can raise the perfect dog – no matter who you are, or what type of dog you have.

Cesar gives you all the advice you need to create an environment for your dogs to thrive in, and helps you train to avoid bad, antisocial, and aggressive behavior.

He also teaches how to correct common behavior problems in puppies and young dogs.

How to Raise the Perfect Dog is like getting personal training from Cesar, walking you through the steps you need to take for success.

It’s primarily aimed at puppies and younger dogs, and the language is engaging and easy for anyone to understand. How to Raise the Perfect Dog will help answer all your training questions and help you form closer relationships with your furry companions.

What you’ll learn

How to Raise the Perfect Dog includes:

  • What to expect at the different stages of your puppy’s growth
  • How to housebreak your dog quickly and easily
  • Ensuring your dog gets proper nutrition for development
  • The importance of vaccinations
  • Obedience training
  • Helping your dog understand rules, boundaries, and your leadership
  • How to avoid common mistakes as a dog owner
  • How to correct behavioral issues before they become problems
  • Unique games and exercises to bring out the best in any dog

What readers say

“Cesar Millan really does live up to all the hype. I have a 10 month old bully who weighs at a whopping 85lbs, and 2 shih tzus both at 7 and 7 1/2 years – with his tips and training method the jumping, excessive barking, fighting for territory and just the plain acting out has come to an immediate if not eventual halt. They dont walk me anymore we walk together. This has really helped me to have a more peaceful well balanced home”
– Amazon customer

“Great book, easy read and it has changed our lives as we raise our puppies. Thank you Cesar – only wished we picked up this book before we even got our puppies as there is so much knowledge and helps us also understand our puppies behavior and how we can make their lives and our lives all the more better”
– Amazon customer

“This book opened my eyes to the true nature of dogs and how we as humans need to nurture this and shape puppies into great dogs. Different breeds have different needs. This helped me to see how I need to be the pack leader and not just fulfilling my own emotional needs with my puppy as this can reinforce bad habits and cause problems later on in a dog’s life”
– Amazon customer


How Stella Learned to Talk: The Groundbreaking Story of the World’s First Talking Dog
– by Christina Hunger

best dog training books

An incredible read and a New York Times bestseller, How Stella Learned To Talk follows language and speech expert Christina Hunger as she teaches her dog Stella to communicate with simple buttons that match different words.

Christina’s work as a language pathologist led her to wonder if dogs could understand what we say to them – and if that was the case, could they use simple speech-language tools to talk back to us?

She put her unique theories to the test with puppy Stella. After a few years of training, Stella can now use over 30 word buttons, both individually and to form partial sentences.

How Stella Learned to Talk is a blend of how-to and personal memoir of Christina and Stella’s learning journey. It reveals the exact techniques used to teach Stella. These are broken down into simple, actionable steps that any dog or puppy owner can use to start communicating better with their pets.

What readers say

“I absolutely loved this book, I actually pretty much cried the whole way through it! I did not realize it would trigger such a deep emotions in me! If you read it you will understand.

The connection between human and dog is so much more than what we have ever realized and this book is absolutely groundbreaking in its discoveries that dogs are sentient beings with emotions, feelings, opinions, and a great desire to actually talk to us and communicate with us. You literally will never look at your dog same way again! Truly inspiring for all of us to try and communicate with our own pets”
– Amazon customer

“Christina and Stella’s story is enchanting and Christina has done a fabulous job of putting it into book form. I’ve been following Christina and Stella for a couple of years, so I had very high expectations for this book. It was everything I hoped for, the kind of book you hope will never end, but you can’t put down so it ends way too soon. If you love dogs and are interested in dogs’ abilities to communicate with humans, you’ll really love this book”
– Amazon customer

“An easy-to-read book that describes how Christina taught her dog Stella to communicate with an AAC device. It’s the perfect mix of memoir and how-to guide, with plenty of anecdotes describing how Stella picked up these skills. The book also describes the underlying speech pathology and communication principles driving Stella’s progress, so that readers can gain a deeper understanding of this groundbreaking work. Highly recommend to those who are interested in learning how to teach their dogs to use a device, as well as those who are curious about this amazing line of work!”
– Amazon customer


Puppy Training in 7 Easy Steps: Everything You Need to Know to Raise the Perfect Dog
– by Mark Van Wye and Zoom Room Dog Training

best dog training books

A hugely popular dog training book that teaches anyone to raise a well-behaved, happy puppy in 7 easy steps.

Puppy Training in 7 Easy Steps is a step-by-step guide that teaches how to blend positive reinforcement techniques with your dog’s own instincts and personality when you’re training.

Perfect for beginners and experienced dog owners alike, this book will help you understand training and behavior from your puppy’s own perspective. You’ll also be given troubleshooting tips in case anything unexpected happens during training time!

Author Mark Van Wye is a long time dog owner, and the founder of Zoom Room Dog Training. His personal belief is that positive reinforcement, tricks, and games should be fun for both dogs and their owners.

