We’re over the moon you’re thinking of getting a new puppy!

At the same time, we feel like telling you to strap on for the ride…because it will be a wild one. But your journey can be made so much smoother and less bumpy with a good puppy training book beside you to pull out for when the next pair of shoes suffer from puppy biting marks. 

That being said, welcome to our complete list of best puppy training books that new puppy owners should read first! 

It’s a long one, but a good one. 

Best fundamental puppy training books to read first 

Puppy Start Right: Foundation Training for the Companion Dog (2011)

Puppy start right book cover


Sure, the name of this puppy training book isn’t blindingly creative, but that’s just because it provides good advice quite literally what it says: getting the right start with your puppy. Especially written for when you get your puppy home, there’s no time to waste when it comes to puppy training. These first few weeks are perfect for teaching them new things and getting rid of any potentially bad habits – like barking their heads off when the postman drops your parcels off. 

It’s a clear, simple and easy to understand book. I like to recommend this one to new puppy owners in particular; it’s great for before bringing your puppy home. Being well prepared will buy you time and energy! 

This book covers

  • Positive-reinforcement based
  • House training
  • Socialisation
  • Domestication and explanations on how dogs see the world
  • Explains common puppy behaviour issues

About the Authors

Kenneth M. Martin D.V.M and Debbie Martin are Veterinary professionals, highly experienced dog trainers and authors. Between them, they’ve earned quite impressive qualifications like the Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists and Veterinary Technician Specialist in Behavior…so it’s fair to say they know their stuff. You can read about Kenneth M. Martin D.V.M and Debbie Martin here. 

Buy Puppy Start Right here.

The Perfect Puppy (2008)

the perfect puppy book cover


It’s known as one of most original and bestselling puppy training books on the market for a reason. This book is a must-read for all new puppy owners, and one of my personal favourites I tend to recommend as well. This guide focuses on training your puppy to grow a problem-free dog by building their confidence, teaching good manners, and helping him understand the world around him. 

The giant puppy on the cover is, indeed, a pleasure to see on my bookshelf. 

This book covers

  • Positive reinforcement training
  • Toilet training
  • Biting and chewing
  • Step-by-step socialisation and training plans
  • How to build confidence in your puppies
  • How to play games with your puppy

About the Author 

Gwen Bailey is founder of the popular Puppy School franchise of Puppy Socialisation Classes. Since the 1980s, she’s been working as a dog trainer and behaviourist; she worked in dog rescue for the early part of her career. You can find out more about Gwen Bailey here.

Buy The Perfect Puppy here.

Social, Civil, and Savvy, on Training & Socializing Puppies (2017)

social civil and savvy book cover


This book here is a practical guide on how to teach your puppy to be a well-rounded member of society through socialising in the correct way. It’s an easy read, and simple to follow with clear explanations. Not going to lie, this is one of our favourite books for puppy training – it focuses on what really matters for having a dog know how to cope in the world: Life Skills! 

Sure, training them to be obedient and malleable is good, but teaching our puppies to be calm and confident will actually do the trick a lot better. Especially when we’re heading out the door – how else are we going to go for nice brunches once the pandemic is all over?!

This book covers:

  • Positive reinforcement training methods
  • The science of socialisation

About the Author

Laura VanArendonk Baugh is a professional dog trainer and a Faculty member of Karen Pryor Clicker Training. She’s written another book on dog training – might want to take a look. 

Buy Social, Civil, and Savvy: Training & Socializing Puppies to Become the Best Possible Dogs here.

Puppy Primer (2010)

the puppy primer book cover


Puppy Primer is a short, concise puppy training book that will give you a clear idea and guidance for raising the best puppy they can be. It covers all the necessary information and training you’ll need to teach your puppy to prepare them for the crazy world that awaits them. It’s a breeze to read through, and backed by science. 

For new owners, this book is a great choice since it will show you how to set your puppy off to a great start – and how to prepare you when things can get rocky.

This book covers

  • Socialisation Advice
  • Crate Training
  • House Training
  • Reward based using positive reinforcement
  • Helping puppies conquer their fears
  • Excellent for dog owners and professional dog trainers

About the Author

PhD Patricia B. McConnell is a professor of Zoology and an esteemed dog behaviourist, trainer and author of many dog books.

