Training your dog is part of being a good pet parent. Having a dog and not training him is like having a baby and letting him raise himself. Dogs, like children, need guidance. Potty and obedience training are imperative. Training your pooch to do cute tricks, solve brainy puzzles, or teaching him to master the agility course are all optional but awesome.
Even the best dog trainer needs a little help along the way. Even the notorious dog behaviorist, Cesar Millan, was taught by his father and his grandfather. No matter what your level, expert or novice, it is helpful to find out more about dog training. Here’s a look at the top 26 best-rated dog training books on Amazon*:
“How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond” by Cesar Millan
Why not learn dog training from an expert? Cesar is a natural when it comes to dogs. That’s why he’s called the “Dog Whisperer” and why his National Geographic show is called the same.
This book* of expert advice from an expert explains in simple words how to raise a happy and healthy dog from the day you bring the fuzzy little rascal home and forward from there.
He tells about creating a thriving and well-balanced environment and how to lovingly and assertively correct common behavior issues seen in both puppy and adult dogs. You’ll learn how pack mentality works and how you can build upon it to train your dog. Cesar does more than give advice in this top-notch book. He coaches pet parents and gives examples of his own personal experiences.
From the subject of housebreaking to nutrition and teaching your dog to be well-behaved, Cesar addresses it all. You just can’t beat this book when it comes to furthering education for those who have trained dogs before as well as for beginners learning the first time around. If you want to learn from one of the best there is, this book is for you.
“Brain Games for Dogs: Training, Tricks, and Activities for your Dog’s Physical and Mental Wellness” by Carrie Nichole
The latest craze in dog training is brain games. With this informative book,* you’ll have the smartest dog on the block. You’ll find out how your dog’s brain works and things you can do to help maximize it.
We appreciated that this book lines out step-by-step instructions for fun games that will entertain and enlighten your pooch. He’ll learn to problem solve with the many activities in this book. You’ll help him increase his memory and sharpen his mind too.
The author explains how dog brains are much like human brains. It’s “use it or lose it”. Find out what toys are great to play doggie brain games with and learn of activities that require no props at all too. If you are wanting to train your dog to be a brainy fellow, this is the book that will help you do exactly that.
“Dog Training for Dummies” by Jack and Wendy Volhard
Just as the title suggests, this book is for the novice in dog training. It also has a good bit to offer intermediate and experienced trainers too though which is what we like about it.
Husband and wife duo, Jack and Wendy Volhard, advocate the unique “Motivational Method” approach to dog training, especially geared to fuel the fire for people who value dog as wonderful champions and companions. The basic training lessons, like “sit” and “stay”, are taught so pet parents can easily train their dogs without stressing.
There is a myriad of tips which we found very helpful. The authors know their stuff and furthermore, they add a fun flair to it. Mutual respect and bonding are addressed in detail, setting the scene for positive training of all types. Another thing we loved about this dog training book* is that it gives practical answers to popular problems like separation anxiety, digging and chewing, and destructive behaviors.
It even covers some advanced tricks and positive reinforcements too. Perhaps our absolute favo+rite beloved part of this book is that it gives suggestions on how to make senior dogs feel young again. We love when no dog is left behind! For a well-rounded book that covers a multitude of topics in a fun and fabulous way, get “Dog Training for Dummies” and become the trainer you always knew you could be, today.
“101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog” by Kyra Sundance
This international bestseller* is a gem for those who are looking for excellent information on dog training. With over a half-million copies sold, you know there’s got to be a host of treasures hidden inside the covers.
The tricks that are taught in this book come complete with step-by-step instructions and beautiful pictures so there’s no question as to how to do them. There’s a difficulty rating for each trick too. Troubleshooting and tips are available in neatly designed boxes.
This book makes even difficult trick training simple. From basic requests, such as “sit” and “roll over”, to innovatively advanced tricks like “tidy up your toy box”, this book has it all. You’ll be as fascinated as we were while going through this well-written, well-laid out, and well- thought out book. Enjoy!
“Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution: The Complete Guide to Raising the Perfect Pet with Love” by Zak George and Diana Roth Port
What if your dog has his own personality? Maybe he’s a little higher strung than most, or was super sensitive? Perhaps your dog simply isn’t a cookie cutter mold pooch.
This great book embraces the fact that your dog is, indeed, a one-of-a-kind create who brings his own unique personality to the training class. He has his good points and his not-so-good points, as every dog does.
Training instructions and suggestions are tailored to dogs being individuals in this work written by the dynamic YouTube sensation and Animal Planet host, Zak George.
This book recaps hundreds of videos and personal experiences to bring you the best of the best in training to train. The class can only be as good as the teacher so unleash your inner-trainer and become the teacher your dog deserves.
You’ll learn how to teach your dog basic obedience and cool tricks too. Get this book and get your dog’s training on in ways you never dreamed possible.
“Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog is 7 Days” by Brandon McMillan
We want things instantly these days. From drive-thru fast food to the internet at the speed of light, our modern society is not used to waiting. And...why should we? If you can train your dog in 7 days, why take 6 months?
Sometimes...faster is better. Just think, in a week’s time, your dog could be obeying, doing awesome tricks, and maybe even teaching his own training class...well, maybe that’s a stretch but, you get the idea. Brendon gets it too. His television show, “Lucky Dog” is proof.
He takes even the most badly behaved dogs and transforms them in record time with love and patience. Dogs that were thrown away, shunned to shelters and walking the street were thought to be untrainable and unlovable but Brandon proves them wrong, dog after dog.
If you have a dog that came from a troubled background or who is unruly, you’ll be encouraged and enlightened by this book as will all pet parents. This compilation* of tips, tricks, and techniques puts training in perspective and makes it fun and possible for all.
“The Beginner’s Guide to Dog Agility” by Laurie Leach
This unique perspective on dog training is put together by Laurie Leach. She believes in an enjoyable work relationship between you and your dog when training him.
Agility training is a very worthwhile optional type of training that is excellent for your pup’s physical well-being. It’s fun for both you and him and in training, you’ll not only teach him how to jump through hoops but how to listen to you and a clicker.
The exercises are on different levels so you can work up from easy ones to more difficult ones. We think you’ll enjoy this well-written and informative book* as much as we did.
“101 Dog Tricks Kid’s Edition” by Kyra Sundance
Kyra strikes again with this wonderful dog training book for kids.* It’s great to involve your children in the training process of your pup and this book shows them how it’s done.
With full-color pictures and great explanatory instructions, kids can master the training of their dogs quite easily. Dogs love children. There’s a special bond between them. This work of art embraces that bond and brings tricks into the mix.
Your child will be amazed at how simple it is to train a pooch when he’s taught by one of the best. If you have a kid...and a dog, what are you waiting for? Some tricks can be taught in no time and there’s even a Dog Trick Certificate reward that comes with this top-notch book.
“Puppy Training: A Step-by-Step Guide to Crate Training, Potty Training, and obedience Training” by Alexa Parsons
Puppies are adorable but they can be a handful. Sometimes, they’re not all that into training. If you have stepped in poop one time too many, come home to your slippers in shreds, or are simply ready to teach your new dog new tricks, grab this book.
Your pet parenting life is about to get a whole lot better. You’ll find new ways to teach your dog to behave and to teach him how to be mannerly. The book* is geared to beginner trainers and beginner trainees. You’ll also learn how to teach him to “go” in a designated spot.
If you want to teach him tricks, that’s covered too. This book focuses on training puppies. They are full of life and energy so they require a different approach and perhaps more patience than dogs that are a little older do. Find out everything you need to know about training your puppy in this spectacular book.
“Training Your Own Service Dog: Step by step instructions with 30 Days Intensive Training Program to Get You Started” by Lelah Sullivan
Do you want and/or need a service dog? Author Lelah Sullivan believes that anyone who desires to have one should have one. No dog is left behind and no pet parent is too inexperienced to put her lessons into practice.
She also believes that everyone should be able to train their own service dog and best of all, she shows you how to do it in this book.* Once the owner of a Service Dog Training Coach business, Lelah has retired to teach people by written word how to train their very own service dogs.
She also reaches out on Skype, Facebook, and other outlets to ensure that all pet parents are able to train their dogs for service. She is passionate about helping everyone, realizing that not everyone can pay the steep price to afford a service dog but appreciating the fact that many want and need one.
Even if you are new to training and your dog doesn’t seem to be the “service dog type”, the lessons in this book can make you and your dog a pro. This unique book is excellent in our opinion and makes what seems out of reach totally attainable.
“Training the Best Dog Ever” by Larry Kay and Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz
Love and kindness in training are what this book* is based on. Learn from these experts on how to incorporate your heart and soul into the no-fail techniques that rely on praise and treats rather than scolding and choke collars.
