25 Dog Training Books by Fenzi Dog Sports Instructors (and where to buy them)

​Stuck at home and looking for new ways to expand your dog training knowledge? Or maybe you're a Fenzi fan looking for more from your favorite instructors... either way, this list is for you. In it, I share a full list of books from our various instructors! And we'll plan to come back and update it, so if you want to bookmark it and check back in later, you can. 

Books are organized alphabetically by author last name, and each book includes a bit of a summary and where you can find it, so you can click straight through to go shopping! 

Dog Training Books by Sue Ailsby

The Training Levels: Steps to Success (Volume 1) & The Training Levels: Steps to Success (Volume 2)

What behaviours does a "professional" dog know that an "amateur" dog doesn't? What training do excellent pets, excellent show dogs, excellent sport dogs, and excellent working dogs have in common?

What foundation behaviours will give a trained dog the enthusiasm and ability to earn a beginning title in any sport with a month of extra practise? How do you break these behaviours down into easily-trained pieces?

This amazing 2-volume set of working manuals clearly illustrates and explains the answers to these questions and will guide you in your search for better understanding of and a better bond with your canine companions.

Available on Sue's website


Dog Training Books by Hannah Branigan 

Awesome Obedience: A Positive Training Plan for Competition Success

When Hannah Branigan began training her first dog for obedience competition, she wanted to play the game but train using positive reinforcement. She quickly discovered that traditional methods weren't for her and that she had to throw out the old playbook. "Clicker trainers like me look at the problem completely differently," she says. "We break down skills into easily mastered bits and pieces that we then link into behavior chains to produce flashy heeling and snappy drops on recall."

Hannah built a new training program from the ground up. The results were awesome. Her dogs have competed successfully at the national level, earning High-in-Trial awards and advanced titles through several organizations. These strategies have transformed training for hundreds of teams, who also believe in the power of positive reinforcement and good training practices. In Awesome Obedience, Hannah lays out all the components to build the behaviors needed to go as far in obedience training as you want.

Available via ClickerTraining.com | Available on Amazon


Awesome Obedience: The Field Guide

Hannah Branigan's book, Awesome Obedience: A Positive Training Plan for Competition Success, sent waves through the world of competitive obedience. Hannah's comprehensive training book for obedience competitors is the first to combine the power of positive reinforcement with good training practices. That combination helps dog owners create the teamwork they dream of having with their dogs.

Awesome Obedience: The Field Guide is the portable, durable companion workbook that makes the lessons of Awesome Obedience more accessible to dog owners during actual training sessions.

Available via ClickerTraining.com 


Dog Training Books by Julie Daniels

Enjoying Dog Agility: From Backyard to Competition

Agility Training offers a challenge to you and your dog that keeps both of you interested, entertained, and coming back for more. The author, a noted trainer, has competed in National competition with her Rottweiler and teaches Agility classes to eager learners. In this book a cookbook approach has been used that simplifies and illustrates at the right moves. Using the step by step approach and observing the wonderful pictures and diagrams, you too can have a dog that can perform with the best of them.

Available on Amazon


Dog Training Books by Denise Fenzi

Conversations with Raika (currently available for preorder)

Self-centered, manipulative, irritable, opinionated …is it possible to fall in love with a dog who possesses most of the worst qualities of humanity, and rather few of the best?

I want to talk about me. Specifically, I want to talk about my Hanukkah wish list. Yes, Hanukkah. It appears that the gifts start earlier and last longer than for Christmas, so I'm signing up for that program this year. Admittedly, Hanukkah is almost over, but I'm thinking we could split the difference and start today – sort of a hybrid holiday celebration. We can call this "Chrismakkah."

The story of Raika begins several years after she retired from a noteworthy career in the world of competitive dog sports. Now that Raika and her owner no longer spent hours a week training, playing and traveling, she was left with relatively little to do. As a result, her life transitioned from one of working to one of eating, and eat Raika did! Unfortunately, all of that eating led to a serious weight problem, and she wasn't about to take responsibility for her mom's guilt-driven negligence:

"While I hate to be blunt, we do need to begin with a basic understanding: It's your fault that I got fat. …You've dug yourself quite a hole where my weight is concerned. Ten pounds. Wow….I say we get walking!"

In the process of losing that weight through long daily walks, we find ourselves privy to Raika thoughts on everything from the weather to human frailty to the importance of living life to the fullest.

