Best Dog Training Books: Make sure to read before getting a puppy or training your dog

Whether you’re thinking of getting your first dog or you’re looking to add another furball to your family, learning basic training skills is essential.

Well, it is if you want safe and enjoyable pet parenthood rather than a life fraught with hassle and stress.

Today’s guide to dog training books and behavior books will help you find the right type of training book for your needs and experience level.

Before we break down the top 8 books in this field, here’s a snapshot of the benefits of our favorite few.

Once you have chosen a training book, See our related article on the Best Dog Training Collars to help with successfully training your dog. We have full reviews on all the different types of training collars at your fingertips. See which one suits your new dog.

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  Product Details    
How-to-Raise-the-Perfect-Dog-Through-Puppyhood-and-Beyond Best Overall: How To Raise The Perfect Dog By Cesar Millan • Puppy-centered training guide
• Learn to prevent canine behavioral issues
• Discover how to lead calmly and assertively
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Zak-Georges-Dog-Training-Revolution-The-Complete-Guide-to-Raising-the-Perfect-Pet-with-Love Runner Up: Zac George’s Dog Training Revolution • Helps you choose the right dog
• Simple training and healthcare tips
• YouTube channel with additional material
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Dog-Training-for-Kids-Fun-and-Easy-Ways-to-Care-for-Your-Furry-Friend Best For Kids: Dog Training for Kids by Vanessa Estrada Marin • Author is director of kid’s doggie training program
• Packed with fun games
• Covers a wide range of simple training techniques
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Lucky-Dog-Lessons-Train-Your-Dog-in-7-Days Best for All Dogs: Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days by Brandon McMillan • Easy to follow instructions
• Detailed training guides
• Possible to achieve results quickly
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101-Dog-Tricks-Step-by-Step-Activities-to-Engage-Challenge-and-Bond-with-Your-Dog-Dog-Tricks-and-Training-1 Best for Tricks: 101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog by Kyra Sundance • Instructions crisp and easy to follow
• Studded with colorful photos
• Learn tricks to encourage bonding
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The-Art-of-Raising-a-Puppy Best for Puppies: The Art of Raising a Puppy by Monks of New Skete • Ideal for new or experienced dog owners
• Explores all aspects of raising puppies
• Packed with specific examples
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8 Best Dog Training Books

1) Best Overall: How To Raise The Perfect Dog By Cesar Millan (5 out of 5 Stars)

Book Cover of How To Raise The Perfect Dog By Cesar Millan

Features

  • Format: Paperback, hardcover, Kindle
  • Pages: 320
  • Theme: All aspects of raising a dog

Celebrity dog trainer Cesar Millan needs no introduction, but this book tends to polarize opinion. Critics feel the book stops short of delivering actionable advice in favor of editorials and essay-style material. Fans claim it’s a solid training manual for puppies.

While the title states this book deals with life through puppyhood and beyond, advice is almost exclusively targeted at puppies and adolescent dogs.

You can learn how to become a calm-assertive leader, taking charge of your puppy firmly but gently. This will create the foundation for fruitful pet parenthood with minimal issues. 

From housebreaking and nutrition through to establishing boundaries and obedience training, this book is more suitable for experienced dog owners than absolute beginners, but it makes a superb resource if you’re looking to bring a new puppy home.

What We Liked

  • Tips tailored to puppies 
  • Advice on preventing behavioral issues
  • Learn calm-assertive leadership skills

What We Didn’t Like

  • Light on hard training tips

2) Runner Up: Zac George’s Dog Training Revolution (4.5 out of 5 Stars)

Book Cover of  Zac George’s Dog Training Revolution

Features

  • Format: Paperback, spiral-bound, audiobook
  • Pages: 240
  • Theme: Training tips and guidance

If you’re looking for a fresh take on dog training, YouTube celebrity Zac George distills much of his channel’s work into this multi-format training guide.

Choosing the right puppy for you and your family is key. It can mean the difference between a fruitful and enjoyable relationship with your pet and one fraught with problems. The vast bulk of this book deals with getting this right.

While leash training could be explored in a little more depth, most consumers seem happy with the broad brush strokes outlining all aspects of training, even if you don’t get a truly deep dive.

You can follow up on material in the book on Zac’s YouTube channel, giving you the chance to see the tips and techniques in real-world settings.

As long as you’re prepared for a book that deals more with choosing the right puppy than training and raising a dog, you might find this guide invaluable.

What We Liked

  • Helps you choose the right puppy
  • Links to videos to see tips in action
  • Packed with training and healthcare essentials

What We Didn’t Like

  • Most material available on YouTube channel

3) Best For Kids: Dog Training for Kids by Vanessa Estrada Marin (4 out of 5 Stars)

Book Cover of Dog Training for Kids by Vanessa Estrada Marin

Features

  • Format: Paperback, Kindle
  • Pages: 176
  • Theme: Dog training for kiddies

Vanessa Estrada Marin is the director of a popular dog training program targeted at kids, and she brings all that expertise to bear on this simple training guide.

While the book is quite slim and only deals with the basics, you’ll be able to work through this with your kids and show them the basics of training a dog, from crate training and leash training through to obedience training.

The kid-friendly book also includes plenty of games to liven up walkies with Fido. All the material is presented in bite-sized chunks for kiddies. Tutorials feature simple steps your kid should have no issue following.

