4 Best Books About Dogs Every Owner Needs To Read

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

In my journey to successfully train my dogs, I’ve stumbled upon some amazing books that have been game-changers.

These reads have truly helped me understand the world of dogs and shape my training approach.

Honestly, these books, along with the guidance of two fantastic trainers, have completely transformed how I communicate with my furry friend.

Now, my dog knows what I’m asking for, I understand his cues, and life is just so much better for both of us.

I can’t help but wish I’d had this knowledge back when I had my first dog—he would’ve appreciated it so much!

So, if you love dogs, have a dog, or are even thinking about getting one, you absolutely need to check out these books. Trust me, they’re must-reads!

Medical Questions? Talk to a Veterinarian 24/7.
Connect one-on-one with a licensed vet who will answer your questions in minutes.

Ask a Vet Now or Schedule a home visit

*Article may contain affiliate links to retailers like Amazon and Chewy. Learn more on our disclosure page.

Dear Dog Owner

1. “The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs” by Patricia B. McConnell

Ever wondered why dogs greet each other the way they do?

As dog owners, it can be puzzling why some dogs instantly love each other while others can’t stand each other, why some dogs crave attention while others shy away from hugs, or why some pick up training quickly while others take their sweet time.

This book joyfully and humorously explains the differences in how humans and dogs interact and why our interspecies communication often hits bumps.

It offers insights on how we can become more fluent in “dog” to improve our connection and training with our furry friends.

The author, McConnell, is humble, self-deprecating, yet confident and incredibly knowledgeable—a dog trainer you’d love to meet in person.

Through her book, she effectively shares her philosophy and experience.

Not only does she help you understand your dog’s communication style, but she also provides practical advice to improve your interactions with your dog, blending theory with actionable tips seamlessly.

2. “Reaching the Animal Mind: Clicker Training and What It Teaches Us About All Animals” by Karen Pryor

Karen is one of my favorite authors, and she definitely is one of the best trainers out there.

This book is a go-to for many dog trainers, and for good reason.

It introduces clicker training, a method that uses a consistent sound paired with a treat to shape a dog’s behavior.

This approach takes positive reinforcement to the next level, helping dogs quickly understand the exact behavior you want.

Pryor’s book explains the science and technique behind this method, making it easy for anyone to use.

My personal experience with clicker training was a game-changer.

After struggling to teach my dog to high-five, a pet store clerk recommended clicker training.

Within three minutes of using the clicker, my dog had mastered the trick.

Pryor’s “Reaching the Animal Mind” is essential for anyone serious about effective, positive dog training.

It requires practice and patience, but it builds a strong, trusting relationship between you and your dog.

3. “Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet” by John Bradshaw

“Dog Sense” is highly recommended by trainers I respect, despite being one of the few books on my list I haven’t read yet.

It challenges common misconceptions about dogs by presenting the world from a dog’s perspective, which can lead to more positive and trusting interactions with our pets.

The book emphasizes that dogs and wolves are not the same, debunking the popular belief that dogs are simply domesticated wolves living in a human “pack.”

It critiques the “alpha dog” mentality, suggesting that it can create more problems and advocating for approaches like positive reinforcement and understanding canine body language.

While some readers find the emphasis on the differences between wolves and dogs repetitive, the scientific insights provided help shape a more effective and empathetic approach to dog training and care.

4. “Bones Would Rain From the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships With Dogs” by Suzanne Clothier

This book, while similar to “The Other End of the Leash” in discussing how dogs see the world and interpret our actions, offers a unique perspective.

Like getting advice from two different friends, it provides a different yet supportive understanding.

Clothier, an avid animal lover, takes the reader on a journey to see the world through a dog’s eyes.

She even shares her childhood antics of acting like a dog, showing her deep empathy and commitment to understanding dogs.

By adopting a dog’s perspective, Clothier reveals how we can address “bad” behavior more effectively and find solutions that make both dogs and humans happy.

This book is not only a practical guide for dog owners but also a delightful read for animal lovers, showcasing decades of compassionate dog training.

Who else should enjoy this story? Share it now!

And please follow us on Facebook too!

Share this post!
Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

no more bad dog breaths banner