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We Read & Reviewed 5 of the Best Dog Training Books

We all know that dog ownership entails a lot of responsibility for the well-being and health of a dog.

One of those responsibilities is to train a dog with the skills and behaviors it needs to thrive. Thus, basic dog training skills are essential for first-time and experienced owners.

With all the resources available on dog training, we know just how daunting and overwhelming it can be to find the right training book, so we sat down with many cups of tea and did the reading for you. 

We read 8 dog training books and narrowed down the top 5 that could be helpful to you. We love that these top 5 books approach dog training from different angles.  

Whether you need help with choosing the right dog for you, help with basic discipline, or help with incorporating your children into the dog’s training, we trust that you will find the resources you need to guide you on your journey. 

Our Top Picks

  Product Details    
01 How To Raise The Perfect Dog By Cesar Millan Best Overall: How To Raise The Perfect Dog By Cesar Millan This puppy-centered training guide is perfect for those who want to raise a puppy to adulthood calmly and assertively. In this book, you’ll gain the needed insight and tools to identify and prevent behavioral issues. Check Price
02 Zac George’s Dog Training Revolution Best For Choosing The Right Dog: Zac George’s Dog Training Revolution This book is a great guide on choosing the perfect dog to fit your personality and lifestyle. It also covers essential training and healthcare tips for your pup. The author is also a well-known dog owner who provides additional dog training videos on YouTube. Check Price
03 Dog Training for Kids By Vanessa Estrada Marin Best For Kids: Dog Training For Kids By Vanessa Estrada Marin If you want your kids to participate in training your pup, we recommend picking up this book that covers a wide range of simple training techniques and fun games. The whole family will enjoy dog training with the knowledge provided in this book! Check Price
04 Lucky Dog Lessons Train Your Dog in 7 Days by Brandon McMillan Best For All Dogs: Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog In 7 Days By Brandon McMillan We enjoyed this book because of the author’s simplified yet effective approach to dog training. The training guide provided in this book is detailed and easy to follow. Best of all, it proposes a method for training your dog in 7 days! Check Price
05 101 Dog Tricks Step By Step Activities To Engage Challenge And Bond With Your Dog By Kyra Sundance  Best For Teaching Tricks: 101 Dog Tricks: Step By Step Activities To Engage, Challenge, And Bond With Your Dog By Kyra Sundance We enjoyed this book because it is relevant to all dog owners. It navigates dog owners through raising a pup to adulthood and beyond. Best of all, we enjoyed the specific examples provided in this book. Check Price

How We Chose the Best Dog Training Books

Dog with reading glasses laying its head on books
Dog training books are written by professionals to help owners get the most out of their time with their dogs.

We know how crucial it is to the well-being of a pup to be trained properly as early as possible.

Check out our article to learn the basic cues that your puppy is ready for training

We began narrowing down the best dog training books by searching for the top-rated dog training books.

We did this by searching through the web for the books with the highest sales and popularity.

We sifted through these ratings and reviews to find these 8 books that have the most enthusiastic fans.

After we narrowed down our search to these 8 books, we then read them as a team.

We analyzed these books for affordability, book length, format availability, theme, and clarity of content.

We’ll review our top 8 plus give you another 3 honorable mentions to consider.

Best Dog Training Books

1. Best Overall: How To Raise The Perfect Dog By Cesar Millan

How To Raise The Perfect Dog By Cesar Millan

Product Ratings

Affordability5/5
Book Length 5/5
Format Availability 5/5
Theme5/5
Content Quality 5/5

Cost: $-$$ (depending on book format) | Book Length: 320 pages | Format: Paper, Audio, eBook | Theme: Raising puppies to adolescence 

What We Liked

  • Overall theme is specific to puppies
  • Lots of guidance on how to remain calm and assertive 
  • Advice on behavioral issues

What We Didn’t Like

  • Too many examples without specific training advice

When we first came across this book, we were impressed with all the format options available and different price options.

The cheapest way to get this book is paperback, but the audiobook was nice as well if you have more money to spend.

There are 6 formats that it comes in, including print, electronic and audio formats.

We are pleased that a generous selection of formats is available to suit each reader’s preferences. 

Content Quality & Theme 

This book has the perfect 5-star rating and that is with reason.

We found that the advice found in this book is solid and extremely helpful in raising a happy, healthy pup.

The content in this book is thoughtful, easy to read, understand and follow. 

We appreciated a lot of the advice given in this book. Some advice is vital for a new dog owner to know. 

For example, in regards to bringing your puppy home for the first time, Cesar Millan says, “The very, very worst thing you can do to a puppy when you bring it home is introduce it to your whole house” (Millian, How to Raise the Perfect Dog). 

While the title states this book deals with life through puppyhood and beyond, we find that the overall theme is almost exclusively targeted at puppies and adolescent dogs.

