The best dog training books and guides in 2020

If you have recently got a dog or a puppy, or are looking to get one soon, you would probably be looking to learn more about how to train it in a way that your dog turns out to be an obedient and well-behaved furry friend. Living with a dog is very much like living with a child. You must be patient, find the right resources and use them effectively to raise your canine companion.

Dog training books are probably the best initial investment you can make to ensure proper upkeep of your canine.
But which are the best dog training books to consult?

With so many popular guides by renowned authors available in the market, picking the best dog training book (or books) can often be a challenging task.

In this article, we list out the best puppy and dog training books that you can consider while looking for some useful resources to train your dog. You will find these books recommended time and again by dog trainers and canine behavioral experts. Most of these guidebooks are available on Kindle and other formats as well, so you can pick the right format for your requirements.

We will also cover the major factors to consider while picking the best dog training book for your needs. So buckle up and read on!

Also, check out our article on the dog training treats to make the task of training your pooch a little easier.

Best dog or puppy training books list

Some of the best dog training books that can help you in training your puppy or adult dog are listed below:
PictureProductEditionsFeatures 

Training the Best Dog EverKindle
Paperback
- This best-selling book on dog and puppy training is authored by Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz and Larry Kay. Dawn trained President Obama‘s dog, Bo.
- In 300 odd pages, the book covers a five-week training program for a great canine.
- The current edition of the book was published in Sept, 2012.



Perfect Puppy in 7 DaysKindle
Paperback
- This hugely popular and widely regarded puppy training is authored by renowned pet behaviorist late Dr. Sophia Yin.
- In 176 odd pages and supported by 400 odd photographs, the book provides a step-by-step plan for raising a perfect puppy. Topics include socialization, housebreaking, healthcare, nutrition and play etc.
- The current edition of the book was published in August, 2011.

Zak George's Dog Training RevolutionPaperback
Audible File
Spiral bound
Audio CD
- The latest dog training guide is authored by Zak George and Dina Roth Port.
- In 240 pages, the author covers everything from dog training to practical tips, tricks and games to play with your furry friend.
- The current edition of the book was published in June, 2016.



The Power of Positive Dog TrainingKindle
Paperback
Audible File
Hardcover
MP3 CD
- A classic dog training book, written by famous dog trainer Pat Miller.
- In 280 pages, the book covers all aspects of dog training using positive reinforcement and clicker technology.
- The current edition of the book was published in April, 2008.

Before and After Getting Your PuppyKindle
Hardcover
Audible File
Audio CD
- This to-the-point puppy training guide is authored by globally renowned Dr. Ian Dunbar.
- In 220 pages, the author covers all the information you need to train your puppy in your best friend.
- The current edition of the book was published in April, 2004.

How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and BeyondKindle
Hardcover
Paperback
Audio CD
- This excellent beginner dog training book is authored by Cesar Millan and Melissa Jo Peltier.
- In 320 pages, the famous TV dog trainer covers a training program for your dog throughout its lifetime.
- The current edition was published in Sept, 2010.


The Other End of the LeashHardcover
Paperback
Audible
Audio CD
- This behavioral masterpiece is authored by Dr. Patricia B. McConnell.
- In 240 odd pages, the book focuses on human‘s behavior around the dog and how to channel it to get best out of your furry companion.
- The current edition was published in April 2003.


Puppy Training for KidsKindle
Paperback
- This hugely popular and widely regarded puppy training is authored by Colleen Pelar.
- In 90 short pages, this book teaches kids how to establish a healthy, safe, and loving relationship with a puppy.
- Written specifically for 8-15 year olds, with some useful sidebar information for parents as well.
- The current edition of the book was published in August, 2012.
Team Dog: How to Train Your Dog--the Navy SEAL WayKindle
Hardcover
Paperback
- Audio CD
- This unique dog training guide is authored by Mike Ritland.
- In 250 pages, the author covers the Navy SEAL guidebook principles to train your dog.
- The current edition was published in Jan, 2016.


