From training tips to understanding of how dogs perceive the world — there's a book for everything! These 10 reads are both fascinating and resourceful.

Books For Dog Parents: Top 11 Resourceful Reads

Training tips, behavior modification, understanding how dogs view the world, and even coping with loss there’s a book for everything. The 11 reads on this list are both fascinating and resourceful! 

1. Canine Enrichment: The Book Your Dog Needs You To Read

By: Shay Kelly

In this practical read, behaviorist Shay Kelly shares simple and fun activities that will enrich your dog’s mind and life. We all know our dogs need physical stimulation, but did you know mental stimulation is just as important? Get this: Dogs who are mentally stimulated are more satisfied and exhibit fewer behavioral problems. Just think of a human child. If a human child has nothing but time on his hands, he’s more likely to get into trouble. Keeping him busy with stimulating, enriching activities will help him thrive. Well, the same is true in the canine world. 

This book comes highly recommended! 

Sara, a dog trainer, writes in her 5-Star Amazon review:

“Such a wonderful and important book. As a dog trainer, I help people, every single day, whose dogs are lacking enrichment in their lives and struggle with the behavioral fallout that comes with that lack of enrichment. Enrichment is such an important piece of helping you give your dog the best life he/she can live, and this book is the BEST place to start. From now on all of my new clients will be getting a copy of this book!”

2. From Fearful to Fear Free: A Positive Program to Free Your Dog from Anxiety, Fears, and Phobias

By: Marty Becker, DVM, Lisa Radosta, Wailiani Sung, Mikkel Becker

Whether chronic or episodic, all dogs do and will go through times of fear, anxiety, and stress (FAS). When they do, they may become aggressive, submissive, bark excessively, have accidents in the house, etc. In other words, they will act out. After all … they have no words to communicate with their humans. So whether it’s the trip to the vet, a thunderstorm, or even the vacuum that sets things off, this book could help you understand and provide the means to calmness. Written by 3 veterinarians and one trainer, their tips and techniques may be just what the doctor ordered.

 4. Feisty Fido: Help for the Leash-Reactive Dog

By: Patricia B. McConnell Ph. D and Karen B. London Ph.D

If you’ve been waiting for the day you could walk your pooch without him pulling and barking at every oncoming dog, this book is for you! It’s packed with tips to teach Fido proper leash manners. With patience, positive reinforcement, and consistency, your dog will soon stroll peacefully down the street. It won’t happen overnight, but the author’s tips are transformative!

6. Fight: A Practical Guide to the Treatment of Dog Dog Aggression

By: Jean Donaldson

This book is filled with practical advice to treat dog on dog aggression issues. You’ll learn behavior modification techniques to retrain the bullying pooch. Plus, you’ll get tips to help the pooch who is afraid of other dogs. 

The author, Jean Donaldson, shares this advice after more than 30 years in the business. She’s highly experienced in both dog behavior and training. She’s also the Founder and Director of the San Francisco SPCA Academy for Dog Trainers. 

7. Mine

By: Jean Donaldson

Here’s another from the amazing Jean Donaldson. In this read, the focus is on resource guarding. Whether your dog is into guarding his food, toys, other favorite objects, or even you, this book can definitely help you. This book shares:

“aggression basics, nature of resource guarding, kinds of resource guarding, behaviorist vs. medical models, recognizing guarding, prognosis, safety tools, treatment overview, management, desensitization and counterconditioning, resource sample hierarchies, generalization, troubleshooting, body handling desensitization, operant conditioning.”

8. Culture Clash

By: Jean Donaldson,

Okay, the last one from Jean Donaldson … I promise. This book looks at dog training through a different lens. I think one Amazon reviewer named “stressalert,” said it best:

“This book is literally a PAGE-TURNER!! I can’t believe that I have been sabotaging my own dogs. Dogs don’t think like humans…Why does a house-trained dog continue to go potty in the house when the owner leaves? Why do some dogs shake during thunderstorms and how to overcome it? …read the book and get the OMG moments like I did!! I promise, you too will enthusiastically give Culture Clash 5 stars! This book is like inviting the dog trainer from class to come home with you and expand the lessons you’ve learned in class! You and your dog will be happy!”

9. Inside Of A Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know

By: Alexandra Horowitz

Written by a cognitive scientist, this book explains the evolution of dogs, how they became man’s best friend, and how they perceive the world around them. I recently dove into this amazing read and learned a lot! It’s an eye-opening book that definitely has the ability to change your relationship with your canine companion. 

10. Do Dogs Dream?: Nearly Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know

By: Stanley Coren

This book was written by Psychologist Stanley Coren, PhD., DSc., FRSC. Along with being a professor and scientist, he is an expert in canine psychology. This book is an easy, fun, and super interesting read. You don’t have to read it in order as it’s written in a Q&A format. You’ll learn the answers to the most common questions humans ask about their dogs. I remember the first time I read this book – I had a hard time putting it down. It’s something you’ll love having on your bookshelf and you’ll probably continue to pick up from time to time. It will help you dispel certain myths and understand how dogs actually think, function, and navigate their environment. 

11. Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet

By: Gary Kowalski

One thing that’s certain when we bring a new fur baby home: One day we’ll have to say goodbye. When that dreaded time comes, it’s devastating. And coping with the loss is excruciating.

Goodbye, Friend has hundreds of 5-star reviews on Amazon from people grieving the loss of their 4-legged loves. This book offers comfort in a time of need. Readers realize they’re not alone in their feelings, and begin to understand that grief is subjective. We all grieve and recover at our own pace, in our own way.

The author, Gary Kowalski, is an animal lover who knows what it’s like to lose a pet. He’s also a Reverand with first-hand experience in helping people through the bereavement process. His life experiences thoroughly enhance the sensitivity and spirituality in this book. I highly recommend it to anyone who has gone through the loss of a pet.

One Amazon customer writes this in her review:

“This is not a book that will make the hurt go away, but it is a book that will make you feel better about being upset, and will give you some comfort in knowing that there’s nothing wrong with you or the grief you are feeling. We all process our grief on different timetables, but it’s important to remember that it’s not a race and it’s okay to take all the time you need.”

Looking For More Great Books For Dog Lovers? 

Check out my other must-read lists: