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Top 5 Dog Training Books

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There are hundreds probably thousands of dog training books available.  In fact if you do an exact search on Amazon.com for “dog training” in the books section Amazon returns 4,909 books available.  I don’t know about you, but when it comes to finding the right books I rely on several different metrics:

Choosing Dog Training Books

  1. Does the content match my subject? Dog training books is very broad and I may be looking for puppy training, dog tricks, agility training, advanced training, etc.
  2. How old is the book? I generally look for the most recent editions and give more value to a book written more recently.
  3. Who wrote the book? If you read, watch tv, or listen to the radio you may already have a feel for different authors.  For instance, have you heard of Cesar Millan?  You may like his teaching style and prefer a book written by him.
  4. Are there online reviews? This can be tricky because I know for a fact that these reviews are sometimes inflated.  In general I like to see a book with several hopefully non-biased reviews.  You can check Amazon’s or Barnes n Nobles reviews or try entering the name of the book with the word “review” into google search.
  5. Offline Friend or Family reviews? I’m already in contact with many dog people so I will often ask their opinion on what good books about dog training they’ve read.

If you follow these steps you will most likely come away with a good dog training book.  I must say that I have not read hundreds of dog training books (more along the lines of tens), but of those ten these are my 5 favorite:

Top 5 Dog Training Books

In no particular order here are my top 5 dog training books:

  1. Puppies For Dummies (For Dummies (Pets)) – I purchased this book before I brought home (as an adult) my first puppy.  If you plan on getting a puppy, but you haven’t brought that little furry ball home yet this book is a must read.  I read it cover to cover twice before bringing home my first dog Linus 4 years ago.  The book starts with the basics of choosing a breed, puppy personalities, where to get a puppy, basic training, and tons of other useful information about getting your first puppy.  This book is highly recommended!
  2. Petfinder.com The Adopted Dog Bible: Your One-Stop Resource for Choosing, Training, and Caring for Your Sheltered or Rescued Dog – If you follow this blog then many of you know that Linus came from the Carson shelter.  I purchased this book recently not because I’m in the market for another dog, but instead to learn about the behavior of dogs in shelters and how it is different to re-train a dog versus training a puppy from scratch.  This is a great book if you plan on picking your next dog up from the dog shelter.  Even though Linus was a puppy when I picked him up I’m pretty sure he had some trauma from his short stay at the animal shelter.
  3. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Dog Tricks – After Linus cleared puppyhood…actually he was still a puppy at about 10 months old, but had mastered most of his basic obedience…I decided to try working on some trick training.  He learned several show stopping dog tricks from this book (well, it impressed friends and family).  Linus was well suited for all of the tricks in the book (he hated it when I worked on sneeze on command) he did learn many of the basic and semi-advanced tricks including shaking hands, waving goodbye, playing dead, rolling over, and many others.
  4. Eco Dog: Healthy Living for Your Pet – A great book on learning to be a green dog.  There are several projects throughout the book that shows you how to great all-natural alternatives to your regular dog products.  This includes one of our favorites on creating your own dog toys (quite the money saver).
  5. Guide Dog Training Manual – Unfortunately, this training book is not for sale, but instead something we as puppy raisers receive before we bring home our first guide dog puppy in training.  I’ve probably read this manual five times while raising my two guide dog puppies: Stetson and Derby.  For the most part the manual covers basic obedience similar to the information you’d get out of a book like the “Puppies for Dummies” book I mentioned earlier.  However, there are several pieces of information that are specific to Guide Dog Training that most people probably do not teach their dogs.

As I’ve mentioned earlier there are thousands of dog training books available to you through Amazon.com, Borders, or Barnes and Noble.  This is just a short list of a few of my favorites.  If these books aren’t what your looking for I’d recommend you try my five step process for finding the perfect dog training book.

I’m currently in the market for a new book and I’m considering either a book by two famous authors: Cesar Millan or Victoria Stilwell famous for their shows The Dog Whisperer and It’s Me or the Dog.

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  1. Thanks for the doggy book recommendations. I’ve actually read 2 of the 3 on your list. I’ll have to visit Amazon and pick up The Culture Clash. I love reading all I can about dogs and dog training.

  2. Some of my favorite dog training/dog behavior books are:
    The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell
    The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson, 2nd ed.
    101 Dog Tricks by Kyra Sundance and Chalcy

    I’ve been raising service pups several years and teach dog obedience. The first two books are more advanced and have to be read carefully thru but help you understand what dogs really think vs what humans think they think! My communication and understanding with my dogs has gone way up. The dog trick book is very user friendly and full of clear photos breaking down every step. My dogs and I have had much fun with this book. They don’t get their daily fish oil pill until they’ve done a trick from the book!

  3. @Amy, thanks for the recommendation. I actually just purchased “How to Raise the Perfect Dog” a couple weeks ago at our local Borders closing down sale. Lucky for me it was 60% off along with a whole stack of other dog training books I brought home that day. It sounds like a good read and I think I’ll move it to the top of my list. I’ll see about getting a review up on the site as soon as I finish reading the book.

    By the way, have you seen the Cesar Millan Mastering Leadership DVD’s? It’s a pretty good set and similar to his show the Dog Whisperer. In fact I think he uses some of his show footage as case studies.

  4. If you haven’t read it already, I highly recommend Cesar Millan’s latest book, “How to Raise the Perfect Dog.” It covers everything from choosing a puppy to adult dog behavior and is filled with lots of valuable information on how to best relate and communicate with your pets.

  5. For some reason part of this post got chopped off at the time of publishing. It wasn’t much just some of my thoughts on my next book purchases on dog training. Anyhow, if you already read this article your probably not missing much except for the last paragraph on this page.

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