If your dog is older, we recommend you check out some of the other books we reviewed that will include your dog’s age. 

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2. Best for Choosing the Right Dog: Zac George’s Dog Training Revolution 

Zac George’s Dog Training Revolution

Product Ratings

Affordability5/5
Book Length 5/5
Format Availability 5/5
Theme5/5
Content Quality 4.5/5

Cost: $-$$ (depending on book format) | Book Length: 240 pages, 6 hr 44 min audio | Format: Paper, Audio, eBook | Theme: Dog training that is applicable to most breeds

What We Liked

  • Guides the reader on how to pick the right puppy
  • Tips are supplemented with links to videos
  • Packed with training and healthcare essentials

What We Didn’t Like

  • Most of the advice offered can be found on author’s YouTube channel

This book was written by the all-famous YouTuber, Zak George.

He is known for his refreshing perspective to dog training and we were excited to get our hands on his book. 

Content Quality & Theme

A part of this book focuses on choosing the right dog for your family.

As we are all dog lovers here at Barkva, seeing this topic being discussed brings us great joy.

As discussed by One Kind Planet, too many dogs end up at the pound because potential dog owners just don’t know how to choose a dog that would fit their lifestyle.

We all know that the world of dogs is large, and every breed has its own nuances.

If you want to learn more about all the different breeds of dogs, check out the Dog Breeds section on our blog. 

In addition to choosing the right dog, Zak also covers various dog and puppy training topics, including housetraining, behavioral issues, healthcare, and choosing the right veterinarian.

Much of this content is also supplemented by Zak’s YouTube videos. 

We found this book to be a well-rounded source of information for dogs of all ages. We believe that the advice provided in this book can be tailored to any dog breed and age. 

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3. Best for Kids: Dog Training for Kids By Vanessa Estrada Marin

Dog Training for Kids By Vanessa Estrada Marin

 Product Ratings

Affordability5/5
Book Length 5/5
Format Availability 4/5
Theme5/5
Content Quality 5/5

Cost: $ (depending on book format) | Book Length: 176 pages, | Format: Paper, eBook | Theme: Dog training for kids

What We Liked

  • The author is a credible source, being a director of a youth dog training program
  • Training guide is simplified enough for a 3rd grader to understand
  • Includes plenty of fun games

What We Didn’t Like

  • Some readers reported issues with the book binding

Many pet owners have children, and at times, it can be challenging to involve them in training a dog.

We believe that when kids are involved in dog training, all benefit because both dogs and kids become comfortable with each other.

Content Quality & Theme

The unique theme of this book is centered around dogs and kids, and the way they explain the training techniques is exceptional. 

We had our kids read this book, and they agree that it is clear, concise, and easy for a child as young as 8 to understand.

It was endearing to watch an even closer bond develop as our kiddos taught their doggies new tricks. 

We agreed with the rave reviews that boasted about how easy and fun this book is for their kids.

Many parents state that this book was engaging even for those kids who typically do not enjoy reading. 

To learn more about the benefits and ways to involve your child with training the new furry family member, read this article from the WholeDog Journal. 

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4. Best for All Dogs: Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days by Brandon McMillan

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

Product Ratings

Affordability4.5/5
Book Length 5/5
Format Availability 5/5
Theme5/5
Content Quality 5/5

Cost: $-$$$ (depending on book format) | Book Length: 336 pages, 7 hr, 56 min audio | Format: Paper, eBook, Audio | Theme: Dog training in 7 days

What We Liked

  • A method that promises fast results
  • The training method is detailed 
  • Clear and concise material

What We Didn’t Like

  • Many of the proposed techniques require a purchase of additional equipment 

Similar to a different book we reviewed by Brandon McMillian earlier in this post, we were pretty excited to see another book available in numerous formats. 

The hardcover costs unusually more than the paperback, but the paperback is affordable and the book is worth the money.

Content Quality & Theme

Being a rescue shelter, the team here at BarkVA understands exactly how hard it can be to train a dog.

This book is a comprehensive guide that breaks down the difficulties of dog training into easy, manageable steps.

We believe that the education this book provides will be helpful both to new and experienced dog owners. 

We really appreciated this book because the plethora of information needed to train a dog was delivered in a very clear, concise manner.

The techniques were easy to understand and follow. 

If your attempts to train your dog haven’t worked so far, or you just don’t have a lot of time, we recommend you check out this book.

Your dog can be trained in as little as a week with the method outlined in this book. 

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5. Best for Teaching Tricks: 101 Dog Tricks: Step By Step Activities To Engage, Challenge, And Bond With Your Dog By Kyra Sundance 

101 Dog Tricks Step By Step Activities To Engage Challenge And Bond With Your Dog By Kyra Sundance 

Product Ratings

Affordability5/5
Book Length 5/5
Format Availability 5/5
Theme5/5
Content Quality 3.5/5

Cost: $ | Book Length: 208 pages | Format: Paper, eBook | Theme: Dog games and tricks

What We Liked

  • Step-by-step instructions with pictures
  • Tips on how to teach your dog tricks
  • Training method encourages bonding with your pet
  • Clear and concise writing 

What We Didn’t Like

  • No tips for dogs who are not responsive to the training

We thoroughly enjoyed this book because of how comprehensive yet fun the training guide had been put together.