Buy Puppy Primer here.

Puppy Training: Owner’s Week-By-Week Training Guide (2003)

puppy training book cover


Published by the American Kennel Club, this puppy training guide offers a great 8 week step-by-step training plan developed from a ‘common sense’ approach. The first 8 weeks of your puppy’s life are the most important for teaching them all the good stuff about the world, and how to live comfortably in it. These are the weeks the book focuses the most in, so they (as well as you) are fully ready to embark on the adventure as best as possible. For new puppy owners, this book is a great starting point!

This book covers

  • Positive Reinforcement based training
  • 8 week home training plan
  • Socialisation
  • Toilet Training
  • Basic Manners Training
  • Full colour and well illustrated – photos are quite dated, but maybe we’re just picky.
  • A little old fashioned – we can see it’s more of a ‘hands on’ approach to dog training.
  • Some mention of dominance training – and we know that’s nonsense, so ignore those parts!

About the Author 

The late Charlotte Schwartz has trained dogs for over 40 years and has written many dog training books.  The one we’ve named here has actually been called a breakthrough in puppy training books! Fancy, fancy.

Buy Puppy Training: Owner’s Week-By-Week Training Guide here.

Perfect Puppy in 7 Days: How to Start Your Puppy Off Right  (2011)

perfect puppy in 7 days book cover


Perfect Puppy in 7 days is a great book to have a look at before your puppy comes home. It lays out a clear foundation on everything you need to do prior to their arrival, and tips on how to best prepare and avoid potential pitfalls. You know, like your favourite pair of trousers ending up ripped, or your inherited bath mat wee-d on. With this puppy training book, you’ll get good stuff on how to teach your puppy the right things from the get go.

This book covers

  • Information on puppy development
  • How to prepare for your puppy coming home
  • How to prepare your puppy for going on holiday
  • Toilet training made easy
  • Socialisation advice
  • Reward based training
  • Learn to earn programme – we’re not a huge fan of this but it can work for some puppies

About the Author

Dr Sophia Yin was a Veterinarian and author of many books. She was a huge proponent of positive reinforcement dog training, especially in the veterinary handling and husbandry field. You can learn more about her here.

Buy Perfect Puppy in 7 Days: How to Start Your Puppy Off Right here.

New Puppy!: From New Puppy to Brilliant Family Dog (2018)

from new puppy to brilliant family dog book cover


This simple puppy training book goes straight to the point. With a straightforward, quick-to-read guide, this book will show you everything about raising your puppy the right way, and how to overcome the hiccups you may experience along the way. 

We like this because it shows a deep understanding of what you may be going through – they know how getting a new puppy may not turn out as rosy as you may have thought, but they’ll guide you through to turn your frown upside down. 

No more of your puppy terrorising the neighbourhood children! Beverly Courtney has come to the rescue.

This book covers

  • Choosing the right puppy for your lifestyle
  • Toilet Training
  • Socialisation
  • Basic Puppy Training
  • Diet and Exercise

About the Author

Beverley Courtney is a dog trainer who creates online courses and has written many books on dog training. She’s dedicated to improving the bond and communication between dogs and owners by relying on force-free and shame-free methods. I quite like the sound of her, looks like we’d be great friends. 

Buy New Puppy!: From New Puppy to Brilliant Family Dog here.

Best puppy training books on obedience training

Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week Program Using the Power of Positive Reinforcement (2012)

training the best dog ever


For those of you who are struggling to visualise a clear roadmap of your new puppy’s obedience training, this is a great book to read. Written by the dog trainer of the Obamas’ family dog Bo, you can’t expect your puppy to be less prepared for the world in front of them. Yes, including the muddy world of politics.

This book covers

  • Positive reinforcement based training
  • Maps out a complete training plan
  • Good for puppies, or to kickstart a new training plan for your existing dog

About the Author

Dawn Sylvia-Stasiewicz was a successful dog trainer for 20 years. Besides training Bo, she also trained Senator Ted’s dogs. She also ran the well-known Merit Puppy training classes, and will always remain a highly respected and regarded dog trainer in the US.

