10 Best Dog Training Books of 2020 (Review) | Herepup
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10 Best Dog Training Books in 2020

photography of man training a rottweiler

Owning a dog is a marvelous thing, but what’s even better is having an obedient dog that you can play with and engage in other family activities like hiking. But this is not possible for all pet owners. This is because some dogs are not obedient, others have separation anxiety while others can’t follow simple commands.

Good thing you can always do something about your pup’s bad behavior. The solution is in finding the best dog training books and spare some time to train your dog. With the right dog training book and a little hard work, you can teach your dog to behave in a certain way and become a responsible member of your family.

To assist you in choosing a good book for training your dog well, I’ve reviewed some of the best dog training books 2020. The list should help you chose at least one book that will do the job. So read on for the best dog training books reviews.

101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities 

Most dog owners do the wrong things because they fail to understand the psychology of dogs. This is among the dog training books best for understanding dog psychology and it will teach you everything from how your pet’s brain works to how you can respond to different situations so as to build a bond with your pup.

101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities
101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities
  • Tricks have difficulty ratings
  • Color photos of every step
  • Authored by renowned dog trainer
  • A primer on dog’s psychology
  • Troubleshooting section
Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week Program
Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week Program
  • Uses positive reinforcements
  • Trains all dogs out of bad behavior
  • Training takes some few minutes per session
How to Housebreak Your Dog in 7 Days (Revised)
How to Housebreak Your Dog in 7 Days (Revised)
  • Foolproof method
  • Ideal for both first time training and retraining
  • Step-by-step programs
How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond
How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond
  • Comprehensive
  • Written by an expert
  • Based on different dog breeds
How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend: The Classic Training Manual
How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend: The Classic Training Manual
  • Updated over time to meet modern standards
  • Encompasses all aspects of proper dog training
  • Helps balance training
Dog Training For Dummies
Dog Training For Dummies
  • Rely mostly on positive reinforcement
  • Detailed
  • Effective and fun
K9 Personal Protection: A Manual for Training Reliable Protection Dogs
K9 Personal Protection: A Manual for Training Reliable Protection Dogs
  • State-of-the-art techniques
  • Trains dogs for personal protections
  • Ideal for other dog users
Dog Training: The Smart Way: The #1 Complete Guide
Dog Training: The Smart Way: The #1 Complete Guide
  • All inclusive training program
  • Well explained drills
  • Effective
Puppy Training in 7 Easy Steps
Puppy Training in 7 Easy Steps
  • 7 Easy to follow steps
  • Includes troubleshooting tips
  • Promotes safety
The Puppy Training Handbook: How To Raise The Dog
The Puppy Training Handbook: How To Raise The Dog
  • Individualized approach
  • Easy to read
  • Detailed

General Dog Training Books

You want your dog to be well-behaved and follow your commands? Or you would love to comfortable go for a trip with your dog without putting her on a leash? Well, training your dog is the way to go.

There are many books that can help you to effectively train your dog. Depending on what you want to teach your dog, you can find a book with the right training. Below are the best dog training books reviews to help you select a book that will fit your needs.

Our Top Pick: 101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities

101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog

The best dog training books should always start with simple easy to understand tricks. This book provides difficult ratings for each trick to enable you start with essential tricks and build on them as you move to the developed tricks.

The book is easy to follow as it is split into different sections based on themes. Every trick comes with a set of simple step-by-step instructions. Besides, it there are color photos that not only makes the trick easy to perform but they also make the book captivating for users.

This dog training book has been written by Kyra Sundance who is a renowned dog trainer. Kyra has been a trainer for a long time and offers her expertise through this well written dog training guide. In this book she offers insight into you can enforce positive reinforce and its benefits.

Not every training method will work on your dog. And you don’t have to waste your time on a plan that won’t work.  So this book provides troubleshooting to gauge whether your training is going to plan to enable settle for a better working training plan.

  • Tricks are split based on themes
  • Easy troubleshooting to in case a plan isn’t working
    It’s an international bestseller
  • Simple and easy to follow guide
  • Helps you understand your dog’s psychology
  • Majority of the tricks are only meant for big dogs
Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week Program Using the Power of Positive Reinforcement

This is one of the best positive dog training books available. It relies heavily on a program of positive reinforcements and no-fail techniques. The author uses treats to reward the dog for the desired actions. There is no use of choke collars or reprimanding which most dog users find to be a cruel way of training your dog.

