As a dog trainer, you’re constantly learning about your canine clients. Sure, you’ll get most of your knowledge from hands-on training and certification courses. But it doesn’t hurt to buckle down with a good book.
There are hundreds of books written by and for dog trainers. So it can be “ruff” to find one worth the cost and time. We want to make it easier for you!
We put together our top book recommendations for dog trainers in 2023.
What books should dog trainers read in 2023?
Dog training books are a great resource for new and seasoned trainers. You get actionable tips from some of the top professionals in your field. Plus, you’re sure to leave with new techniques to add to your business. It’s a great way to get ahead of your competition!
Remember: Not all dog trainers share the same philosophy. For example, “positive dog trainers” have a very different philosophy from other schools of thought. Still, it’s beneficial to hear testimonials from both sides and understand the evidence behind their positions. At the very least, it helps you talk about why you’ve committed to your dog training style over another.
Here are the best books for dog trainers to read in 2023.
#1 Train Your Dog Positively: Understand Your Dog and Solve Common Behavior Problems Including Separation Anxiety, Excessive Barking, Aggression, Housetraining, Leash Pulling, and More!
In Train Your Dog Positively, Stilwell offers an in-depth guide to conquering common behavior problems in dogs, from annoying to dangerous. Unlike typical dog training manuals, this book provides science-based tools to understand dogs better.
The book covers anything from leash aggressions to separation anxiety. It’s a helpful resource, whether you’re a frustrated pet owner or dog trainer that wants to learn from a pro.
Victoria Stilwell is a world-renowned positive reinforcement dog trainer and star of Its Me or the Dog. Her training methods are science-backed and proven to overcome common training issues.
- Author(s): Victoria Stilwell
- Year Published: 2013
- Cost: $10.99 (Kindle)
#2 So You Want To Be a Dog Trainer, 3rd Edition
In So You Want To Be a Dog Trainer, Nicole Wilde shows you how to take your love for dogs and turn it into a professional dog training career. Through a mix of tips, how-to guides, and other resources, Wilde shows you how to build a successful dog training career.
You can expect to learn the ins and outs of the dog training industry, including:
- What to expect working with dogs and their owners
- Is it possible to earn a living as a dog trainer?
- Using advertising and marketing to grow your business
- Developing an online presence with a website, social media pages, etc
- Offering group classes, in-home training sessions, etc.
- And much more!
So you want to be a dog trainer is book one of Wilde’s four-part series, Train The Trainer.
Nicole Wilde is a professional canine behavior specialist and certified dog trainer with over 30 years of experience. She’s written twelve books for both dog trainers and pet owners and sits on the advisory board for numerous reputable dog trainer organizations.
- Author(s): Nicole Wilde
- Year published: 2018
- Cost: $19.95 (Paperback, Amazon)
#3 Cesar’s Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems
Cesar’s Way dives into the invaluable wisdom of internationally renowned dog expert Cesar Milan (aka Dog Whisperer). Cesar shows readers how to cultivate a stronger relationship with their furry friends. He breaks down a simple formula (exercise, discipline, and affection) for a happy dog. Plus, you’ll also get behind-the-scenes info on his most interesting cases.
It’s a great tool for dog trainers and pet owners alike. Expect to learn:
- What your dog needs vs. what you give your dog
- Dogs’ natural pack instincts
- Dispelling myths about “problem breeds”
- The line between discipline and publishment
- And much more!
Cesar Milan is an international dog expert, most recognized for his role on the hit show Dog Whisperer. With a slew of celebrity clients, Cesar is one of the most sought dog trainers in the country. He’s written several books about his fascinating experiences with dogs.
- Author(s): Cesar Milan, Melissa Jo Peltier
- Year published: 2006
- Cost: $12.99 (Kindle)
#4 Culture Clash: A New Way Of Understanding The Relationship Between Humans And Domestic Dogs
Culture Clash is a classic in the dog trainer/dog lover community. It was originally published in the 90s and updated in 2012. This novel has been said to shape the modern approach to dog training and ownership. It provides valuable insights into the culture of dogs and inspires the community to question what “normal” dog behavior looks like.
- Author(s): Jean Donaldson
- Year Published: 1997
- Cost: $9.95 (Kindle)
#5 The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter than You Think
The Genius of Dogs quickly became a worldwide bestseller, and it’s no wonder why. The book takes you on a fascinating journey through the mind of your furry companion. Dr. Hare provides a comprehensive look at how dogs evolved their intelligence with interesting discoveries and anecdotes.
Dr. Brian Hare is a professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University.
- Author(s): Brian Hare
- Date Published: 2013
- Cost: $8.99 (Kindle)
#6 Thriving Dog: An Indispensable Tool to Help You Start or Repair Your Dog Training Business
After years of struggling to grow his own dog training Business, Ted Efthymiadis learned a surefire formula. In Thriving Dog, he gives aspiring dog trainers a step-by-step guide to grow in the industry, plus tips to avoid some common mistakes. Efthymiadis breaks down five core principles to get your dog training business off the ground, including:
- Learning dog training skills
- Choosing the right business model
- Finding clients
- Blowing their minds
- Getting referrals
Whether you’re a newbie trainer or a seasoned pro looking to grow your business, this book can help. Plus, you’ll get access to invaluable resources like veterinarian referral guides, client contract and form templates, and an exclusive dog trainer Facebook group. It’s a win-win.
Ted Efthymiadis is an experienced and passionate dog trainer. Throughout his prolific career, he’s contributed to multiple books, training DVDs, and dog trainer seminars.
- Author(s): Ted Efthymiadis
- Year Published: 2018
- Cost: $19.99 (Paperback, Amazon)
#7 Dog Training Revolution: The Complete Guide to Raising the Perfect Pet with Love
In Dog Training Revolution, Zak George breaks down everything he’s learned from training thousands of dogs. Readers learn how to personalize training to the unique needs of the dog for more efficient results.
Trainers and pet owners can benefit from the info in this book, including:
- Basic house training skills
- Managing leash pulling, barking, aggression, etc
- Caring for a dog’s health and diet
- Tips, trucks, and much more!
Zak George is a beloved YouTuber and TV personality. You can check out his social media pages to see his expertise in action.
- Author: Zak George
- Year Published: 2016
- Cost: $10.99 (Paperback, Amazon)
Our Top Pick
Dog trainer books can make a huge impact on your career. You can learn about pet behavior, training techniques, and growing your dog training business. It’s easy to find one that fits your needs.
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