19 Top Dog Training Books for Every Kind of Dog

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Searching for meaningful dog training advice on the internet makes it nearly impossible to know whether what you’ve found is science-based knowledge, shared by a certified professional dog trainer, or the uninformed methods of a self-taught dog whisperer. It’s just one reason why thoroughly researched dog training books are the most trustworthy source for learning about dog behavior.

The Culture Clash

“The Culture Clash”

A solid introduction and scientifically sound guide to positive reinforcement.

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These days training books are plentiful, as available in e-book or audio formats as they are in hard copies. As a professional dog trainer, these 19 dog training books, which run the gamut from starting a puppy off right to teaching new skills to tackling behavior challenges, are the ones I most recommend to my clients.

The Best General Dog Training Books

This is one of the best introductions to positive-reinforcement training out there. It’s a slim volume, but one jam-packed with insight into how dogs think (Can I eat it? Can I pee on it? What’s in it for me?) and how to communicate in order to change their behavior from the undesirable to the desirable.

Included in this book are a number of exercises on how to teach beginner, intermediate, and advanced versions of basic cues like “stay” and “come.”

The Culture Clash

“The Culture Clash”

A solid introduction and scientifically sound guide to positive reinforcement.

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Written by the champion of clicker training, this book on positive-reinforcement training is entertaining and easy to read. Pryor illustrates that the principles for shaping a dog’s behavior work for any animal—from swimming dolphins to messy roommates—whether you use a clicker or not.

Don't Shoot the Dog

“Don’t Shoot the Dog”

Fun and helpful methods for a variety of behaviors from the champion of clicker training.

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This beautifully written book is full of anecdotes that help to decipher why we act the way we do around dogs, and how changing our own behavior can help to change theirs. A great read with a lot of wisdom for dog owners looking to build a partnership and good training practices with their pet.

The Other End of the Leash

“The Other End of the Leash”

A new perspective on our relationship with dogs comparing behaviors of dogs and their parents.

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In this book, Pat Miller takes the guesswork out of dog training with a unique six-week program to build impulse control and help your dog make positive choices.

The Power of Positive Dog Training

“The Power of Positive Dog Training”

The positive training tools you need for a lifetime of fun and respect with your dog.

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The well-respected veterinary behaviorist Sophia Yin walks readers through the science on dog learning and behavior. The training book digs into key theoretical concepts in easy-to-understand language and shows you how to apply them to training a beautifully behaved pup.

How to Behave so Your Dog Behaves

“How to Behave so Your Dog Behaves”

An in-depth look at effectively understanding and communicating with your dog.

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A comprehensive guide to raising a healthy, happy, and well-trained dog. In this book, Stilwell walks you through the best approaches to nutrition, exercise, communication, and play.

It’s Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet

“It’s Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet”

Train your dog, and understand what to do when new issues arise, with these simple, intuitive instructions.

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This encyclopedia-style training book translates dog body language and facial expressions to help you better understand and communicate with your pup.

Dog Language

“Dog Language”

Canine behavior, vocabulary, and comprehension in 300 entries with illustrations.

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A simple guide to building essential cues like “sit” and “stay” and entertaining tricks like “bring me a beer” and “take a bow.” This training book is endless fun for you and your dog on a rainy day!

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

“101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog”

Mentally and physically challenge your dog while bonding through trick training.

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An advanced dog training guide for breaking down the science of dog learning and behavior acquisition. Though Reid’s book is geared towards dog trainers, “Excel-erated Learning” is a helpful book for anyone looking to take their dog’s abilities, and their own, to the next level.

Excel-erated Learning

“Excel-erated Learning”

Speed up your dog’s training progress by discovering how your dog learns.

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The Best Dog Training Books: Puppies!

A simple must-have guide book for all new puppy parents. Yin uses pictures and “how-to” exercises to help you get your pup training started on the right paw.

