The Top 20 Dog Training Books for Every Dog Owner in 2023

Jul 11, 2023

Discover the Best Dog Training Books of 2023

Whether you're a first-time dog owner or a seasoned pet parent, training your beloved canine can be a challenging task. It requires patience, consistency, and most importantly, the right guidance. Fortunately, there are countless resources available to help you navigate this journey. Here, we've compiled a list of the top 20 dog training books for every dog owner in 2023. These books offer a wealth of knowledge from renowned dog trainers and animal behaviorists, providing you with the tools you need to cultivate a strong, positive relationship with your furry friend.

  1. "The Culture Clash" by Jean Donaldson - This book provides a comprehensive introduction to positive reinforcement training. It offers valuable insights into canine thought processes and effective communication strategies. Donaldson explains how dogs perceive their environment and how they respond to various stimuli. The book includes practical exercises for teaching basic cues like "sit," "stay," and "come," and it also delves into more complex behaviors. It's a must-read for anyone interested in understanding the world from a dog's perspective. 

  2. "Don’t Shoot the Dog" by Karen Pryor - Pryor's book is a guide to positive reinforcement training, a method that uses rewards to encourage good behavior. The book is entertaining and easy to read, filled with real-life examples that illustrate how shaping a dog’s behavior can work for any animal, not just dogs. Pryor, a pioneer in the field of animal training, also introduces the concept of clicker training, a technique that uses a sound to mark the behavior you want to encourage.

  3. "The Other End of the Leash" by Patricia McConnell - McConnell's book is a fascinating exploration of the relationship between dogs and humans. It's filled with anecdotes and personal stories that help decipher why we act the way we do around dogs, and how changing our behavior can impact theirs. McConnell, an animal behaviorist, offers insights into canine behavior and provides practical advice on how to build a strong, healthy relationship with your dog.

  4. "The Power of Positive Dog Training" by Pat Miller -Miller's book offers a six-week program designed to build impulse control and help your dog make positive choices. The book takes the guesswork out of dog training, providing step-by-step instructions and practical tips. Miller emphasizes the importance of understanding your dog's needs and using positive reinforcement techniques to train your dog effectively.

  5. "How to Behave so Your Dog Behaves" by Dr. Sophia Yin - This book walks readers through the science on dog learning and behavior. Dr. Yin, a renowned veterinary behaviorist, explains key theoretical concepts in easy-to-understand language and shows you how to apply them to training a beautifully behaved pup. The book covers a range of topics, from basic obedience training to more complex behavior issues.

  6. "It’s Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet" by Victoria Stilwell - A comprehensive guide to raising a healthy, happy, and well-trained dog. Stilwell, a renowned dog trainer and TV personality, walks you through the best approaches to nutrition, exercise, communication, and play. The book also covers common behavior problems and provides practical solutions, making it a valuable resource for any dog owner.

  7. "Dog Language" by Roger Abrantes - This encyclopedia-style book translates dog body language and facial expressions to help you better understand and communicate with your pup. Abrantes, a renowned ethologist, explains the meaning behind various dog behaviors and provides practical tips on how to respond. The book is a valuable resource for anyone interested in understanding the subtle cues and signals that dogs use to communicate.

  8. "101 Dog Tricks" by Kyra Sundance and Chalcy - A simple guide to building essential cues and entertaining tricks. The book provides step-by-step instructions for each trick, along with photos and troubleshooting tips. Whether you want to teach your dog to fetch your slippers or perform a complicated dance routine, this book has you covered. It's a fun and engaging way to bond with your dog and keep them mentally stimulated.

  9. "Excel-erated Learning" by Pamela Reid - An advanced guide for understanding the science of dog learning and behavior acquisition. Reid, a certified applied animal behaviorist, breaks down complex scientific concepts into easy-to-understand terms. The book covers a range of topics, from basic learning principles to more advanced training techniques. It's a valuable resource for anyone looking to take their dog’s abilities to the next level.

  10. "Perfect Puppy in 7 Days" by Dr. Sophia Yin - A must-have guide for all new puppy parents. Dr. Yin uses pictures and “how-to” exercises to help you get your pup started out on the right foot. The book covers everything from socialization and house training to basic obedience training. It also provides practical tips on how to deal with common puppy problems, such as biting and chewing.

  11. "Before You Get Your Puppy and After You Get Your Puppy" by Ian Dunbar - Dunbar's two-part book provides a structured but humorous look at how to shape a happy, healthy, and well-behaved dog. The first part helps prospective dog owners prepare for their new pet, while the second part offers practical advice on everything from house training to socialization. Dunbar's approach is based on positive reinforcement and prevention, making it a valuable resource for first-time dog owners.

