The most recommended dog training books

Who picked these books? Meet our 11 experts.

11 authors created a book list connected to dog training, and here are their favorite dog training books.
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Book cover of On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals

Jane Miller Author Of Healing Companions: Ordinary Dogs and Their Extraordinary Power to Transform Lives

From my list on the healing power of animals and human-animal bond.

Who am I?

It all began at a very young age when I aspired to be Jane Goodall and save the lives of animals. Since then, her wisdom, courage, and activism have guided me throughout my life. Through my childhood, I nursed fledglings with eyedroppers, adopted turtles left on the curbside, and became an advocate for “Save our Seals”. In college, I immersed myself in the study of animal behavior. I explored the behavior of Red Kangaroos, "Megalia Rufas" in captivity, exploring ways in which zoos could improve their facilities to respect the needs of the animals. These experiences set the landscape for my work as a holistic psychotherapist with the healing power of dogs.

Jane's book list on the healing power of animals and human-animal bond

Jane Miller Why did Jane love this book?

This book had a huge impact on me many years ago when I started training Psychiatric Service Dogs. Turid opened my eyes to a complex understanding of how dogs communicate with us through subtle and not-so-subtle body language. I recommend this book highly to all of my friends that have dogs and my clients. You will learn to identify when your dog is stressed, how to recognize it, and then take appropriate action to help decrease and alleviate the dog’s stress. 

By Turid Rugaas,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked On Talking Terms with Dogs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Yawning, lip-licking, sneezing, even scratching are just a few of the 30-plus signals that dogs use to communicate with one another.

With On Talking Terms With Dogs you can learn to recognize these signals and use them yourself to interact with your dog.

Norwegian dog trainer and behaviorist Turid Rugaas has made it her life work to study canine social interaction. She coined the phrase calming signals to describe the social skills, sometimes referred to as body language, that dogs use to avoid conflict, invite play, and communicate a wide range of information to other dogs and also humans.

Every…


Book cover of Agility Right from the Start

Elsa Blomster Author Of Retrieving for All Occasions

From my list on fun and effective dog training.

Who am I?

I’m a Swedish dog trainer and author who love training dogs in a fun, positive, and force-free way. I got my first Golden retriever in 2005 and learnt a lot about dog training and especially clicker training. When a friend gave me a dummy I really started to enjoy gun dog training and realized that there weren’t many people who trained gun dogs in a force-free way so I took all my knowledge from my reward-based obedience training and translated it into gun dog training, discussed training methods with a lot of people, held classes in force-free gun dog training and eventually collected all my thoughts and training advice into a book together with my friend Lena Gunnarsson.

Elsa's book list on fun and effective dog training

Elsa Blomster Why did Elsa love this book?

If you want to train and compete in agility, this is the book for you. Using positive, reward-based methods the authors teach you how to teach your dog everything it needs to know when it comes to agility. And of course, you’ll also learn lots of training techniques that you can use to teach your dog other things as well.

By Eva Bertilsson, Emelie Johnson Vegh,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Agility Right from the Start as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Agility Right from the Start is the first training resource you should have and the last one you'll need. Authors Eva Bertilsson and Emelie Johnson Vegh now bring to the US and Canada the powerful modern training system that made them leading agility teachers throughout Norway and Sweden. What you can expect: Qualifying sooner Seconds shaved off your course times Less frustration and more fun for you and your dogs True partnership with your dog, on the course and off Progress made easy: Clean, logical layout Step-by-step instructions for all training exercises from basic to advanced Startling detail with 600+…


Book cover of Animal Assisted Interventions: Professionals Embrace the Power of the Dog

Elsa Blomster Author Of Retrieving for All Occasions

From my list on fun and effective dog training.

Who am I?

I’m a Swedish dog trainer and author who love training dogs in a fun, positive, and force-free way. I got my first Golden retriever in 2005 and learnt a lot about dog training and especially clicker training. When a friend gave me a dummy I really started to enjoy gun dog training and realized that there weren’t many people who trained gun dogs in a force-free way so I took all my knowledge from my reward-based obedience training and translated it into gun dog training, discussed training methods with a lot of people, held classes in force-free gun dog training and eventually collected all my thoughts and training advice into a book together with my friend Lena Gunnarsson.

Elsa's book list on fun and effective dog training

Elsa Blomster Why did Elsa love this book?

This book moved me to tears after just reading a couple of pages. The authors describe lots of cases where dogs (and their handlers) have helped people in their lives – calming students, giving elderly people hope, and making them want to do things again. If you want to work together with your dog and help other people in f ex schools, old age care centers, etc. this is a great book. It takes you through the basics of what the dog needs to know, how to teach it, and lots of things to think about when you choose a dog trainer to help you educate your dog.