Buy Training the Best Dog Ever: A 5-Week Program Using the Power of Positive Reinforcement here.

Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution: The Complete Guide to Raising the Perfect Pet with Love (2016)

Zak Georges dog training revolution book cover


This book is based on American TV Star Zak George’s years of working with dogs. Zak’s bright and enthusiastic personality shines through the chapters – just what you need after feeling so desperate about your puppy’s howls when you leave them alone in the room for a few minutes. Overall, it’s a comprehensive puppy and dog training guide, with plenty of other tips besides tricks and life skills you will find useful on your journey with your pup. 

This book covers

  • Positive reinforcement based training methods
  • Basic training
  • Handling, biting, jumping up, chewing and barking problems
  • Links to Zak’s Youtube videos for reference
  • Guides on choosing the right puppy for you

About the Author

Animal Planet star and Youtube sensation Zac George is known all over the world for his dog training, and buzzing personality. He’s great for making your days in the grey UK weather more cheerful. 

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

Best puppy training books for starting to advance trainers

Easy Peasy Puppy Squeezy (2019)

Steve mann easy peasy puppy squeezy book cover


Easy Peasy Puppy Squeezy has proudly become a #1 bestseller on Amazon.co.uk for puppy training books that uses reward based training – which makes us very happy.  In a nutshell, this is a no-nonsense puppy training guide that is easy to understand and follow. As the title says so itself, the author really does take you down an easy peasy path on how to make your puppy confident, happy and well mannered. 

This book covers

  • Reward based puppy training
  • Science based and ethical techniques 
  • How to develop a good relationship with your puppy
  • Toilet training, recalls, loose lead training and more

About the Author

Steve Mann has been a dog trainer for over 30 years, and founded The Institute for Modern Dog Trainers. 

Buy Easy Peazy Puppy Squeezy here.

Puppies For Dummies, 4th Edition (2019)

Sarah Hodgson Puppies for dummies book cover


Don’t take it personally, but Puppies for dummies could be an excellent choice for you. This book stirs away from any idea on ‘alpha dog’ philosophy, and is instead recognised by its loving and welcoming ways of getting your puppy to stop poo-ing in your living room. 

Not gonna lie, this series does have an American feel, so us Brits might find this just a little too much. But if you can see past that, this book is full of great explanations and advice with complementing illustrations…if reading isn’t your thing. 

This book covers

  • The latest science behind dogs and positive reinforcement dog training
  • How to raise a happy puppy and nurture a loving dog
  • Socialisation, toilet training, crate training
  • How to integrate your puppy best into your life. 

About the Author 

Sarah Hodgson is a dog trainer and behaviour consultant of over 35 years. She is a writer and blogger for the Huffington Post as well as a published author. 

Buy Puppies For Dummies, 4th Edition here.

Best puppy training books with inspiration for training tricks, games, sports & exercises

Brain Games for Puppies (2014)

brain games for puppies book cover


Learning through playing is not only wonderful and effective, it works for puppies as well. This book focuses on training your puppy through the use of games and having fun – sounds like a dream come true! The authors have taken advantage of puppies’ enthusiasm for learning and spongy brains that absorb information, to teach them good habits from the start, and prevent them picking up bad ones. 

It’s brilliant for making the whole experience of puppy training much more light-hearted and enjoyable. Training has never meant to be so stressful to be honest, but yes we understand the frustration of taking your pup out to the loo, yet having them wee all over your wooden floors the second they get home.

This book covers

  • Enriching brain games for puppies
  • Manners-based games to teach your puppy basic training
  • Positive reinforcement based
  • Clear photos and illustrations

About the Author

Claire Arrowsmith B.Sc.(Hons), M.Sc is a dog trainer and behaviour consultant who has featured on TV programmes such as the One Show, a published author, and a regular contributor for Your Dog, the UK’s best selling dog magazine Learn more about Claire Arrowsmith here.

Buy Brain Games for Puppies: Learn how to build a strong and loving bond with a puppy by playing fun games here.

