10 Books Every German Shepherd Owner Must Read

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It’s exciting and sometimes nervous to be a first-time dog owner. It can even be a bit challenging when it comes to an intelligent and high-energy dog breed like the German Shepherd Dog. This is where good dog books come in handy.

There are literally hundreds if not thousands of dog books on the market today, and I want to make this list specific to new owners but not limited to the GSD breed. My goal is to give you the best ideas at your disposal. And hopefully, you can pull out any one book from the list to get the answers you may need along the way as your dog grows.

1. The German Shepherd Dog In Word And Picture

By V. Stephanitz

Originally published in Germany in 1923, “The German Shepherd Dog in Word and Picture” is the English translation of what is probably the most important book ever published on this popular breed. 

This volume is highly recommended for owners and breeders alike. Many vintage books such as this are increasingly scarce and expensive.Yet you can iwn this volume in an affordable, modern, high-quality edition complete with a specially commissioned new biography of the author.

You may also like: The White German Shepherd – the Ancestor of All GSD

Why do we like this book?

Written by the father of the German Shepherd Dog himself, almost 100 years ago, this book could arguably be the Holy Bible of German Shepherd. Hands down.

2. Your German Shepherd Puppy Month by Month, 2nd Edition: Everything You Need to Know at Each State to Ensure Your Cute and Playful Puppy (Your Puppy Month by Month)

By Liz Palika, Terry Albert

If you are a first-time GSD owner and you only have time for one book, this is it.

This book works as an instruction manual for any GSD owner. It is a must for any first-time or even veteran GSD owners. It does exactly what the title suggests – give you everything you need to know about owning a German Shepherd for the first 12 months of puppyhood.

The first 12 months of their lives could be the most critical part of all GSD life. They grow so rapidly and there is so much to care for. As every month is a little different, knowing what to expect will make you a much better GSD owner.

From puppy-proofing your home, feeding and nutrition, crate training, leash training, housetraining, socialization, adolescence behavior, to vaccination, this book has got you covered.

You may also like: 26 Critical Time in a GSD’s Life That Every Owner Must Be Aware of

Why do we like this book?

This book is very easy to follow, and it guides you through every step of the way month by month. The section on “Your Teenage Puppy” is revealing, as the author explains a 6 months old pup simply not thinking much be only reacting to her hormones and instincts.

I love the way the author suggests that you need to be patient and think of yourself as a teenager’s parent. The best thing is to “provide her with guidance and limits, and help her to be a good puppy as you both work through this stage of her life together.”

3. The German Shepherd Handbook: The Essential Guide For New & Prospective German Shepherd Owners (Canine Handbooks)

By Linda Whitwam

This book is part of the Canine Handbooks, Amazon’s No.1 dog breed series. British canine author Linda Whitwam has joined forces with 11 breeders in the US & UK to bring you this definitive guide to the incomparable German Shepherd Dog.

The author clearly defines the characteristics and temperament of this breed as well as guides you through the stages of puppyhood. This book is packed full of useful information for every German Shepherd owner.

Why do we like this book?

This book guides you through the stages of puppyhood (feeding, potty training, crate training, socializing, etc.) to caring for the older adult dog. If you are out in the market to look for your perfect GSD, this book will give you some handy tips on how and where to find a reputable breeder.

4. How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend: The Classic Training Manual for Dog Owners

By Monks of New Skete

Renowned for breeding German Shepherds, the Monks of New Skete have been raising and training dogs for over 30 years at their Cambridge, New York, monastery. 

Their unique approach to canine training, developed and refined over four decades, is based on the philosophy that “understanding is the key to communication, compassion, and communion” with your dog.

How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend covers virtually every aspect of living with and caring for your dog, including:

  • Finding and selecting your perfect puppy
  • the proper use of praise and discipline, 
  • Feeding, grooming, and ensuring your dog’s physical fitness
  • Recognizing and correcting canine behavioral problems
  • The proper techniques for complete care of your pet at every stage of his or her life

Why do we like this book?

This book could be perfect for the first-time dog owner, or someone raising a puppy for the first time. The Monks are the advocates of creating a happy, well-behaved dog.

They put a lot of time into their dogs themselves, and they expect their dogs to integrate into their lives in a way like a family member. 

