7 Books for first time dog parents

Jane Cowell

26 July, 2022

Throughout the pandemic, many people have become first-time dog parents. If you are one of those first-time parents, I have some book recommendations for you.

This list includes nonfiction that will help you understand your newest family member and develop a happy and sustainable rhythm with them.

It also contains some fiction titles featuring memorable dog characters to keep you company and get you excited if you are considering bringing a new furry baby into your home.

These books might also aid you in convincing an unsure partner about the absolute necessity of having a dog in your life.

Our dogs, ourselves: the story of a unique bond by Alexandra Horowitz, 2019

Also available in Large Print.

This is a thought-provoking and insightful book that shines a light on us, as humans, and how we interact with our dogs. She tackles some tough topics which shines a light on “serious trouble with dog breeds today” and also questions the current approach and methodology of “de-sexing” dogs. Definitely one to explore our own bonds with our dogs and to understand ourselves better to better understand our dog.

Inside of a dog: what dogs see, smell, and know by Alexandra Horowitz, 2016

In this book by Horowitz it is all about the dog. It is a fascinating look into the world from the point of view (or more accurately the point of nose, as the author says) of a dog. It will help you understand and appreciate your dog better, and add a little empathy to your interactions with them.

Integrated dog training: the commonsense visual guide to training any dog by Michael Wombacher, 2021

Designed for quick reference while working with your dog, this large-format guidebook features the full gamut of training exercises -- each illustrated with photos and clear instructions. It offers a wealth of ways to approach various dogs and scenarios, whether you're training a puppy to sit or correcting training issues in a mature dog. Michael Wombacher, a trainer with decades of experience, knows all the competing dog training theories but also knows that in reality, it is a range of methods that gets dogs and their humans where they need to be.

What's my dog thinking?  by Hannah Molloy, 2020

All dog owners know their dogs love them but do you know what they are thinking? This is an engaging and inspiring read for anyone who has wondered what exactly their dog might be thinking and how to understand what they need from their human.

The rescue dog: a practical guide to adopting, training & living with a dog with emotional baggage by Laura Vissaritis, 2019

Adopting a rescue dog can be daunting. With anxieties and fears from their previous life, they can carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. But all dogs deserve a second chance – and this book will teach you how to provide it. It is a practical guide to adopting, training and living with a rescue dog written by an experienced Animal Behaviourist.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, 2009

Also available as eAudio (Libby).

If you have not caught up with this one yet it is time you did. Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs), he has educated himself by watching television extensively, and by listening very closely to the words of his master, Denny Swift, an up-and-coming race car driver. This is a beautiful story told from Enzo’s viewpoint and is will leave you uplifted and looking at your own dog with new eyes.

To say nothing of the dog by Connie Willis, 2013

(eBook on Borrow Box)

Time for some hilarity in your life? Then this hilarious romp of a book about time-travelling historians, a cat named Princess Arjumand and a bulldog named Cyril is one for you. Cyril, the titular dog, is an adorable goofball. So is Ned Henry, the main character who befriends Cyril and his human Terrence on a trip to the Victorian era. The scrapes that he gets into while trying to adjust to Victorian life on a boat with a dog are extremely entertaining. This book is proof that life is always better with furry friends, even if they cause you to be attacked by a very angry swan in the middle of the night.

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