The Art of Raising a PuppyKindle
Hardcover
Paperback
Audible
Audio CD
- Textbook Binding
- This traditional masterpiece is abridged by the Monks of New Skete, who have been breeding and training dogs for over 30 years.
- In this 350 page book, the Monks cover the indispensable information and advice that every dog owner needs
- The current edition was published in June 2011.
The Puppy PrimerKindle
Paperback
- This puppy training book is authored by famous behaviorist Dr. Patricia B. McConnell and Brenda Scidmore.
- In short 115 pages, the book is filled with tips and tricks to raise a happy puppy using positive reinforcement training.
- The current edition was published in Feb, 2010.

How to pick the best dog training books?

Picking the best training book for your dog can be a challenging task. After all, there are so many training guides available in the market. Some cover specific aspects of dog training – upbringing, behavior, communication, aggression, even fun games to play with your dogs. Like all other books, the best dog training guide is the one which fulfills most of your requirements, is easy to read and suggests things which are simple to implement. In addition to these basic factors, you can consider the following factors while picking the best dog training guide for your needs.

  • Primary purpose of the book
  • Format of the book
  • Reviews and Ratings of the book
  • Publication year of the book

Primary purpose of the book

There may be quite a few primary purposes for which you might be seeking a training guide. One of the most rudimentary differentiators is whether you are seeking a book specifically for a puppy (dogs with age less than one year) or a grown-up dog. In our list, above, books such as The Art of Raising a Puppy are meant specifically for puppies, while books such as How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond are suitable for dogs of all ages.

Another closely related consideration is whether you want a guide focusing specifically on behavioral aspects of dog training or something that covers a wider set of facets of dog training. Books such as Don’t Shoot the Dog! are geared more towards the behavioral aspects of dog training, while books such as Training the Best Dog Ever are more sort of all-rounders which use the positive reinforcement techniques to develop a training program for your furry friend.

Finally, if you are looking for books specifically focused on “training you for your dog”, then you may find books such as How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend the best choice. On the other hand, if you are just looking for something of a quick-starter book filled with tips, tricks, and practices, then pick up Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution for grown-up dogs or Perfect Puppy in 7 Days for puppies.

Format and level of the book

The level and format of the book are also important factors. Since this article is primarily focused on basic training guides, most of the books here are suitable for beginners, though experienced dog owners would also find them useful.

In addition, some books such as How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond focus on the complete training regimen for the full dog lifetime – right from how to choose a breed to cover topics such as domestic-training, social skills and handling primal aggression, while other books such as Before and After Getting Your Puppy limit their focus to the first year of dog’s life.

If you are looking for something specifically to teach kids and teenagers on how to take care of dogs and puppies, then the Puppy Training for Kids by Colleen Pelar is an excellent option. It is an excellent resource for teaching children the responsibilities and joys of owning a puppy or dog.

Depending on what you are looking for, you can decide to pick the right book or a combination of books for your needs. You can also utilize the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon website to get a preview of the book to see if its writing style would fit you.

Reviews and ratings

The popularity of the author, publisher, and book is often a great indicator of how the book would turn out to be. Most of the books listed above have been written by dog trainers and behaviorists with years of experience in training all types of dogs and edited by publishers with considerable experience in the field.

Still, you can look at the reviews and ratings, especially by other experts and authors in the field. A simple online search can often reveal a lot about the popularity of the book. You can also rely on social forums such as reddit.com or Facebook to get some insights on a particular book.

Publication year of the book

While this should not be a major factor as the basic rules for training your canine companion have not changed over the year, still, some of you may find the publication year of the book as a factor. After all, the social landscape has changed considerably during the past decade and so have human habits and preferences.

Except for the classics such as The Art of Raising a Puppy and The Power of Positive Dog Training, which are virtually timeless masterpieces (even they have gone through revisions), you should check out the publication year of the book to see if the current edition is not too old. Books such as Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution and Team Dog: How to Train Your Dog – the Navy SEAL Way score big in this category as they were published within the last year.