"The fact is, I may well be on death's door. I mean, one never knows about these things. One day, blithely stealing biscuits from the counter, and the next day, boom! Lightning strikes and we're flattened; never to steal a biscuit again." (Read more and an excerpt from the book on Denise's website)

Available from The Dog Athlete (US-only) | Available from Mungo's Books (Canada) | Available from Polite Paws (Australia) | Available from Performance Dog (UK + Europe)


Train the Dog in Front of You

If you're training your dog for competition dog sports, then you want this book; it is radically different from anything else on the market. This book will help you understand your dog on the most fundamental level so that you can be a more effective trainer for YOUR dog. The one you have NOW. The one in front of you!

Rather than assuming that the basis of competition dog training is specific techniques or mechanical skills that can be applied to all dogs, this book starts with the assumption that teaching specific behaviors is not the challenge at all! The challenge is meeting the dog's individual needs through a customized training plan so that your dog can be successful in the competition ring. When this basic training plan is not created, then training will either progress painfully slowly or will fail altogether if you're dog doesn't happen to do well with the cookie cutter approach that you've probably already tried.

This purpose of this book is to help you understand who your dog is, so that you can apply training in a way that works for your dog, so that the training will "stick."

Available from The Dog Athlete | Available on Amazon


Beyond the Backyard: Train Your Dog to Listen Anytime, Anywhere!

You are a dedicated pet owner who has put considerable time and energy into training your dog. As a result, your dog has a reliable set of behaviors such as sit, down, stay and a recall - under pristine conditions. But now you're stumped; you're not too sure how to get those behaviors away from home and off leash - in short; when you really need cooperation!

This book will help you gain cooperation under a range of circumstances and with only about ten minutes of training time per day! This book will take you through a systematic and comprehensive plan to get you where you want to be; with a reliable companion who cooperates off leash, away from home and….when other things are going on around you!

Available from The Dog Athlete | Available on Amazon


Beyond the Basics: Unlock Your Dogs Behavior 

You are a dedicated pet owner or trainer who is willing to put a fair amount of time and thought into the process of changing dog behavior. You want to develop a training plan that accounts for your dog's needs as well as your own, and that moves you to desirable behavior as expeditiously as possible! 

By considering your dog's emotions, overall health, and temperament and then adding a big dose of applied training skills, you and your dog can come to a place of mutual cooperation and behavior change. Not only will this book help you understand your dog better so that you can pick the right training plan, it will also help you evaluate your decisions after the fact to ensure that you are, indeed, making progress towards your goals.

Available from The Dog Athlete | Available on Amazon


Blogger Dog Brito

"Welcome to my blog! I've been thinking about starting one for a while. It seems that everyone is writing a blog these days, and since I'm a modern kind of dog, I like to live a modern kind of life."

And so begins the true story of Brito, an unwanted rescue dog who unexpectedly becomes the beloved companion of an internationally renowned dog trainer. Told from Brito's point of view, these humorous and gentle stories do more than entertain. They provide children with simple games they can play with their dogs, explain easy ways to be safe together, and introduce the importance of canine body language.

Possibly most important, the book illuminates the depth of relationship that can develop between a dog and an attentive human.

Available from The Dog Athlete | Available on Amazon


Dog Training Books by Denise Fenzi and Deb Jones, PhD

Dog Sport Skills, Book 1: Developing Engagement and Relationships

This is the first book in the award winning "Dog Sports Skills" series. This first book will focus on developing a competition dog sports foundation based in engagement and relationship. It doesn't matter what genetic package or temperament your dog is born with; you can bring out the best in your dog! To train your dog, you must develop a relationship that encourages a willing and happy attitude with natural focus while eliminating undue stress in both training and competition. If your goal is to create a world-class, enthusiastic performance dog, then this book is for you! 

We can help you refine your engagement and relationship skills to a higher level. If you are an instructor who is struggling with your novice students or less focused dogs, then this book is for you! You will find advice on how to work with a range of canine temperaments. If you have a dog who works well at home but you can't seem to maintain that connection in public, then this book is for you, too! You will learn the basics of recognizing stress, paying attention to your dog, and alleviating or minimizing problems so that you can focus on work rather than worry. 

Finally, if you simply want to take the dog you have, your personal pet, and enjoy your training at a more fulfilling level, then this book is for you as well. By understanding and applying excellent engagement and relationship building techniques, both you and your canine companion will find more enjoyment in the training process, even if you choose never to step foot inside a competition ring. The chapters will cover relationship (what it is and how to get it), stress (recognizing it and techniques for lessening it's impact), developing focus, explaining and evaluating positive methods for getting behaviors, and the use of trick training to develop a handler's training skills and a dog's mental and physical flexibility.

