Thanks to Diana Attwood for comments on this article

Finding a Good Training Class gives suggestions if you want the help of a trainer

Behavioural Problems gives more suggestions for dealing with particular problems.

Bringing up Your Puppy focuses on raising and training pups.

It's also worth checking out books on Puppy and Manners Training, books on Agility and Training Games, and books onWorking Dog Skills. You may also be interested in dog behaviour, to work out what‘s normal for dogs, and explore different ideas people have about training. If so, Books on Behaviour and Training Philosophies will be interesting.

Further reading


There has been a lot of research on how dogs understand the world, including humans, on dog-human communication, and on the effects of training. Here are a few interesting articles. It’s worth exploring recent research yourself, especially if you have a particular interest, like nose work.

Bentosela, M., Barrera,G., Jakovcevic,A., Elgier, A.M.and Mustaca, A.E. (2008) Effect of reinforcement, reinforcer omission and extinction on a communicative response in domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) Behavioural Processes, 78 (3) (2008), pp. 464–469

Marshall-Pescini, S, Passalacqua, C, Barnard, S, Valsecchi P, Prato-Previde, E (2009) Agility and Search & Rescue training differently affects pet dogs' behaviour in socio-cognitive tasks. Invited paper for a Special Issue on the dog-human relationship. Behavioural Processes 81, 416-422.

McGreevy, P, Henshall, C, Starling, M, McLean, A, and Boakes, R.  (2014). The importance of safety signals in animal handling and training.  Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research, Volume 9, Issue 6, November–December 2014, Pages 382-387

Merola I, Prato-Previde E, Marshall-Pescini S (2012) Dogs' Social Referencing towards Owners and Strangers. PLoS ONE 7(10): e47653. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047653

Miklósi, A., Polgárdi, R.,Topál, J. and Csányi,V. (2000).Intentional behaviour in dog-human communication: an experimental analysis of “showing”  behaviour in the dog. Animal Cognition, 3, 159-166

Udell, M.A.R. and Wynne, C.D.L. (2008) A Review of Domestic Dogs' (Canis Familiaris) Human-Like Behaviors: Or Why Behavior Analysts Should Stop Worrying and Love Their Dogs J Exp Anal Behav. 2008 Mar; 89(2): 247–261.

Wallis, L.J., Range, F., Müller, C.A., Serisierc, S.,Hubera,L., Virányia, Z.(2015) Training for eye contact modulates gaze following in dogs Animal Behavior Volume 106, August 2015, Pages 27–35

There are also some particularly useful books worth exploring, such as:

Amy Dahl’s 10-minute Obedience: How to effectively train your dog in 10 minutes a day (2011) Willow Creek Press, which focuses on formal obedience using ‘hands-on’ methods. There are also chapter on puppies, manners and on behavioural problems. This is especially suited to people with Labradors, golden retrievers and Chesapeke retrievers. (Amy specializes in retriever training.)

Claudia Fugazza’s Do as I Do (2014) Dogwise Publishing. An innovative approach to teaching dogs interactions with objects, for example jumping onto a table, using their ability to copy humans.

Steven Lindsay's Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior and Training: Procedures and Protocols, Volume 3 (2005) Blackwell Publishing. This is a very thorough, research-based approach to training and tackling behaviour problems. It’s an invaluable resource if you take training seriously, though it’s not a book you can read in one go!

Leslie McDevitt’s Control Unleashed: The puppy program (2012) Clear Run Productions. This is especially useful for people with border collies, and for people who like competing in dog sports. There is a lot on helping dogs to relax when they are too wound up. This is a useful book for people with dogs of any age, not just puppies.

Helen Zulch and Daniel Mills’ Life Skills for Puppies (2014) Hubble and Hattie. This focuses on helping pups to develop coping skills, and though it’s geared to pups, it’s also useful for remedial work with older dogs.

Helen Zulch and Daniel Mills’ Helping Minds Meet (2015) Hubble and Hattie. This focuses on humans looking at life from a dog’s perspective as a first step in achieving a well-behaved dog.

See reviews of these and other dog books in Books on Animals