8 Best Dog Training Books in 2020: Train the Best Companion

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Dog Training

Train a well-behaved dog can be really hard and overwhelming if you don’t have any experience.

And I guess this is why you are here at this page.

Regardless if you are looking for a book to help correct your furry friend’s bad behavior, raise a well-behaved dog, or train your pooch to perform tricks.

We have got you covered.

You will also find the best training books for certain activities such as dog agility and hunting or even the best book to train a service dog.

Here are the 8 best dog training books you can get today. 

1. Best Overall - Zak George's Dog Training Revolution: The Complete Guide to Raising the Perfect Pet with Love

Zak George's Dog Training Revolution

Zak George, a popular dog trainer known for presenting various shows on Animal Planet and his YouTube channel. Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution: The Complete Guide to Raising the Perfect Pet with Love helps you train your dog according to their unique traits and energy level for quicker results.

This 240 pages book covers everything you need to know from picking the right breed, housetraining and basic training to managing behavioral issues such as chewing, barking, and aggression. It also includes a guide on veterinary care and how to select the right food. Additionally, you will learn tips and tricks to help improve your relationship with your pooch. This is one of the best training books on the market and is ideal for you if you are a new dog owner. 

2. Best for Puppies - The Art of Raising a Puppy

The Art of Raising a Puppy

It is always exciting to bring home a new puppy, but raising a well-behaved dog is the hardest. And we all know that the foundation plays a very important role when it comes to raising a perfect dog. This book The Art of Raising a Puppy is written by Monks of New Skete, a community in New York that has more than 30 years in breeding, raising, and training dogs. You will learn how to rear a puppy properly through puppyhood.

This new edition features updated chapters such as crate training and adopting dogs from shelters and rescue organizations along with new photographs. The monks also share their experiences on dog’s health and behavior theory to ensure you understand the background and development of a puppy. You will learn how to raise, love and care for a puppy, and create a positive environment. 

3. Best for Dog Tricks - 101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog

101 Dog Tricks

Written by the world-renowned stunt dog show performer, Kyra Sundance. She is nationally ranked in competitive dog sports and her method focuses on positive training methods. 101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog has been translated into 40 different languages and is sold over half a million copies worldwide.

To make it easy for you to follow, this book features step-by-step instructions with color photos of each step. Each trick has difficulty ratings and prerequisites that your pooch needs to learn beforehand. It covers the simple ones like, sit, fetch, roll over, to the more advanced tricks such as “tidy up your toys and get a soda from the fridge”. If you want your pooch to perform tricks and show off in front of your friends and family, this will be a fantastic option for you. 

4. Best for Behavioral Training - Brain Training for Dogs

Brain Training For Dogs

This e-book is written by Adrienne Farricelli, a Certified Professional Dog Trainer-Knowledge Assessed (CPDT-KA). She has helped thousands of dog owners to eliminate their dog’s bad behavior for the last 10 years and trained the pooches to be well-behaved and obedient. She also had her work featured in “USA Today” and “Everyday Dog” magazine.

So how can her training system correct your dog’s unwanted behavior? Brain Training for Dogs will help develop your furry friend’s hidden intelligence. A smarter dog is more likely to listen to you and understand your commands which makes it easy for you to train the bad habits out and teach new skills. It covers everything from the basics to the genius level such as ring stacks and play piano to develop skill and patience. This will be ideal for you if your dog has any behavior problems. 

5. Best for Agility Training - Agility Right from the Start: The ultimate training guide to America's fastest-growing dog sport

Agility Right from the Start

Have you ever wanted your dog to compete in dog sports? Agility Right from the Start: The ultimate training guide to America’s fastest-growing dog sport is written by Emelie Johnson Vegh and Eva Bertilsson who are the leading agility teachers throughout Norway and Sweden.

This 456 pages training book includes the theory and foundation skills for you and your dog. Once you have understand the basics, you will expect to see plenty of exercises with clear and step-by-step instructions to make sure they are easy to follow and get you ready to compete in the show. In addition, it has innovative reward systems to speed up the training and help you qualify sooner. If you are serious about dog agility, look no further than this book. 

