Are you getting a new puppy, or do you have a rescue dog or an older misbehaving pooch? There are many books available that will help you train and care for dogs of all ages. You can find titles aimed at everything from aggression and behavioural problems to training gundogs or even teaching performance tricks if you're looking for something a bit more specialised.
With a wide selection, it can be hard to tell which book is best, so we've put together a guide with useful information to help you out. After that, be sure to check out our picks of the 10 best dog and puppy training books to buy on Amazon and eBay, featuring popular reads like Easy Peasy Puppy Squeezy, Total Recall and All Dogs Great and Small by Graeme Hall.
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Table of Contents
There are a few things you should consider before buying a dog training book to find one that contains useful information for your needs. From breed to age, we're going to talk you through the key points you should keep in mind.
Dog training books either contain general information or focus on a specific training topic. In this section, we're going to talk you through some popular options so you can find a title that suits your needs.
General dog training books give a brief overview of the basics, with advice on feeding, emotions, reading your dog, behavioural issues and recall training. You'll find variations in the type of information they include and how each author portrays it, but they all cover a wide variety of these sorts of topics.
If you're looking to understand your family pet and help promote good behaviour, this is the type of training guide you should choose. Dog books with a specific focus are for owners who wish to correct a certain problem or train their dog for competition.
Some books specialise in recall, which is the art of getting your dog to come back to you when they're called. It's one of the most important skills a dog can learn, as it prevents them from getting into dangerous or even life-threatening situations.
Many dogs struggle to learn recall, so you may want to purchase a training book that focuses on this area if your dog is having difficulties. Although the topic is mentioned in many general books, it'll go into greater detail and offer tailored advice for your dog's life stage.
If you're a fan of Britain's Got Talent, you'll be all too familiar with dog acts like Ashleigh and the late Pudsey. Whether you and your dog have a taste for showbiz, a dream of getting to Crufts or you just want to have fun with performance, you should purchase a book that focuses on dog tricks.
These books have everything from simple commands like sitting to more complex tricks like jumping over a bar. Although the more basic exercises are relevant to all dog owners, these books are mostly geared towards flashy moves, like getting your pup to moonwalk.
It's always best to consider your dog's age when purchasing a training book. Some books are aimed at puppies with very basic information that guides first-time owners through buying or adopting a new young dog and learning key tips for training and looking after them.
Other books have basic information for puppy training and relevant techniques for encouraging good behaviour in older dogs. Some even have special tips for looking after pooches in old age to make their last years as comfortable as possible. Any owners can use these books, and the tips will remain relevant as your dog matures.
Just like the contrast between a puppy and an older dog, different breeds have unique characteristics, so you might want to consider a book that focuses on these specifically. They will have better-tailored advice concerning certain areas your dog may struggle with. Some are also tailored to breed-specific activities, such as retrieving.
While the majority of successful training books are suitable for all breeds, there might be times when you have to think outside the box and adapt some of the training techniques to your dog. If you aren't that aware of what their breed's traits are, it might be good to read up on them for a better insight.
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Easy Peasy Puppy Squeezy
The UK’s Number 1 Puppy Training Book
An International Bestseller on Recall Training
All Dogs Great and Small
Top Tips to Improve Behavioural Problems
The Cocker Spaniel
How to Train and Care for a Healthy Cocker
Zak George's Guide to a Well-Behaved Dog
You Can Teach Old Dogs New Tricks
Force-Free Gundog Training
A Force-Free Training Manual for Gun Dog Breeds
Training the Best Dog Ever
An Easy-to-Follow 5-Week Training Program
Patricia McConnell Ph.D.
The Other End of the Leash
Insights to Help Understand Your Dog's Behaviour
The Monks of New Skete
The Art of Raising a Puppy
A Great Help Choosing Your New Puppy
101 Dog Tricks
Teach Your Dog Dazzling Performance Tricks
Easy Peasy Puppy Squeezy is the UK's number one training book – and it has a top place on our list, too. Written by another professional dog trainer with over 30 years of experience, you know you're getting good advice.
All the information is straightforward, easy to understand and well-written, covering lots of topics from eye contact and toilet training to dog park etiquette. Plus, although it's a great puppy book, some of the tips are actually relevant for training older rescue dogs or untrained adults.
Learning to respond when called is vital for your dog's safety. This book goes into a lot of depth on the subject and even has separate advice for puppies and adult dogs for better teaching. Plus, this book is an international bestseller written by a dog training expert, so you know the tips work.