Available from The Dog Athlete | Available on Amazon


Dog Sport Skills, Book 2: Motivation

2014 'Book of the Year" for Dog Behavior and Training! (Maxwell award). 

In this second book in the "Dog Sports Skills" series, Authors Denise Fenzi and Deb Jones take an in-depth look at the topic of motivation. They talk about what motivation is, and what it is not, along with an illuminating discussion of how a dog is unique in the animal world, and how educated trainers can use that to maximum advantage. They consider a range of options for motivating our dogs, and how a trainer can raise or lower the value of specific motivators to get the exact training effect that may be desired at a given time. Temperament is discussed as it relates to issues of motivation to help the reader understand the strong interplay between temperament, motivation and training decisions. In addition to explaining how to use motivators in training, this book provides specific information on how to reduce their use so that you can eventually get into the competition ring! Finally, they provide case studies - lots of them! 

The purpose of the case studies is both to cement what the reader has learned in the first chapters and also to help the reader understand how to analyze specific situations and make a plan to apply the concepts. A student who reads both this book and the first book in the series will begin to develop a deeper understanding of the author's underlying philosophy and approach. Each book is more than a stand-alone resource; they are pieces of a puzzle that will eventually weave into a tapestry of concepts, thoughts and applications that create both excellence in training and a very deep respect and understanding for another living being.

Available from The Dog Athlete | Available on Amazon


Dog Sport Skills, Book 3: Play

WINNER of the 2015 Book of the Year for Dog Behavior and Training! 

If you want to develop your playful relationship with your dog, this book is easily the most comprehensive source on the topic, covering food, toy and personal play in great depth. Fenzi and Jones begin by explaining that good play is not measured by the techniques you use, but rather the amount of enjoyment it generates between you and your dog. They continue to explain that each trainer and dog is unique, which means that what works for one dog won't necessarily work for others. Fenzi and Jones discuss the dog's natural play style, the importance of not overwhelming your dog with enthusiasm, and how to take a fun test to determine whether your dog is playing for fun, or because you insist. 

They also consider your own preferences and what to do if your dog doesn't like to play. And then they go into great detail! Fenzi and Jones discuss HOW to play with your dog! HOW to problem solve if your dog doesn't' respond to your overtures! And HOW to proceed to develop as wide a range of options as possible for all types of dogs, from shy wallflowers to over the top high drive dogs. When you finish this book, you will know a great deal about all types of play. Indeed, you might have a hard time finishing the book since you will be in such a hurry to put it down and try out some fun games with your dog!

Available from The Dog Athlete | Available on Amazon


Dog Sport Skills, Book 4: Focus and Engage!

Struggling to keep and maintain your dog's attention during training or competition? Sure that your dog knows all of the work, if only he would focus and stay engaged?

In the highly anticipated fourth (and final?) book in the "Dog Sports Skills" series, authors Denise Fenzi and Deb Jones turn their attention to the topics of Focus and Engagement. This book is a fantastic addition which is sure to broaden your understanding of a crucial element of training performance dogs.

In the first several chapters, Fenzi and Jones take a hard look at the factors that create Focus challenges in our performance dogs, and then systematically offer solutions for addressing them.

The next several chapters provide detailed, step by step instructions for teaching your dog to focus, covering a focus "foundation", adding behaviors, duration and movement, and finally distractions and other challenges are addressed. The topic of focus is then wrapped up with a series of Focus games which are designed to be light, entertaining for all parties, all while assisting in the more serious business of getting your dog focused!

The second part of the book focuses on understanding and developing trained Engagement; the process of teaching one's dog to push for a chance to work, and to value that training time above all else!

Engagement training is broken down into specific steps, and is laid out in a logical and methodical fashion over several chapters. Handling disengagement is addressed, as is the process of moving away from classic food and toy reinforcers and into the competition arena, where strong Engagement is vital to success!

Between focus and Engagement training, struggling competitors are likely to find the missing piece between training at home with cookies and trialing in the challenging competition setting.

Available from The Dog Athlete | Available on Amazon


Dog Training Books by Denise Fenzi and Brenda Weeks

Blogger Dog Buffy! Service Dog

A few years ago, my friend Brito started a blog. He was having so much fun that I decided to start one too!The fact is, I have a pretty amazing story to tell. That's because I was born and raised specifically to be a service dog! If you want to learn more about service dogs, then you have definitely come to the right place! My blog tells you all about my journey, from the day of my birth, to when I moved into my puppy raisers house, and all the way to the day I became a full-fledged service dog for my mom, Brenda!I hope you will join me and become my friend. And don't forget to subscribe!