What you’ll learn

Puppy Training in 7 Easy Steps includes:

  • How to prepare for your new puppy
  • Puppy-proofing your home
  • Essential puppy supplies
  • Teaching your puppy essential boundaries and good manners
  • Dog training fundamentals
  • Crate and potty training
  • How to prevent aggression
  • How to walk on a leash
  • Straightforward techniques to build up your pup’s skills and understanding
  • Learn puppy perspectives on life
  • Understand puppy behavior and body language
  • Understand why your puppy does what it does

What readers say

Puppy Training in 7 Easy Steps gives wonderful advice for raising the perfect puppy. Whether it is your first or tenth puppy, every responsible dog owner should read this book.”
―Robin R. Ganzert, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, American Humane Association

Puppy Training in 7 Easy Steps is an easy read that should be a mandatory reference for all new dog owners. Plus it is a great reminder for even longtime owners.”
– Cheryl Shawver, President, Animal Actors of Hollywood

“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”
– Amazon customer


Dog Training for Kids: Fun and Easy Ways to Care for Your Furry Friend
– by Vanessa Estrada Marin

best dog training books

Get your kids involved in training the newest family member with these easy and effective, and fun dog training techniques.

Owning a dog is a lot of responsibility, and training can take a lot of time. This is one of the best dog training books for kids – and makes training and caring for your dog a ton of fun.

Dog Training For Kids will give the younger members of your family the knowledge and confidence to take care of and train their pets, and create a strong, lasting bond with their (soon to be) very well behaved furry friends!

Author Vanessa Marin is head of Frolic, a unique organization that specializes in dog-centric programs for kids.

In this best-seller, Dog Training for Kids gives easy-to-follow lessons and tutorials so that kids (and their parents) have the information they need to be responsible pet owners.

What you’ll learn

Dog Training For Kids includes:

  • Tips on finding the right dog for your family
  • Dog-proofing your house
  • Dog behaviors
  • How to train your dog to walk on a leash
  • Potty training
  • Teaching your dog to socialize with other pets
  • How to keep your dog calm at the vet or groomer
  • Basic command training – sit, heel, drop it, stay
  • Fun games for your dog
  • And more!

What readers say

“A must read for kids thinking about getting a dog or puppy. An extremely informative guide for children that will set them up for success in understanding, caring for, and training their new best friend. One of a kind book!”
– Kristin Sells, Senior Canine Behavior Counselor, Biscuits & Bath NYC

“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”
– Amazon customer

“Great for my 7 & 12 year old boys who are training a new puppy. Honestly as an I adult I like the ease of this book and the directions too. A must for kids training a dog!”
– Amazon customer


The Art of Raising a Puppy (Revised Edition)
– by Monks of New Skete

best dog training books

The Monks of New Skete are some of the most trusted dog training experts in the USA. This classic best selling book has been updated to include the latest canine health and care developments.


The Monks’ two best dog training books, How to be Your Dog’s Best Friend and the original version of The Art of Raising a Puppy, draw on vast experience as breeders of German Shepherd dogs. They’re also skilled at training dogs of all breeds – giving them the expertise to provide the advice and techniques for training that all dog owners need.

The new edition of The Art of Raising a Puppy includes beautiful photographs, and a wealth of detailed information on behavior, training, and dog care for dog lovers.

What you’ll learn

The Art of Raising a Puppy includes:

  • Advice on puppy play
  • Crate training
  • Tips on adopting dogs from rescues and shelters
  • How to raise dogs in urban environments
  • Dog health
  • Advice and information on dog behavioral theory

What reviewers say

“We’re using this book to help us train our german shepherd and I’ll say this — it is exactly what puppy owners need to prepare! So many warned us against getting a GSD but with the proper training and care, he is the perfect dog for us and a loyal companion.

We get compliments on how well-behaved he is, and he’s only 3 months old. I highly recommend the training principles taught in this book. We follow them closely. It is easy to read and uses a positive approach while still utilizing proper discipline”
– Amazon customer

“We bought this book after it was recommended by our dog trainer. It has helped us train our Brittany puppy who is a very quick learner”
– Amazon customer

“This is one of the best books I’ve read on GSDs and training.These Monks are amazing with their dogs!”
– Amazon customer


Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days
– by Brandon McMillan

best dog training books

Brandon McMillan is an Emmy winning star of the CBS show “Lucky Dog“, and a celebrity dog trainer.

In this top selling dog training book, he shares a training system that will transform any dog (whether you have a pampered purebred, an energetic puppy, or an older rescue dog) into a wonderful companion – in just 7 days.

If you’ve watched Lucky Dog, you’ll know how Brandon takes in “unadoptable” shelter dogs and transforms them into loving, well-behaved companions.

The 7 Common Commands you’ll learn in Lucky Dog Lessons are easy to follow, and designed to help any dog owner overcome their pet’s behavior problems. These techniques are even effective enough to help dogs become service dogs.

Brandon shares knowledge he has gathered while training thousands of dogs of all breeds and personalities to help dog lovers turn even the most challenging pets into well-behaved pets. He believes no dog is “beyond saving” – even if they seem like it before you read the book!

What you’ll learn

Lucky Dog Lessons includes:

  • Photographic examples of techniques
  • Tried and tested tips
  • How to build trust with your dog
  • Establishing control and focus
  • 7 basic commands – sit, down, stay, heel, off, come, and no
  • Solutions to common behavior problems including barking, aggression, and biting
  • House training tips

What readers say

“It works! We watch the television show, Lucky Dog, and have used some of the training tips with our dog. After reading the book, which provided much more information and background stories, we have made much-needed headway with our dog’s out-of-control barking.

