11 Top Dog Training Books for Every Kind of Dog

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Tetiana Zhudyk
Updated on

For sure, just reading a book can’t replace regular training sessions with a professional. However, it can undoubtedly make you and your pooch's life easier and help you understand the general principles of training that you can apply in your daily life.

In this article, we've gathered the best dog training books available on Amazon. These books cover everything from the basics of positive reinforcement training and understanding dog behavior to harnessing prey-drive instincts and turning them into valuable skills.

#1. “Don’t Shoot the Dog” by Karen Pryor

Karen Pryor's groundbreaking guide unveils the magic of swift behavior improvement through positive reinforcement. No more threats or guilt trips! From eliminating undesirable behaviors to mastering the art of "shaping," Pryor offers practical solutions for pets and people alike.

Experience the transformative power of positive reinforcement without resorting to force. It's not just about training your dog; it's about redefining your approach to life's challenges. "Don't Shoot the Dog" isn't just a book; it's your ticket to a happier, more positive you!

Amazon price from $1.99

Woofz Dog Behaviorist's Opinion: “A beginner's guide to using positive reinforcement for behavior change. Learn about clicker training, shaping, and fun game-based learning.”

Originally published: 1984

Best for understanding the general principles of positive reinforcement methods and how they work for everyone.

#2. “The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter Than You Think” by Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods

This is a captivating book that explores the intelligence of our furry companions. Using a mix of real stories and scientific research, the authors challenge what we thought we knew about dogs' smarts.

From problem-solving to their social skills and special connection with us, the book shows that dogs are even more remarkable than we imagined. If you love dogs or are curious about how animals think, this book offers an easy-to-understand and enjoyable look into the incredible intelligence of our canine companions.

Amazon price from $1.30

Woofz Dog Behaviorist's Opinion: “A scientific look into the mind of the dog. A great book to look at what emotions dogs can feel and to better understand how they perceive the world.”

Originally published: 2013

Best for understanding dog behavior.

#3. “Control Unleashed: Creating a Focused and Confident Dog” by Leslie McDevitt

This book is a must-read for dog owners looking to improve their dogs' behavior and confidence. Leslie McDevitt, an experienced dog trainer, offers practical solutions using positive training techniques and creative exercises.

The book is especially helpful for those dealing with shy, reactive, or hyperactive dogs, providing tools to build a strong bond and trust between owner and dog. Whether you're a seasoned dog owner or a beginner, this book gives you effective insights to bring out the best in your furry friend, promoting their focus and confidence.

Amazon price from $22.48

Woofz Dog Behaviorist's Opinion: “A good book for teaching impulse control and general obedience principles for high-energy, working breeds or sports dogs!

Originally published: 2007

Best for highly energetic dogs, dogs that are easily distracted, reactive dogs, and anxious dogs.

#4. “Hunting Together” by Simone Mueller

This book is a comprehensive guide that delves into the world of canine behavior, specifically addressing the instinct of predatory chasing in dogs.

It offers practical insights into understanding, managing, and positively using this instinct through effective training techniques. With a focus on motivation, the authors guide dog owners in fostering a strong bond with their pets while maintaining control and safety.

Whether you're dealing with a high prey drive or just interested in understanding your dog better, "Hunting Together" provides valuable tools and techniques for a harmonious relationship between families and their furry companions.

Amazon price from $18.79

Woofz Dog Behaviorist's Opinion: “A book to assist people dealing with dogs that have a strong prey drive. It guides managing this instinct and working toward off-leash training.”

Originally published: 2020

Best for dogs with a strong prey drive.

#5. “MINE! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs” by Jean Donaldson

This book tackles the common issue of resource-guarding in an accessible way. Filled with practical tips, behavior modification strategies, and real-life examples, it empowers readers to understand, prevent, and manage resource-guarding behaviors in their dogs.

Whether you're a new pet owner or an experienced trainer, this book provides a clear and effective approach to creating a harmonious living environment with your furry companion.

Amazon price from $4.69

Woofz Dog Behaviorist's Opinion: “A great book I recommend clients read if their dog is a resource guarder or shows possessive tendencies as a puppy.

Originally published: 2002

Best for puppies and dogs with resource-guarding tendencies.

#6. “The Other End Of The Leash” by Patricia B. McConnell

This is a captivating journey into the intricate dance of communication between humans and their canine companions. Whether you're a devoted dog owner or simply fascinated by animal behavior, this book provides eye-opening revelations about the subtle cues, gestures, and signals that shape our interactions with dogs.

Dr. McConnell's engaging narrative not only sheds light on why we behave the way we do but also empowers readers to forge deeper connections and foster harmonious relationships with their furry companions.