Available on Amazon


Dog Training Books by Kamal Fernandez

​Pathway to Positivity: Creating The Perfect Pet and Competition Dog

Foreward by Susan Garrett 

There is no bigger thrill than competing with your dog, whether it is in obedience, agility, canine freestyle or any of the other disciplines available to dog sports enthusiasts. However, the time you spend competing represents a tiny fraction of your life together. Your most important task should be to lay the foundations so that you have a wonderful companion as well as an eager and willing pupil. In this book, world-renowned sports dog trainer and instructor Kamal Fernandez, uses his unique training programme to show you how to create a balanced, well-adjusted dog who has the skills to transfer to competitive dog sports. 

His method is based not only on the science of animal behaviour and psychology but also on over 25 years' experience working with both people and dogs. He utilises reinforcement-based training on a practical day-to-day basis, and then applies it to the demands of competitive sports. The aim is to create a dog that is confident and free from social issues in a domestic environment, with the attitude and mental make-up that is required for advanced training. Illustrated with top-quality photographs, Pathway To Positivity is essential reading for all those who want to build a better relationship with their dog. 

Kamal Fernandez has earned an international reputation as a dynamic and successful sports dog trainer. He has coached handlers and their dogs in a range of performance sports including agility, obedience, working trials, IPO, mondio and canine freestyle, and his pupils have gone on to compete at national, international and world championship level. Kamal, who runs the East London School of Dog Training, is also much in demand as a speaker at seminars and workshops worldwide.

Available from Clean Run | Available on Amazon


Dog Training Books by Deb Jones, PhD

Cooperative Care: Seven Steps to Stress Free Husbandry

Having trouble trimming your dog's nails or bathing him? Is your dog stressed in the vet's office? Wondering how to make the process of grooming and veterinary care more comfortable both for you and your dog?

Then this is the book for you! Cooperative Care will cover seven main areas to help prepare your dog for all the necessary physical procedures that will keep him healthy and happy. The methods in this book are based on positive reinforcement and allowing our pets the opportunity to choose to opt in and participate in our conditioning sessions. When we take the time to carefully observe our dog's behavior, read their stress signals, and respect their communication with us, it's just amazing how quickly we can replace suspicion with trust. Our goal is to empower our dogs and help them gain confidence in the husbandry process. Spending time preparing your dog for typical husbandry procedures is one of the best gifts you can give him!

Available on Amazon


Clicker Fun - Tricks and Games

Dr. Deb Jones' book on clicker training is a great starter book! You can learn the fundamentals of operant conditioning, then enjoy teaching fun tricks and practical behaviors. Your dog can learn to wave, put away toys, turn on a light switch and more. The book even includes all kinds of games to sharpen your teamwork skills.

Available from Canine Training Systems


Click Here for a Well Trained Dog

Dr. Deb Jones' title on clicker training the pet dog. Introduces operant techniques for working with your companion to create willing compliance to commands, and exercises to make day to day life more enjoyable with your canine partner. Includes "clicker training guidelines", "puppy stuff" and information on behavioral problem solving.

Available from Canine Training Systems


The Clicker Workbook: A Beginners Guide

A Beginner's Guide. A comprehensive guide to the new and exciting way to train your dog with a clicker... no jerking, pulling or using force here! Includes lesson plans and question and answer reviews for each of the ten steps, plus training logs so you can keep track of your progress. Develop trust, bonding and a REAL working partnership between you and your dog.

Available from Canine Training System


Out of Print Books:

  • Click 'n' Sniff
  • Teaching Clicker Classes: An Instructors Guide

Dog Training Books by Deb Jones, PhD and Judy Keller

The Focused Puppy

A new puppy is a blank slate with endless possibilities. It's a new beginning that offers you a chance to get it right and not repeat past mistakes. Anyone who has trained a dog before loves that feeling of starting fresh, believing this new puppy will be the best one ever! But a new puppy is also pressure. A new puppy means a major time commitment, not only in how much time you have to spend with him, but in being sure to do all the right things at the right moments. 

This book integrates the authors' FOCUS (Fun, Obedience, Consistency, Unbelievable Success) Training System techniques with the developmental stages and specific needs of pups and young dogs. The goal is to help you prepare your puppy to become an excellent companion as well as a potential performance dog. The FOCUSed Puppy presents a variety of foundation exercises for your pup's first year. The book tells you exactly what skills you should be working on and when. By following each step, you and your puppy will build a wonderfully rewarding relationship that will carry over into everything you do together. And once his foundation skills are set, you can easily take your training in any direction you choose. If you have adopted an older dog, The Focused Puppy can also be helpful to you. 

