3 Dog Training Books EVERY Pup Parent Should Read + 3 Bonus Reads | Pupford
July 25th, 2023
Filed under Podcasts
While online learning is valuable beyond compare, there’s something to be said about education through physical books (or ebooks if you must 😜). On that note, I wanted to share 3 of the best dog training books that I think EVERY pup parent should read!
These books not only will help improve your dog’s behavior, but they’ll ultimately help you better understand what’s going on in your pup’s head!
And be sure to check out the 3 bonus reads at the end of this article.
Let’s do it! ⬇️
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BEST DOG TRAINING BOOKS OVERVIEW
Before we dive into some top dog behavior and training books, please take a quick 1-question survey below.
While there are certainly more books I could add to this list, I wanted to recommend 3 dog training books that helped me better understand my dogs.
- Don’t Shoot the Dog - Karen Pryor
- Culture Clash: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding the Relationship Between Humans and Domestic Dogs - Jean Donaldson
- Zak George's Dog Training Revolution: The Complete Guide to Raising the Perfect Pet with Love - Zak George
Let’s dive into why I think each of these books is valuable for you as a pup parent!
1- DON’T SHOOT THE DOG BY KAREN PRYOR
And her book reflects that!
Don’t Shoot the Dog was originally published in 1984. It has since had multiple revisions but it stands as one of the most influential dog books of our time.
This book dives into many aspects of dog training and behavior! Here are some of the main topics covered in Don’t Shoot the Dog.
- Principles of clicker training and how to implement it into your training routine
- 8 methods for ending undesirable behaviors
- The “10 laws” of (this is a vital concept for , amongst other behaviors) and more
I personally believe this book is a must-read for brand new and even more seasoned pup parents.
2- CULTURE CLASH BY JEAN DONALDSON
I couldn’t put this book down when I first read it. I felt like every new concept and chapter challenged my current mindset and understanding of dogs!
Jean Donaldson has over 30 years of dog training experience and she uses that experience to make you question your current understanding of how dogs work.
While some people label the book as “confrontational”, I believe that is necessary for today’s society. We often see dogs on TV or in the movies and believe that is a “reality” for how they function.
Reading Culture Clash really helped me to understand that what I view as “bad behavior” in my dogs, might just be totally normal for them! Oftentimes our own misconceptions about dogs and their behavior lead us to make assumptions that are incorrect.
An overarching theme of the book is that what we may see as problematic behaviors are just things we as humans need to teach our dogs more thoroughly.
3- ZAK GEORGE’S DOG TRAINING REVOLUTION BOOK BY ZAK GEORGE
Zak is also a genuinely thoughtful human being. He deeply cares about the well-being of dogs and it shows in his content, including his top-selling book!
What so many pup parents love about Zak’s book is how the content is relayed in a digestible and understandable way. Plus, this book covers a lot more than just training!
While you can learn a lot from Zak’s Youtube channel, his book goes more in-depth than what you’ll find in his videos!
3 HONORABLE MENTIONS FOR BEST BOOKS FOR DOG TRAINING & BEHAVIOR
While the 3 books listed above are at the top of my dog reading list, here are 3 bonus “honorable mentions” for top dog training books.
Of course, this list isn’t comprehensive, but it should give you a few ideas if you’re ready to improve your knowledge of dog behavior!
#1- HOW DOGS WORK BY RAYMOND COPPINGER
If your brain is a bit more analytical, like mine, then you’ll love How Dogs Work! It is a deep dive into the mechanics of how our dogs’ brains work.
I will say, it is VERY technical. And because of that, it can be a little bit boring and dry.
BUT, if you can stick with it you’ll learn a substantial amount about how dogs learn, why they act the way they do, and how you can better train your specific pup!
#2- THE OTHER END OF THE LEASH BY PATRICIA MCCONNELL
Similar to the Culture Clash, The Other End of the Leash challenges how we can (and should) view our dogs.
Patricia McConnell, who holds a PhD, takes her experience as an applied behaviorist and ethologist and synthesizes real truths about how we should train our pups. In her book, she implores us as humans to quit it with the “alpha & dominance” mentalities.
She also breaks down how things as simple as how you stand, your tone of voice, and your overall demeanor can influence your dog’s desire to listen to you!
#3- MEET YOUR DOG BY KIM BROPHEY
Kim Brophey, an applied ethologist and dog behaviorist as well, has a special way of making you think long and hard about why you do the things you do with your dog.
A large premise of her book, and work as a whole, is to help pup parents understand that their dog’s breed really does matter. You shouldn’t necessarily train a Jack Russell Terrier the same way you would a Golden Retriever.
Understanding our dog’s specific motivations and genetics can help us unlock how we should train them! I can’t recommend Kim’s work enough, and surely her book is the same!
FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BEST DOG TRAINING BOOKS
As pup parents, we have the tough task of communicating with a completely different species. It takes time and patience, but also takes a level of commitment to educating ourselves about dogs!
These dog behavior and training books will help you become the best pup parent possible!
Here’s a quick recap of what I believe are some of the best dog training books!
What other dog training books have you loved?! Tell everyone in the comments!
And before you head out, be sure to sign up for 30 Day Perfect Pup! It’s a 100% free (no credit card required) online dog training class to help you raise a well-behaved dog!