Which are the best dog training books?

Training the Best Dog Everbest dog training book - Training the Best Dog Ever

Buy It on Chewy

You would have to trust that the first family of the US would probably pick the best dog training expert for their dog and Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz, the co-author of this book is just that. She was the trainer of President Obama’s dog Bo and taught each of Senator Ted Kennedy’s dogs. In this book, Dawn and co-author Larry Kay present a 5-week, positive reinforcement based training method that works perfectly for puppies. There are some sections in the book which work well for adult dogs as well. The book is filled with a lot of illustrations (well you can never get enough of them!) and covers all aspects of training your dog to be comfortable in your home and among strangers.

What’s more, the book has a training log for each of the five weeks that you can use to track the progress.
The Training the Best Dog Ever is our pick for the best dog training guide. It is a must buy if you are a beginner looking for information on training your puppy or even your dog. And it is available in Kindle edition too.

Here is what some of the popular reviewers have to say about this book:

  • “If this wonderful book were universally used, every dog would live up to its potential. Love, respect, and rewards work even better with dogs than they do with people….Buy this book. Use it. Be happy.” — Dean Koontz, author of A Big Little Life
  • “Safe and humane… A sturdy foundation for a happy, well-adjusted dog.” — Dr. E. Kathryn Meyer, VMD, Past President, American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior
  • “A comprehensive, easy-to-follow guide to the power of positive reinforcement training.” — Claudia Kawczynska, Editor-in-chief, The Bark

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

The Perfect Puppy in 7 Days: How to Start Your Puppy Off Right is one of the most popular puppy training guide in the market. Authored by world-renowned pet behaviorist and expert, late Dr. Sophia Yin, this book provides a 7-day, easy-to-follow program to train your puppy to be a polite and happy pet companion.

Dr. Yin follows a positive-reinforcement training approach with practical examples based on working with her dad’s puppy. To make learning fun and interesting, the book is filled with over 400 illustrations and photographs. Topics covered in the book include socializing, life-skills, housebreaking and more!

Published in August 2011, the book is available in both Paperback and Kindle editions.

The Perfect Puppy in 7 Days by late Dr. Sophia Yin is our Top Pick#1 for the best puppy training guide. It is a must buy for any pet owner who has a young puppy as pet.

Here is what some experts and pet publications have to say about this book:

  • “This is like no other puppy book you’ve seen before… With Dr. Yin’s approach your puppy will learn more in a week than many dogs learn in a year!” — Dr. Marty Becker, “America’s Veterinarian” and renowned author.
  • “…This book is a must-have for any puppy parent or canine educator.” — Victoria Stilwell, host of Animal Planet’s It’s Me or the Dog.

Zak George’s Dog Training Revolutionbest dog training book - Zak George's Dog Training Revolution

Buy It on Chewy

If you have ever searched for online for dog training videos, you would have most definitely run across the popular YouTube channel “Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution”.

Zak George, along with his co-author, Dina Roth Port has organized all the learnings from his experiences, videos, and shows to come up with a 230-page primer that covers all facets of raising, training and caring for your favorite furry friend. In 9 sections, the book includes details on how to prepare yourself for owning a dog, how to train your dog, managing dog health and is filled with tips and tricks to manage puppy behavior. It even has some great playful tricks and ideas for spending time with your dog. Moreover, the book has references to the best videos from Zak George’s YouTube channel.

We highly recommend, the 2016-published, Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution as a perfect book for the modern-day dog owner. This book is our Top Pick #2 for the best dog training books.

Here is what some of the popular reviewers have to say about this book:

  • “Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution is a must-read for dog lovers everywhere. It has a wealth of practical tips, tricks, and fun games that will enrich the lives of many dogs and their human companions.” — DR. IAN DUNBAR, veterinarian, and founder of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers

The Power of Positive Dog Trainingbest dog training book - The Power of Positive Dog Training

With an experience of over 35-years Pat Miller is a premier dog trainer and authority on positive reinforcement and clicker technology to grow up your dog into an obedient and loving companion. And her book, The Power of Positive Dog Training book reflects all this experience in the field of pet behavior and training.