Dog Sports Skills, Book 1: Developing Engagement and Relationship: Volume 1 (2016)

dog sports skills book 1 cover


Ok, so I know this is meant to be all puppy training books, but I wanted to pop something in for those of you thinking about doing sports with your puppies at a later stage too. Ambitious, by the way. 

But yes, this book is an incredible foundation to raising a wonderful sports dog who is engaged and will listen to you. With this guide, you’ll be able to take brilliant videos of your puppy, go viral and take us with you in your fame. We obviously don’t have a hidden agenda.

This book covers

  • Positive reinforcement training
  • Building a foundation of engagement essential for anyone considering sports with their dog
  • Relationship building exercises
  • How to reduce stress when training
  • Improving a dog’s mental flexibility
  • How to be a better trainer for your dog to succeed
  • Training techniques – luring/capturing/shaping

About the Authors

Denise Fenzi is a dog trainer and owner of The Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. She is a well known competitive dog sports handler in the USA, and is a proponent for positive reinforcement dog training. 

Deborah Jones PhD is a dog trainer, animal psychologist and author with over 25 years experience. 

The knowledge of these two talented authors together makes this book unbeatable in my opinion.

Buy Dog Sports Skills, Book 1: Developing Engagement and Relationship: Volume 1 here.

From the Ground Up: Agility Foundation Training for Puppies and Beginner Dogs (2010)

Agility foundation training for puppies and begginer dogs book cover


It’s not like your dog will ever have to jump through hoops or run through plastic tubes to save his life…but it is an awful lot of fun to do it. If you’re looking to train your puppy in agility, this puppy training book will show you how to get started from the ground up, as the name clearly states. You’ll go deep into the skills they need to work on to become the fastest, and most athletic dog they can be. It’s also perfect for impressing people around the park, be ready for your puppy to become the newest neighbourhood celebrity. 

This book covers

  • Positive reinforcement based training
  • Training methods for luring, promoting, and shaping
  • Pre-agility obedience behaviours – these are quite good for all puppies, even if having them become agility professionals isn’t one of your goals.
  • Key concepts to teach your wannabee agility dog
  • Fundamental exercises all agility dogs need to know

About the Author

Kim Collins has been training dogs for over 25 years, and is an Agility Champion (the dogs she trains are, not so much her per say). You can read more about Kim Collins.

Buy From the Ground Up: Agility Foundation Training for Puppies and Beginner Dogs here.

Best puppy training books for kids

Puppy Training for Kids: Teaching Children the Responsibilities and Joys of Puppy Care, Training, and Companionship (2012)

Puppy training for kids poster


How many pet parents say they ‘got a puppy for the children? A large number I’d wager, and if you’re one of them yourself, then this is a fantastic book to buy to get your children involved in the actual responsibility and commitment it takes to raise a puppy, and seeing them as a new member of the family.

Involving your entire family in your puppy’s training is very important at all levels; for forming an equally strong bond between everyone, and so that your puppy’s road to good manners is as smooth as it can be. 

No more getting into fights about who’s turn it is to walk the dog. It’s simply everybody’s responsibility! 

This book covers

  • Clearly illustrated engaging topics for children
  • Teaches children how to use clickers, understand puppy behaviour and meeting other dogs
  • Fun and easy for children to read
  • Reward based, with easy to understand training techniques
  • Tips for parents in helping their children take part in training
  • Toilet Training, Socialisation, Puppy games

About the Author 

Colleen Pelar has been a dog trainer for over 28 years and specialises in working with children and dogs. You can definitely trust her on the subject – that’s for sure!

Buy Puppy Training for Kids: Teaching Children the Responsibilities and Joys of Puppy Care, Training, and Companionship here.

Ultimate Puppy Training for Kids: A Step-By-Step Guide for Exercises and Tricks (2020)

ultimate puppy training for kids book cover


This puppy training book is designed for children to read and learn about raising a puppy in a fun and informative way. If you have children between the ages of 8 to 12 desperate for a puppy and now are sort of clueless about how to deal with them, this is definitely a good resource!

