Which puppy training books are best?

You can train your puppy without enrolling in training programs or expensive classes. If you buy the right puppy training book, you can modify your puppy’s behavior and teach them basic commands. There are several training books by animal behaviorists, veterinarians and pet experts, and they provide a user-friendly way to train your puppy. “The Art of Raising a Puppy” by the Monks of New Skete is a first-rate puppy training book. It guides new puppy parents and seasoned experts alike through a positive training process, and emphasizes the importance of creating a positive bond between an owner and their pup.

What to know before you buy a puppy training book

Expectations

Training your puppy can improve your relationship with your dog as well as your experience as a dog owner. That being said, make sure you have realistic expectations when you start training your dog. There are a number of factors that can impact the success of training, such as breed, environment, behavioral tendencies and more.

Experts

All kinds of people write puppy training books, from average dog owners to pet training experts to animal behaviorists and veterinarians. Veterinarians and animal behaviorists have expert training and often provide additional insight into puppy training. However, not every expert takes a purely scientific approach to dog training, and some dog owners can provide more than just anecdotal advice. Read these training books with an open mind and try to focus on the content.

Record your training

Record the puppy training sessions if you want to track and assess your puppy’s progress. You can show these training videos to your veterinarian who can answer questions you may have. Be sure to ask about their opinion on training techniques and behaviors they notice in your puppy.

What to look for in a quality puppy training book

Type of puppy training book

  • Basic obedience books are perfect for new dog owners. They teach basic commands in a simple way and establish boundaries. They also help you understand how your puppy communicates and encourage positive reinforcement. 
  • Advanced command books focus on foundational dog commands, such as sit, lay down and stay. You can use these books to teach additional commands over time. 
  • Housebreaking books help you crate train your puppy and create a positive association with going outside to use the bathroom. 
  • Behavioral issue books address common behavioral problems, such as pacing, excessive licking, hiding food and chewing.

Format

Puppy training books don’t have a standard format, but they typically share some basic elements, including insight on how dogs behave and learn. They also offer ideas for effective reinforcement techniques and training tutorials for specific commands. Some puppy training books are all text, while others include sketches or images that show hand signals and body language cues.

Training advice

Many puppy training books share approaches and opinions, especially if they focus on a method of training like positive reinforcement. However, every book contains different information, so it’s common for dog owners to read multiple training books. What works for one puppy might not work well for yours. Be prepared to read several puppy training books to test out different techniques and advice.

How much you can expect to spend on a puppy training book

Puppy training books range in price from about $10-$40. The most inexpensive books cost about $10-$15, midrange books go for $15-$25 and high-end books vary in price from $25-$40.

Puppy training book FAQ

What should you do if you can’t housebreak your puppy? 

A. If you’ve tried multiple housebreaking methods without success, speak to your veterinarian about housebreaking your puppy. Your puppy might have a health problem rather than a behavioral issue. A change in food or medication can help them regulate their bowels.

Are there puppy training books geared toward rescue dogs?

A. Yes, puppy training books for rescued dogs discuss the importance of paying attention to your dog’s cues and understanding their boundaries. Unfortunately, some rescue dogs have been abused. If this is the case, adapt your puppy training techniques according to their needs. That being said, most rescue puppies respond well to training and go on to lead fulfilling, happy lives.

Do you need to use a puppy training book to train your dog?

A. Not at all. Many people successfully teach commands and obedience to their dogs without using puppy training books. Some people use online videos to learn puppy training techniques while others prefer to enroll in hands-on puppy training classes.

What’s the best puppy training book to buy?

Top puppy training book

"The Art of Raising a Puppy" by the Monks of New Skete

“The Art of Raising a Puppy” by the Monks of New Skete

What you need to know: Chock full of instructions, advice and stories, this book can help you raise an obedient and happy puppy.

What you’ll love: It’s full of a diverse array of puppy training techniques that will assist you during your puppy’s early developmental stages and their later stages. It has real case stories to back up advice and points. The book also comes in a wide range of formats, and the new edition has extra chapters and photos.

What you should consider: The long-form layout of this book is a bit clunky when you need a quick reference.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top puppy training book for the money

Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution

Zak George’s “Dog Training Revolution”

What you need to know: The well-designed layout of this book is perfect for referencing a wide range of puppy training topics.

What you’ll love: It covers a multitude of topics, including correcting bad behaviors, socializing and grooming, and it also includes some accompanying YouTube videos. All of the recommended puppy training techniques in the book are humane and positive.

What you should consider: While this book offers helpful tips, it doesn’t have fully detailed instructions.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

"Training the Best Dog Ever" by Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz & Larry Kay

“Training the Best Dog Ever” by Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz & Larry Kay

What you need to know: The puppy training tips in this fun book are effective and focus on positive reinforcement.

What you’ll love: Anecdotes back up the advice and instructions effectively, and the weekly lessons are clear and simple to follow. The back of the book has space allocated for your own notes on your training progress.

What you should consider: This puppy training book is extremely text-heavy and could use some more photos.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Alex Kilpatrick writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.