Amazon price from $1.49 (free audiobook)

Woofz Dog Behaviorist's Opinion: “An intimate look into why dogs do the things that they do, with a behaviorist’s first-hand experiences from clients molded in.”

Originally published: 2002

Best for understanding dog behavior (including their body language) and how to connect with them in the best way possible.

#7. "Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know" by Alexandra Horowitz

This book is a fascinating journey into the sensory and cognitive world of our canine companions. Authored by Alexandra Horowitz, a cognitive scientist with a passion for dogs, this book offers a unique perspective on understanding the inner lives of dogs.

Through a blend of scientific research, real-life anecdotes, and a touch of humor, the book unveils the intricate ways dogs perceive and navigate the world around them.

Amazon price from $1.35 (free audiobook)

Woofz Dog Behaviorist's Opinion: “A good book where a scientist is attempting to help us understand what it's like to be a dog, what is in their mind, and how they perceive things such as smells and sounds.

Originally published: 2009

Best for understanding a dog’s mind and perception.

#8. “Be Right Back!: How To Overcome Your Dog's Separation Anxiety And Regain Your Freedom” by Julie Naismith

This book is a comprehensive guide that empowers dog owners to conquer the challenges of separation anxiety. With a blend of expert advice and step-by-step solutions, the author provides a roadmap for creating a balanced and stress-free environment for both dogs and their owners.

This engaging guide not only sheds light on the complexities of separation anxiety but also equips you with the tools to foster a stronger bond and regain the freedom to leave your dog with confidence.

Amazon price from $7.99

Woofz Dog Behaviorist's Opinion: “A must-have for addressing separation anxiety — provides insights into its causes and offers a starting point for fixing it.”

Originally published: 2009

Best for dogs that suffer from separation anxiety and anxious dogs.

#9. "Zak George's Dog Training Revolution: The Complete Guide to Raising the Perfect Pet with Love” by Zak George and Dina Roth Port

This revolutionary guide transforms the art of dog training into an enriching and joyful experience. Authored by renowned dog trainer Zak George, this comprehensive guide is infused with love and positive reinforcement techniques that empower dog owners to cultivate a deep bond with their furry companions.

The book covers everything from basic commands to addressing behavioral challenges, making it an invaluable resource for both new and experienced dog owners.

Amazon price from $1.49 (free audiobook)

Woofz Dog Behaviorist's Opinion: “The ultimate guide to dog training that tackles everything from choosing a new dog to teaching fun tricks and solving problem behaviors.

Originally published: 2019

Best for first-time dog owners and wannabe dog owners.

#10. "Dog Training for Kids: Fun and Easy Ways to Care for Your Furry Friend" by Vanessa Estrada Marin

This is an exciting and informative guide designed to inspire new dog lovers on their journey to becoming responsible pet owners. This book, filled with colorful illustrations and interactive activities, transforms the world of dog training into a playful and enjoyable experience for children.

Authored with a blend of expertise and child-friendly language, it covers essential topics such as basic commands, clever tricks, games, and much more. The interactive approach not only educates kids on how to care for their furry friends but also fosters a sense of empathy and companionship.

Amazon price from $2.12

Woofz Dog Behaviorist's Opinion: “A family-friendly guide that involves children in positive dog training.

Originally published: 2019

Best for kids who want to raise their first pup as well as for all beginners in dog training.

#11. "Perfect Puppy in 7 Days: How to Start Your Puppy Off Right" by Dr Sophia Yin

This one is a game-changing guide for new puppy owners looking to embark on a positive and rewarding journey with their furry companions.

Dr. Yin's approach is both comprehensive and accessible, offering step-by-step instructions, clear explanations, and real-life examples to guide readers through the crucial early days of puppyhood.

From basic training to socialization and problem-solving, the book equips puppy parents with the tools needed to create a loving and harmonious relationship with their new family member.

Amazon price from $14.11

Woofz Dog Behaviorist's Opinion: “Offers a structured, week-by-week plan for puppy training with a focus on positive reinforcement.

Originally published: 2011

Best for first-time puppy parents.

Wrap Up

Armed with the insights from these top-notch dog training books, you're well-equipped to navigate the world of canine education. From puppy training fundamentals to understanding dog behavior and beyond, these books offer a wealth of knowledge.

Remember, while books provide valuable guidance, combining their wisdom with professional training sessions ensures a comprehensive approach to nurturing a well-behaved and happy pup. Happy reading and happy training!

Written by

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Tetiana Zhudyk

Woofz Content Manager with a deep passion for dogs and a strong affinity for positive reinforcement training methods.

Reviewed by

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Annie-Mae Levy

Experienced dog trainer with Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Behavior. Diplomaed dog nutritionist. CFBA Accredited Canine Behaviorist