By Sara Karlberg, Helena Eriksson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Animal Assisted Interventions as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is a book for anyone who wants to learn more about what a social working dog is. Maybe
you’re curious about what it might be like to work in a school or some form of health care together
with your best friend? Maybe you’ve already done an assessment test and are looking for or have
already started the course that best suits you? Or maybe you have a family member who you think
would benefit from sessions with a dog team but want to know a little more before you propose it?
The authors have based the contents of…


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

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

From my list on dog behavior and advocacy.

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.

Alana's book list on dog behavior and advocacy

Alana Stevenson Why did Alana love 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.

By Paul Owens,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Dog Whisperer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gentle, positive, and fun training for you and your dog!

In this updated edition, Paul Owens and Norma Eckroate offer more in-depth training with additional notes, tips, and problem-solving to make training even easier! In addition to the bestselling nonviolent training features that made the prior edition a classic, this second edition includes:
Updated material on the power of non-force training Information on the newest, most effective gear for all levels of training A new tricks section that will provide fun for both you and your dogWith guidance from The Dog Whisperer, 2nd Edition, you'll learn compassionate training methods for…


Book cover of Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs

Sunny Weber Author Of Beyond Flight or Fight: A Compassionate Guide for Working with Fearful Dogs

From my list on building relationships with fearful dogs.

Who am I?

I have over 30 years in animal welfare advocacy and have rehabilitated then re-homed hundreds of dogs, cats and horses. As a professional humane educator, I consult with animal welfare professionals as well as adopters and have developed educational programs for all ages regarding the need for compassion and care of domestic and wild animals. I write books, blogs, and articles that fit into my missions of: 1) saving more animal lives by educating the people who care for them, and 2) humane education through storytelling. My children’s Pups & Purrs Series spotlights teaching compassion, respect, and tolerance. Each is narrated by its own dog protagonist.

Sunny's book list on building relationships with fearful dogs

Sunny Weber Why did Sunny love this book?

This book touched me in new and unexpected ways. Renowned trainer Suzanne Clothier’s unparalleled insights into dog emotions combine with her compassionate awareness of how they perceive their own worlds. Written with knowing empathy, Suzanne discusses how to meet dogs’ needs for leadership without cruel coercion, and examines how canine culture clashes with human ignorance and insensitivity. Real dog stories show how respectful relationships can save dogs from tragedy and unnecessary destruction. I personally identified with Clothier’s emotions and learned more progressive ways to reach dogs in ways they understood.

By Suzanne Clothier,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Bones Would Rain from the Sky as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Akin to Monty Roberts's The Man Who Listens to Horses and going light-years beyond The Hidden Life of Dogs, this extraordinary book takes a radical new direction in understanding our life with canines and offers us astonishing new lessons about our pets. From changing the misbehaviors and habits that upset us, to seeing the world from their unique and natural perspective, to finding a deep connection with another being, Bones Would Rain from the Sky will help you receive an incomparable gift: a profound, lifelong relationship with the dog you love.


Book cover of 101 Dog Tricks, Kids Edition: Fun and Easy Activities, Games, and Crafts

Dr. Ian Dunbar Author Of Before and After Getting Your Puppy

From my list on for teaching dog tricks.

Who am I?

I’m a veterinarian, behaviorist, author, and dog trainer. I researched dog interactions for 10 years at UC Berkeley and in the early 80s, put theory to practice with SIRIUS® Puppy Training, introducing off-leash, puppy socialization and training classes, food lures and rewards, fun and games, and science-based, dog-friendly dog training to the doggy world. I spread the word by founding the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. Cueing your dog to act friendly and playful helps it feel friendly and playful. Also, presenting a less threatening picture to other dogs and their owners, softens their feelings, attitudes, preconceptions, and demeanor, thereby making sidewalks, trails, and parks a happier and safer place for you and your dog.

Ian's book list on for teaching dog tricks

Dr. Ian Dunbar Why did Ian love this book?

Yup, another book by Kyra—completely different but equally as enjoyable and with many more wonderful photographs (starring Jadie the Weim). I’m sure that all the children have read and mastered everything in 101 Dog Tricks and wanted something more. Well, they got it. I wanted to make this the first choice on my list, but didn’t, because not everyone has children and I didn’t want them to feel left out. Nonetheless, I implore you all to be a child for a day and enjoy the book, and your dog.