  12. "The Puppy Primer" by Patricia B. McConnell and Brenda Scidmore - This comprehensive book is full of fun, easy-to-follow exercises, helpful hints, and troubleshooting tips for raising a puppy using science-based positive-reinforcement methods. McConnell and Scidmore cover everything from socialization and crate training to dealing with puppy biting and fear periods. The book also includes a recommended reading list and a guide to what to expect at each developmental stage.

  13. "Help For Your Fearful Dog" by Nicole Wilde - An easy-to-follow guide for anyone whose dog is experiencing fear or anxiety. Wilde, a certified professional dog trainer, offers step-by-step guides to desensitizing and counter-conditioning, helping your dog to gain confidence. The book covers a range of fears and phobias, from fear of strangers and other dogs to fear of thunderstorms and fireworks. It also provides practical tips on how to deal with panic attacks and separation anxiety.

  14. "The Cautious Canine" by Patricia B. McConnell - McConnell demystifies the concepts of desensitization and counter-conditioning that can help a fearful dog to overcome their anxiety. The book provides a step-by-step plan to change your dog's emotional response to troubling stimuli, helping them to live a happier, less fearful life. McConnell's approach is based on the latest scientific research on animal behavior, making it a valuable resource for anyone dealing with a fearful dog.

  15. "Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out" by Laura VanArendonk Baugh - This book provides detailed advice for bringing calm to the families of over-aroused dogs. Baugh, a certified professional dog trainer, tackles in-home issues such as greeting guests with mat work and clicker training. The book provides practical exercises and easy-to-follow plans to help your dog learn to relax, focus, and work off-leash reliably in either stimulating or calm situations.

  16. "The Midnight Dog Walkers" by Annie Phenix - This book is packed with practical examples, anecdotes, and tips on how to rehabilitate a reactive or leash aggressive dog using force-free, positive methods. Phenix, a professional dog trainer, shares her personal experiences and provides a step-by-step plan to help your dog become a well-behaved member of the family. The book also includes a comprehensive overview of the latest scientific research on dog behavior.

  17. "Mine! A Practical Guide to Resource Guarding in Dogs" by Jean Donaldson - A practical guide to tackling the innate behavior of guarding desirable resources like food, toys, favorite places, and people. Donaldson, a renowned dog trainer, provides a step-by-step plan to help you manage and modify your dog's resource guarding behavior. The book is based on the latest scientific research and uses positive reinforcement techniques, making it a valuable resource for anyone dealing with this common issue.

  18. "Treating Separation Anxiety in Dogs" by Malena DeMartini-Price- This book tackles one of the stickiest behavior challenges, providing a methodology to help dogs overcome the panic they feel when left alone. DeMartini-Price, a certified separation anxiety trainer, offers a step-by-step plan that includes detailed case studies and practical exercises. The book also provides tips on how to prevent separation anxiety and how to work with a professional trainer if needed.

  19. "Fight! A Practical Guide to the Treatment of Dog-Dog Aggression" by Jean Donaldson - This book offers practical advice for dogs that don’t play well with others, providing a good starting point for understanding why your dog is aggressive and how to improve their relationships with their own kind. Donaldson, a renowned dog trainer, provides a step-by-step plan to manage and modify your dog's aggressive behavior. The book is based on the latest scientific research and uses positive reinforcement techniques.

  20. "Training the Best Dog Ever" by Larry Kay and Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz - This book uses a program of positive reinforcement and no-fail techniques that takes just 10 to 20 minutes a day for five weeks to train a dog. Sylvia-Stasiewicz, a professional dog trainer, provides a step-by-step plan that covers everything from basic obedience to more complex behaviors. The book also includes practical tips on how to deal with common behavior problems, making it a valuable resource for any dog owner.


Q: Can you effectively learn to train a dog from books? A: Yes, a good book can provide a wealth of knowledge and techniques for training your dog. However, it's important to remember that consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are key to successful training.

Q: If books don't help me train my dog, do I need classes? A: Dog training classes can be beneficial, especially for socializing your dog with others. A professional trainer can also provide personalized advice and techniques based on your dog's specific needs and behaviors.

Q: How do I choose the right dog training book? A: Consider the author's credentials, the specific training goals you have for your dog, and the length and style of the book. It's also helpful to read reviews and recommendations from other dog owners.


Whether you're a first-time dog owner or an experienced handler, these books offer a wealth of knowledge to help you train your dog effectively. Remember, every dog is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. It's important to be patient, consistent, and positive in your training efforts. Happy training!

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