With a book like this, you won’t need to worry about being “the only one who takes care of the dog” after all the begging…I like that this book gives children some agency in training their puppy and of course, means the grown ups can take a back seat. We have enough to do!

This book covers

  • Explains what it’s like to be a puppy for children – we like this approach, it makes it a lot easier for children to handle and train them. 
  • How to puppy-proof your house – identifying unsafe things for your puppy
  • Your puppy’s first year
  • Basic training
  • Trick training
  • Puppy care and health advice

About the Author

Mark Van Wye is a dog lover and CEO of a national franchise of puppy training classes in the USA called Zoom Room. Zoom Room is an indoor dog training gym that offers group classes, playgroups and training programs all based on positive reinforcement training (yay! Music to our ears).

Buy Ultimate Puppy Training for Kids: A Step-By-Step Guide for Exercises and Tricks here.

Best puppy training books on positive reinforcement training

The Power of Positive Dog Training (2008)

the power of positive dog training 2nd edition book cover


The Power of Positive Dog Training is an incredible guide. It outlines a complete and well-thought out 6 week training programme for your dog that is strongly based on giving you all the tools you need to create a respectful, loving bond with your dog. Besides information on training, you’ll get more insights for how to observe and understand your dog’s body language, and introduce you to slightly more tricky training concepts to try if your puppy is ready for it. 

…Or when they’ve surprised you with how smart they are, and you’re worried they’ll outsmart you.

This book covers

  • Gets to the nitty gritty of positive reinforcement training
  • Gives you a 6 week training programme to work through with your dog 
  • Step by step instructions in how to teach exercises
  • Progress-tracking diary
  • Glossary of training terms

About the Author

Pat Miller has been a dog trainer for over 40 years. Previously, she used a traditional approach but then moved to science based positive reinforcement techniques (it really is the best). She has written many books, and regularly contributes to The Whole Dog Journal. 

Buy The Power of Positive Dog Training here. 

Train Your Dog Positively (2014)

train your dog positively book cover


In Train Your Dog Positively: Victoria Stilwell, star of ‘It’s Me or the Dog’ show on Animal Planet, takes you step-by-step through the many positive reinforcement methods featured in her show to solve the training challenges and behaviour problems you’ll be likely to run into with a new puppy.

The show is pretty good to be honest, but can be hard to forget what she says because it’s simply too entertaining to pay that much attention. Having the book with you is a safer bet to drench yourself in her knowledge. 

This book covers

  • Reward Based Training
  • Canine body language
  • House Training
  • Pulling on the lead
  • How to solve problem behaviours

About the Author 

Victoria Stilwell is an author and presenter, originally from the UK. She’s been starring in the long-running TV show ‘It’s Me or The Dog’, and in many other ones across the US and UK. You’re welcome, now you have new shows to binge-watch. 

Buy Train Your Dog Positively here.

Positive Puppy Training for Beginners (2019)

positive puppy training for beginners book cover


An Audiobook! Lovely. Who doesn’t love an audio book these days? With our lives being so busy, listening to an audiobook can be quite a blessing. You can get all the juicy information you want for optimal puppy training while you’re doing just about anything; driving, washing the dishes or cleaning up an accidental wee from your puppy. You could even listen to it during a training session with your puppy to make sure you’re doing everything right. 

 Doesn’t get much better than that.

This book covers

  • Practical positive reinforcement puppy training
  • Guides you in raising a happy, healthy puppy
  • How to help with your puppy’s separation anxiety
  • How to toilet train your puppy
  • Education about dominance based training and why you shouldn’t use it

About the Author

This book is written by Melanie Johnson, she has written and narrated many audiobooks. She has a lovely voice too, won’t make you cringe – I promise. 

Buy Positive Puppy Training for Beginners here.

The Puppy Training Handbook: How To Raise The Dog Of Your Dreams (2017)

the puppy training handbook book cover


The Puppy Training Handbook is a comprehensive guide that teaches you how to train your puppy using positive reinforcement techniques. The author uses individualized techniques which is great for making sure the training is as effective as it can be – tailored for your puppy’s needs and personality. The puppy training book also focuses on the steps you can do to feel a stronger connection to your puppy – that is truly what’s most important after all. 