You’ll grow even closer to your dog as you teach him what you learn from this dog training book. The lessons are for a five-week program and only go for 10 to 20 minutes of class time per day so neither you or your dog burn out. The instructions are easy to read and simple to employ.
In no time, your dog will know how to behave when visiting friends of family or even going to the vet clinic. He’ll listen to you better too. Bring out the ultimate potential in your dog and have fun while you are doing it. If you want a well-behaved dog, the lesson inside this book will surely teach you how to train one.
“The Art of Raising a Puppy” by the Monks of New Skete
Yes, you read it right. This book* is written by Monks. They’ve been leading dog authorities were training is concerned for well over thirty years. They understand canine behavior, dog training, and the bond between dog and man.
The approach is like none other. They have been raising and training German Shepherds for decades and draw from their own personal experiences to teach pet parents and dog trainers all-new effective techniques.
Their innovative approach is very useful as they transfer their German Shepherd training skills to embrace all breed training. The guys know their stuff and that’s for sure. Dog behavior is a large part of the teaching which is very relevant when training any dog. The book is brilliant and we fully believe you’ll find it as intriguing as we did.
“How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend: A Training Manuel for Dog Owners” by the Monks of New Skete
Once again, the Monks of New Skete bring pet parents a world of heavenly information. This book* has been around for over a quarter century, teaching dog lovers how to train their dogs. In fact, it has set the standards.
This classic book has even been updated to bring the best of current dog training information and knowledge to readers as well. From how to choose a dog to how to train him, this book covers it all.
It is the ultimate training tool for everyone who wants a well behaved best friend. You’ll learn how to enrich your life as a pet parent and how to better the quality of life of your dog. You’ll learn a host of practical advice and pro tips as well.
This book brings a touch of soul and heart to training. It states that all must be done in love and with positive strokes. Communication, compassion, and communion are the themes in this training technique.
The Monks practice what they preach with training dogs. They’ve been doing it for decades and have a lot of useful information to share. Find out what sets this book head and shoulders above the rest.
“Crate Training Puppies: How to Crate Train Your Puppy the Fast and Simple Way” by Cesar Lopez
This book* is a straightforward approach to crate training your puppy. While no pet parent wants to have to crate their pooch, it’s really very natural. Dogs in the wild actually practically crated themselves.
They feel secure in boxed areas. And, sometimes, as dog owners, especially of puppies, for their safety and our sanity, we simply must employ the assistance of a crate. This book covers techniques as well as tips for using a crate to train your puppy. The idea behind it is genius and it can be done in fast timing which makes it even better.
This innovative book is positive and enlightening, suggesting such things as treating the crate as a good place rather than a place your puppy goes for punishment. You’ll be able to employ the things you have learned in a natural way because it is a great teaching book.
Many examples are given so you’ll be sure to understand exactly what is being suggested for you and for your dog to do. The book also gives pointers on how to positively and effectively train your dog to be well behaved while using a crate to do so.
It’s an encouraging book with a lot of great and practical information in it. There’s also a free gift inside the book but it’s a surprise so...we’re not telling.
“How to Train a Puppy in a Positive Way” by H. Moore
Sometimes dog training books are a little lofty. They make things sound so easy. “You just sit your puppy where you want him to poop and boom...he’s potty trained,” one might read.
We, as pet parents, know it involves much more than that. This book goes where the rubber hits the road. It is a practical approach to puppy training that touches on subjects like housebreaking, manners, obedience, and tricks. Teaching puppy routines of the house is one devoted subject.
Somehow, we all seem for a puppy to just catch on but that is really asking a little too much out of a young ball of fur. We must show him the ropes and we must do so in a positive manner as well.
The book is very important to teach your new pup the rules and routines of the house but it’s rarely something addressed in a dog training book. This book encompasses all and does so in a way in which you are sure that this guy, H. Moore, has really had a dog and trained him too. Maybe even more than one. He gets it and you’ll do good to get it too...this book, that is.
“The Puppy Primer” by Patricia McConnell
Although this book* is certainly fit for anyone, beginner or novice, it holds enough valuable information to hold the interest of pro dog trainers. In fact, it’s a “go to book” for many experts.
The techniques are engaging and the writing is easy to read and a bit lighthearted and humorous. The topics are useful and the information, priceless. The book is jam-packed with tidbits you’ll find yourself using, time after time when training your puppy or even your adult dog.