At the end of the book, there's a problem-solving section, which will help you understand the training mistakes you've made so you can achieve successful results in the future. This is a must-have title with a good structure that's easy to follow.
This book contains a multitude of helpful tips for improving all the most common pup behavioural problems such as separation anxiety and aggression. If you're adopting a rescue dog, you're going to want this book to help settle them into their new home.
The author also shares their engaging dog training success stories, which have a humorous twist. It's a great general focus book, as, unlike most other options it's aimed at both adult dogs and puppies. Plus, it's available in a wide range of formats, so you can choose the one you prefer.
Dog breeds have different characteristics, so if you have a Cocker Spaniel, you should consider this book to better tailor your training. There's also additional care information that will help you look after your puppy, including tips for dental health and vaccinations.
There's a chapter dedicated to training your spaniel to be a gun dog, as well as guidance for owners who are ready to go onto advanced training and even competitions and field trials. To top it off, it has helpful information to prevent adverse behaviour, such as attention-seeking.
Do you have an adult pooch with a few bad habits or a rescue dog whose past has affected them? You need this book, as it lists many behavioural problems dogs may face and teaches you the tools to correct them. In fact, it's one of the few reads out there that prioritises adult dog issues over puppy problems.
This book is excellent for people with little or no training experience, as the author informs you why dogs act in certain ways and break the methods down into steps that are easy to follow. TV star Zak George also has free training lessons and demonstrations on his hit YouTube channel, which will further help you out.
Are you looking to train a gun dog like a spaniel or retriever? If you are, you should consider buying this book as it covers a wide range of topics. All the modern methods used by Laurens are force-free and considered better for a dog's wellbeing.
The book has over 400 pages, so you know it'll go into enough detail and depth to help you train your pet. There are also tips for dog-training beginners which will help you avoid common mistakes, and the instructions are illustrated to help you understand them.
In contrast to the previous title, if it's your first time owning a dog, you should definitely purchase this book! It's so easy to follow as it's set out like a 5-week training program with step-by-step illustrations. It covers a wide range of topics like potty training, hand-feeding and basic commands.
A few people who've purchased this book feel the information is on the more basic side, so you might want to opt for a different read if you have experience. Nonetheless, if you are a newer owner, it is a good book and focuses on the much-preferred modern techniques using positive reinforcement.
Develop an understanding with your dog by discovering how they interpret your behaviour. This unique book talks you through typical issues and teaches you how to correct them by thinking like a dog – apparently, even the slightest change in voice or body language can help your pet recognise what you want.
The advice is trustworthy because it's written by an applied animal behaviourist and trainer with over 20 years of experience. Some readers felt that there was a slight lack of practical step-by-step instructions in the book, so it might be best for owners with some training experience who can interpret the prose and apply it using their own techniques.
This book will be a helpful guide for anyone looking to get a puppy. There's lots of information about not just training but on both finding breeders and adoption, too. It also covers everything new owners will need to know when getting their first puppy such as how to prepare your home.
It's an interesting read, and, owing to the authors, one that has a unique spiritual undertone to it. While it has been revised, keep in mind that as the book was first published in 1990, some of the tips could be considered outdated.
Looking to learn some fun tricks with your dog? This book is just what you need to get started as it has instructions for no less than 101 of them. It'll help you teach your dog to navigate obstacle courses, jump through hoops and even dance. The tricks are assigned a difficulty level, so you know which ones to tackle first.
The book is also well laid out, with simple instructions and illustrations that make everything easy to learn. Do note that the author suggests physical manipulation to encourage dogs to do some tricks, which some owners may not ethically agree with.
To really see success, it's well worth investing in a few extra products to help train your pooch such as whistles, treats and pads. Luckily, we've got some handy articles guiding you through the buying process to find the right products for your dog.
Whether you're getting a new puppy or you're looking to improve a rescue dog's behaviour, we hope you've found this guide helpful. Remember to check the focus of the book to find one that's relevant to your dog training needs.
Author: Rosa Fairfield
No. 1: Steve Mann｜Easy Peasy Puppy Squeezy
No. 2: Pippa Mattinson｜Total Recall
No. 3: Graeme Hall｜All Dogs Great and Small
No. 4: Janet Menzies｜The Cocker Spaniel
No. 5: Zak George｜Zak George's Guide to a Well-Behaved Dog
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