Best for both puppies and adult dogs, this book can help you train all dogs out of their bad behaviors. It has detailed steps covering simple training including basic cues, crate and potty training as well as complex training methods like bite inhibition and correcting typical behavior problems.

This training program is designed for people with different schedules including those who are extremely busy. The program lasts for weeks and requires you to spare only 10 to 20 minutes of your time daily to train your dog. While it seems a small time, it’s enough to create a bond with your pup and teach them many commands and good behavior.

  • Uses no-fail techniques
  • Can train puppies and adult dogs
  • Ideal even for people with a busy schedule 
  • Could be better organized
How to Housebreak Your Dog in 7 Days (Revised)

If you’re looking for the best dog training books for housebreaking then this can be an ideal choice. It features foolproof housebreaking methods by Shirlee Kalstone who is a pet expert. The book has been revised and updated severally to ensure you get up-to-date information for better results.

Easy to follow schedules with pointers that are very helpful for first time puppies. The pointers should help your dog the basics of housebreak. There are also schedules can be used to retrain the older dogs and to reduce accidents.

The book features step-by-step instructions for different programs including housebreak, and litter train. These programs are meant for both puppies and mature dogs and are meant to help transform your dog’s behavior to become a valuable member of your family.

  • Offers foolproof methods
  • Up-to-date information
  • Offers easy to follow and detailed programs
  • Can be used for training and retraining
  • Too much confinement in the suggested regimen
How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond

From this book, you will learn in depth the different training methods for different stages of your pup’s growth. Some of the things covered include; housebreaking, why you should vaccinate your dog, mistakes to avoid when training your canine friend, correcting small problems before they escalate, nutrition for your dog among others.

Almost all the best dog training books are written by expert trainers. This book is written by Cesar Millan who is a well-known and respected dog trainer. Cesar, #1 New York Times bestselling author, uses his training foundation to help you raise the perfect dog

Cesar writes the book based on experiences of raising puppies of popular breeds. So whatever your dog breed is, you are sure to get expert help and coaching to raise her well.

  • Covers almost all aspects of raising your dog in-depth
  • Provides expertly advice from an expert trainer
  • You can use it on all dogs regardless of age and breed
  • Difficult to replicate for different circumstances
How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond

This book has been around since 1978. Over time, it has been revised and updated to meet latest standards of dog training. If you’re looking for the best books for dog training that have stood the test of time and they’re being used as reference for other books then this might be your best bet.

With this book you’ll get everything you need for training your dog. The book is divided into two sections. One half is the training guide for teaching your dog commands, and provides ideas on proper feeding, and grooming. The other half is a reflection of benefits of owning a dog.

There are days you may not feel like training your dog. This book will give you the right mindset to assist you balance your dog training. It also makes you feel the training is worth your time so you get motivated to train your dog everyday.

  • Over 30 experience
  • Ideal for training the German Shepherds
  • Covers a range of topics
  • Contains some outdated plans
Dog Training For Dummies Paperback

One thing this book emphasizes is the use of positive reinforcement to reward dogs for good behavior. In addition to that, the author recognizes that there are other ways to reward your dog depending on the given situation.

Unlike other training books that only mention plans without explaining further, this book goes into details about different situations. It goes further to discuss dogs personalities in detail and how to use them to your advantage to ensure quick learning. The authors understand there are several methods of training dogs and that one method may not be applicable to all dogs.

Dog training doesn’t have to be the normal boring routine. This books gives unique and fun training plans and exercises that both the dog and dog owner will enjoy. You will be involved in competitions and dog activities where you’ll showcase exciting tricks such as figure 8s.

  • Helps address aggression
  • Effective with practical advice
  • Detailed
  • Ideal for both newbies and professionals
  • May be complex and confusing to follow for some users
K9 Personal Protection: A Manual for Training Reliable Protection Dogs (K9 Professional Training Series)

The authors Dr. Resi Gerritsen and Ruud Haak are top dog trainers who use their proven techniques to help you train your dog. The two’s work with renowned organizations like the United Nations and International Red Cross has made some of the most reliable and demanded dog trainers. They also use the widely used Dutch Police Dog (KNPV) program which has been used to train some of the finest police dogs the world over.

If you are looking for the best dog obedience training books to train your canine friend for protection work, then this can be a great starting point. This book is an update of K9 Personal Protection. It discusses how you can choose the right dog for personal protection, how to raise her and the fundamentals of obedience training for such dogs.

Dog owners who are not looking to train their dogs for self-protection may also find this book useful for obedience. The book has a well detailed obedience section that all pet owners can take advantage of and train their dogs.

