Best Dog Training Books: Reviewed for 2021

Published: October 29, 2021


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Dog training is essential, and the right book makes this task easier. These books can help introduce you to new positive training methods, help you learn more advanced techniques from one handy manual, and help you learn how to cope with aggression issues.

Finding the right books, even for basic obedience training, can be just a little tricky sometimes. There are a lot of trainers with books in print, and the overall quality of their techniques may vary. However, many options can help with everything from training puppies to potty training and even opportunities for kids.

We’ve compiled the best options that include dog tricks, agility training, and training for service dogs in addition to the basics. We hope to help you find the best dog training option for your needs. We’ve also addressed some common issues that include the need for positive techniques, essential considerations for more advanced training needs, and when you may require help from an expert.

Verified Review: Our Hands-On Experience

We enjoyed seeing how many of these books were available in Kindle format, as well as paperback and hardcover. For training to be as positive an experience as possible, the manual that you use needs to be accessible. Multiple formats help make that accessibility possible.

Many of these books had lessons timed for certain intervals, and we liked the overwhelming use of positive techniques. However, we did note that some methods that promise training within a certain number of days or weeks may not take special breed circumstances into mind.

The Top Picks for Books for Dog Training: Ranked

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Zak George's Dog Training Revolution: The Complete Guide to Raising the Perfect Pet with Love
  • Ten Speed Pr
  • George, Zak (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages - 06/07/2016 (Publication Date) - Clarkson Potter/Ten Speed (Publisher)

Dog Training Revolution: The Complete Guide to Raising the Perfect Pet with Love by Zak George offers a versatile range of formats from hardcover and paperback to Kindle, audiobook, and spiral-bound editions. One of the things we liked best about this book is how it helps you select the right dog for your family and get the dog used to live in your house, in addition to basic potty training for puppies.

There are YouTube videos referenced in the book that help provide important visuals. We found that the commands were taught in straightforward ways that made the process easier overall. If you require basic obedience training for your pup, this book is a good way to go.

When reviewing this manual, we found that it does not address more advanced subjects, such as strong aggression issues or training for service dogs. However, if you have more modest needs for training your dog, this title is a solid choice.

Click here to check out Dog Training Revolution: The Complete Guide to Raising the Perfect Pet with Love on amazon.com.

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Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week Program Using the Power of Positive Reinforcement
  • Workman Publishing
  • Kay, Larry (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages - 09/25/2012 (Publication Date) - Workman Publishing Company (Publisher)

Training the Best Dog Ever Larry Kay and Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz uses positive reinforcement methods, which are commonly considered among the most humane and effective. The author is an experienced trainer who has trained former President Barack Obama and the late Senator Ted Kennedy’s dogs, which we feel provides an air of authority.

We liked the idea of training being broken up into sessions spaced out over multiple weeks so that the dogs or owners don’t get overwhelmed. When tested on dogs that included destructive puppies, we found this program very effective.

One complaint that we had was treating teaching your dog “no’ as a separate lesson when destructive chewers need to learn this command quickly. Some of our reviewers disliked a somewhat negative tone when addressing some other trainers’ techniques.

Click here to check out Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week Program Using the Power of Positive Reinforcement on amazon.com.

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How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond
  • Three Rivers Press CA
  • Millan, Cesar (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages - 11/18/2021 (Publication Date) - Three Rivers Press (Publisher)

How to Raise the Perfect Dog by Cesar Millan and Melissa Jo Peltier is available in Kindle, audiobook, hardcover, and paperback versions. Your dog can learn obedience training using methods promoted by one of the most popular trainers.

We found that this resource helped dogs live a more peaceful life at home that reduces common problems like aggression. Many of our reviewers enjoyed how much Milan relies on firsthand experience observing pack behavior in dogs growing up.

However, some reviewers were disappointed, expecting step-by-step instructions as opposed to detailed sets of instructions. Another complaint was that Milan’s methods might be somewhat limited in effectiveness in households without other dogs and an inexperienced owner.

Click here to check out How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond on amazon.com.

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The Big Book of Tricks for the Best Dog Ever: A Step-by-Step Guide to 118 Amazing Tricks and Stunts
  • Book: the big book of tricks for the best dog ever: a step-by-step guide to 118 amazing tricks and stunts
  • Language: english
  • Binding: paperback
  • Kay, Larry (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

The Big Book of Tricks for the Best Dog Ever by Larry Kay and Chris Perondi has a primary focus on dog tricks. With the focus on tricks, dogs can get prepared for agility training and similar exciting activities.

Our reviewers looking for something that would teach potty training felt that this title should not be marketed as being for training. However, reviewers found the work well-suited to teaching dog tricks, especially for kids.

Click here to check out The Big Book of Tricks for the Best Dog Ever: A Step-by-Step Guide to 118 Amazing Tricks and Stunts on amazon.com.

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Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days
  • McMillan, Brandon (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 10/02/2018 (Publication Date) - HarperOne (Publisher)

Lucky Dog Lessons by Brandon McMillan features insights from the start of the famed CBS series. Much of McMillan’s experience comes from working with shelter dogs previously considered unmanageable.

Most of our reviewers felt that these techniques would be effective even for tough cases with a lot of behavioral issues. The insights into different dogs’ behaviors were helpful for us as well.

One problem that some of our reviewers found was that some of the commands require extra training equipment that owners may not be as willing to purchase. Anyone not wanting to purchase these products would need to know what to use as substitutes.

Click here to check out Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days on amazon.com.

The Need for Positive Techniques

Positive, as opposed to punitive, training, makes a difference for these Mastiff crosses. These dogs have minds of their own and need to learn to accept your leadership. However, you need to avoid harsh punishments, which can confuse your dog and contribute to aggression.

Essential Considerations for More Advanced Training Needs

Agility training and training for service dogs share one important thing: your dog needs solid foundations in obedience training first. Once your dog knows the basics, it will master more advanced commands relatively easily. Patience is key with all breeds.

When You May Require Help from an Expert

There are some situations that may require expert help. A circumstance that may require help from a professional is when your dog is aggressive. In these types of situations, an expert may help ensure that everything goes smoothly with your dog’s training.

Dog Training Books: Pros and Cons

Pros!Cons!
The easy format that makes training your dog easier, even for new owners and for kids
Trainers have differing views on some issues that are sometimes incompatible with each other
Most recommend additional resources like videos
Often available in Kindle and audiobook format

Last update on 2021-11-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Dog Training Books: Reviewed for 2021 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What are the 7 basic dog commands?

The seven basic dog commands are as follows: sit, stay, come, no, down, off, and heel.

What is the best dog training method?

The best type of training method is positive reinforcement, which focuses on rewarding good behavior over punishing bad behavior.

What is the easiest trick to teach a dog?

“Shaking hands” is one of the easiest tricks because it draws on some dogs’ natural inclinations to offer a paw when looking for treats.

What is the best age to train a dog?

Dogs train most easily when training starts as early as eight weeks, but dogs of any age can be trained.

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