I would be driven to distraction when the dog would bark at visitors or noises. Now, I understand that barking is in his DNA and I can stop him from barking, but he will always bark. It took an enormous weight off my shoulders; I am a responsible dog owner and can do what is best for the dog”
– Amazon customer

“I have watched Brandon on Lucky Dog for at least 2 years and liked his approach to dog training. I recently adopted a 3 year old dog that came with no history but some significant issues. I bought Brandon’s book and read it cover to cover before rereading the sections that addressed issues I needed to address immediately. What I appreciated about Brandon’s book is he gives you different ways to teach commands or change a behavior based on how your dog responds to you. My dog came from the streets of Istanbul Turkey with no social manners and aggression issues. We have made great progress in a short amount of time using Brandon’s kind, loving no nonsense techniques”
– Amazon customer

“Excellent book!! I have read several dog / puppy training books in the last few months. This is by far one of my favorites! Brandon’s Lucky Dog Lessons provides a new approach and insight to training your fur baby whether its a 5 pound lap dog to a 120 pound beast of slobber! Very well written and perfect for anyone, beginner or well experienced! The little inserted stories of dogs he has trained are a little treat for every reader!”
– Amazon customer


Zak George’s Guide to a Well-Behaved Dog: Proven Solutions to the Most Common Training Problems for All Ages, Breeds, and Mixes
– by Zak George

best dog training books

A modern, and scientific approach to help you and your dog overcome common behavior and training problems.

Another hugely popular dog training book from YouTube star Zak George – this problem-focused guide makes it easy for dog owners to search for and solve the exact issues that you might be struggling with as a pet parent. Whether you have a new puppy, an adult dog, or a recent rescue, you’ll find step-by-step training techniques that work for you. 

Zak also helps you curb and prevent new problems from becoming established habits. Guide to a Well-Behaved Dog is packed with examples from his YouTube videos so you can see his puppy training in action.

This book delves deep into why dogs behave in certain ways, and reassures owners that it’s never too late to correct their dog’s behavior.

What you’ll learn

Guide to a Well-Behaved Dog includes:
 
• How to deal with chewing, barking, and jumping up
• How to stop playful biting
• How to prevent your dog begging for food
• How to ease thunderstorm anxiety
• How to treat separation anxiety
• How to stop aggressive behavior
• And much more!

What readers say

“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”
– Amazon customer

“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. Highly recommend!!!”
– Amazon customer

“Zak George is an amazing trainer. When I was preparing to get my bernedoodle puppy a year and a half ago, I read Zak’s first book, Dog Training Revolution. Throughout the last 18 months, I’ve used Zak’s book and youtube videos to help me stay positive and stay patient while training my Indy.

Now 18 months later, I still use Zak’s tools to guide me when working with my dog, that’s why I bought Guide to a Well-Behaved Dog. Zak teaches you how to create a bond with your dog while training instead of using inhumane tools like shock or prong collars. I appreciate that he teaches luring into a trick at first instead of forcing your dog into a position, it really taught my dog that it’s his choice to follow my words, but doing so gets him a reward. I appreciate that this book is a great guide whether you have a puppy or an older dog”
– Amazon customer


101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog
– by Kyra Sundance

best dog training books

101 Dog Tricks is a global bestseller that has been translated into 18 languages and is one of the best dog training books of all time. More than half a million dog owners have found success with this simple guide to teaching your dog tricks.

The book features color photos and step-by-step guides to teach every trick to your dog.

101 Dog Tricks gives difficulty ratings for each trick, and prerequisite tricks that should be taught first, to help you see rapid results.

Troubleshoot training problems, and get suggestions for more complex tricks once your dog has learned the basics.

With this book, you can easily guide your dog along the way to creating and establishing new behaviors.

Kyra Sundance is a world-renowned stunt dog performer and celebrity dog trainer. Her numerous dog-training books have inspired thousands of dog owners to adopt positive training methods, and develop more rewarding relationships with their pets.

What you’ll learn

101 Dog Tricks includes:

  • How to stay consistent with your training
  • How to motivate your dog to learn
  • How to establish better communication between you and your dog
  • Learn simple tricks – sit, shake paw, roll over, and fetch
  • Learn advanced tricks like tidy your toys, fetch your leash, and get a soda from the fridge!
  • Learn dancing tricks like the Moonwalk and chorus line kicks
  • Teach your dog how to wave goodbye

What readers say

“I got my first puppy a few weeks ago. I bought this book in anticipation. By 10 weeks old he has learned 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”
– Amazon customer

“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”
– Amazon customer

“This is a great book. Great photos, great descriptions, the tricks are listed by difficulty, and it even lists prerequisites for advanced tricks.

The author also gives some “troubleshooting” advice in little bubbles on the page. Well written, not wordy. You can read about a trick, conveniently laid out across 2 pages and get the gist using the narrative or skip it and go right to the photos, which show every action. Really a very clear, powerful and well organized training resource book”
– Amazon customer


Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week Program Using the Power of Positive Reinforcement
– by Larry Kay and Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz 

best dog training books ever

Training the Best Dog Ever is focused on showing love and kindness to your dog. The program of positive reinforcement is exactly what the author has used to train Barrack Obama’s dog, all of Senator Ted Kennedy’s dogs, and countless other famous pups.

You’ll learn to rely on trust (and treats), and not train with choke or shock collars, or harsh reprimanding.

Training the Best Dog Ever is a 5-week program which takes only 10 to 20 minutes each day to get amazing results.

