Serious books for dog lovers.

For people who want to read about dogs, but are looking for something more serious than books about happy dogs or cozy dog-sleuth mysteries by authors such as Spencer Quinn (To Fetch a Thief; Dog On It), or need something more scientific than the wonderful stories by British veterinarian James Alfred “Alf” Wight (whom dog lovers know by his pen name, James Herriot), or even want to bone up (oops, pardon the pun) on more current observational studies than the classic The Hidden Life of Dogs by Elizabeth Thomas, we canvassed the current literature to bring you these fine tomes. We hope that one or more may pique your interest. Certainly any one, or all, will help you enhance the quality of life of your beloved dog — and probably yours as well!

The Other End of the Leash, by Patricia McConnell, Ph.D.51omZ7rpruL._AA160_
Besides this book having one of the greatest dog covers ever, author Patricia McConnell, an applied animal behaviorist and dog trainer, explains why we behave the way we do around our dogs and how how they might interpret our behavior. Highly detailed, well researched but imminently readable, a great read for anyone who realizes that the way we interact with our dogs is the key to bringing out the best in them. A must read for everyone who loves dogs and wants to understand them on an entirely new level. Paperback, 246 Pages, $16.00.

Good Old Dog: Expert Advice for Keeping Your Aging Dog Happy, Healthy, and Comfortable, by the Faculty of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.Good Old Dog
This important resource provides essential advice to help your dog age with health and well-being through his later years. Provides nutritional advice, and a way to evaluate complicated procedures and issues to determine what’s best for your dog in his or her declining years. Includes the cost of caring for an older dog, identifying and managing cognitive decline, coping with loss, and more. Paperback – 288 Pages, $14.95

The Veterinarians’ Guide to Your Dog’s Symptoms, by Michael S. Garvet, DVM, et al.51NacIPxr3L._AA160_
This encyclopedic compendium is not expected to replace your veterinarian. But it is the definitive resource to help the lay person interpret their dog’s symptoms. Contains more than 200 charts and detailed medical drawings in an easy-to-follow layout. Paperback, 222 Pages, $17.95

101 Dog Tricks, by Kyra Sundance and Chalcy.101 Dog Tricks
Professional trainers love this book because it gives step-by-step instructions on activities that engage, challenge and help humans bond with their dogs. The non-professional loves it because each trick has a rating guide to show how easy or difficult it is, with prerequisites to get you started quickly. Hundreds of clear, four-color photos and training tips. A fun way to keep you dog mentally and physically challenged.

When Pigs Fly! by Jane Killion.51KLhHSQ8wL._AA160_
Do you have an impossible dog? Actually, the problem may be more you than your dog.  The trick is to understand how to get your dog in the proper place where he or she is responsive to learning.  In fact, 80% of dog training is about getting your dog in a frame of mind where he is willing and able to pay attention and learn. Includes over 170 photographs to help you learn the techniques that lead to good behavior. Seasoned trainers take this book seriously. Paperback, 192 Pages, $17.95.

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5 Responses to Serious books for dog lovers.

  1. Kathleen Kaska April 22, 2015 at 1:10 pm #

    I’ve read every book Spencer Quinn and James Herriot has ever written. Love ’em. I didn’t know Herriot’s real name was Wight.

  2. Gloria Yarina April 22, 2015 at 1:47 pm #

    I just finished Dog on It and really enjoyed the read. I also have read many books by Patricia McConnell, Ph.D. and find her to be a good author, easy to read and understand.
    And wow, is that picture with the Dal absolutely too cute? (If I do say so, myself.)

  3. Norman W Wilson, PhD April 22, 2015 at 2:25 pm #


    You certainly have provided some of the best among the best in terms of books that provide reliable information. Herriot ranks as my favorite.

  4. peggy April 24, 2015 at 3:12 am #

    If I had a dog I would probably read every book you recommended – they all sound so
    interesting and helpful! But write now (typo intended) I’m finishing up my own book, and
    I can clearly understand why one of the authors claims that it may be the dog’s owner that has
    the problem – I have seen that more than once. Surely that ball of love will be able to help
    its owner. Love to you…

  5. bill Thorn May 12, 2015 at 7:46 am #

    I have Last Dog on the Hill by Steve Duno and The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. Both are good reads and true stories. I just checked out Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz from the Camano Library but haven’t listened to it yet. Presumably, it’s an authoritative discussion about how and what a dog thinks.

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