Rather than trying to build on a faulty foundation based on previous or poorly-taught experiences, you can simply start fresh with the FOCUS Training System. Start out on the right track with your dog and build his foundation skills at the right time in the right order. And enjoy the process; you're about to embark on an amazing learning experience!

Available on Amazon


In Focus: Developing a Working Relationship with Your Performance Dog

Great runs on agility courses don't just happen. And they aren't just a matter of exquisite handling and thorough training. Behind every flowing run in agility is a great partnership. For some dog and handler teams this partnership develops naturally over the course of training. But unfortunately this isn't always the case. Many dogs can meet the physical demands required for agility but have difficulty with the mental aspects of the game. Agility requires concentration, confidence, and a willingness to take direction from and work with the handler. Without this, you can end up with a dog that is distracted, unmotivated, out of control, or inconsistent in the ring. 

The authors of In FOCUS, animal behaviorist and clicker expert, Deborah Jones, Ph.D., and a former AKC/USA World Team member, Judy Keller, join forces to show you how to use their FOCUS program—Fun, Obedience, and Consistency lead to Unbelievable Success—to develop or repair that underlying working relationship you need to succeed in agility or any performance dog sport. Whether you are starting agility with a new dog or trying to solve performance problems with an older dog, it's never too late to build focus! 

Deborah Jones, Ph.D. and Judy Keller developed the FOCUS program in 2003. This program is designed to help trainers form a good working relationship with their performance dogs. Deb has an academic background in learning theory and social behavior. She is also an innovator in the use of the clicker in dog training. Judy has been on the AKC Agility World Team three times, winning team gold in 1998. Both Deb and Judy share a strong commitment to using training methods that are positive and gentle, yet are also efficient and effective.

Available on Amazon


Dog Training Books by Chrissi Schranz (German Language)

Nur Mut! Starthilfe für ängstliche Welpen (puppy book)

Nicht alle Welpen sind von Natur aus neugierig, frech und verspielt: Manche sind unsicher und so ängstlich, dass sie zu "Problemhunden" zu werden drohen.
Nach einem Ausflug in die Entwicklungsphasen des Welpen, die Gesetze des Lernens und das Erkennen der Körpersprache folgt ein durchdachtes Frühförderungsprogramm, mit dem
Stressresistenz und Selbstvertrauen gestärkt werden, ohne den Welpen zu überfordern. Aus vielen Bausteinen positiver Erfahrungen in unterschiedlichsten Situationen und einem Gerüst aus strukturiertem Alltag entsteht schließlich ein stabiles Fundament für ein künftiges angstfreies Hundeleben. Mit Extrakapiteln zu Ernährung, rezeptfreien Hilfsmitteln, psychopharmakologischer Unterstützung und geeigneten Hundesportarten für Angsthasen.

Available on Amazon


Komm zu mir! 6-Wochen-Kurs für einen sicheren Rückruf (recall book)

Komm zu mir! kommt dem Besuch einer Trainingsstunde so nahe, wie ein Buch das nur kann: Schritt-für-Schritt-Anleitungen, Checklisten und Trainingstagebuch-Seiten zum Ausfüllen helfen dem Leser, die Fortschritte seines Hundes zu dokumentieren und sich Schritt für Schritt einen verlässlichen Rückruf zu erarbeiten.
Mithilfe kurzweiliger Tests und Gedankenexperimente ist der Leser angehalten, den eigenen Vierbeiner ganz genau kennenzulernen und die Art von Rückrufspielen zu wählen, die sich am besten für ihn eignen.

Das Ergebnis? Ein systematisches, kurzweiliges Arbeitsbuch zum Überall-dabei-Haben, das innerhalb von sechs Wochen - jedes Kapitel entspricht einer Woche - die Mensch-Hund-Beziehung und den Rückruf festigt.

Available on Amazon


Dog Training Books by Jennifer Summerfield, DVM

Train Your Dog Now!: Your Instant Training Handbook

Presenting a new way to work with your dog, with simple step-by-step instructions and lists to help you teach your dog the most important and necessary skills.

Take your dog from wild to well-behaved in just a few steps!

Train Your Dog Now! takes the best dog training tips, advice, and instructions and breaks them out into bite-sized pieces to help you—and your dog— learn everything you need to know, fast. With step-by-step instructions for teaching simple commands such as sit and drop it, guides for getting your dog used to new environments, as well as easy-to-follow instructions for teaching basic tricks and correcting bad behaviors, this book has everything you need for your pet.

Available on Amazon


E189: Denise Fenzi - "From Partner to Friend: Conv...
E188: Kevin Ringstaff - "Dealing with the Loss of ...