Dog Training Books

5 Dog Training Books High on My List of Recommended Reads

Fear, reactive or aggressive behaviours, training fetch or a good recall at dog parks —  let me help you choose the best dog training book for your needs with information that meets the highest standards in the dog training industry and contains practical instructions that help you get started right away.

The search for a helpful dog training book can be daunting in this unregulated industry where good marketing doesn’t always mean the consumer will get high quality information that is useful and easy to understand. The five books below are high on my list of recommended books for the general needs of any dog owner, but if you are looking for a dog training book on a topic that is not covered in the list of books below, contact me for more good options.

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Training Manners Around Guests

dog training book cover:
"Teach Your Dog Manners Around Guests: A simple step-by-step guide" by Jennifer Berg, CPDT-KA, CDBC

This book gets right to the point like a user manual and contains clear instructions to guide you through the steps for building a strong foundation of behaviours. When a dog is trained in this way — using only positive reinforcement with small steps that build the dog’s skills — the dog learns more effectively and enjoys choosing the good manners even in situations that are very exciting like when guests come over. There are also instructions in the book for when strangers come to the door to deliver a package or meal, for example, addressing the problem of a dog running out the door.

The instructions are for dogs that are friendly towards guests, even those exuberant greeters that race around or jump on guests, perhaps barking at the guests with excitement and joy. If your dog is fearful of strangers at the door or a guest, please contact a reputable professional.

As a Covid puppy, our Standard Poodle rescue was unaccustomed to guests in our home. Soleil would jump on people at the door and push them off the sofa. By using the instructions from Jennifer’s ebook Teach Your Dog Manners Around Guests and working online with Jennifer, Soleil no longer pushes people off the sofa, and while it is still a work in progress, can mostly greet guests politely at the door. Thanks, Jennifer!” –Michelle Hunter, Regina, Saskatchewan

Purchase through Dogwise Publishing (click here) or wherever you buy your e-books. click here

Preventing Separation Anxiety

Dog training book cover: 
"Teach Your Dog How to Be Alone: A simple, step-by-step guide" by Jennifer Berg, CPDT, KA, CDBC

Does your dog chew furniture or get into the garbage when left alone? Have you been working from home for a while but need to start teaching your dog how to be alone for a few hours? Are you concerned about your dog barking when you are not home? Did you know that when a dog has accidents in the house when left alone, that is might not be a “house training” issue?

Or perhaps your dog follows you from room to room and you worry that your dog isn’t getting enough quality sleep during the day. (FYI, dogs need 16+ hours of sleep/rest per day.) Maybe you would like to be able to use the bathroom or have a shower without your dog needing to join you.

Dogs are social animals and are not hard-wired to be alone. In fact, a dog that has not been conditioned to be comfortable being left alone will become anxious which can lead to extreme distress and panic. Experiences like this can easily lead to phobias.

If your dog has moderate to extreme anxiety about being left alone, please contact a reputable professional who is skilled in addressing separation anxiety and extreme fear. This is not a job for the average dog trainer because this is not a “dog training” problem. This book can supplement and complement the guidance of a skilled professional behaviour consultant.

“Loved the book. Very straightforward. Can be read in an afternoon. Great practical advice and easy to follow steps.” — Jacqueline Paul Surdu, Regina, Saskatchewan

“I have been using some tips from your book and working with Odie to go to his crate on his own with great success. This morning I was gathering things to head out the door he just knew and went to his crate without me saying a word. Almost too easy for a pup that is anything but easy“ — Stephanie Bank, Regina, Saskatchewan

Purchase through Dogwise Publishing (click here) or wherever you buy your e-books. Click here

If you would like to buy a printed copy, contact me 

One of the Best Books for Puppy Socialization and Training

Dog training book:
"Puppy Socialization : What it is and how to do it" by Marge Rogers and Eileen Anderson

This e-book is a life-saver! Figuratively AND literally. The printed content is excellent — comprehensive, well written, and easy to understand. But what truly sets this book apart from others are the helpful links to additional resources, especially the numerous video examples. With the concise and clear video examples, it’s like having a professional dog trainer beside you coaching you along the way. This book goes well beyond a puppy class. 

Dog owners should use this book BEFORE attending any puppy training or socialization class. I would argue that for the most part, this book is superior to a puppy class because the human and puppy can get excellent instruction in a low-distraction environment. Puppy classes can be fun to watch and can be fun for some of the puppies, but the environment is not helpful for learning new skills and information. The dog owners are trying to manage a puppy while they try to observe and listen to the instructor; the puppy is far more interested in other puppies (perhaps feeling excitement and joy, but also perhaps anxiety, uncertainty, or fear). In the chaos of a puppy class, not much is learned other than the intense emotional associations (e.g., to the location, to other puppies) and unwanted behaviours that are repeated and accidentally reinforced by the environment.

This book can be helpful for dogs with fear, aggression, or reactive behaviours, as well. The process will be slower, but the principles are similar. 

It is for sale at Dogwise (click here) and Canadian retailer Mungo Books and wherever you buy your e-books.

One of the Best Books for Dog Training

Dog training book : 
"The Power of Positive Dog Training, 2nd Edition" by Pat Miller

This is a classic for good reasons. It’s easy to read. It’s written in clear, concise language and gets right to the point. There is an index so you can go to the relevant sections immediately. The content in the book is comprehensive: it covers pretty much anything a dog owner would need to know to train a dog. It covers basic manners, housetraining and other problem behaviours, and even includes information on preventing and addressing resource guarding.

This book is an excellent resource and would make a thoughtful, practical, helpful gift for any new dog owner.

It is for sale at Dogwise (click here) and Canadian retailer Mungo Books and at most book stores.

Practical, easy to follow instructions for introducing dogs safely

book cover Two dogs relaxing together. Title: the Art of Introducing Dogs by Louise Ginman

Sometimes you only get one chance to make a good impression. And if it goes sideways it can be a tough hill to climb to repair the bad impression. This is as true for dogs as it is for humans. Every dog owner introducing their dog to another dog needs this book. Whether you are planning to add another dog to your family or just to make a new doggie friend to meet for walks, this is the guide you need to help ensure that it’s a positive experience for the dogs and for the humans.

Humans can get in the way and interfere with dogs meeting each other in a positive way. Our human world is not helpful for dog-friendly greetings. For example, when dogs are on leash, depending on the length of the leash and the actions of the humans holding the leash, the leash can interfere with dog body language and communication protocols. But leashes are a must in many places, so learn how you can make the best of it.

Are you bringing in a new dog to home and you want your current dog and your new dog to get along? This is the book you need. There are practical exercises to help the transition go smoothly and reduce the stress of it all for both dogs.

Buy it at Dogwise Publishing (print version) (Ebook)