The Kids Edition is a marvelous collection of 101 games, activities, brain games, and magic tricks, for children to teach and engage with their dogs. What makes the Kids Edition truly special, most tricks involve projects, showing children how to make stuff, such as doggy doorbells, fleece leashes, personalized dog bowls, teeter-totters, and artworks. Messenger Dog is my all-time favorite and…

By Kyra Sundance,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 101 Dog Tricks, Kids Edition as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Having your children train the family dog through trick teaching is an ideal way to build a safe and respectful relationship early on, build a bond between your dog and the kids, build confidence, and make it fun for everyone! 101 Dog Tricks, Kids Edition will teach you everything you need to know to involve your children in training the family dog. This book presents full color photos of kids working with dogs for each trick, along with training steps, to make it easy to follow along. The step-by-step approach, difficulty rating, and prerequisites will allow you and your child…


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

Dr. Ian Dunbar Author Of Before and After Getting Your Puppy

From my list on for teaching dog tricks.

Who am I?

I’m a veterinarian, behaviorist, author, and dog trainer. I researched dog interactions for 10 years at UC Berkeley and in the early 80s, put theory to practice with SIRIUS® Puppy Training, introducing off-leash, puppy socialization and training classes, food lures and rewards, fun and games, and science-based, dog-friendly dog training to the doggy world. I spread the word by founding the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. Cueing your dog to act friendly and playful helps it feel friendly and playful. Also, presenting a less threatening picture to other dogs and their owners, softens their feelings, attitudes, preconceptions, and demeanor, thereby making sidewalks, trails, and parks a happier and safer place for you and your dog.

Ian's book list on for teaching dog tricks

Dr. Ian Dunbar Why did Ian love this book?

I have always thought that teaching Tricks is the easiest, quickest, and most enjoyable way to train a dog and 101 Dog Tricks is a great place to start. As soon as you teach High-Five, Back-up, Bow, and ‘dance’ with your dog, all the basics, keeping close, Come, Sit, Down, Stay and Walk-by-my-Side appear as if by magic. Then it’s time to teach Bring Me a Beer, and Cover Your Eyes… so impossibly cute it makes me smile every time.

Kyra is the ultimate, born performer. (I bet she had a puppy and wore dayglo-Lycra outfits as a little girl.) I just love this book since I first read it nearly 20 years ago: Beautifully laid with loads of stunning, sequential photographs and easy-to-understand instructions for all sorts of tricks and a myriad of fun games. When I first saw Kyra perform, she and Chalcy Weimaraner were nothing less than…

By Kyra Sundance, Chalcy, Nick Saglimbeni (photographer)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked 101 Dog Tricks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

101 Dog Tricks is an international bestseller in 18 languages with over a half-million copies sold worldwide! This beautifully designed book features step-by-step instructions with easy-to-follow color photos of each step.

Each trick is rated with a difficulty rating and prerequisites to get you started quickly. Tips and troubleshooting boxes cover common problems, while Build on it! ideas suggest more complicated tricks that build on each new skill.

Tricks range from simple ones like Sit, Shake Hands, Fetch, and Roll Over, to extraordinary ones like Tidy Up Your Toys into the Toybox and Get a Soda from the Fridge. Organized…


Book cover of Service Dog Training Guide: A Step-by-Step Training Program for You and Your Dog

Nate Schoemer Author Of Nate Schoemer's Dog Training Manual: Animal Planet's Dog Trainer Shares His Dog Training Secrets

From my list on dog understanding and communication.

Who am I?

As far back as I can remember I’ve always loved canines and always wanted to make sure they were treated kindly. When I was a kid, I would bring a bag of dog treats with me to visit family and friends that I knew had dogs; I had to be very convincing too, or else people would’ve thought they were for me! But they could see it was a delight for me; while everyone would be inside talking, I would be outside with the pups. Eventually, this enthusiasm culminated with the creation of Nate Schoemer’s Dog Training Program, with a mission of improving the lives of dogs and their owners through education. 

Nate's book list on dog understanding and communication

Nate Schoemer Why did Nate love this book?

Jennifer is a personal friend of mine and is an excellent dog trainer. Her book covers much of the “need-to-know” basics regarding service dog training, and makes an excellent guide for those starting out. It goes well paired with my book. 😉

What makes this book special is that it breaks down how an owner can enter straight into the service dog training world. This is a very rewarding skill set that can be converted into an extremely fulfilling career for those interested in working in the field of training dogs to help people with disabilities, post-traumatic stress disorders, age-related conditions, and so many more circumstances.