  • Trains dogs for self-protection
  • Uses proven techniques
  • Can be used to train other dogs on obedience
  • Some instructions can be a bit hard to understand
Dog Training: The Smart Way: The #1 Complete Guide for Any Age or Breed

Whether you have a puppy or an old dog that you want to teach new tricks or you want get them to break bad habits. Regardless of the breed, gender or dog’s character, this book provides fun program to train your dog to be a great member of your family.

Do you want the best books on dog training that are practical and detailed? Well this guide might fit the bill. The book takes you through every exercise with simple steps that any dog owner can easily follow. The exercises are well explained and feature expert advice that you should find valuable.

Training techniques in this book uses positive reinforcements to reward the right actions and behavior of dogs. This improves dog’s behavior and they understand commands faster because they enjoy the training.

  • Training programs for all dogs
  • Easy to follow program
  • Gives rapid results
  • Too plain for seasoned dog owners

Puppy Training Books

Majority of the behavior dogs manifest when old is learned from an early age. It is, therefore, advisable to start training your puppy from the age of 10 weeks. At this age, dogs are smart and can easily learn basic cues, potty training and basic obedience. Below is the best dog training books reviews to help you choose the right book for your puppy.

Puppy Training in 7 Easy Steps

Puppy Training in 7 Easy Steps: Everything You Need to Know to Raise the Perfect Dog

Dog owners are provided with 7 easy to follow steps for training puppies. These steps should help your puppy learn basic commands, socializing, leash waling, potty and crate training, among other things.

To tell whether your dog training is going according to plan, you must troubleshoot. This puppy training book provides you with troubleshooting tips to ensure your dog sticks to the plan regardless of the temptations to take away her attention.

Puppies love to play and this can get them into so much trouble when in the house. This book can help you to train your puppy to stay away from trouble. You also get to learn how to puppy proof your home to keep your furry children safe.

  • Step-by-step easy to follow guide
  • Essential for keeping your pup safe
  • Gives pet owner a reference point
  • May be basic to some experienced pet owners
The Puppy Training Handbook: How To Raise The Dog Of Your Dreams

If you want the best puppy dog training books that offer expert advice then this handbook has plenty of expert advice. The book is written by Kaelin Munkelwitz, a renowned dog trainer who knows dogs well. Kaelin provides her individual approach of raising a dog that you can tailor to your pup’s character to ensure you raise a well-behaved dog.

An easy to read guide with very little fluff. Everything is well put together and the author does a good job of breaking down the most complex topics in a simple way that first time dog owners can easily understand.

This guide is tailored for all pet owners whether you are a first time dog owner or professional. To make the book valuable to first time owners, the guide discusses the ins and outs of owning a dog. It further goes into details of raising a puppy until it becomes a mature dog. Experienced pet owners, on the other hand, can find the writers advice to be helpful.

  • Written by a trusted dog trainer
  • An easy read
  • Detailed
  • Editing and styling is a concern for some users

Why Learn And Train Your Dogs From Books

To Save a Dog’s Life

Animal trainer giving snack reward to dog after training. Woman and Australian shepherd

Understanding commands can save your dog’s life during dangerous situation. If your dog can come to you when called, then that can be lifesaving when evacuating your home during a disaster.

Also a well-trained dog is less likely to bolt when they are not put on a leash. This can help prevent your dog from running into an approaching car.

Overcome Common Problems

Small problems in dogs such as separation anxiety can always escalate in future and lead to serious problems that cannot be managed such as aggression. Training dogs at an early age can help overcome these problems.

A Well Behaved Dog is a Joy

Proper dog training can help instill basic good behaviors in dogs. Imagine your dog politely greeting guests or obeying your commands when you are out on a walk. Isn’t it fulfilling when your friends commend you because of your well behaved dog?

Include Your Dog in More Family Activities

It’s every pet owners dream to involve their dog in family activities such as hiking. You can live this dream by training your dog to be a joy and add more fun to your activities whenever you go out with your family. This is even possible with the dogs that seem to be a nightmare.

Take Your Dog on Trips

Imagine going to a road trip with a naughty dog? Where you’ll have to shout at your dog or keep her on leash throughout the entire trip. That’s quite boring, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  You can train your to have good behavior and follow your commands. It may be hard to train an older dog new behavior but if you put in some work, it will be a matter of time before you can start going for enjoyable trips with your dog.

