11 Must-Read Books About Dogs

By Brandon Miller
Four books about dogs are displayed on a light green background. titles include "puppy brain," "molly," "good boy," and "what the dog knows." the covers feature images of different dog breeds.

These fun and insightful reads are paw-sitively terrific.

For readers who are just as dog-obsessed as Team Celadon, we assembled a pack of captivating tales about our furry four-legged friends. The dog books below span behavioral guides and memoirs to well-researched nonfiction narratives that explore our relationships with our canine companions. There’s truly something for everyone. So snuggle up with your pup for a doggone great read.

Cover of the book "puppy brain" by kerry nichols featuring a white puppy looking up with the subtitle "how our dogs learn, think, and love" and the phrase "rethinking the way we train our puppies.

Puppy Brain: How Our Dogs Learn, Think, and Love

By Kerry Nichols

Puppy Brain boasts all the essentials of a helpful guide to raising a happy dog — it teaches you how to house train your pup, how to crate-train them, when to spay or neuter, and how best to navigate your puppy’s formative first year. And yet, Kerry Nichols’s new book about dogs is much more than a handy how-to: It’s also an insightful read on canine development and communication, revealing the messages your puppy sends to you about how they’re feeling and what they need. Nichols founded Nicholberry Goldens and has dedicated her life to raising the healthiest and happiest dogs around. In Puppy Brain, she channels her years of experience into actionable training guidance for first-timers and seasoned dog owners alike. And here’s an extra treat: The book is packed with adorable doggy photos! 

Book cover of "good boy: my life in seven dogs" by jennifer finney boylan, featuring a black dog with a pink collar sitting against a creamy background, with the title in colorful block letters.

Good Boy: My Life in Seven Dogs

By Jennifer Finney Boylan

In Good Boy, bestselling author Jennifer Finney Boylan writes about her deep love of dogs and the impact they’ve had on her life. She chooses seven key moments from her past and the seven unforgettable dogs who were instrumental in those stages of development and transformation. “Everything I know about love,” she writes, “I learned from dogs.” And indeed, any dog lover can relate to the love and companionship Finney Boylan captures in her powerful memoir

Book cover of "when harry met minnie" by martha teichner. features a white bull terrier and a black dog wearing a green outfit, with new york city skyline in the background.

When Harry Met Minnie: A True Story of Love and Friendship

By Martha Teichner

This instant New York Times bestseller is sure to melt your heart. Written by Emmy Award–winning journalist Martha Teichner, When Harry Met Minnie is a beautiful memoir about love, loss, and friendship. When the author learns of a dog named Harry who’s in need of a new home, she decides to meet him to see if they would be a good fit for each other — after all, Harry’s a bull terrier, just like Martha’s current dog, Minnie. But when Martha meets Harry’s owner, Carol, who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, the two women forge a friendship that goes beyond their love of dogs. Radiating warmth, love, and compassion, Teichner’s memoir serves as a reminder to remain open to finding connections in unexpected places. 

Cover of the book "molly: the true story of the amazing dog who rescues cats" featuring a black dog with a "pet detective" harness in a grassy field.

Molly: The True Story of the Amazing Dog Who Rescues Lost Cats

By Colin Butcher

In Molly: The True Story of the Amazing Dog Who Rescues Cats, author Colin Butcher writes about launching the United Kingdom Pet Detective Agency and the many cases he’s helped crack. A former police officer and veteran of the Royal Navy, Butcher founded his company in 2003 to help pet owners reunite with their missing companions. That’s when he enlists a young cocker spaniel named Molly as his sidekick and works with elite dog trainers to teach her how to track down missing cats by scent. Together, Colin and Molly become fantastic partners and the best of friends — the veritable Holmes and Watson of the pet world! 

Book cover of "the other end of the leash" by patricia b. mcconnell, featuring a person standing with a dog jumping up towards them. text includes a positive review and the subtitle.

The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs

By Patricia B. McConnell

Dr. Patricia McConnell is an animal behaviorist and dog trainer with more than two decades of experience in the field. In The Other End of the Leash, she shares her knowledge with dog owners who want to better understand their canine companions. McConnell’s book focuses on humans just as much as on pups — it explores why we act the way we do around dogs, how we should be interacting with dogs, and why things such as vocal tone and body language impact how our furry friends understand our messages and behaviors. With its excellent balance of in-depth research and real-life anecdotes, The Other End of the Leash is “good reading for dog lovers and an immensely useful manual for dog owners” (The Washington Post). 