It’s suitable for both puppies and adult dogs that need to be trained away from their bad habits.

Illustrated with step-by-step photographs, the book covers all the basics of dog training in detail, helping dog owners establish better boundaries with their pets, and train them in a way that creates a deeper relationship between you and your family’s best friend.

What you’ll learn

Training the Best Dog Ever includes:

  • How to hand feed your dog
  • Crate and potty training tips
  • Basic training commands such as stay, sit, and come here
  • How to prevent biting
  • How to train your dog to be safe around water
  • How to correct typical behavior issues such as jumping, barking, and leash pulling
  • How to keep your dogs at ease at the vet’s
  • Teaching your dog how to behave around strangers
  • And more!

What readers say

“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”
– Amazon customer

“Love this book. I have a busy schedule and cant afford a class. This book is organized into weeks of training. I read this book and did the sessions with my dog as if it was a class. It is detailed and offers great advice. My dog has learned a lot and so have I”
– Amazon customer

“This book is great. I have been training dogs similarly (using positive reinforcement) for decades and I still learned a lot and got great ideas. It has a wonderful ideas for retraining dogs who have been trained with old school negative or punitive reaction to train and a chapter about problem behaviors.

The writing style is easy to read and understand and there are a bunch of how to photos. The first 30 days with your new dog are very important and I definitely recommend getting this book either before getting a new dog or teaching an older pal new tricks”
– Amazon customer


How To Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication
– by Stanley Coren

best dog training books for language

How to Speak Dog is one of the best dog training books for pet owners that want to understand more about what their dog is trying to tell them.

Psychologist Dr. Stanley Coren unlocks the secret hidden language of your canine, allowing dog owners to make meaningful communication a reality.

With years of research around evolutionary biology, dog behavior, and personal experience, Dr. Coren teaches that your average dog can understand language at the level of a 2-year-old human.

How to Speak Dog teaches us the sounds, actions, and movements that will let us communicate better with our dogs – and it helps us decipher the signals that our dogs give to us.

This book is packed with tips on how humans can mimic their dog’s language and improve their relationships with their pets.

What you’ll learn

How to Speak Dog includes:

  • Advice on your dog’s body language and meanings
  • 7 facial and body signs of aggression
  • 7 ear positions and what they mean
  • 5 types of tail wags
  • 5 meanings of whining
  • What changes in your dog’s pupils and iris means
  • What different types of barks, yawns, and growls mean
  • And more!

What readers say

“There is no doubt that Dr. Stanley Coren is a seasoned expert on canines. His insight, gleaned from years of working with and studying man’s and woman’s best friend, provide a wealth of information and suggestions for anyone who has a dog…and even someone who might encounter a dog! Just excellent information. To some people, Dr. Coren might be a bit academic, but his writing style is engaging. The illustrations also are very informative. All in all, a terrific resource”
– Amazon customer

“Stanley Coren offers plenty of researched information and personal stories regarding our animal companions. I have learned quiet a bit on how to communicate with animals in general. Naturally not every dog is the same and therefore some of the information in terms of language do not apply exactly, or at the very least apply in a modified sense.

It is amazing how us humans misinterpret what animals are saying and can very easily keep our furry friends just by learning and understanding what they are telling us. Despite what some may say all animals communicate (even insects) it just isn’t through the use of words like humans. When we take the opportunity to understand tail, muzzle, ear, noise, and etc signals we can form a much better bond. And we can also avoid aggression”
– Amazon customer

“I have been looking for a book like this for ten years and once I finally found it I couldn’t read it fast enough. Coren answered questions that I’ve been searching for ever since I got my first dog. I have read more books than I can count on dog training and behavior. This is by far the most comprehensive book on dog communication I’ve read to date”
– Amazon customer


Service Dog Training Guide: A Step-by-Step Training Program for You and Your Dog
– by Jennifer Hack

best dog training book for service dogs

Jennifer Hack’s step-by-step guide is one of the best dog training books for service dogs.

Service dogs can change lives for people with many types of physical and mental disabilities. But finding a fully trained dog can be expensive and complicated.

The Service Dog Training Guide is a simple, step-by-step guide that you and your prospective service dog can follow at home. You’ll learn which type of service your dog is best suited for, and troubleshooting tips that help any dog owner train their own service dog. You’ll also learn to communicate with and motivate your dog with praise and rewards.

Jennifer Hack is a dog behaviorist and trainer. She has over 15 years of experience, and her natural training ability with dogs has seen her train every type of dog, work with animal actors, and solve difficult aggressive behavior issues.

Well known for her smart, sensible approach and fantastic results, she has helped thousands of dogs and their owners live richer lives together.