In more than 250 pages, the book covers a six-week program to train your dog right from the early days and basic obedience to more advanced concepts. The book also has information on how to manage common behavioral problems with dogs. Moreover, the book also covers ways for you to ready your dog’s body language to manage its behavior. The best part is the book is also available in Kindle and MP3 CD format, so you can pick the best format for your needs.

Pat Miller’s The Power of Positive Dog Training is our Top Pick #3 for dog training guides. You will find a reference to this book in many other books you consult and there is a good reason for that. After, all this book was the winner of AABP 2008 Multi-Media Awards for Excellence – Best Dog Behavior Book for Owners.

Before and After Getting Your Puppybest dog training book - Before and After Getting Your Puppy

Dr. Ian Dunbar has been a world-renowned veterinarian, behaviorist and dog trainer with unmatched experience of over forty years. There is probably hardly any dog training challenge that he has not encountered or handled in his long years as the premier authority in the field. This book, Before and After Getting Your Puppy, published first in 2001, is an excellent resource for training a puppy for a lifetime of good behavior. Starting from how to choose the right breed and domestic training to socialization and health-care, the book touches on almost all aspects of dog training in a direct, to-the-point format. At times, you may find the tone a little harsh, something many reviewers have had strong feelings about, but this is because of Dr. Dunbar’s emphasis on the scientific approach to dog training. The book is an excellent supplement to the numerous videos and shows that you can find online.

Dr. Ian Dunbar’s book – Before and After Getting Your Puppy is our Top Pick #4 for dog training guides. This to-the-point guide provides some great information and advice to follow during the first year of your canine companion.

Here is what some of the popular reviewers have to say about this book:

  • “this edition belongs… alongside such classics as Dog Training in 10 Minutes and The Power of Positive Dog Training.” — Library Journal, spring 2004.

How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyondbest dog training book - How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond

Buy It on Chewy

Cesar Millan has made dog training a popular subject, thanks to his National Geographic Channel’s “Dog Whisperer” show. Along with co-author Melissa Jo Peltier, in this all-around book, Cesar covers all the aspects of raising a dog right from the puppy years to adolescence. Not going into excessive details, the book covers the basic guidelines for picking the right breed, managing the puppy’s growth, nutrition, vaccinations, exercising and obedience. The strength of the book lies in covering the behavioral and psychological aspects of training your dogs. A lot of this information is provided in form of bullet points that a beginner dog owner can use to get some quick insights.

If you are an experienced dog owner, you may find the book a little inadequate in some areas, but if you are a beginner, then you would find the information in the book an excellent starting point. This book is our Top Pick #5.

Here is what some of the popular reviewers have to say about this book:

  • “Millan’s wizardlike facility with dogs–the calm he brings to them, the confident way he handles them–is mind-blowing.” — Newsweek
  • “[Millan] arrives amid canine chaos and leaves behind peace.” — Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker

Additional Resources

In addition to the best dog care guides listed above, there are some other excellent online resources that provide the latest information and tips and tricks for training and taking care of these furry pets. Some of our favorites are listed below:

Also, check out the following beginner video on dog training tips to get you started:

Final thoughts on the best dog training books

In this article, we listed out some of the best dog training books authored by some of the most renowned dog trainers and behaviorists in the world. These books provide invaluable information on how to train your dog throughout its lifetime. We also listed out our top five picks, based on the quality of all-round information that these books provide. Moreover, we also covered the factors that you should consider while picking the best dog training book for your needs.

It is worthwhile to mention that no single book is sufficient to cover all aspects of caring for your dog and you may have to consult a couple of resources to determine the best course of action to take in order to train your dog to be your best friend.

We hope that this article would help you in picking the best dog training book (or a combination of books) for your needs. Do let us know how you found this article by providing your feedback in the comment section. Until next time, have a great time with your furry friend!!

Image credits:Amazon.com