It covers a range of themes such as chores, funny tricks, dancing, and love.

This book stood out to us because we find that such topics will help the owner and dog bond well together. 

Content Quality & Theme

Our team of testers all agreed that this book’s instructions are easy to follow.

We tested these techniques on our dogs and enjoyed the clear instructions and the positive responses from the dogs. 

Throughout our tests of the outlined techniques in this book, we did find that some dogs don’t always respond to the training right away.

We didn’t find any suggestions or alternatives for handling occasional unresponsiveness. 

Overall, we believe the methods provided in this book are very useful and effective.

The approach of many of the activities and games will help foster a healthy bond between you and your pup!

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Comparison Chart

ProductsBest OverallBest For Choosing the Right DogBest For KidsBest For All DogsBest For Teaching Tricks
Overall Rating5/54.5/54/54.5/53.5/5
Affordability5/55/55/54.5/55/5
Book Length5/55/55/55/55/5
Format Availability5/55/54/55/55/5
Theme5/55/55/55/55/5
Content Quality5/54.5/55/55/53.5/5

The Winner

Overall, we chose How to Raise the Perfect Dog By Cesar Millan as the best book on training a dog.

We believe it is a thoughtful book that contains clear and simple instructions. 

This book is suitable for dog owners of all types – new and experienced.

We also appreciated the generous selection of available book formats and the affordable price points. 

How to Choose the Best Dog Training Method

We believe that the training methods provided in the top 5 books we reviewed are extremely helpful and will guide you to build a strong relationship with your pup. 

However, picking the right method isn’t always that simple.

Below, we want to outline for you some considerations to take into account when you’re in the process of selecting your training method. 

Your Experience Level

Is this your first time welcoming a dog into your life, or are you a seasoned dog owner?

Some books are perfect for those just starting their lives with a new pup, and if you’re one of those people, we recommend sticking to books tailored to raising a puppy.

Of course, any books we reviewed will be a great refresher course, even for experienced dog owners.

However, even if you had dogs in the past, but you have children who have yet to learn to care for a pup, that needs to be taken into account as well. 

The well-being and happiness of our kiddos and pets is an equal responsibility, and ensuring their mutual comfort is important.

If you’re exploring dog ownership for the first time, we recommend taking the time to educate yourself on dog breeds to find the right dog for you. 

Your Dog’s Age and Breed

Not all training methods, such as the use of training collars, are equally received by all dogs, and some breeds need a specific approach.

The same goes for either young pups or older dogs who are set in their ways. Luckily the top 5 books that we reviewed address all of these concerns. 

How Much Time Do You Have?

Some people do not have a lot of time to train a dog due to their busy schedules.

Nevertheless, training is non-negotiable for raising a well-behaved dog and bringing out the very best in each pup’s personality.

If you are flexible with your time, any of our review top 5 books will do just fine.

However, if you are in a time crunch, we recommend you check out Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days by Brandon McMillan. 

If you would like to learn more about how to choose the best dog training method, check out this article from The Happy Puppy Site

Honorable Mentions

Here’s a brief look at the 3 other books that we read on dog training that didn’t make our list of top picks.

1. The Art of Raising a Puppy By Monks of New Skete  – Considered for Puppies

This book is filled with useful information, but it did not make it to our list of the top 5 because it is based on older theories.

This book is aimed specifically at raising puppies and is great for both new and experienced dog owners. 

We prefer a more modern approach to puppy training as discussed in our top 5 picks in the books by Brandon McMillan and Zak George

2. Puppy Training in 7 Easy Steps: Everything You Need to Know to Raise the Perfect Dog By Zoom Room Dog Training – Considered for Puppies

This book is a quick read that contains a lot of useful training tips for a puppy owner.

We consider it to be a brief overview of puppy training and is better as a refresher course for experienced puppy parents because it is lacking some key information. 

We don’t recommend this book to those who are adopting a puppy for the first time and prefer a more comprehensive guide like How to Raise the Perfect Dog by Cesar Millan. 

3. The Complete Labrador Handbook: The Essential Guide for New & Prospective Labrador Owners By Linda Whitwam 

We enjoyed this book and found the information is highly useful. That being said, it is tailored specifically to Labradors.

If your furry companion is a Labrador, this book is perfect for you. 

If your dog is a different breed, we recommend checking out Zac George’s Dog Training Revolution, which will help tailor your dogs’ training to suit their breed and age. 

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

You can read more about me in our about us page

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