The book captures the fundamentals like raising and training puppies, on up to the important points about service dog creation, which includes guiding the vision-impaired, audio-alert training for the hearing impaired, medical alert responses, and many more primary skillsets that can help someone on…

By Jennifer Hack,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Service Dog Training Guide as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Master service dog training at home with this easy step-by-step guide

Service dogs are life-changing for people with a range of physical and mental disabilities. But getting one can be complicated and expensive. The Service Dog Training Guide offers you an easy, step-by-step program for you and your dog to follow at home.

Bone up on everything from basic exercises to essential service dog tasks that will guide you and your dog on the best training path. You’ll also find an overview of different types of service and support dogs, breeds, and equipment for training. The step-by-step instructions will help…


Book cover of The Big Book of Tricks for the Best Dog Ever: A Step-By-Step Guide to 118 Amazing Tricks and Stunts

Dr. Ian Dunbar Author Of Before and After Getting Your Puppy

From my list on for teaching dog tricks.

Who am I?

I’m a veterinarian, behaviorist, author, and dog trainer. I researched dog interactions for 10 years at UC Berkeley and in the early 80s, put theory to practice with SIRIUS® Puppy Training, introducing off-leash, puppy socialization and training classes, food lures and rewards, fun and games, and science-based, dog-friendly dog training to the doggy world. I spread the word by founding the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. Cueing your dog to act friendly and playful helps it feel friendly and playful. Also, presenting a less threatening picture to other dogs and their owners, softens their feelings, attitudes, preconceptions, and demeanor, thereby making sidewalks, trails, and parks a happier and safer place for you and your dog.

Ian's book list on for teaching dog tricks

Dr. Ian Dunbar Why did Ian love this book?

The Big Book of Tricks is big, with 116 tricks and activities in all. (Eat your heart out Kyra!) Oodles of gorgeous, sequential photographs and very clear, straightforward, step-by-step instructions. The canine models include Larry’s Spider and Flashy Ferrari’s (Perondi) Stunt Dogs and the range of tricks is indeed eclectic, but well organized, comprising beginner, intermediate, movie, performance, dancing, stunts, and sports, including Head Balance and Butt Balance (brilliant for building rock-solid Stays), Hop Up and Hugs of various sorts, Crawl Weave, which looks easy for dogs but a challenging workout for the trainer, and Wipe Your Paws, a must-teach for muddy Labradors.

I’ve known Larry since he wrote his first dog book and we’ve shared a few bottles of Côtes du Rhône, and I know Chris by reputation… and my word what a truly amazing reputation… the Stunt Dogs perform over 1,000 shows a year. All his dogs…

By Larry Kay, Chris Perondi,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Big Book of Tricks for the Best Dog Ever as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Show off your dog! And let your dog show off, too!

Using the secrets of professional dog trainers, this fully illustrated guide with hundreds of step-by-step photos show how to teach your pet 118 tricks and stunts. Organized from beginner level to pro, these tricks run the gamut from the kinds of things any well-behaved dog should know—fetch, paw shake, roll over—to stunts that will delight your friends and family, from dance routines to flying disc acrobatics. You’ll even learn the tricks behind filmmaking with dogs to create your own movie magic and performance showstoppers. And there are benefits far…


Book cover of Dog Training with the Touch: Demystifying the Art of Training the Top Working Dog

Nate Schoemer Author Of Nate Schoemer's Dog Training Manual: Animal Planet's Dog Trainer Shares His Dog Training Secrets

From my list on dog understanding and communication.

Who am I?

As far back as I can remember I’ve always loved canines and always wanted to make sure they were treated kindly. When I was a kid, I would bring a bag of dog treats with me to visit family and friends that I knew had dogs; I had to be very convincing too, or else people would’ve thought they were for me! But they could see it was a delight for me; while everyone would be inside talking, I would be outside with the pups. Eventually, this enthusiasm culminated with the creation of Nate Schoemer’s Dog Training Program, with a mission of improving the lives of dogs and their owners through education. 

Nate's book list on dog understanding and communication

Nate Schoemer Why did Nate love this book?

This manual is the first and still the most in-depth dog training book I’ve read.

This book was written by one of the best dog trainers I’ve had the pleasure to learn from and train with: Tom Rose. He’s won countless competitions with his dogs, established one of the best dog trainer schools globally, was the first American to score a perfect FH Schutzhund advanced tracking title and continues to share his knowledge and expertise with aspiring dog trainers plus…he’s just a really neat guy!

This book covers everything from puppy imprinting to training the competitive working dog. It is a must-have for anyone who wants to take their dog training skills to the next level. And truthfully, isn’t that what we all want?