What you’ll learn

The Service Dog Training Guide includes:

  • Basic training exercises
  • Essential service dog tasks
  • Overview of different types of service and the dog breeds that are best suited to each
  • Training equipment
  • How to teach your dog to retrieve items
  • How to teach your dog to remind somebody to take their medication
  • How to communicate effectively with your service dog

What readers say

“I was terrified to train my own service dog until I bought this book. She lays out everything in very easy to understand steps and the steps make it understandable as to why they work. And I even believed that if I need to teach my dog a task that is not in the book, I can figure out how to do it from the steps for the other tasks. There was even a couple of pages on training a puppy, though the author suggested that you get another resource for that”
– Amazon customer

“I should’ve gotten this book before I spent money on other books! This is a great book on training your service dog. Easy to understand step-by-step instruction. Even gives you “if your dog won’t do this”, try this tip. I’m still reading, but like what I’ve read so far. I recommend this book to anyone that wants to train their dog to be a service dog”
– Amazon customer

“I like this book a lot. I have trained many dogs but none as a service dog so I needed a few pointers. I was pleasantly surprised on how detail this book is as well as the illustrations and extra tips on how to train the dog/your dog for the purpose you are intending. Even gives you inside tips on what service dog might be for you or if you might not even need a service dog in particular”
– Amazon customer


The Puppy Primer
– by Patricia McConnell

best dog training books puppy primer

The Puppy Primer is a comprehensive guide for puppies, based on positive training methods. Hundreds of professional dog trainers rely on this book to achieve excellent results when training any type of puppy.

Engaging and easy to follow, this updated edition of Puppy Primer is full of positive reinforcement tricks and advice that every puppy owner needs. It gives dog owners concise information to make their training efforts fun and effective. .

The author has included new information around positive reinforcement training, and the importance around having realistic expectations of your dog’s learning and results.

This new version of Puppy Primer is double the size of the original – so if you have the first edition, there’s a ton more to learn in here!

This book is ideal for your puppy training classes, or for new dog owners that want to train their pup in their own home, or their own time.

What you’ll learn

The Puppy Primer includes:

  • Positive reinforcement techniques
  • Socialization tip
  • House training and crate training
  • How to stop bad behavior
  • Helping puppies conquer their fears
  • Obedience and emotional control training
  • Tricks and games
  • Basic command training
  • How to prevent basic behavior issues like biting, jumping up, and leash pulling
  • And more!

What readers say

“This book should go home with every new puppy! The fun, easy to follow exercises guide puppy owners through every aspect of raising a puppy with lots of games, helpful hints and trouble-shooting tips that even an expert will appreciate”
– Valerie B. Olszyk, CBC, Pet Behavior Help Inc.

“This book is a must-read for new puppy owners. You can definitely trust the info in this book; Patricia McConnell is a certified applied animal behaviorist, ie she has a PhD in zoology and has studied behavioral science. Don’t let that put you off though; this book is an easy read, and doesn’t bog you down with science jargon.

The information is spot on and the instructions are step by step and easy to follow. Yes, it is set up as a program starting when you first bring the puppy home, but the dog police aren’t going to come get you if you don’t do everything in order. Whether you’re about to get your puppy or you got them a month ago and you’re starting to run into trouble, this book is one of the best you can get”
– Amazon customer

“This book is excellent–super easy read, broken down very easily, very easy to go back and revisit topics–using both the table of contents and also the layout of the chapters is very easy for browsing to find topic. McConnell breaks down training into week by week (or stage by stage), which is very helpful for novice trainers”
– Amazon customer


Doggie Language: A Dog Lover’s Guide to Understanding Your Best Friend
– by Lili Chin

best dog training books dog language

Doggie Language is a beautifully illustrated manual to help all dog owners understand their dog’s behavior and body language.

The communication gaps between dogs and humans can make life difficult for everyone! Doggie Language is one of the best dog training books that helps dog owners understand the subtle sound and visual cues that their dog uses to tell them how they’re feeling, or what they need.

After you read the book, you”’ understand that the more you realize and notice what your dog is trying to tell you – the more you can improve your relationship with your best friend, and help them to feel safe, loved, happy, and understood.

Lili Chin is best known for creating her incredibly popular dog language posters. She creates infographics for dog training experts, vets, dog welfare groups, and behavior experts.

Her dog body-language art has been displayed in art museums, on television around the world, and in media campaigns.

What you’ll learn

Doggie Language includes:

  • Original illustrations so you can compare your dog’s facial expressions and gestures to the ones in the book
  • How to interpret your pet’s cues
  • Learn how your dog uses their ears, mouth, eyes, tail, and body stance to communicate
  • Learn the signals your dog gives you when they’re anxious or stressed

What readers say

“First of all, the artwork in this book is incredible and reason enough to purchase it. Lili Chin’s distinctive style brings a playful air to every dog she illustrates in this book. And on top of all the fabulous artwork, it’s really an informative book!

If you want to learn more about your favorite four-legged friend, this is definitely the book for you. While I do wish it were a bit larger for the sake of the artwork, it is a really portable size that fits easily into any bag making it an excellent companion book when you’re out and about and need reading material. 10/10, definitely recommend, corgi-approved!”
– Amazon customer

“As a dog trainer and lover, I wish that I could give this book to every single person who ever interacted with a dog. Lili has BEYOND outdone herself with this one: the book had so much information in such a digestable format, which I can honestly say that sent something that I see very often in dog books. You could give this to a 12 year old kid, a 35 year old veterinarian, or a 60 year old farmhand… and they’d all learn something”
– Amazon customer

As a professional dog trainer, I have long used Lili Chin’s Doggie Language poster for clients. It’s a great tool to help people understand their pets. This book takes it SO much further! What a brilliant, useful tool! Simply and clearly written, this is a powerful addition to any dog lover’s skill set. I highly recommend it!”
– Amazon customer


Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know
– by Alexandra Horowitz

best dog training books dog pyschology

Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know is one of the best dog training books for owners that are curious about what their dogs really know and think.

The author is a cognitive scientist who is intent on digging deep into the minds and behavior of animals who can’t explain to us what they think, feel, or need.

