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Leerburg Dog Training Blog

The best source for dog training news, tricks and treats, right from world class leaders in dog training.

The best source for dog training news, tricks and treats, right from world class leaders in dog training.

Favorite Dog Books

If you’ve ever checked out the ‘Dog’ section at your local library, you’ve probably got lost in a sea of titles from Cesar Millan’s to Bill Koehler’s. There are breed specific books, books for training specific disciplines and novels about that special dog. While books certainly have taken a back seat to the internet in terms of how people are getting their information, I believe books do play a critical part in the education process as it pertains to dogs and dog training. This doesn’t mean you have tackle a book like the “Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior & Training Vol. 1” (although some of you might want to!). Information in some of these books can go out of date very quickly while others are timeless. I wanted to put a list together for anyone looking for good dog books that people could refer to.  A couple of the books I’ve really enjoyed include: What the Dog Knows By: Cat Warren & The Ethical Dog Trainer: A Practical Guide for Canine Professionals By: Jim Berry.  I’ve asked around to a few of the Leerburg Instructors to what books they’ve enjoyed and would recommend, many of which Leerburg carries. If you’re enrolled in any of their online courses, these books might also be excellent supplemental materials. After hearing all of their recommendations, I will have some work to do! They include:

Michael Ellis

  • Excel-Erated Learning   By: Pamela J. Reid Ph. D.
  • The Culture Clash   By: Jean Donaldson
  • Eminent Dogs, Dangerous Men   By: Donald McCaig
  • Dogs: An Understanding of Canine Orgin, Behavior, and Evolution   By: Raymond Coppinger & Lorna Coppinger

Cindy Rhodes

Ed Frawley

Tyler Muto

  • Bones Would Rain from the Sky: Deepening Our Relationships with Dogs   By: Suzanne Clothier

Tyler added, “This is one of my favorite dog related books that I think every dog owner and trainer should read. Suzanne writes in an eloquent fashion about what it means to live well with dogs, inspiring us to be more intentional about our relationships with our dogs. If you haven’t read it yet, do it now.”

Josh Moran

  • Behavior Adjustment Training  By: Grisha Stewart
  • Shaping Success  By: Susan Garrett
  • The Koehler Method of Dog Training  By: Bill Koehler (Strictly for a Historical Perspective)

Kevin Sheldahl

  • Training Dogs: A  Manual   By: Colonel Konrad Most  (A historic and still relevant text or the training of police dogs)
  • K9 Fraud!: Fraudulent Handling of Police Search Dogs   By: Resi Gerritsen & Ruud Haak
  • K9s In The Courtroom   By: Weiman, Smith, Barrett, and Daus
  • K9 Officers Legal Handbook   By: Ken Wallentine

Kevin also noted, “The last three should be mandatory for every K-9 handler to read! (and keep as reference)”

 (I will continue to add more titles as I hear back from other instructors.)

What are some of your favorite dog books? List them in the comments below!


  1. Avatar
    Carolyne Shaw
    July 23, 2017

    Thank you Ryan Maciej,

    I have long scouted the vast and varied dog books avalible. This list you are outing together is a big help. Its letting me know what are the Trainers I admire reading IE.they are getting something good from this book so many I to can see and u derstand how they get/have gotten to were they are in training by reading. Books worth the time and money to get!!
    Thank you. Thank you all.

  2. Avatar
    Sharon Hobson
    August 5, 2017

    My favourites include
    Pack of Two by Caroline Knapp
    Willing Dogs, Reluctant Masters by Gary Borjesson
    Fot the Love of a Dog by Patricia McConnell
    The Good Dog Way by Sean O’Shea
    All are wonderful books!

  3. Avatar
    Steve Duffitt
    May 18, 2018

    One of my favorites, though a little outdated both to style of training and content was “toward the PhD” for the dog.

  4. Avatar
    July 29, 2018

    ‘The Rosetta Bone: The Key to Communication Between Humans and Canines’ by Cheryl S. Smith is one of my favorite canine behaviorist books, along with the above ‘The Culture Clash’ by Jean Donaldson. I will look into the rest you have listed. Thank you.

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