The Top 6 Dog Training Books for Older Dogs

Looking to train your older dog? In this article we cover the top 5 dog training books for older dogs. Learn the best ways to quickly train your older pup.

The Top 6 Dog Training Books for Older Dogs

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Best for Dog Tricks – 101 Dog Tricks: Step-by-step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog

We love this book. It’s great for dogs of all ages.

The steps are simple and easy to follow.

There’s tons of great pictures and very helpful troubleshooting bubbles. Many of the simpler tricks can be learned in just a few sessions, even for older dogs.

There are so many pictures it’s almost like video – but faster to skim!

This book overall is one of our favorites. The only real downside is the lack of basic “tricks.” I’d really love it if this book came with a section on teaching older dogs the basics. The big one missing – how not to pull on the leash while walking.

For that you’ll have to dive into one of the other books in our list below.

For a great book that’s super easy to use we recommend 101 Dog Tricks. It was a tough call but due to how much fun this book is and since it covers most of the basics, we put it first on our list.

101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog
  • Quayside Publishing-Quarry Books: 101 Dog Tricks
  • Engage Challenge And Bond With Your Dog! Each Trick Is Rated With A Difficulty Rating And Prerequisites To Get You Started Quickly
  • This Book Contains Full Color Step-By-Step Photos For 101 Tricks
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Sundance, Kyra (Author)

What We Like

  • Works well even for older dogs. This book was used on a 7 year old dog and they were taught to properly beg in just a few sessions.
  • Easy to follow step by step tricks
  • Clear with great photos and descriptions – As easy to use as video (but faster since you can skim!)
  • Very helpful troubleshooting advice sprinkled throughout the training steps
  • Fast to read, fast to implement – just 2 pages per trick
  • Verbal cues and hand motions
  • Great for first time dog owners
  • Includes easy tricks and up through complex obstacle courses
  • Learn what your dog’s actions mean (“read their mind”)

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t teach a few staples like walking – getting your older dog that pulls on the leash to stop pulling

Best for Strays – Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days

Brandon Millan, host of the CBS show Lucky Dog, brings this 336 page behemoth on training small and large dogs. Based on his work with strays, this book tells tons of stories of successful training of difficult to train dogs.

Working with strays, Brandon has the experience you need to better help your older pup.

The training is great and very step by step but it has some issues.

There’s a lot of stories, ha! That means you have to sift through quite a bit to get to the actual instructions.

Sit training doesn’t happen till page 90. If you want to skip to the meat of this book we recommend using the table of contents and skimming right through.

We also wish there were more pictures to make it faster to understand what to do.

Still, the stories were key for us as they really help you understand the dog behind the training and to get more into what their thinking.

Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • McMillan, Brandon (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 10/04/2016 (Publication Date) - HarperOne (Publisher)

What We Like

  • Based off the CBS show Lucky Dog
  • Splits training for small dogs vs large dogs
  • Great step by step training on the “No” command for hyper dogs
  • Lots of good training stories – makes the reading fun

What We Don’t Like

  • Lots to read – wish it had more pictures with simple instructions
  • Most solutions require or recommend buying a product
  • Too much fluff – would rather it get to the training faster.

Best for Aggressive Dogs – Cesar’s Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems

It wouldn’t be a top book list for dogs without one from the Dog Whisperer.

Of his books this is our top pick for older dogs. The dog whisperer is great as his training focuses on dog psychology.

The downside – you need long daily walks and ideally a healthy pack to really reset your dog into this way of being.

That can be tough for some people. We’re not going to lie to you though. You can learn other tricks through other books but if you can’t walk your dog 1-2 miles a day you might want to get a cat.

While we wish this book had more step-by-step instructions we still love it and highly recommend it.

Be warned through – Cesar is a master and is highly tuned to quickly react when training dogs. This is more of an advanced level book, not for newbie dogs owners.

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Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Cesar Millan (Author) - John H. Mayer (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 04/24/2006 (Publication Date) - Books on Tape (Publisher)

What We Like

  • Our number 1 for aggressive dogs and bringing them back to normal
  • Based off the wisdom of the Dog Whisperer – Treat your dog like a dog, not like a human
  • Teach your dog to remember being a pack dog where you are the leader
  • Dogs crave dog structure and dog discipline – This teaches you how to give it
  • Focus on long dog walks – dogs need exercise and they aren’t getting enough. We couldn’t agree more!
  • About understanding your dog and getting them to behave
  • More than just “teaching them tricks”

What We Don’t Like

  • Too much story, not enough how to
  • Too much theory. We love Cesar but wish he would break things down step by step
  • Lacks science-based information
  • Feels like it requires a healthy pack to make your dog healthy

Best Science-Based Approach – Zak George’s Guide to a Well-Behaved Dog: Proven Solutions to the Most Common Training Problems for All Ages, Breeds, and Mixes

Instagram and YouTube Star Zak George brings us his full guide to dog ownership. This one has it all (cue kitchen sink joke…).