This book is written from a dog’s point of view. It introduces dog owners to their pet’s perceptions and cognitive abilities – and uses that to paint a picture of what it might be like to live as a dog. Readers will gain a better understanding of their own dogs through learning about their pet’s capabilities.

The author of this #1 New York Times bestseller Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know has also written Being a Dog: Following the Dog into a World of Smell. She currently teaches at Barnard College, and runs their Dog Cognition Lab.

What you’ll learn

Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know includes:

  • What is a dog’s sense of time?
  • Does your dog miss you?
  • Does your dog want friends?
  • Does your dog know they’ve been bad?
  • How dogs perceive the world through smell
  • Social and communication skills for your dog
  • The practicalities of owning a dog

What readers say

“I think this book is great. It will change how you perceive your dog, and how you interact with your dog. There is much information here, you will be educated. The information can be scientific at times, but I personally like that. If your not scientifically interested, there is not really that much at all. This book also has a great bibliography for further reading. Of all the dog books I have read, this one is the best so far”
– Amazon customer

“Did you ever wonder why your dog reacts to things the way he/she does? Stop wondering and get this book. The author did all of the work for you and if you read this book, you’ll enjoy a far better relationship with your pet and find training so much easier. Your dog is far more intelligent than you probably think. Not only smart, but empathetic, caring and intuitive too. It’s a fascinating read and you’ll notice things about your best friend that you never noticed before. An essential read”
– Amazon customer

“For Fido’s sake, read this (awesome, amazing, riveting) book! I have had dogs for decades and thought (alas) that I knew everything about dogs. Wrong. As in Really Wrong. (And pretty arrogant to boot!). Inside of a Dog has radically changed my understanding, approach, behavior, and communication with my Lab.

She is MUCH more than I imagined, capable of MUCH more than I gave her credit for, and is immensely MORE emotional and sensitive than… well, you get the idea. Alexandra’s writing is easy, captivating, endearing, and stunningly informative”
– Amazon customer


The Big Book of Tricks for the Best Dog Ever: A Step-by-Step Guide to 118 Amazing Tricks and Stunts
– by Larry Kay and Chris Perondi

best dog training books to learn tricks

The Big Book of Tricks is a fully illustrated guide using training techniques from top dog training experts. It has hundreds photos and is one of the best dog training books, helping you teach your dog 118 tricks and stunts!

Ranging from beginner to pro level – these tricks cover everything from the basics to more advanced techniques for teaching dance routines to acrobatic flying disc stunts.

There’s even a section on the tricks that go into making films with dogs – so you can create your own videos for YouTube and social media.

Big Book of Tricks is one of the best dog training books that focuses on tricks for your best friend. Teaching these dog tricks can reveal more about your dog’s personality, including hidden talents!

Your dog’s new skills can improve its behavior, prevent boredom and restlessness, and enrich the relationship between you and your pet. 

What you’ll learn

The Big Book of Tricks includes:

  • Step by step guides for the building blocks for each trick
  • Simple visual and verbal cues for your dog
  • Troubleshooting problems with tricks and training
  • Variations on each trick to suit your dog
  • Pro training tips
  • And more!

What readers say

“If you are serious about training your dog, then you need this book. It gives clear instructions on how to perform the “trick” as well as pointers if your dog presents challenges. They also give you alternate ways to perform the trick, if available. It has SO much information and SO many tricks. I honestly can’t believe the book was so inexpensive.”
– Amazon customer

“The best dog tricks book, BY FAR! I love how it’s organized into step-by-step trick training for Beginners, Intermediate, and four different Pro-level programs (including dancing with your dog, and making movies with your pup for social media and beyond—sweet!). The photos are so beautiful that it could also be a coffee table book for every dog lover. I especially like the wide variety of breeds used in the various tricks, from a Dachshund to a Goldendoodle, showing that there’s something for EVERY kind of dog, even mine”
– Amazon customer

“I have a service dog who has been getting rather bored during the COVID-19 lockdown. He loves learning, so I wanted to get him something to help me teach him fun tricks. I don’t really know how to teach dogs stuff, he was trained by a professional organization.

Anyway, this book is detailed and easy to follow. He already knew all the basic tricks in this book, sit, down, stay, touch, come… those kinds of things from his service dog training. So that made a few of the tricks easier to teach. I’ve already taught him “shake” so he can shakes hands. I’ve also taught him peek-a-boo too. We are working on beg and play dead. I’m really enjoying it. He is too! It’s great for our bonding as well”
– Amazon customer


Cesar’s Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding & Correcting Common Dog Problems
– by Cesar Millan

best dog training books for all dogs

best dog training books

Cesar Millan has produced some of the world’s best dog training books. He’s a globally recognized dog expert, and this book will help you understand your dog’s world so you can eliminate their problem behaviors.

In Cesar’s Way, the author recalls how he learned what makes dogs behave the way they do. He shares everything he knows about building a successful foundation for great relationships with your furry companions.

The winning formula for happy, balanced dogs is simple. Exercise, discipline, and affection. Cesar talks dog owners through basic dog psychology and illustrates how behavioral issues can develop.

This book is recommended by thousands of dog owners who have developed stronger connections with their dogs through the techniques that Cesar teaches.

