7 best dog training books


Kelsey Cruz

Kelsey Cruz

Blog author Kelsey Cruz

Kelsey Cruz is a feminist blogger from the city of brotherly love who is obsessed with bourbon, black blazers, and blow-out bars. She loves to cook and is always up to swap smoothie recipes. Mostly, though, she likes long walks on the Philly streets with her pit-boxer Henry of whom she will definitely show you pictures. Follow her on Twitter @kelsey_cruz.

Published January 8, 2016|5 min read

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Training a dog is hard work. Training a naughty, spoiled, sassy dog who barely listens and hides under the bed when he doesn’t get his way is very hard work (take my word for it). However, in order to be a good dog owner, you must do what’s best for your pup – and what’s best for those whom your dog comes in contact – by training him and teaching him to behave properly.

Fortunately – since hiring a dog training professional or behavioral consultant may not fit your schedule or budget – there are countless dog training books to help you and your dog peacefully cohabitate. Here are seven of them:

The Culture Clash: A Revolutionary New Way to Understanding the Relationship Between Humans and Domestic DogsIn this book, author Jean Donaldson not only helps us train dogs, she also helps us understand why dogs do the weird, bizarre things they do. If you’ve ever wondered why your dog chews furniture or marks her territory all over the neighborhood, this book is for you. (Fun fact: My dog once ate a copy of a dog training book – what does that say about him?)

Be the Pack Leader: Use Cesar’s Way to Transform Your Dog…and Your Life This book by Cesar Milan, best-selling author, public speaker, and star of the TV show Dog Whisperer with Cesar Milan, helps take your relationship with your dog to another level. He often says, "I rehabilitate dogs; I train people," because he believes in the probability of bad dog owners more than the probability of bad dogs and feels owners need to use calm, assertive energy in order to relate to their dogs. (Quick side note: Have you ever seen his show? Dude is amazing.) By providing information about specific dog breeds and the truth about behavioral tools like e-collars and clickers, this book can help you take a more positive approach to dog training.

The Power of Positive Dog Training Are you a lover of lists and training programs? Do you like checking things off your to-do list and tracking your progress every new week at the gym? If so, you’ll appreciate this book by author and dog trainer Pat Miller. In this book, Miller stresses the importance of first observing and understanding your dog to better understand his behavior and body language. She also provides a six-week training program (complete with a diary to track his progress!) where, by the end of it, your dog will have a strong understanding of basic commands.

Before & After Getting Your Puppy: The Positive Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Dog If you just got a puppy or are contemplating getting one, you need to read this book written by Dr. Ian Dunbar, a renowned veterinarian who practices a dog-friendly philosophy with practical and positive approaches to dog training. With helpful photos and training guides, this book covers everything from choosing a puppy and house training him to introducing him to playmates and how to prevent and combat common behavioral problems.

Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week Program Using the Power of Positive Reinforcement Ever wished your dog would behave more like the First Dog, Bo Obama? (He’s so well-mannered and adorable, and he even won the Teen Choice Award for Choice Celebrity Pet!) This book, authored by Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewiscz, is based on love and kindness and features a program of positive reinforcement that she used (she died in January 2011) to train countless dogs, including Bo Obama. If you’d like your pup to learn or improve her basic commands and be more comfortable at the vet or around strangers, this book is for you.

The Koehler Method of Dog Training Do you walk your dog or does he walk you? This book first appeared in 1962 (it’s an oldie, but a goodie!) and has been used in countless training classes by thousands of dog training professionals over the decades. And although an important section of this book deals with serious behavioral problems and ways to correct them, it primarily promises to provide off-leash control in ten weeks and asks, "If he were to bolt out the door and head for the street, could you stop him with a single command?" Sadly, my answer to that question is "no" because although Henry isn’t terrible on the leash, he has gotten loose on a walk by slipping out of his collar, and although I caught him quickly after he escaped, the situation could have much worse had he run into the street or after a fast-moving animal. Because of ill-fitting collars and harnesses and low fences and gates (or ones accidently left open), one of the best things to do for your dog is train him to stop immediately if and when he gets loose.

How To Be Your Dog’s Best Friend: The Classic Training Manual For Dog Owners The best thing about this book is that it actively helps to not only train your dog, but to also gain her trust and respect. This book is by The Monks of New Skete, world-renowned breeders of German shepherds who believe that the best approach to dog training is knowing that "understanding is the key to communication, compassion, and communion" with your dog. With exercises, training guides, and obedience courses, this book serves more like a manual from true experts on how find complete success both as an owner and friend to your four-legged furball.

Image: Pioneer Library System_