10 Books Every Dog Owner Should Read

Want to better understand your dog? Here are 10 must-read books for dog owners!

Nov 24, 2023By Lauren Rey
books very dog owner should read

Dogs are complex creatures with unique thoughts and emotions just like us! Whether you’re hoping to better understand why your dog displays certain behaviors, looking for training tips, or just want to learn something new about your four-legged friend, here are some must-reads for dog owners.

10. Decoding Your Dog

Decoding your dog
Photo Credit: Amazon

Whether you have a boisterous new puppy or a sleepy senior, Decoding Your Dog is a must-read! Written by a team of veterinary behavior experts, Decoding Your Dog deals with everything from the basics of helping your dog live their best life to tackling tough behavioral problems like aggression, separation anxiety, noise phobias, and other issues. While this book is not a replacement for seeing a veterinary behaviorist for serious issues, it can be a helpful, complementary tool for dog owners of all kinds. Decoding Your Dog can help fortify your relationship with your dog through better knowledge of their thoughts and feelings, understanding canine body language, and learning how to “speak dog.”

9. From Fearful to Fear Free

Fearful to fear free
Photo Credit: Amazon

Have a dog that's timid around strangers, fearful of the vet, or hates thunderstorms? Most dogs experience some form of fear, anxiety, or stress at one time or another, From Fearful to Fear Free offers a map to navigating these complex scenarios. Written by a team of world-renowned canine behavior experts, this book gives pet owners the knowledge to recognize the signs of fear, separation anxiety, and stress, and the skills needed to address them. Even if your dog doesn’t currently exhibit any fearful tendencies, From Fearful to Fear Free is a great read for all dog owners to better understand their dog’s behavior and prevent potential stressors.

8. The Secret Language of Dogs

secret language of dogs
Photo Credit: Amazon

Ever wondered what’s going on inside your dog’s mind? The Secret Language of Dogs: Unlocking the Canine Mind for a Happier Pet can help. Written by world-renowned dog trainer and star of Animal Planet, Victoria Stillwell, this book pulls back the curtain on the canine mind. Combining easy-to-understand information and illustrations on dog body language, behavioral cues, and how they “communicate,” this book is a must-read for any dog owner wanting a peek inside their dog’s mind. Spoiler alert — it’s not all squirrels and biscuits!

7. Canine Enrichment for the Real World

canine enrichment
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While most dog owners are meeting their dog’s basic needs of food, shelter, walks, and veterinary care, a dog’s mental health is often overlooked. All dogs need enrichment for a happy, balanced life, and this extends beyond a weekly trip to the park or a few minutes of fetch in the backyard. Want to learn how to incorporate easy enrichment activities into your dog’s daily life? Canine Enrichment for the Real World shows you how. From sniff walks to snufflemats, this book not only shows you all the ways you can easily add enrichment to your dog’s day but ultimately — why it’s so important!

6. Fired Up, Frantic, and Freaked Out

fired up frantic and freaked out book
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Have a dog that's over the top in their behavior? Excessive barking, running wild, jumping on people, or catapulting themselves off the couch at the sound of the doorbell? Fired Up, Freaked Out, and Frantic can help! Written by an internationally renowned dog trainer with lots of experience dealing with “over the top” dogs, this book can help owners on their quest to turn frenzied Fido into a calmer canine. Full of easy-to-follow training tips and educational tidbits on common canine behavioral problems, Fired Up, Freaked Out, and Frantic is a must-read for owners of reactive dogs, impulsive dogs, high-energy dogs, or dogs that are just a little bit “extra.”

5. The Other End of The Leash

The other end of the leash
Photo Credit: Amazon

Offering fascinating insights into dog behavior and how we help shape that behavior, The Other End of the Leash is a one-of-a-kind. The author, a world-renowned animal behaviorist, holds a metaphorical mirror up to the reader, examining the inner workings of both the canine and human brain. This unique perspective propels an introspective look at how we interact with our dogs. Full of scientific facts, captivating stories of animal behavior, and practical advice, The Other End of the Leash is a must-read for all dog owners!

4. My Pal Opal

my pal opal
Photo Credit: Amazon

Have children in your household? My Pal, Opal is a great learning tool for kids to understand dog behavior, body language, and, most importantly — when to give dogs their space! Sadly, misunderstandings between children and pets are common and can lead to injury. Teaching children how to understand and respect the dogs they share their homes with is of the utmost importance. My Pal, Opal is beautifully illustrated and uses language and imagery that is educational and fun for children of all reading ages.

3. Midnight Dog Walkers

midnight dog walkers
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Have a reactive or aggressive dog? Welcome to The Midnight Dog Walkers Club. It’s a club you never wanted to be in, but now that you’re here, let those that have walked in your shoes help. A support group in a book — The Midnight Dog Walkers, offers a collection of personal stories from dog owners who have dealt with reactivity and aggression, plus practical tips and advice. While this book can’t (and most importantly shouldn’t) replace professional help (especially in cases of aggression), it can be a great complement to the treatment plan set forth by your trainer or behaviorist. Offering real-world knowledge and inspiration, this book is a must-read for anyone dealing with a reactive or aggressive dog.

2. Finding Home: Shelter Dogs & Their Stories

finding home
Photo Credit: Amazon

Featuring a collection of photographs by award-winning photographer Traer Scott and the unique stories behind them, Finding Home: Shelter Dogs & Their Stories is a beautiful tribute to the plight of the shelter dog. A curated mix of stunning photography and inspiring stories, this book is a must-have for all animal lovers. It makes a beautiful coffee table book, an artful library addition, or a great gift for dog owners.

1. Lessons Learnfromrom My Dog

Lessons learned from my dog
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Part of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, Lessons Learned From My Dog is full of heartwarming stories, personal anecdotes, and life lessons that will make you laugh, cry, and probably go hug your dog! A lighthearted read that’s “good for the soul,” Lessons Learned from My Dog is a must-read for dog lovers and also makes a great gift. The best part about this book — royalties go to American Humane, one of the largest charities in animal welfare. It’s a win-win for animals and all the people who love them.

Lauren Rey
By Lauren Rey

A lover of all animals, Lauren’s background is in the veterinary world, but she is now a content writer on travel, wildlife, and all things pets! She’s based in Florida, but when not writing, she’s usually plotting out a new road trip route with her partner-in-crime. Pickles is a mixed-breed rescue dog that loves hiking, road trips, and Starbucks just as much as her mom does!