Looking for the best Labrador training books that can guide you on how to become a Labrador Retriever parent?
Gearing up to be a Lab owner can prove to be a bit challenging when you don’t know anything at all.
Fortunately, there are a lot of resources available to help you become the best Lab parent you can be.
Books, for instance, are an excellent source of information, humor, and guidance no matter what level of expertise you have.
For those who are very new to pet parenting, the best Labrador training books may be useful for the tons of practical advice that they offer.
For others, they might like to dive into the best Labrador Retriever training books because they need a different perspective on their training methods.
Even if someone is already an expert trainer, there are still dog training books that can give them an additional perspective.
So, for this article, we will be going over some of the best Labrador training books available to help you.
Take note that not all of them will be perfect for you since certain philosophies or ideas when it comes to Lab training is a personal preference.
But, you will probably find something in this list that you’ll like, so let’s dive right into it.
Five of the best Labrador training books you have to read today
1) Easy Peasy Puppy Squeezy
“‘Easy Peasy Puppy Squeezy’ places great emphasis on positivity and changing a puppy’s behavior by giving them something more interesting to do than destroying the house, the family, everything in sight.”
– Petrine Binney, Goodreads
This book by Steve Mann is perfect for the beginner dog owner and has loads of information that is incredibly useful if you are just starting out.
It is written in a way that would make it seem like you are having a casual conversation with the author.
Apart from the fact that you won’t find any judgment in this book, Steve Mann also focused the discussion on your Lab’s best interests.
With dominance training no longer the custom practice of most dog trainers, the book recognizes the importance of cultivating a good relationship with your dog.
It also acknowledges the significance of positive methods that make the training process fun for both you and your Lab.
Additionally, this is one of the best Labrador training books because it has lots of practical information that will be very useful to you in raising and training your pup.
If you are a beginner at training puppies, then this is definitely a book to pick up.
2) Lucky Dog Lessons
“He includes interesting anecdotes about the many shelter dogs he’s trained, including some that became service dogs for veterans. Lucky Dog Lessons is unquestionably one of the best training guides I’ve read.”
– Linden, Goodreads
Lucky Dog Lessons is a book by celebrity dog trainer Brandon McMillan. He is also the Emmy-awarded star of the show: Lucky Dog.
The book is a good guide for people looking for guidance in training shelter dogs.
The author presents a lot of experience-based stories in this book, which makes it a bit more personal and true to life.
As one of the best Labrador training books, Lucky Dog Lessons also comes with lots of photos for the practical advice so that the readers have something to base their thoughts on.
Easy to read, clear, and concise, the book touches on issues like barking, digging, and teaching your dog basic commands.
Take note, however, that there are also some negative reviews of this particular book.
For one, McMillan uses borderline negative reinforcement, such as tugging on the leash and using loud noises.
Many fur parents prefer positive reinforcement nowadays, so we suggest that you take the author’s advice with a grain of salt.
This is especially true if you are still a new dog owner since he offers quite a different approach from other authors of his time.
Moreover, while he does offer tons of useful information, it may not be the first thing you want to read about training.
Consequently, this book is probably best for people who are trying to raise Labs that were adopted from shelters.
3) Decoding Your Dog
“It is a relief to have a comprehensive book that discusses all the major training and behavioral concerns I address in practice on a regular basis in such an approachable way. The book makes excellent use of interesting stories, down to earth explanations, and good science.”
– Cyndie Courtney (a vet), Goodreads
Decoding is a scientific approach to training that was first introduced by a couple of experts from the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists.
If you are still a first-time dog owner, you are likely to find something useful from this book.
We do not recommend this for experienced Lab owners since you might just find the information redundant.
You should also not treat it as a form of manual that can help you with training since it is more of a melting pot of broad ideas.
However, the best part of this book is that it offers a practical approach to science and goes beyond just the ideas of science.
Nonetheless, one main con of Decoding Your Dog is that it doesn’t have much in terms of details.
Not everything in the book necessarily applies to your dog, though, so we advise that you don’t treat it as if it is the only solution to your dog problems.