What you’ll learn

Cesar’s Way includes:

• How to know what your dog really needs
• Why your dog’s primal instincts are key to a happy relationship
• How to relate to your dog better
• Why there are no “problem breeds” – only problem owners
• How to choose the right dog for you and your family
• Differences between punishment and discipline
• And much more!

What readers say

“Every dog owner should be required to read this before they can have a dog, as 95% of dog owners know nothing about dog or pack mentality or what dogs want and need. Cesar breaks it down to 3 main needs: Discipline, exercise, and love, in that order. Most dogs (at least in the USA) only get love and are spoiled and fat and frustrated, and in the case of medium or large dogs, often dangerous”
– Amazon customer

“I have now trained three dogs with the mastery I learned from Cesar in this book. My first dog was a Cane Corso (Italian Mastiff). I rescued him when he was one, and the previous owner did not believe in discipline. Leo (my Cane Corso) was 106 pounds and jumped on everyone, barked, ran in circles on his leash, and was downright, a nightmare.

I trained Leo for 6 months straight, only using EXACTLY what Cesar said to do, and I was able to train him to follow verbal and visual commands. My GF could not believe how disciplined he had become, and how easy it was to have him around”
– Amazon customer

“I finished this book in three days. It is so well-written. It is NOT about how to get your dog to perform tricks, but truly about how to understand “where your dog is coming from”. It is so true that we often forget that our dogs are animals first. We do humanize them and use them for substitutes in our lives for whatever it is that we are missing. This is not only the best dog book I’ve ever read, but also a great book in general. Really well written, really profound, grounded in common sense”
– Amazon customer


Perfect Puppy in 7 Days: How to Start Your Puppy Off Right
– by Sophia Yin

best dog training books puppies

Perfect Puppy in 7 Days is a dog training book that guides dog owners through the basics of potty training, socialization, and good behavior while keeping things fun and easy to follow.

It provides a step-by-step system for bonding with your new puppy, communicating with them effectively, and preparing your puppy to become a well behaved, balanced adult.

Perfect Puppy in 7 Days contains essential information about puppy learning and development. It’s perfect for novice and expert trainers, with illustrations and analogies that make learning fun and enjoyable for dog owners and their pets.

If you own a puppy, are planning to get a puppy, work with puppies, train puppies, or just love puppies – this book is a must-read.

What you’ll learn

Perfect Puppy in 7 Days includes:

• Puppy development advice
• Why you should start training early
• Preparing for your new puppy
• Foolproof, fast potty training
• “Learn to Earn” program
• Getting your puppy used to other dogs, people, and handling

What readers say

“This book is a comprehensive and humane guide to puppy behavior and training, incorporating a detailed guide on how to interpret your puppy’s body language. Worth buying for the socialization advice and checklist alone”
Dr. Johan Bradshaw, author of “Dog Sense

“This is the only behavior/training book I have ever come across that is actually interesting, engaging, and works! There are small paragraphs but the rest is pictures. I learned about Sophia Yin’s Low Stress handling right after vet school and quickly became certified. It changed my life- both as a veterinarian and with my own animals. As a vet, every day I witness or deal with 90% of dogs behaving like crazies, and it’s entirely because of their lack of desensitization and training. All breeders should read this book because a lot of the work can be done from 3 weeks on”
– Amazon customer

“While waiting for my new pup to arrive I read six puppy training books. Perfect Puppy in 7 Days was recommended by the breeder and is one of the best I have read. Dr. Yin has used her dog behavior knowledge to develop quick, easy to teach step-by-step lessons for you and your pup.

Actually, its oftentimes harder for we humans to learn and master these lessons than it is for our dogs. To make it much easier for us to learn and understand, the book contains over 400 photos and provides access to on-line videos. In this book Dr. Yin focuses on the most important lessons for your pup and sets the stage for more advanced training”
– Amazon customer


The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs
– by Patricia McConnell

best dog training books

The Other End of the Leash teaches dog owners to communicate with their dog – using their dog’s language. It’s a compelling read that will help you connect with your dog on a new level.

A professional dog behaviorist and dog trainer, with over 20 years experience, Dr. Patricia McConnell shares her revolutionary perspective on the relationship between man and their best friends.

It’s an insightful read on how dogs might interpret our behavior, as well as giving advice on how to interact with dogs to bring out their best behavior.

The Other End of the Leash teaches how even the smallest changes in our voice and body language can help dogs understand what we want from them, and create better communication and stronger relationships between pets and their owners. 

What you’ll learn

The Other End Of The Leash includes:

  • How to train your dog in basic commands by acting less like a primate and more like a dog
  • Why “seeking dominance” over your dog can be problematic
  • How “rough play” with your dog can cause problems
  • How to play with your dog to keep him out of mischief
  • The personality types that dogs and humans share
  • The type of person that most dogs prefer to live with

What readers say

“I’ve always been a natural at reading dogs, but never gave much thought to how they read us. I learned quite a bit from it, like how dogs respond much better to subtle signals than to words, and how our mixed signals and words are frequently confusing to them. She teaches us to become consciously aware of the nonverbal signals we are sending, and start using ones the dog understands. It really works!”
– Amazon customer

“If, like me, you’re learning the techniques of positive reinforcement methods, you will also want another book with more details. (I recommend Pat Miller’s The Power of Positive Dog Training.) That said, I found this book highly valuable. While she offers many directly applicipable training suggestions, this book’s value lies in shaping your understanding of a dog’s behavioral mentality and how to best present yourself to your dog to achieve good results”
– Amazon customer

“Highly recommend this book to any dog owner. Having a better understanding of our dog’s psychology after reading this book almost instantly cleared up some of the behavior and training issues we previously encountered with our lab mix. Household members were speaking a different “language” than she understood, and once we realized how to communicate effectively with her, her personality and obedience have blossomed”
– Amazon customer


How to Housebreak Your Dog in 7 Days (Revised Edition)
– by Shirlee Kalstone

best dog training books

Dog owners have been turning to this best selling dog training book for over 20 years to get effective, step-by-step advice on how to housebreak their beloved pets – in only 7 days!