6. Best for Service Dogs - Training Your Own Service Dog: Step By Step Guide To An Obedient Service Dog

Training Your Own Service Dog

As we all know that acquiring a service dog can be very expensive, it can cost thousands of dollars depending on the breeds and type of training received. Max Matthews, the author has more than 30 years of experience in training service dogs has put all his knowledge and insight into this book. Training Your Own Service Dog: Step By Step Guide To An Obedient Service Dog allows you to train your own and avoid paying the costly training fees.

This book has covered everything you need to know about service dogs, including the laws that allow you to own and utilize them. You will learn how to properly assess and select the breed that suits you and the importance of it. It also helps to build the unbreakable bond between you and your pooch, keeping them focused in a high distraction environment. Ideal for you if you don’t have the budget to acquire an official service dog. 

7. Best for Hunting Dogs - Tom Dokken's Retriever Training: The Complete Guide to Developing Your Hunting Dog

Tom Dokken's Retriever Training

This book is written by the America’s leading trainer, Tom Dokken who has more than 30 years of experience turning retrievers into hunting companions. He is also the founder of Dokken’s Oak Ridge Kennels which is one of the largest all-breed hunting dog training facilities in the United States. Tom Dokken’s Retriever Training: The Complete Guide to Developing Your Hunting Dog will help you to train a reliable retriever.

If you always wanted to have a hunting partner that would obey your commands on and off the leash, retrieve games to you, and find downed birds, you might want to consider this book. It includes the introduction to birds and guns, formalizing obedience, upland and waterfowl hunting skills, in-field considerations and training to handle. This is a great book for hunters who want to train their own hunting dogs. 

8. Best for Livestock Guardian Dogs - Livestock Protection Dogs: Selection, Care and Training

Livestock Protection Dogs

Do you plan to live on a farm where you will raise sheeps and cattle when you retire? Or if you are already doing so, you might be interested in this book, Livestock Protection Dogs: Selection, Care and Training. The author Orysia Dawydiak is a medical technologist that lives on a farm, raises livestock and guardian in a beautiful place, Prince Edward Island.

This is a revised edition that will help you to pick the right breed, care and train a livestock protection dog. The training methods have been refined and expanded to include protecting unusual stock, along with theory, history, and selection of livestock protection breeds as companion and working dogs. There will be topics on behavioral problems and solutions. A great book that will guide you on how to train livestock guardian dogs to protect your investments from predators. 

Picking the Best Dog Training Books

Although there is a lot of information you can find online these days, it is still better to get a book. Reason being it will provide more in-depth information that you will need to train your pooch effectively. And to get a training book that suits your need, there are a few things you need to consider. 

1. Purpose

The first and most important thing that you need to think about is the purpose of the book. For instance, you don’t want to buy The Art of Raising a Puppy when you need to correct your dog’s behavior problems as it is meant to be for puppies. Understand what you are trying to achieve and look for a book that can address your concerns. 

2. The Author

This is probably one of the most crucial aspects overlooked by most people. Remember, the author is the mentor that will be guiding you through the training. In order to ensure its quality and is reliable, you will need to take a look at the background of the author. It will be ideal if the person has the expertise about the book that he or she wrote as this will determine the effectiveness of the training. 

3. Publication Date

Some believe the traditional way of training dogs is the best and may argue the publication date is not as important. This may be true in some cases like 101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog that has been published over 10 years and is still working perfectly for most dog owners.

However, it doesn’t mean that this is always correct. And not saying the newly published books are always better, but at least they offer you the most updated technique and training skills which may be better for you and your pooch. Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution: The Complete Guide to Raising the Perfect Pet with Love is a great example of this which the author offers a quick and effective training method that works for most people. 

4. Type of Books

There are different types of books available on the market such as paperback, audiobook, kindle and ebook.

Think about the advantages of them, for example, ebooks are portable which give you the ability to carry them around. You can also read them anywhere and anytime you want as long as you have your phone or any other electronics with you. They are much more convenient compared to the traditional books. Additionally, you can simply screenshot and share the information with your friends and family.

On the other hand, the printed books may be better for you if you have sleep problems or eye strain which you will get tired easily from looking at screens for too long. Regardless of which one you pick, make sure you choose the one you will enjoy the most. Keep in mind that the book will be hundreds of pages long. At the end of the day, you want to be able to finish reading them at your maximum comfort.