Did you know that when you have your puppy “sit” to show off for company, it’s not the exact same “sit” as when you have him sit to wait on his dinner? That’s just one example of the “ah ha” moments you’ll experience when reading this book. It’s definitely one of our favorites for many reasons and we absolutely love the author and her writing style. We are certain that you will too!
“How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves” by Dr. Sophia Yin
Veterinarian Sophia Yin brings another great dog training book* to the table with this one. It focuses on dogs of all ages and training of all types. She addresses dog behavior and suggests remedies for negative behavior, all done in very positive ways.
The book is straightforward and quite clear. When you yell and scream at a dog, it is not a wonder if he doesn’t obey you. He may end up fearful or aggressive due to your actions that are negative.
You will learn to take a look at your own self, your style of training, and your attitude so you can change any unwanted behaviors or your own and be the best teacher possible for your dog. How can you expect him to practice self-control when you don’t?
You can turn it all around though. This book is a no-nonsense, yet loving, approach to dog training for beginners and for experts. This book is a revised book of the best-selling forerunner. If you want to learn the best techniques for one of the country’s best, this book is for you.
“E-collar Training For Pet Dogs” by Ted Efthymaidis
This is not your typical training book but it’s a helpful one if your dog is not the typical pooch in training. It is written by dog trainer, Ted Efthymaidis and is lovingly put together for a book of the nature it is, a controversial issue at best.
Some dogs, although good at heart, are boogers to teach to overcome their negative behaviors. And, some of those behaviors are really dangerous for him. Do you have a dog who refuses to come when called? What happens if a car is coming? Or maybe your dog insists on eating poop.
For those who do have problematic dogs that have refused training in other forms, this book offers an effective solution. While some balk at the thought of an electric collar, and we are some of “them”, sometimes, the alternative is not a good one.
When it comes right down to it, this book* addresses a viable option some pet parents may have to consider. We are not advocating the use of such a collar but if you are going to employ it in your dog’s behavior training, please read this book first and learn about the positive approach to the method.
“Thriving Dog Trainers” by Ted Efthymaidis
Another book by dog trainer, Ted Efthymaidis, this book* is geared to professional dog trainers who need a new approach. It focuses on dog training as a living but also has a lot of good, usable information for all pet parents and dog trainers.
You’ll find tips, techniques, and thoughts about off-the-wall things concerning dog training, professionally and on a person-pet parent basis. You’ll get to get inside the mind of those who fully believe that dog training is the best occupation in the world and you’ll find out why.
Ted talks about his own personal experiences and makes suggestions for running a dog training business or reviving one that is already in swing. All in all, this is a good read if you like things outside the dog box.
“So You Want to be a Dog Trainer?” by Nichole Wilde
This is a great book for anyone who feels like they might want to become a professional dog trainer. It made our list because it is also for everyday pet parents who want to train their own dogs.
You’ll get the inside scoop on what it takes to effectively train a dog...or, a school of dogs. Nicole is an internationally recognized dog trainer who has made it her life business to teach dogs and trainers. Her step-by-step guide to training is unique and informative.
You will learn what it is really like to work with dogs, training them day n and day out. Get helpful tips on such subjects as class etiquette, tips to talking on the phone, and so much more. Find out the challenges and learn what it takes to be victorious. For any trainer anywhere, this book* is a great one written by a great.
“Culture Clash” by Jean Donaldson
Sometimes we over-estimate what our dog knows about what we are thinking or saying. That’s not to say he isn’t smart. It’s just that...there’s a culture clash. If you’ve ever had trouble communicating with someone born in a different generation, you will really appreciate that your dog is further out than that.
He is...a dog. While he understands a good bit of what you are imparting, there are some pieces of the puzzle that are missing. That’s Jean’s whole point of this great book. It helps to bridge the gap between you and your dog’s communication while respecting it too.
It is natural to have some miscommunication because even people have issues communicating with other people so why shouldn’t communicating with a dog have a few barriers too?
The more you learn about human behavior and human communication and dog behavior and dog communication, the easier it will become for you to mesh the two so you can optimize the communication you have with your dog which will enhance training time as well.
The book helps you get over hurdles you probably didn’t even know existed. If you want to really get eye to eye with your dog and be able to teach him even better, we suggest reading this fine book* that has been accredited with shaping modern dog training.
“Don’t Shoot the Dog: The New Art of Teaching and Training” by Karen Pryor
This book is one with a WOW factor! It applies an 8 method technique to overcoming negative behaviors. The techniques are fabulous for dog training without stress and without yelling or raising your voice.
