9 Must-Have Books for First Time Dog Owners


Aside from all pets, dogs share an exceptional relationship with humans. It’s no wonder they’re called man’s best friends. The first time raising a dog is overwhelming. You’ll likely be confused about dealing with your new furry friend and its behavior and habits.

Books can be really helpful in learning how to train your dog and communicate with it. Many great book options can be found fo first-time dog owners. But this list combines some brilliant books for first-time dog owners. Take a look at them here.

Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days by Brandon McMillan – Best for Dog Training

Lucky Dog Lessons is all about tips and tricks for training your dog in the shortest time possible.

The book guides you step-by-step to everything you need to know, including building trust with your dog, dealing with common behavioral issues, and the basic training orders.

The author, Brandon McMillan, is a well-known dog trainee. He hosted a famous show called ‘Lucky Dog’ that earned him his first and only Emmy award.

Not only that, but he’s been helping shelter dogs evolve into fully-trained house pets for years. He accounts for thousands of saved shelter dogs.

Further, the book displays some steps in illustrations that are easier to comprehend than texts. Additionally, he shares fun stories about some of his rescued dogs and provides behind-the-scenes outtakes of his show.

The book revolves around 7 commands that McMillan believes are vital in any dog training: sit, stay, down, come, off, heel, and no.

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The Right Dog for You by Daniel F. Tortora – Best for Choosing the Dog Breed

This book takes us to the absolute beginning of the dog raising process. It’s the only book on our list that doesn’t tell you how to train your dog.

Instead, it advises you on the right dog to buy. It happens a lot that people get dogs that aren’t suitable for them. This book will help you avoid this unfortunate situation by helping you decide which breed to buy.

Daniel F. Tortora follows a systematic way to present his advice. He tells you how to choose your dog according to your lifestyle and personality. Plus, he offers you several breeds to choose from and tells you everything you need to know about them.

Not only that, but Daniel also addresses every breed’s behavior with kids, adults, and certain situations. That way, you can know what to expect before you get your dog.

There are some dog attributes that the book teaches you about:

  • Physical characteristics
  • Activity level
  • Socialization
  • Emotional stability
  • Training responsiveness
  • Food requirements

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101 Dog Tricks: Step-by-Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog by Kyra Sundance – Best for Bonding with Your Dog

If you want to do more than train your new dog on the basic commands, this book would be a great place to start. It’s globally recognized for being a bestseller book. It’s available in 18 languages, and people bought over a half million copies of it. This tells you a lot about its credibility.

The book includes 101 tricks that’ll help you take your relationship with your dog to the next level, in terms of bonding and engaging.

Plus, it’ll give you insight into dogs’ common behavior and how you can use it to your advantage. The book throws in some great tips about challenging your dog too and playing with it too.

Kyra Sundance categorized the book into different themes, so you can reach for the topic you want without skimming the whole book.

Additionally, she organized the tricks by difficulty. That way, you can move your way up until your dog reaches the advanced level.

The book’s themes include:

  • Chores
  • Funny tricks
  • Dancing
  • Love

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Perfect Puppy in 7 Days: How to Start Your Puppy Off Right by Dr. Sophia Yin  Best for Raising Puppies

This is a highly recommended book for new puppy owners.

Puppies are too cute for their own good, but they can be challenging to deal with. That’s what Dr. Sophia Yin addresses in her globally-acclaimed puppy training book.

She does it through 400 illustrative photos and a comprehensive guide for raising your new puppy.

The book isn’t only about puppy tricks and basic training commands, but it also references effective methods to bond with your new puppy and gain its trust while you still can.

Plus, it tells you how to prepare it for life without using dominance, which has proven to have counter effects on dogs. The author also writes in detail about the right time to start training your new puppy, and how to prepare it for the training period.

The book embraces puppies’ body language and how you can use it to your advantage. Along with puppies’ ways of understanding how their owners think. Here’s an example of the chapters that you’ll find in the book:

  • Why Start Training So Soon?
  • Preparing for the Puppy
  • Dr. Sophia Yin’s Learn to Earn Program for Puppies

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Cesar’s Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems -by Cesar Millan & Melissa Jo Peltier – Best for Understanding Your Dog

Cesar Millan is easily one of America’s most renowned dog trainers. He hosts a National Geographic show that’s called Dog Whisperer. Plus, he appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show a couple of times. So, it’s no wonder his book earned a place on our list.

You’d be surprised when you know that this book encourages the dominant training methods that nearly all the other books on our list condemned.

