Skip to main content

PawTracks may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

4 dog-training books under $20 every new owner needs

Whether or not this is your first time bringing home a new pup, a course in Dog Training 101 never hurts. Many dog owners like to take obedience and training into their own hands, making resources like a book especially helpful. These four books are all highly recommended online, by pet parents and canine professionals alike, so you know you’ll be learning from a trustworthy source. From basic training to advanced tricks for show, these publications cover everything. It’s all about whatever resonates with you! Read on, pet parents:                                                    

Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution: The Complete Guide to Raising the Perfect Pet with Love

As Amazon’s No. 1 Best Seller in dog-training books, this guide has a lot to offer. It’s written by dog trainer and television star Zak George, who also owns the most popular YouTube channel for dog training.

In this book, he uses his own journey with his border collie, Venus, to highlight the importance of creating a healthy and loving relationship with your dog. By prioritizing this relationship, he notes, training becomes easy. As listed in the description: “I’ll walk you through everything you need to know — from picking out your dog and house training to feeding, basic training, socialization, grooming, and health issues. This book includes a shopping list, a guide to dog-proofing your home, what to do in case of an emergency, and other checklists.” Consider this a must-have for new pup owners.

51 Puppy Tricks: Step-by-Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Puppy

This book is the ideal starting place for families with new canine additions, as it’s meant for dogs under the age of one year. Not only will you learn how a puppy’s brain works, but you’ll also be taught how to apply this knowledge in incremental training — starting with the basics, of course!

As one of the best puppy-training books, this publication is also the most reviewed on One review by user Pompup praises the book’s diversity in content, with both beginner obedience and more advanced tricks, as well as the helpful troubleshooting tips and photographic examples.

Dog Training for Kids: Fun and Easy Ways to Care for Your Furry Friend

For homes with children ready to help care for a dog, this book will teach them everything they need to know, including potty training, obedience, and games. This book goes above and beyond training, too — your child will learn how to understand their dog, respect their pet’s boundaries, and maintain a long-lasting friendship.

Author Vanessa Estrada Marin has experience working with children and dogs, so you know your child is learning from the best. “This book is written in a way that my child could follow along with the tutorials easily, especially when paired with the detailed illustrations,” writes Celeste A. Ramirez in the Editorial Reviews. “As a parent, I appreciate the positive language the author used to encourage children to be kind and patient with dogs as well as themselves.”

How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond

There’s a reason you’ve quite likely seen and heard of National Geographic’s The Dog Whisperer Cesar Milan: His methods are effective, and his teaching style is friendly and approachable. In his puppy-focused book How to Raise the Perfect Dog, he explains what makes a home a supportive place for a pup, how to help your puppy learn basic obedience, and the best methods for correcting unwanted behaviors.

According to the book’s description, some of the topics covered include:

• What to expect from each stage of your puppy’s development

• Quick and easy housebreaking

• How to correct any issue before it becomes a problem

• Unique exercises and play to bring out the best in every breed

Whether this is your first time training a dog or you just need a refresher, these top-rated, knowledge-filled books are your one-stop shops for all you need to know. With some patience, time, and one of these books, you and your dog will be bonding and showing off all your new tricks in no time.

Editors' Recommendations

Gabrielle LaFrank
Gabrielle LaFrank has written for sites such as Psych2Go, Elite Daily, and, currently, PawTracks. When she's not writing, you…
Why do dogs dig into their bed? An annoying behavior, explained
This dog behavior is common, but can be cause for concern
A brown dog in a dog bed

You hoped your dog "dug" their bed when you spent hours researching the top brands with the comfiest products. Maybe your pooch took to their bed immediately — success. Alternatively, perhaps they decided your bed was a better fit, and you chose to roll with the choice. Regardless of which option you two settled on, you may notice your pet has an interesting bedtime and naptime routine: digging into their beds.

The digging is usually accompanied by some walking around in circles, nosing at the bed or any blankets, and repeating until they finally settle down and enjoy some sweet slumber. Why do dogs dig on the bed, though?

Read more
Why is my dog barking at nothing? There’s often a really good reason
Your dog likely isn't barking at "nothing" after all
Side profile of a Siberian husky stands in the water at the beach and barks

Virtually every dog barks every now and again, but sometimes that barking can get to be too much. It's easier to address excessive barking when you can figure out what your dog is trying to tell you or alert you of, but dog owners know it's not always obvious. In fact, it can be a bit unnerving when your dog is barking at an empty wall.

You're certainly not alone if you find yourself asking, "Why is my dog barking at nothing?" This is a common question among dog owners, and it's something that veterinarians and animal behaviorists have studied as well. There's usually a reason behind dogs' barking, after all, so it's worth looking into to make sure your furry friend is alright.

Read more
3 effective tips to make puppy sleep training less of a nightmare
Help your puppy get to sleep with this guide
A black and white French bulldog puppy sleeps in the arms of a person wearing a sweater

Bringing home a new puppy means you’re in for a whole lot of cute … and a lot less sleep. Before 4 months of age, a pup’s sleeping schedule consists of naps throughout the day and night — not the nighttime slumber you’re used to! This is a habit he'll grow out of, but with a few cozy arrangements, you can help your puppy sleep through the night with ease.
Puppy sleep training takes some preparation and time, but it can be done. The first few nights might be difficult if you have a stubborn pup who isn’t ready to hit the hay, but he'll get used to it in time. Here’s what you need to know.
According to the folks at Purina, a puppy is likely to sleep all the way through the night around 16 weeks of age. Although they will need a lot of sleep — around 17 to 20 hours a day — for the first several months of life, these naps will come in small chunks throughout the day. Just like human babies, young puppies alternate between periods of energy and rest, so it’s important to let them sleep when and where they need to.

Should you crate train your puppy?
Sleeping in a crate can benefit both you and your dog, especially when he's younger. A small puppy will have trouble controlling his bladder and might want to chew, which means containing him is essential to keeping him safe. You definitely don't want your animal to swallow something dangerous in the night or while he's home alone.

Read more