Pet expert Shirlee Kalstone’s book has been revised and updated with foolproof instructions on housebreaking your dog.

Whether your dog is an excitable puppy or an adult dog you’ve had for years – this practical system will transform your dog into a trusted member of the household! You’ll never need to worry about your dog feeling anxious, acting out, or ruining your carpets again.

The author has published 8 books on pet care that are highly recommended by dog owners and trainers alike.

What you’ll learn

How To HouseBreak Your Dog includes:

  • The secrets to successful housebreaking for any age and type of dog
  • Step by step programs for apartment owners, home owners, working pet parents, and at-home dog owners
  • Puppy training schedules
  • Training schedules for adult dogs
  • How to identify your dog’s natural rhythms
  • How to cope with lapses in housebreaking
  • How to cope with territory marking, separation anxiety, and health problems
  • The power of positive reinforcement and praise
  • Related websites and resources

What readers say

“Within one week, ONE WEEK, my dog was potty trained and hasn’t pooped or peed in the house since! He knows the schedule and he knows when it’s time for him to go outside and void. I didn’t give him treats but instead lots of love after he went to reinforce his behavior. This book is wonderful!”
– Amazon customer

“I tried the plan with my daughter’s 11 month old Havanese who was having accidents most days. I followed exactly what Shirlee recommends in the book. We started on a Sunday morning and Tuesday was the last accident he had in the house. By Friday he was going to the door and asking to go out. Wonderful little book with an excellent plan to teach owners to house train their pups successfully in 7 days or less”
– Amazon customer

“I have bought this book more than once over the years as I always give it to friends when they get a new puppy or dog. I always think I won’t need it again as I “don’t want another dog.” Then, of course, I get another dog and buy this again. I got smart this time and bought the Kindle version. I will have it always since I can’t give it away. The schedules for crate training are invaluable and the genearl information is just clear, easy to follow, and the advice works every time”
– Amazon customer


The Puppy Training Handbook: How To Raise The Dog Of Your Dreams
– by Kaelin Munkelwitz

The Puppy Training Handbook gives dog owners a proven and effective method to raise and train your new dog.

The author takes an individualized approach to training, which helps dog owners tailor positive reinforcement training to their dog’s unique personality. This system creates rapid and long-term changes for well-behaved, happy adult dogs.

The Puppy Training Handbook contains tons of useful, actionable information gathered from thousands of hours of expert training by the author (including training many celebrity’s dogs).

It’s a comprehensive guide for both beginner pup owners and owners who’ve had many puppies in their lives.

What you’ll learn

The Puppy Training Handbook includes:

  • How to housetrain and crate train your pup
  • Basic obedience commands
  • Solving 20 of the toughest dog behavior issues
  • 5 golden rules of dog training
  • Health care knowledge, tips, and advice
  • And more!

What readers say

” I’ve read and used other training manuals in the past, but this time around I have an exceptionally smart pup on my hands and wanted to consult a new resource. The book was a fairly quick read, and the techniques I learned are working wonders! At 11 weeks, my pup had mastered “sit,” “lay down,” “stay,” and “come.” I worked really hard to be consistent, even with the tips I initially second-guessed (like only saying a command once); and it’s been amazing to see the consistency pay off rather quickly”
– Amazon customer

“This book is a MUST HAVE for any dog owner!! Kaelin’s training style is unlike anything I’ve experienced, and I have had 5 years of intense training with a hyper-anxious and fearful rescue pup. My dog’s behavior was so unusual to so many trainers, and it wasn’t until we started working with Kaelin that things just MADE SENSE.

Her 5 Golden Rules truly are gold – they make an immense difference and are simple to implement. You will not be disappointed with this book, you will feel so empowered and able to connect with your furry best friend”
– Amazon customer

“I just adopted a puppy and I was a bit overwhelmed with the options available! Which one would work? I chose this book based on its reviews and it was a great choice! It is easy to read, easy to follow and it does not sugar coat how intensive it can be to train a dog. It is realistic and I appreciated that! The methods suggested are easy to follow and work!”
– Amazon customer


That wraps up our list of the 21 best dog training books for puppy and dog owners. We’d love to know if you try any of these books out – and what the results were! Let us know in the comments.


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rachael barkzine

About the author

Rachael is the co-founder and head writer at Barkzine. Owner of one elderly pug, she’s dedicated to helping other dog owners create healthy, happy, lives with their furry best friends.

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About BarkZine

BarkZine is a small team of devoted dog owners – so we understand what it’s like to be obsessed with your pup! We consult with veterinarians and dog behavior experts to bring you the best advice for your furry companions.

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BarkZine is a small team of devoted dog owners – so we understand what it’s like to be obsessed with your pup! We consult with veterinarians and dog behavior experts to bring you the best advice for your furry companions.