What We Liked

  • Author is director of youth dog training program
  • Covers variety of simple training techniques
  • Includes plenty of fun games

What We Didn’t Like

  • Reported issues with binding of book

4) Best for All Dogs: Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days by Brandon McMillan (4.5 out of 5 Stars)

Book Cover of   Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days by Brandon McMillan

Features

  • Format: Paperback, hardcover, audiobook
  • Pages: 336
  • Theme: Guide to training a dog quickly

Famous dog trainer Brandon McMillan serves up a book claiming to help you train any dog inside a week. Whether or not you pull this off, you should still benefit from the guidance in this book, and you’ll likely learn a trick or two about pet parenting, even if you’re a more experienced dog owner.

Unlike some of the more lightweight books in this market segment, McMillan goes into great detail about a variety of training techniques. 

Despite the density of information at your disposal, the material is delivered in a crisp and clear style. The training techniques are simple to follow and the book is very easy to read.

Based on evidence-based techniques and presented in a digestible form, this is one of the best books dealing with training techniques, canine behavior, and obedience training.

What We Liked

  • Achieve results fast with this book
  • Deep dive into training methods
  • Easy to read with clear instructions

What We Didn’t Like

  • Almost all solutions require purchasing equipment

5) Best for Tricks: 101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog by Kyra Sundance (3.5 out of 5 Stars)

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

Features

  • Format: Paperback, Kindle
  • Pages: 208
  • Theme: Games, tips, and activities for raising a dog

This comprehensive guide outlines 101 different tricks and techniques from basic training, house training, and potty training to minimizing unwanted behaviors and encouraging desirable behavior.

User opinion of this book seems divided. On the one hand, this book has shifted over half a million copies, with many satisfied consumers praising the number of tricks, the ease of following the instructions, and the visual cues.

Those who dislike this book feel the terminology – “command†and “pack leaderâ€, for instance – is dated. Others also suggest many of the tricks lack the follow-up steps needed if your dog is not immediately responsive.

If you don’t mind the idea of taking charge of your dog and you feel you have an obedient and placid pup, this training manual is well worth popping on your shortlist.

What We Liked

  • Step guide with clear photos
  • Trick training to encourage bonding
  • Well-written and not too wordy

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not so good for unresponsive dogs

6) Best for Puppies: The Art of Raising a Puppy by Monks of New Skete (4 out of 5 Stars)

Book Cover of The Art of Raising a Puppy by Monks of New Skete

Features

  • Format: Hardcover, Kindle, audiobook
  • Pages: 352
  • Theme: Raising a puppy

The Monks of Skete burst to prominence with their bestseller How to be Your Dog’s Best Friend, and they follow this up with a guide centered on raising puppies.

If you object to the use of older theories like pack leadership, you may not find this book to your liking. Anyone with a more traditional outlook on raising dogs is likely to enjoy this detailed guide to taking charge of Rover from puppyhood.

The techniques are illustrated with specific examples of dogs the monks have worked with, an aspect some readers enjoy but some find a little lengthy.

For new dog owners and experienced pet parents alike, the monks outline everything you need to know about raising a puppy with firm boundaries so you get a seamless coexistence.

What We Liked

  • Packed with useful information
  • Perfect for new and experienced dog owners
  • Specifically aimed at raising puppies

What We Didn’t Like

  • Based on dated theories

7) Puppy Training in 7 Easy Steps: Everything You Need to Know to Raise the Perfect Dog by Zoom Room Dog Training (4 out of 5 Stars)

Book cover of 7) Puppy Training in 7 Easy Steps: Everything You Need to Know to Raise the Perfect Dog by Zoom Room Dog Training 

Features

  • Format: Paperback, audiobook, Kindle
  • Pages: 178
  • Theme: Raising a puppy

This short and sweet book covers the basics of puppy training, as well as helping you better prepare your house and puppy-proof it for the new arrival.

The concise nature of the book means it’s easy to follow. While it contains a variety of useful training tips, it misses out on some key elements like potty training, so don’t expect a comprehensive guide to every aspect of training a puppy here.

Experienced dog owners might find this book lacking, but if you’re looking to bring your first puppy home, this acts as a great primer.

What We Liked

  • Prepare for getting a puppy
  • Crammed with handy hints
  • See things through your dog’s eyes

What We Didn’t Like

  • Key information missing

8) The Complete Labrador Handbook: The Essential Guide for New & Prospective Labrador Owners by Linda Whitwam (4 Out Of 5 Stars)

Book cover of  The Complete Labrador Handbook: The Essential Guide for New & Prospective Labrador Owners by Linda Whitwam

Features

  • Format: Paperback, Kindle
  • Pages: 284
  • Theme: Raising a labrador

If you want a book on raising labradors that come championed by breeders and experienced owners, The Complete Labrador Handbook is a must.

You’ll benefit from in-depth guides to all elements of raising a lab, including a thorough feeding guide to clear up any confusion.

Taking you from your first tentative steps with a lab puppy through to effectively caring for a senior labrador, this book delivers everything you need to know about this lovable and enduringly popular breed.

What We Liked

  • Breeder-recommended
  • Detailed step-by-step guidance
  • Robust section on feeding

What We Didn’t Like

  • Highly specific book

5/5 - (1 vote)

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