10 best books for dog owners

I have read a lot of books about dogs. I read about 60 books about dog behavior, training, and psychology before we adopted our first dog, Pyrrha, and I still love to read dog books today.

I get asked from time to time by new dog owners about what they should read. Following are the top 10 books I’d recommend to people with dogs, covering everything from training to behavior to history. I link to the reviews I’ve written of these books, and if not available, I provide a link to the book’s Goodreads page.

Dog lovers, read away!

  1. The Other End of the Leash, Patricia McConnell
  2. The Power of Positive Dog Training, Pat Miller
  3. Bones Would Rain from the Sky, Suzanne Clothier
  4. For the Love of a Dog, Patricia McConnell
  5. Inside of a Dog, Alexandra Horowitz
  6. Dog Sense, John Bradshaw
  7. On Talking Terms with Dogs, Turid Rugaas
  8. Love Has No Age Limit, Patricia McConnell
  9. Control Unleashed, Leslie McDevitt
  10. The Adopted Dog Bible, Kim Saunders

(As you can see, my general opinions is that if you read anyone on dogs, start with┬áPatricia McConnell. I think she’s the gold standard for modern writing on dogs. Her blog, The Other End of the Leash, is predictably fantastic as well.)

Honorable mentions

What are your favorite books about dogs? What would you add to these lists?


Review: The Adopted Dog Bible

The Adopted Dog Bible, by Kim Saunders

Now THIS is the book that I should have picked up first when I wanted more information about adopting a dog. Kim Saunders, one of the founders of the nationally successful rescue website Petfinder.com, wrote this hefty and helpful manual for anyone who is planning to rescue a dog or has already done so.

The Adopted Dog Bible contains a wealth of information for the new parent of an adopted dog. I also think it’s one of the most helpful books I’ve read to date on general dog care, regardless of whether that dog was adopted.

Saunders provides all of the information and tips that I had been looking for–and didn’t find–in Adopting a Dog. How to you prevent and mitigate separation anxiety? What kind of questions should you ask the shelter or rescue group about the dog’s background? How do you evaluate an adult dog’s level of socialization? Saunders has all of the answers and more.

The book also has an extensive section on health care, dog food, and home remedies. Saunders seems to be a fairly big proponent of natural remedies for common canine ailments, which I found very interesting. I hadn’t read about some of these herbal treatments before in relation to dogs.

In a perfect world, this would be the book that was given to every first-time dog parent who brought a dog home from a shelter or rescue group. I only wish that my local SPCA had an abundance of copies to give away. It’s an excellent resource and one that I plan on returning to in the future.