For a well-mannered, kind and friendly dog in the long run, this is a nice guide that will show you through it.

This book covers

  • Crate Training
  • Toilet Training
  • Golden rules of training
  • Basic Obedience Training
  • Positive reinforcement based training techniques
  • Solving the top 20 dog behavioural problems

About the Author 

Kaelin Munkelwitz is the owner and head trainer at All Things Pup based in Los Angeles. With over 10 years of experience, Kaelin is known for ‘knowing dogs’ better than anyone.  

Buy The Puppy Training Handbook: How To Raise The Dog Of Your Dreams here.

Best puppy toilet training book

How to Housebreak Your Dog in 7 Days (2004) 

Shirlee Kalstone how to housebreak your dog in 7 days book cover


You might not realize it because it’s written in American, but as the title says, this is a book centred solely on one of your pressing concerns as a new puppy owner – toilet training. 

After reading this book, trust us you’ll be over the moon to wave goodbye to stepping on puddles of wee around the house. With this concise and easy-to-read book, you’ll be shown how to get into a nice routine of stepping outside for the loo, and not turn your house into one. 

We also have a similar puppy toilet training guide available. Check it out. 

Don’t want to brag, but our toilet training guide takes 5 days. Just saying.

This book covers

  • Positive reinforcement based – punishing puppies for toilet training mistakes does not work!
  • Why accidents such as toileting inside happen
  • Why your puppy pees inside even after you just took them out! – we’re quite familiar with this one.
  • How to set up routines and processes to ensure success
  • Toilet training schedules 

About the Author

Shirlee Kalstone and her books have been trusted for over 20 years. She has written over 8 books on dog training, and has also filled her career with becoming a professional groomer and with working in the Humane Society.

Buy How to Housebreak Your Dog in 7 Days here. 

Best complete puppy training and daily care books

Choosing the Perfect Puppy (2017)

Pippa Mattinson choosing the perfect puppy book cover


Haven’t decided what puppy you want to get yet? Can’t blame you – there’s not a single pair of puppy eyes that I can reject, personally.

Unfortunately, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to welcome every single puppy into your home. But that’s why this is the perfect book for you. If you can’t make up your mind on what puppy to get, this guide will tell you based on how well they will fit your lifestyle, home, and even mood. 

When you finally make your choice, it’ll be like a match made in heaven.

This book covers

  • Pedigree vs Crossbreed comparisons
  • Information on the most popular breeds of dogs
  • How to pick the right puppy for you from the litter
  • Everything you need to know about selecting the right puppy to join your life

About the Author 

Pippa Mattison has been a dog trainer for over 30 years. She has published many great dog training books, of which I’m a big fan of.

Buy Choosing the Perfect Puppy here.

Complete Puppy & Dog Care: What every dog owner needs to know (2018)

complete puppy and dog care book cover


This book is essentially a collection of 40 years of knowledge, so pretty much a huge chunk of Dr Bruce Fogle’s years as a Veterinarian. If you’re a first time dog owner, this book will be a great source of information because it goes way beyond puppy training. They also go into nutrition, health advice, wellbeing and other useful tips for how to build a stronger bond with your dog. 

It’s kind of like the encyclopedia of puppy everything.

This book covers

  • How to pick the best breed of dog based on your lifestyle
  • How to look after your puppy’s health and wellbeing
  • Advice on inherited health conditions in different breeds of dog
  • Advice on nutrition 
  • Basic training

About the Author 

Dr Bruce Fogle (Father to yes, that Ben Fogle!) has been a practicing Veterinarian in London for over 40 years. He is currently the director of the London Veterinary Clinic. 

Buy Complete Puppy & Dog Care: What every dog owner needs to know here.

Well. Looks like you’ve got yourself quite a lot to read! Better get started then.

Remember that you can also complement everything you’ve been learning through these books with training and advice on the Zigzag app. We’ve got nice illustrations in there too, we’re sure our illustrator Lou would love to know what you think of them. And If you would like a simple breakdown of what a weekly puppy training schedule should look like, we’ve got this covered too.