The thing we liked about it is that it focuses on the whole picture. It’s not just about training. It also details how to choose the right dog for you, how to setup your home, and how to teach them the basics.

The basics are key for older dogs! Nothing’s worse than adopting a new dog only to discover they’re a major leash puller. This book will help with that.

Not getting it from the chapter? Most have an accompanying YouTube video. Watch and learn.

The book is a bit short on cool tricks. Plus most of the material is available on his YouTube channel if you’re good at searching around.

If you want it easily organized and searchable all in one package go for his book.

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Zak George's Guide to a Well-Behaved Dog: Proven Solutions to the Most Common Training Problems for All Ages, Breeds, and Mixes
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Zak George (Author) - Zak George (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 07/09/2019 (Publication Date) - Random House Audio (Publisher)

What We Like

  • The “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” of dog books – Covers everything – how to choose a dog, how to setup your house when they get their, tricks and training, can old age care
  • Focus on the basics – not pulling on a leash, barking, chewing, etc. – This is the meaty section that will help you train your older dog on spot areas where they need help
  • Many book sections have a corresponding YouTube video you can watch
  • Easy writing style – Like the other books below this one is easy to read and has a good amount of dog theory and psychology

What We Don’t Like

  • You can check out most of this on his YouTube channel. We recommend 101 tricks above for targeted training on specific tricks and trouble spots.
  • Not a lot of extra fun tricks

Best for Shelter Dogs – Do Over Dogs – Give Your Dog A Second Chance for A First Class Life (Dogwise Training Manual)

Pat Miller’s Do Over Dogs is one of our favorites. It’s great for anyone considering adopting a dog.

It also does a great job of characterizing your dog’s training type. Some dogs do well with dominance training. Some cower and pee on the carpet. This book will show you your dog’s training type.

It’s not perfect though. It doesn’t cover chasing cats or being mouthy.

For that you’ll want to use some of Zak’s videos (see above).

This book goes great along with any of the other recommendations above. It’s not an end all be all book. What it does cover (dog training types and adopting) it does very well.

Do Over Dogs - Give Your Dog A Second Chance for A First Class Life (Dogwise Training Manual)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Miller,Pat (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 210 Pages - 01/01/2010 (Publication Date) - Dogwise Publishing (Publisher)

What We Like

  • Best for unsocialized shelter dogs or older dogs that need socialization help
  • Learn to understand your dog’s type – Really, really good to help you design training for your dog – For example, dominance training doesn’t work for abused dogs.
  • Very good read for anyone considering adopting a dog

What We Don’t Like

  • The lessons are a bit repetitive – go slow and your dog will get it type of thing
  • Doesn’t cover everything – For example, they don’t have a section on teaching an older dog not to bite/being mouthy or not to chase cats

Best for Short Training Sessions and Over-Active Dogs – Respect Training for Adult Dogs: 30 Seconds to a Calm, Polite, Well-Behaved Dog

A great end all be all. Fully covers the basics (and only the basics) to train your older dog.

Again, this book wasn’t designed just for older dogs. Will it work? Absolutely. Why? Michelle, the author, goes into great depth for each trick. Instead of separately out chapters on theory, psychology, etc. you get everything you need in each chapter.

Now, we wish it also had quick, easy to follow pictures like in 101 tricks. We love it for it’s depth though. Want to teach your dog to stop pulling on the leash? Use this book!

Be warned though. Again, it doesn’t cover everything (e.g. chasing cats). Skim the table of contents before you buy.

Respect Training for Adult Dogs: 30 Seconds to a Calm, Polite, Well-Behaved Dog
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Welton, Michele (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 285 Pages - 04/14/2020 (Publication Date)

What We Like

  • Teaches how to get the whole family on the same page when training your dog
  • Breaks down training sessions into short, manageable 30 second chunks
  • Helps you setup your household for a better trained dog
  • Great section on crate training.

What We Don’t Like

  • Wish it had more pictures. If you could combine the picture setup of 101 Tricks above with the thoroughness of each trick here you’d have the perfect book for older dogs.
  • Old design. This book looks like it was written in 1989.