Don’t judge too quickly, though. The authors have good reason to believe that these ways work. You’ll know more about it in the book.

Millan believes it’s humans who need to adjust their behavior, not dogs. In this definitive guide, he presents his ideas in a fun, compelling way that pulls the reader in instantly.

He tells you in detail what you can do to lead a happy life with your dog, while not crossing the line on your reinforcement.

This book is ideal for you if you want to raise your dog’s behavior to a higher standard. Besides, it’s a refreshing alternative to the repeated ways of other authors. You can go for it if you want to raise a disciplined dog.

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The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs by Patricia B. McConnell – Best for Communicating with Your Dog

Patricia B. McConnell has a theory that dogs’ disobedience or rebellion is a result of miscommunication. She uses her vast experience of more than 20 years as a dog trainer to shed some spotlight on your own behavior and communication with your dog.

In this book, She explores how we’re two different species who speak different languages. She surveys how you can deal with this fact by communicating with your dog in the right way.

The book adopts the idea of trying to understand your new dog based on how it perceives you.

It includes real-life stories of dog owners and their similar experiences with their pets. There are a couple of things that you can learn through this book.

Here’s a summary:

  • Why you shouldn’t use dominance
  • How to play with your dog in the right way
  • How to behave with your dog if you want it to do what you ask
  • How dogs don’t like the alpha attitude

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The Puppy Primer by Patricia B. McConnell & Brenda Scidmore – Best for Puppy Socialization

Another impressive work by Patricia B. McConnel. This time, another distinguished author joins Brenda Scidmore. The Puppy Primer is mainly about puppy socialization in its first few months of living. The authors present their topics in an insightful, humorous way that’ll make you love the book.

The book includes detailed ways for training puppies, using positive reinforcement. Some readers said every dog owner must read it because it talks about all the basic training methods they’ll need. In short, an essential book for all new puppy owners.

The authors didn’t only write about training puppies; they also explained why you should ditch dominance and opt for modern ways of training. On top of that, they elaborated the benefits of these methods in the long run.

Here’s an example of the topics that the book covers:

  • Puppy socialization
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Crate training
  • Tricks and games for puppies
  • How to control bad behavior
  • How to deal with fearful puppies

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Don’t Shoot the Dog!: The New Art of Teaching and Training by Karen Pryor – Best for Changing Your Dog’s Behavior

In this book, the author addresses both animal and human behavior. She aims to inspire dog owners to ditch traditional ways of training, such as yelling, punishing, using force. Instead, she wants them to adopt positive reinforcement as a way of encouraging better behavior.

Pryor focuses her research on puppies, and how affection training is your best option if you want to train them effortlessly. Plus, she does it in an entertaining, engaging way. You won’t feel a moment of boredom reading that book.

The book is much more than a dog-training book. It’ll help you change your own behavior, along with your kids’ or pets’ behavior. It’s one of the rare books for new dog owners that’s got it all.

The book covers a load of interesting topics; we can’t get them all in here. So, we’ll show you an example of the covered subjects:

  • Principles of clicker training
  • 8 ways to control your dog’s bad habits
  • 10 rules for administering affection training
  • New methods to implement positive reinforcement training
  • Effective ways to house-train your puppy

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The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson – Best for Raising a Disciplined Dog

This book adopts a unique idea that’s interesting to explore. Reading the name, you’d think it’s about some kind of culture war between countries. However, it focuses on the difference between humans and dogs.

Jean Donaldson tells us in his books all about the heritage that shapes humans and dogs. Additionally, he explains how people are wrong when they try to attribute their own behavior to dogs. Not only that, but he also suggests the right method to deal with dogs.

The book’s philosophical point of view has contributed to shaping the modern way of training dogs and modifying their behavior. It’s an impeccable reference for dealing with everything a dog does. Readers said that the book makes raising dogs an easy task to do.

If you want to learn how to raise your dog right, while having an entertaining read in the process, this is your go-to option. You’ll also enjoy the author’s theories on the difference between us and dogs.

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Final Thoughts

In many ways being a new dog owner is not easy. But there are several dog books that can make the process enjoyable and fun.

Now that you have several options to choose from, you shouldn’t waste any more time. Grab your favorite book and start reading it right away! You won’t believe how much you can learn from a dog training books for new dog owners until you buy one.

No matter which book you choose, we hope you benefit from it in the process of raising your dog. We also hope you have fun with your furry friend!