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5 Best Dog Training Books For Beginners!

Dog training is a necessary part of any dog (and their owner's) life. The best dog training books help you to plan your doggie training sessions and to raise your pet to be obedient yet happy!

But where to start? With thousands of dog training books out there, it's difficult to separate the excellent from the terrible. Who can offer the best advice? Who really is an expert? Which training method is going to work for my dog and me?

These are all questions you should be asking because it's hard to choose the “best” books for dog training when there's so much out there. To help you out, though, we decided to put together this list of the best dog training books.

Here’s a great selection to get you started!

Are Dog Training Books Helpful? 

There are so many dog training books on the market that it's tricky knowing which are going to be helpful and which are going to be lacking. 

For beginners, the best books are succinct. They aren't packed out manuals that delve deep into dog psychology or behavioral patterns – they are super simple to read, easy to digest, and full of practical information that can be applied at home by a novice dog handler. 

The best books provide examples and practical activities to engage, challenge, and excite you and your dog, making the training process easy. Training books are just the beginning, though. As well as training books, you'll also need to consider a range of training tools, such as a bed ramp for dogs or puppy training classes!

Let's explore the best dog obedience training books for general use; then we'll detail the best books for training puppies.

Best Dog Training Books

Here are the 5 best dog training books for general use that we'll be reviewing:

  • Zak George's Dog Training Revolution
  • How to Housebreak Your Dog in 7 Days
  • Don't Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor
  • The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson
  • The Other End of the Leash by Dr. Patricia McConnell

1) Zak George's Dog Training Revolution 

Zak George is a celebrity when it comes to the world of dog training (and a minor celebrity outside of the dog training world). If you're looking for an easily accessible training book that's full of easy to implement advice, then Zak George's Dog Training Revolution is for you. 

The book is perfect for beginners, as it takes you through every stage of training, starting with toilet training and right through to forming long-term bonds with your pet. The advice is expert but tinged with Zak George's wonderful personality!

2) How to Housebreak Your Dog in 7 Days 

One of the biggest problems for new owners is learning how to potty train your pet. This is a problem when raising puppies (who need to be potty trained from scratch) and for rescue dogs (who often need to be housetrained again). 

This 7-day training schedule is the best book we've read when it comes to toilet training, offering excellent advice that even experienced owners stand to benefit greatly from. The book sets down a great training schedule that's easy to follow and easy to put into practice at home. 

3) Don't Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor

Karen Pryor's “Don't Shoot the Dog” has been in print for decades, and there's good reason for that. This is one of the undisputed champion reads when it comes to training dogs through positive reinforcement. 

Karen Pryor is a highly regarded behavioral scientist, and her book focuses on the positive ways to induce the behavior you want to see in your dog. Rather than scolding or telling off, this book is all about using treats and praise to train dogs through positive reinforcement! 

4) The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson

Jean Donaldson is a seasoned dog trainer with decades of experience in the field. In The Culture Clash, she puts her expertise to paper as she delves into the world of positive reinforcement and behavioral science. The book is easy to follow, but at the same time, offers depth beyond the basics of training.

The Culture Clash focuses on how different humans dogs are, but how positive reinforcement and a better understanding of those differences can bring humans and dogs together. This is imperative reading for anyone looking for an insight into dog psychology and the way dogs think (or the way we think they think!). 

5) The Other End of the Leash by Dr. Patricia McConnell

This is an excellent alternative training book that focuses not on the dog but on the owner. Written by behavioral scientist and dog expert Dr. Patricia McConnel, The Other Hand of the Leash is a fascinating reversal of the traditional dog training manual.

The book offers insight into how humans communicate with their dogs, providing guidance on how to be better owners and placing emphasis on changing our behavior rather than changing our pet's behavior. 

4 Best Dog Training Books for Puppies

Here are the 4 best dog training books for puppies we'll be reviewing:

  • The Art of Raising a Puppy 
  • The Puppy Primer by Patricia B. McConnell and Brenda Scidmore
  • Before You Get Your Puppy and After You Get Your Puppy by Ian Dunbar
  • Perfect Puppy in 7 Days: How to Start Your Puppy Off Right by Dr. Sophia Yin

1) The Art of Raising a Puppy 

If you're new to puppy training, then it's great to start with the basics, and there's no book better at this than The Art of Raising a Puppy. This wonderfully philosophical book is easy to read and full of sage advice collected by the unique Monks of Skete. 

The Monks of Skete are a community of puppy-loving Christian monks who are obsessed with the health and well-being of our four-legged friends. Their exceptional puppy training book is less a manual and more a way of life. It's photo-heavy, and it's simple to start incorporating their philosophy on puppy training into everyday life with your new pup. 

2) The Puppy Primer by Patricia B. McConnell and Brenda Scidmore

Another excellent puppy training book is The Puppy Primer, a comprehensive yet easy-to-read guide to raising a puppy to adulthood. Written and produced by expert behavioral scientists, The Puppy Primer starts with the basics and takes you through to the final stages of essential puppy training. 

Learn how to potty train your puppy, how to take them for their first walk, and importantly, how to bond. The book focuses extensively on positive reinforcement from a young age, ensuring that the tips and tricks are easy to put into practice at home. 

3) Before You Get Your Puppy and After You Get Your Puppy by Ian Dunbar

Ian Dunbar's excellent “'Before You Get Your Puppy and After You Get Your Puppy” is a classic training book that offers expert advice to new owners. 

This book breaks puppy training into distinct stages of development (including the all-important pre-puppy preparation stage). It's concise and easy to put the individual stages into practice, helping you to see progress in the training schedule as you successfully move from one stage to the next. 

4) Perfect Puppy in 7 Days: How to Start Your Puppy Off Right by Dr. Sophia Yin

For novice puppy owners, Dr. Sophia Yin's fantastic Perfect Puppy in 7 Days book is the perfect way to start raising your pup!

This is an easy-to-follow book that's focused on a photograph-heavy formula of explanation. Look at the pictures, take in the brief, and then put the exercises into practice right away. 

If you want to get off to a great start in life with your puppy (and quickly), then this is the training guide for you. 

The Best Dog Training Books: Final Word

With the help of a professional dog training book that's packed full of dog training tips, you can really start to understand the best way to approach training and the best methods to try with your pets. 

Every book is different, however, so it's important to find advice that suits your style of ownership and your lifestyle too. You may find you have to read several and take the best advice from each of them to formulate your own personalized plan for your dog!


If you're raising a puppy, then why not bookmark our guide to dog books?

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