The best books on dog behavior & advocacy

Alana Stevenson Author Of Training Your Dog the Humane Way: Simple Teaching Tips for Resolving Problem Behaviors and Raising a Happy Dog
By Alana Stevenson

Who am I?

For 19 years, I have been professionally helping dog and cat parents resolve dog and cat behavioral problems in a humane and kind way. I follow science-based, gentle techniques when working with animals and teach clients how to remedy dog and cat behavior problems without the use of aversives such as shock or choke collars, physical prompting, shake cans, squirt bottles, leash corrections, or scolding.


I wrote...

Training Your Dog the Humane Way: Simple Teaching Tips for Resolving Problem Behaviors and Raising a Happy Dog

By Alana Stevenson,

Book cover of Training Your Dog the Humane Way: Simple Teaching Tips for Resolving Problem Behaviors and Raising a Happy Dog

What is my book about?

In Training Your Dog the Humane Way, animal behavior specialist, Alana Stevenson provides dog owners with a simple, accessible guide to the most effective positive dog training techniques available. Alana presents easy-to-follow methods and advice for teaching dogs and resolving behavior problems in a humane way. She provides solutions for such problems as house-soiling, play-biting, separation anxiety, fear of strangers, aggression, lunging while on a leash, and car sickness.

Readers learn the most effective way to teach their dogs — through kindness and benevolent leadership.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is readers supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

Clinical Behavioral Medicine For Small Animals

By Karen L. Overall,

Book cover of Clinical Behavioral Medicine For Small Animals

Why this book?

A bible for resolving dog and cat behavioral issues. It is packed with scientific advice and research on everything from cat and dog development and training to medications and positive ways to resolve dog and cat behavior problems. Good to read through its entirety as well as to have on hand as a reference.


The Dog Whisperer: A Compassionate, Nonviolent Approach to Dog Training

By Paul Owens,

Book cover of The Dog Whisperer: A Compassionate, Nonviolent Approach to Dog Training

Why this book?

The original dog whisperer, Paul Owens, teaches dog parents how to positively train their dogs according to how dogs learn. He uses a humane, science-based approach, and includes breathing exercises people can do when stressed so that they can teach their dog in a calm way. The Dog Whisperer goes over how to teach and train your dog during distractions and context learning, as well as introduces readers to clicker training, shaping behaviors and target training. This is a good book on humane, positive training to have on the shelf.


How to Right a Dog Gone Wrong: A Road Map for Rehabilitating Aggressive Dogs

By Pamela S. Dennison,

Book cover of How to Right a Dog Gone Wrong: A Road Map for Rehabilitating Aggressive Dogs

Why this book?

How to Right a Dog Gone Wrong offers an easy-to-follow, step-by-step approach to rehabbing a dog who is dog reactive both on and off-leash. It’s a good book and means of support for dog owners who have problems with their reactive dogs. This book provides solid techniques and is filled with honesty and empathy.


How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves

By Dr. Sophia Yin,

Book cover of How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves

Why this book?

Dr. Sophia Yin passed away in 2014. This book is on passive training which I implement regularly with fearful and reactive dogs. Passive training is how people teach their dogs, often unknowingly, 24-7. By understanding how your behavior affects your dog, you can teach and modify your dog’s behavior in a kind way without active instruction.


Dogs Are From Neptune

By Jean Donaldson,

Book cover of Dogs Are From Neptune

Why this book?

Dogs Are From Neptune is an excellent book and tool for working with fearful and reactive dogs. Jean Donaldson provides instructions and real-life implementation of desensitization and counter-conditioning techniques for a variety of dog behavior problems – such as fear of strangers, food guarding, leash-reactivity, fear of handling, and high prey drive.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in dogs, dog behavior, and human animal relationships?

5,215 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about dogs, dog behavior, and human animal relationships.

Dogs Explore 235 books about dogs
Dog Behavior Explore 7 books about dog behavior
Human Animal Relationships Explore 21 books about human animal relationships

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like The New Click to Calm: Solutions for All Dogs in a Challenging World, The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs, and Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs if you like this list.