Recommended books on pet behavior and training

Whether you're looking for general training best practices or to solve for a specific behavioral challenge, check out this recommended reading list from our expert trainers. 

A dog shaking a woman's hand
General behavior and training
  • “Meet Your Dog: The Game-Changing Guide to Understanding Your Dog’s Behavior” by Kim Brophey. This book will introduce you to the L.E.G.S. (learning, environment, genetics, and self) model, which is crucial to understanding why your dog behaves the way they do.
  • "The Power of Positive Dog Training" by Pat Miller. Pat Miller is a prolific writer for many dog magazines, including Dog Fancy and Whole Dog Journal, and this book is a must for every pet parent's library.
  • "Culture Clash" (2nd Edition) by Jean Donaldson. A popular book that challenges our assumptions about how dogs think and how we think about them.
  • "Don’t Shoot the Dog!" by Karen Pryor. Use operant conditioning not only to train your dog, but to change the behavior of your child, your spouse, your boss, or others. Really!
  • "The Other End Of The Leash" by Patricia McConnell. Entertaining book on how our behavior influences the behavior of our dogs.
  • “Perfect Puppy in 7 Days: How to Start Your Puppy Off Right” by Dr. Sophia Yin. This is a must-have for any puppy parent– experienced or new!
Pet selection and breed information
  • "Paws to Consider: Choosing the Right Dog for You and Your Family" by Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson. Many breed books will give you information about a breed’s eventual size, color, and history, but little else that’s helpful to the average pet parent. This book divides dogs by breed types and describes how the original function of the breed impacts life in your home.
Dogs and children
  • "Living With Kids And Dogs…Without Losing Your Mind" by Colleen Pelar
  • "Raising Puppies and Kids Together: A Guide for Parents" by Pia Silvani and Lynn Eckhardt

These books are a necessity for any home with children and dogs. They are filled with advice on how to live successfully with your dog and a child of any age. If you are planning a family or are expecting a baby, get one of these books now!

Many of these books can be found in your local bookstore. Others are more easily found at, specializing in quality dog books. 

Need more behavior help?

View our extensive pet behavior library or call our Pet Helpline at 952-HELP-PET (952-435-7738).

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