It helps you help your dog to nip bad behavior in the bud but the most amazing thing is that it will also help you rid yourself of your own bad and destructive behaviors like drinking, abusing chemical drugs, or even with your anger issues.
The book teaches you how to live in the moment and how to actually have fun and enjoy dog training time. You’ll see that even when you are at the end of your rope with your dog, it’s humorous all the same. Much like parenting humans, it’s just part of the calling.
You’ll learn so much, you’ll be baffled as to why such teaching isn’t more widespread. Learn how to train your dog, and yourself, with these easy and practical techniques. This is one you simply must read*...and apply.
“New Puppy: From New Puppy to Brilliant Family Dog” by Beverly Courtney
There’s nothing more “interesting” than bringing a new puppy home and finding your brand new sofa with a hole chewed in it. What do you do? He looks so sweet and innocent but, little by little, he’s becoming a monster.
This book* is a practical aide to raising your sweet little devil dog. It hits home to sleep deprived and frustrated pet parents and gives solutions all in the same breathe.
The book is sympathetic to pet parents who are unsuspecting of what all having a puppy entails, especially first time around puppy parents. Still, it is a “get over it and get on with your parenting duties” book too. Now that you have committed to having a dog, you must learn how to control him with love and affection and training.
There is no choice except for deciding how you are going to do it. You’ll learn all about housetraining, obedience training, and some trick training too. It’s one of our favorites for a host of reasons.
It gets to the point and sets you up to succeed with your new addition to the family without sugar coating what it’s really like to be a pet parent of a new pup. If you have a new puppy or plan to get one, this book is an absolute must-have.
“Perfect Puppy in Seven Days” by Sophia Yin and Lili Chin
Veterinarians Yin and Chin make a great team for this book. Recommended by Victoria Stillwell from the hit show “Animal Planet” and one of Dr. Ellen Lindell’s top recommendations by way of dog training books, this one makes training time fun.
The step-by-step instructional guide is highlighted with 400 photos. You’d be hard pressed to find a more thorough, wide ranged, practical, and effective puppy training book.
It addresses the most common pup parent concerns, answers tons of questions many dog parents have, and even brings up things you’ve never really thought about...but maybe should have. This book is enlightening but it is all done very simply put. You won’t even realize how much you are learning until you go to practice what you have learned and it all comes back to you.
That is the sign of excellent teaching when you just naturally apply what you’ve been taught. It’s a great book* creatively written by professionals in the field. We give it two paws up.
“How to Train a Puppy - A Step-by-Step Guide to Positive Puppy Training” by Carrie Nichole
Once again, we present one of our favorite authors, Carrie Nichole. This book is aimed at training puppies and what a handful that can be. But with the tips and tricks in this book, training doesn’t have to be so “ruff”.
Hitting the nail on the head, Carrie expounds on how exciting it is to bring home a fluffy, adorable little puppy and how scary it is when reality sets in. Your pup is peeing on everything and chewing up everything too. You’ve committed for life but now, you’re seeing the situation a bit more clearly.
You need help and you need it right away. From housebreaking to trick training, this fabulous book will get you through it all with flying colors. Learn how to calm yourself and train your puppy, all at the same time. This is a great book* in our opinion because it is...so real!
“Let Dogs Be Dogs: Understanding Canine Nature and Mastering the Art of Living with Your Dog” by the Monks of New Skete
At the risk of seeming partial to the Monks, we have settled on one last book by them. Why? They are the forerunning authorities on dog training and dog care. Their experience lays a firm foundation for novice and pro trainers alike to learn from.
This book focuses on the fact that no matter if your dog is trained or not, he is still a dog and that’s not such a bad thing. It delves into dog psychology in hopes that trainers will embrace, rather than try to change, dogs during training.
The Monks explain how dogs thrive in their natural surroundings and how owners can strengthen the bond they have with their dogs, in training and in general, by respecting what a dog is all about. It’s a great and enlightening book* and yet another from the Monks that we just had to share with you.
Wrapping it Up- Cover to Cover
If you are going to be embarking on training your dog, whether you are a pro or a beginner, there’s no reason to go it alone.
Glean from the experts in the field as they share their secrets and give you their unique approaches to training tips and techniques.
From our list of the top 26 best-rated dog training books, you are sure to find at least one that entails all you need to unleash the dog trainer within.
* Links for crate sizes will bring you to the most appropriate Amazon page.