5. The Art of Raising a Puppy (Revised Edition)

By Monks of New Skete

The authors of the classic guide How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend now go on to tell you everything you need to know about the crucial first months of your puppy’s life.

From the decision to adopt a puppy through the practical steps of choosing the right breed, preparing your home, caring for your new charge, and practicing basic obedience exercises. This is a must-have guide for raising a puppy.

Why do we like this book?

This book covers every aspect of puppyhood and how to be a good pet parent to your puppy.

If you are looking for free and effective ways to training your GSD, check out our training guide:

6. How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond

By Cesar Millan, Melissa Jo Peltier

Aimed specifically at the particular needs of puppies and adolescents, How to Raise the Perfect Dog will answer the most commonly asked questions for any new dog owner.

This book will guide you towards a loving, satisfying life-long relationship with your best friend.

Why do we like this book?

It is Cesar Millian. And I am a fan for years. This is a good entry-level book to learn from the master.

The collection of stories of Cesar’s experiences working with different dogs is truly inspiring. His insight is very helpful the makes this book enjoyable to read.

7. Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days

By Brandon McMillan

A little background on Brandon McMillan – His father and uncle were both exotic animal trainers in the entertainment industry. And before he made himself famous by training dogs from celebrities, he had been training wild animals including big cats, bears, primates, wolves, birds of prey, elephants and many more.

In his first book, Lucky Dog Lessons begins with the basics— 7 Common Commands he teaches every dog: SIT, STAY, DOWN, COME, OFF, HEEL, and NO. 

Next, McMillan provides solutions to common canine behavior problems, including house training issues, door dashing, chewing, barking, and common mealtime misbehaviors.

Throughout the book, McMillan explains the importance of building trust, establishing focus and control, and mastering training techniques. 

Why do we like this book?
The idea of having a wild animal trainer to train human’s best friend is really intriguing. The 7 Common Commands could be the best basic training you could give to your perfect pup.

Lucky Dog Lessons includes easy-to-follow steps, illustrative examples, tried-and-true tips and tricks, and photographs to demonstrate each technique. 

8. How To Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication

By Stanley Coren

Drawing on substantial research in animal behavior, evolutionary biology, and years of personal experience, Coren demonstrates that the average house dog can understand our language at about the level of a two-year-old human. 

While the actual conversation of the sort Lassie seemed capable of in Hollywood myth-making remains forever out of reach, Coren shows us that a great deal of real communication is possible beyond the giving and obeying of commands.

Why do we like this book?

German Shepherd is one of the most vocal dogs. And this book will let you better understand the cues from their howling, whining and barking. With easy-to-follow tips on how humans can mimic the language dogs use to talk with one another, you will be amazed that it is not that hard to speak dog at all.

9. How Stella Learned to Talk: The Groundbreaking Story of the World’s First Talking Dog Kindle Edition

By Christina Hunger

If you could speak a little bit of dog by following the previous book, why not take it to the next level by teaching your dog to speak human? Sound fictional? Maybe not.

How Stella Learned to Talk is part memoir and part how-to guide. It chronicles the journey the author and Stella (her dog) have taken together, from the day they met, to the day Stella “spoke” her first word, and the other breakthroughs they’ve had since. 

It also reveals the techniques Christina used to teach Stella, broken down into simple stages and actionable steps any dog owner can use to start communicating with their pets.

Why do we like this book?

Being the third most intelligent dog breed, there’s no doubt your GSD can learn fast. If you’ve ever wondered “if dog could talk”, this is the book that lets you teach your dog to do so.

10. U.S. Military Working Dog Training Handbook

By Department of Defense

German Shepherd was chosen as war dogs for their trainability, obedience and work drive. If you want to learn more about training working dogs, this is a good place to start.

This manual is the Department of Defense’s principal source of information on care, conditioning, and training of our nation’s Military Working Dogs – such as “Cairo,” the canine who served in the raid that killed Bin Laden. From basics, such as “HEEL” and “STAY” to negotiating obstacle courses, to tracking, searching, and even attacking.

Why do we like this book?

This book gives you clear step-by-step instructions on not only how to train but also detailed information about why the particular training works so well. It is a must for any serious dog owner or trainer alike.

Final Thoughts

There’s no shortcut to being a good dog owner – you have to put your time and effort into training and caring for your furry friends, day in day out. Hopefully, with this list of resources can help you along the way from the puppyhood to the adulthood of your beloved GSD.