Be Prepared for Emergencies

Emergencies happen in different forms, it could be fires, floods or other disasters. Does your dog know what to do in such disasters? Can your dog get into the carrier? Does it come when called? These disasters can led serious injuries or even death. But if your dog is well prepared for such emergencies it can prevent dangerous issue. So train your dog before an emergency happens.

To Keep Your Kids Safe

One of the common reasons pet owners surrender their dog is that they exhibit unwanted behaviors like knocking down kids and being aggressive. This phenomena is due to lack of training from a younger age and it can be blamed 100% to the pet owner. The problem can be fixed by committing to a training regimen.

Build Your Bond

When you bring a new dog home, it’s always hard to gain their trust. Even if they are obedient, they won’t feel part of your family on the first day. You will need to train the dog and spend time with them exercising in order to build a strong bond and make them feel part of your family.

Raise a Great Member of Doggie Society

Pets are always members of our families. One of the ways to make them fit in is by training them to be sociable and well-mannered. This way they add more joy to the family and live a more quality life.

To Show Off With Fun Tricks

There’s a myth that says you can’t teach an old new tricks. But that’s not true. With the right trick training book, you can teach your dog some new tricks and in few weeks you’ll be posting those incredible moves on YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions

Dog training seems cruel. Is it?

Dog training doesn’t have to be cruel. There are many positive reinforcement methods you can use for training to make the exercise humane and interesting for your dog. Some training methods and training aids can be stressful and cruel to dogs. It’s your responsibility as a dog handler to decide what is cruel and keep it from your training. Always use methods that your dog will enjoy as this will also improve the chances of grasping whatever you teach your dog.

My dog is too old to learn new tricks. Isn’t he?

No, he is not. As mentioned earlier, every dog can learn a new trick or command regardless of their age. Teaching tricks at an older age, however, may require you to put more effort than training a puppy. You may also have to use different training methods, but if you are patient enough, your dog will learn new tricks and commands in no time.

I’ve tried training my dog already, but it doesn’t work. What should I do?

Sometimes your effort may not get result as soon as you expect. You’ll have to be patient with your dog while you try out different training methods. This is because some methods may not work with certain dogs. So try different methods until you find one that can click with your dog.

Why can’t I just send him to a dog trainer?

Sending your canine friend to a trainer is an option you can explore. However, you must understand that training provides an opportunity for the dog to build a bond with the handler. So you’ll miss creating a bond with your dog if you let someone else to train her.

Isn’t my puppy too young to start training?

Puppies can start training from as early as 7 to 8 weeks of age. During this time, the puppies have a short attention span so be sure to only teach them potty training. Several weeks later you may start introducing obedience commands.

I don’t want to give my dog treats, so I can’t train him. Right?

You don’t have to use treats to train your dog. Stay away from treats since some of them can cause weight gain or other medical conditions especially to dogs that are obese. To be safe, only use treats in moderation at the start of training.

My dog doesn’t like treats or toys, so training doesn’t work. What can I do?

Training your dog with treats and toy is an effective but not the only way to train your dog. You can always check what your dog loves and use that as a reward. This could be patting your dog or letting him out to play.

I don’t have time to train my dog. What should I do?

While you might be busy, dog training does not take lots of your time. You need to spare a total of an hour per week for about three weeks to effectively train your dog. This time should be divided into 15 minutes daily training intervals.

My dog is great the way he is. Does he need training?

It’s a good thing when your dog is obedient and follows commands. But training is not all about having an obedient dog. It is also an opportunity for your dog to exercise, have fun, learn tricks and be mentally stimulated.

I’m not interested in training. What can I do?

As a parent, you are responsible for raising your kids well. The same applies to your dog as a pet owner. Raising a well behaved dog will require training. There are many entertaining and inspiring dog training books that can make your training sessions interesting. Don’t raise a dog with bad behavior.

Final Thoughts

two person with rings on ring fingers and a dog paw

Dog training should be a time to have fun and bond with your dog. However, to most people it is not. We always view it as a routine task because we do not do it the right way.

Following the right training and setting goals can make you enjoy the training and inspire you to work even harder. Selecting the best dog training books that work will help in achieve your desired goals much faster.

In a matter of time you should have a well-behaved dog who follows your commands. You’ll be proud of your hard work and your good choice of the best books for dog training. So choose your dog training book wisely. I would love to hear about your choice of book and why it has worked for your dog.


Paul is an entrepreneur and marketer for the pet industry who works out of Chicago. He teaches people how to break free of the 9-to-5 grind by blogging for a living. Currently, Paul runs the HerePup along with the team of dedicated experts – so you know he has the knowledge to help you make the right choice.

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