4) The Power of Positive Dog Training
“I think this really is the go-to book for learning about positive training and how to implement it with your dog. I’ve never beat around the bush with indicating that I’m very pro-positive training and I think Pat Miller is one of the best.”
– Michelle, Goodreads
The Power of Positive Dog Training is a book by Pat Miller that focuses entirely on the idea of positive reinforcement.
The author himself admitted that he was previously a subscriber of traditional (negative) ways of training.
So, if you are looking for a book that gives a perspective on how someone changes from thinking traditionally to the modern positive reinforcement methods, then this book is the one for you.
The book has been organized in a way that is easy to understand.
First, there is a section on learning about positive reinforcement first.
After that, the discussion focuses on giving actual instructions on what to do and how to do it.
Lastly, there are detailed ways on how to fix certain training issues that might come up in the process.
Because of this, this book is definitely for both beginners and experienced dog trainers.
It also gives much insight on how a dog’s mind works so you will know how to make your canine understand you.
5) The Art of Raising a Puppy
“This is my best reference for raising my dogs. The monks have aptly and appropriately emphasized the importance of both reading canine behavior and using praise and corrections that ‘speak their language.’”
– C., Goodreads
Authored by the Monks of New Skete, a group of people who train dogs according to their personal philosophies, this book is quite different from the others on this list in the sense that it is less of a manual and a list of what to do.
Instead, it offers ideas and thoughts packaged in the authors’ philosophies on how to train a dog.
The book talks a lot about creating a deeper relationship with your dog that goes just beyond the superficial values that you get from training.
According to the authors, training a puppy does not only have the end goal of them being well-behaved. Ultimately, part of the process is learning to create a connection with them that is full of love.
One thing to bear in mind, though, is that the book may have some outdated values on training.
To be more specific, the authors don’t exactly focus on positive reinforcement, which is the common practice today.
Nonetheless, the book explores the human-canine relationship on a whole new level.
So, it is worth picking up if you want to learn something about how to cultivate a bond with your dog.
How to choose which Labrador training book to read?
While we only listed 5 of the best Labrador training books available, there are plenty more resources that can guide you.
For this reason, you may find it challenging to choose which are the best Labrador training books to invest your time in.
No need to worry, though. A lot of Lab lovers on popular websites like Amazon tend to place reviews on books they themselves have used, so you can easily check out star ratings to know which are perfect for you.
After narrowing down your picks, you can then take the following factors into consideration:
1) How much do you already know about Labrador Retrievers and training them?
Do you already have experience with being a pet parent to a Labrador? Or are you a first-time Lab owner with very little knowledge and experience?
If you are more of the former, then you would benefit from a title that tackles theories you have not previously learned.
On the other hand, if you have very little prior knowledge, then you are most likely looking for a how-to guide that explains everything and comes with practical tips.
2) What kind of training does your Lab need?
Every dog needs different types of training. The kind of training they need will determine which are the best Labrador training books for your specific needs.
3) Do you agree with the philosophy of the author?
As mentioned earlier, there will be books that you may or may not agree with when it comes to training your Labrador Retriever.
For instance, you may prefer using a crate, while an author may not. You may believe that it is more critical to promote a loving environment for your dog than discipline.
In the same way, you will most likely want to read a Labrador Retriever training book from an author with whom you share a similar philosophy towards Lab training.
You don’t necessarily have to follow all the things in these books. There are some controversial takes on training, so you’ll have to determine which side you are on personally.
For example, according to this study, the use of positive reinforcement is one of the best ways to deal with behavioral problems in dogs.
Several researchers have already scientifically looked into this many times, and the results follow a general consensus.
The books in this list might not necessarily follow the idea behind positive reinforcement completely, though. So, it is up to you to discern which you think is the best notion from their ideas.
Pick up a book in this list that you feel will fit your expertise, and you’ll be on your way to being a great Lab parent.
Of course, the book that’s perfect for you may not even be on this list. Think of this list as a good jumping-off point on where to begin.
Looking for the perfect training method is a constant process, and you are likely to change your mind at certain points in time as new arguments are brought up and new conversations are ignited.
Just remember to act in the best interest of your pup and make training a fun activity for both you and your Lab.