Perfect Puppy in 7 Days: How to Start Your Puppy Off Right

“Perfect Puppy in 7 Days: How to Start Your Puppy Off Right”

Build the foundations of a Good Dog with these tips on training your puppy.

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A positive-reinforcement training pioneer, Dunbar wrote this puppy training book to provide a structured but humorous look at how to shape a happy, healthy, and well-behaved dog.

Broken down into six developmental deadlines, including socialization, bite inhibition, and house training, this is a great guide to DIY puppy training.

Before You Get Your Puppy and After You Get Your Puppy

“Before You Get Your Puppy and After You Get Your Puppy”

A structured, yet playful, training plan for raising your pup right.

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This comprehensive book is full of fun, easy-to-follow exercises, helpful hints, and troubleshooting tips for raising a puppy using science-based positive-reinforcement methods.

The Puppy Primer

The Puppy Primer

This training guide is engaging, humorous, and easy to follow.

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The Best Dog Training Books: Conquering Behavior Challenges

An easy-to-follow guide for anyone whose dog is experiencing fear or anxiety. Wilde looks at 15 common dog fears including fear of strangers, fear of other dogs, and fear of riding in the car, and offers step-by-step guides to desensitizing and counter-conditioning your way to greater confidence.

Help For Your Fearful Dog: A Step-by-Step Guide to Helping Your Dog Conquer His Fears

“Help For Your Fearful Dog: A Step-by-Step Guide to Helping Your Dog Conquer His Fears”

A comprehensive guide to the treatment of canine anxiety, fears, and phobias.

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Patricia McConnell demystifies the concepts of desensitization and counter-conditioning that can help a fearful dog to overcome their anxiety. This book will help you to identify your dog’s triggers and create a step-by-step plan to improve your dog’s quality of life.

The Cautious Canine: How to Help Dogs Conquer Their Fears

“The Cautious Canine: How to Help Dogs Conquer Their Fears”

This book helps you identify your dog’s triggers and create a step-by-step plan to overcome their fears.

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This easy-to-read book is full of detailed advice for bringing calm to the exhausted families of over-aroused dogs. This book is especially meant to tackle in-home issues, such as greeting guests, with mat work and clicker training.

Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out: Training the Crazy Dog from Over the Top to Under Control

“Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out: Training the Crazy Dog from Over the Top to Under Control”

Simple and accessible steps from award-winning trainer Laura VanArendonk Baugh.

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This book is packed with practical examples, anecdotes, and tips on how to rehabilitate a reactive or leash aggressive dog using force-free, positive methods.

The Midnight Dog Walkers: Positive Training and Practical Advice for Living with Reactive and Aggressive Dogs

“The Midnight Dog Walkers: Positive Training and Practical Advice for Living with Reactive and Aggressive Dogs”

A positive, science-based approach to help reactive and leash aggressive dogs.

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A practical guide to tackling the innate behavior of guarding desirable resources like food, toys, favorite places, and people. Donaldson walks you through the origins of resource guarding, how it presents in doggy behavior and exercises for working through it.

Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs

“Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs”

A guide to recognizing, evaluating, and treating resource guarding.

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Tackling one of the stickiest behavior challenges, DeMartini-Price lays out a methodology she’s developed over the last decade that has helped hundreds of dogs overcome the panic they feel when left alone. The book breaks down in simple terms why dogs develop separation anxiety and provides detailed step-by-step exercises on how to solve it.

Treating Separation Anxiety in Dogs

“Treating Separation Anxiety in Dogs”

Explanations and treatment protocols for your doggo’s separation anxiety.

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This book approaches a challenging topic in a transparent way, offering practical advice for dogs that don’t play well with others. A good starting point for understanding why your dog is aggressive and how to improve their relationships with their own kind.

Fight! A Practical Guide to the Treatment of Dog-Dog Aggression

“Fight! A Practical Guide to the Treatment of Dog-Dog Aggression”

Retrain your dog to play nicely with others with this practical guide.

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