Cover of the book "inside of a dog" by alexandra horowitz featuring a close-up of a grey dog with soulful eyes, with the title and author's name overlaid on the image.

Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know

By Alexandra Horowitz

Inside of a Dog offers an eye-opening look into the way our dogs perceive the world. Alexandra Horowitz’s narrative draws on cutting-edge research to help you better understand your furry friend. Horowitz is a cognitive scientist and the author of The Year of the Puppy, among a handful of other books about dogs. Here, she channels her research at Barnard College’s Dog Cognition Lab to present readers with an idea of what it might be like to live life from a dog’s POV. The book covers everything from being able to smell sadness to what it’s like to use your mouth as a hand.

Book cover of "cesar's way" by melissa jo peltier featuring cesar millan smiling with a german shepherd and a labrador retriever, highlighting it as a new york times bestseller.

Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding & Correcting Common Dog Problems

By Cesar Millan

Cesar Millan is a nationally recognized dog expert with a legion of fans who swear by his approach to canine rearing. Cesar's Way is one of the trainer’s best-known books, and it’s the one we recommend if you’re looking for an entry point to his work. Millan’s methods center on exercise, discipline, and affection — and teaching your dog that you are the alpha. The book is written in a straightforward yet witty way that’s extremely readable, although his reliance on dominance over dogs is not supported by all experts. 

Book cover titled "how dogs love us" by gregory berns, featuring a close-up of a gentle golden retriever looking directly at the viewer.

How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain

By Gregory Berns

Type “does my dog” into Google, and you’ll notice that a top suggestion to complete the query is “love me?” So if you’ve searched for answers on this particular topic, you’re certainly not alone. Thankfully, neuroscientist Gregory Berns answers the question for you in his absorbing book, How Dogs Love Us. Berns realized that the only way to understand a dog’s brain was to give his canine subjects an MRI — something that had never been done before. Using his adopted dog Callie as his partner, Berns overcame a series of obstacles to unlock how dogs love us, revealing the ways in which dogs connect with human emotions and why the human–dog friendship is so impactful.

Book cover of "what the dog knows" featuring a close-up of a dog’s face, predominantly the eyes, with the title and author's name, cat warren, displayed on top.

What the Dog Knows: Scent, Science, and the Amazing Ways Dogs Perceive the World

By Cat Warren

What the Dog Knows is a fascinating book about “working dogs” and how they use scent to accomplish tasks great and small. Cat Warren discusses her dog, Solo, in the New York Times bestseller, detailing how she had trouble with his boundless energy until a behaviorist suggested she train him to be a working dog. But Solo is just the starting point. Warren interviews a cast of experts in her dog book — from trainers, handlers, and breeders to cognitive psychologists, historians, and forensic anthropologists. The result is a scientifically sound explanation for exactly how working dogs have managed to do everything from sniff out explosives to track down missing people.

The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter Than You

By Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods

The Genius of Dogs is a New York Times bestselling book about dogs by Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods, husband and wife researchers at the Duke Canine Cognition Center. Using findings gathered at the DCCC, which Hare runs, as well as research from other educational institutions, the book examines a dog’s remarkable cognitive abilities and their capacity to process emotions. Hare argues that the dogs of today are closer to human infants in their cognition and disposition than their wolflike ancestors; he also says that domestication has made dogs more socially adept and emotionally intelligent than experts previously believed. 

Book cover for "the forever dog" by rodney habib and karen becker featuring a small dog wearing a red cape amidst a network of colorful geometric lines.

The Forever Dog: Surprising New Science to Help Your Canine Companion Live Younger, Healthier, and Longer

By Rodney Habib and Karen Shaw Becker

We all want to ensure our furry friend lives a long and healthy life — and The Forever Dog is here to assist you in that goal. Written by Rodney Habib and veterinarian Dr. Karen Shaw Becker, the acclaimed dog book draws on insights from top geneticists, microbiologists, longevity researchers, and even owners whose dogs have lived extraordinarily long lives to provide a guide to making the smartest, healthiest decisions for your canine. From the food you feed your dog to the role your lifestyle plays in their health, The Forever Dog will show you how to care for and protect your loyal companion for many, many years to come.

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