Welcome to the Dogs Monthly Book Club. Each month we review our pick of the latest releases, with an opportunity to win for lucky readers! If you would like to enter the prize draw, please email email@example.com with the name of the book you would like to receive in the subject line. Please remember to include your name and full address. Entries close 4 July 2019.
Office Dogs: The Manual
Reviewed by Megan Harding
British offices are becoming pet-friendly as more and more employers realise the stress-busting benefits of having a pet in the workplace. But how do you prepare your dog for working nine to five?
This comprehensive guide discusses the pros and cons of pets in the workplace, what to consider beforehand and also looks at examples of other office dogs to help you set yourself up for success. Taking you through the whole process is dog trainer Stephanie Rousseau whose interest in dog behaviour has spurred on her desire to help facilitate dogs into the human workplace. The book contains aspects of workplace pets that many wouldn’t have even considered, including beating boredom and effective lunchtime activities. There’s an equipment list to help get you started, as well as a potential itinerary for what your dog’s day may look like.
If your employer is yet to be sold on the idea, there’s an entire chapter on how you may approach this topic, research you might draw on, and how you might address issues such as a colleague’s allergy or phobia.
I’m really impressed with the level of detail Stephanie has provided in this book. Whether you would like to take your dog to the office or already do, it certainly offers a lot of tips and advice, which can prove useful at any stage but especially with Bring Your Dog to Work Day on 21 June!
The Secret Language of Dogs
Reviewed by Imogen Gibbins
Having grown up watching It’s Me or the Dog on TV, I was keen to read Victoria Stilwell’s latest book. The book has 13 chapters, describing some of the science behind why dogs feel the way they do. It gives details on the different ways dogs learn and describes how dogs interact with the world via their senses. This then allows the reader to understand more about what dogs value and how their emotions and needs are different to those of a human.
As a dog trainer myself, the most important part of the book was about signs of stress and anxiety. All owners should be able to recognise what unsettles their dog and what to do. Recognising signs of aggression is also important to reduce dog bites. So many different canine signals are missed. As we learn more about how dogs display their feelings, the modern dog owner should better understand how to decipher what their dog is trying to tell them. The book explains why dogs may change their behaviour – for example, if they are experiencing pain.
Owners need to know how their actions, such as tone of voice, can affect a dog. Victoria includes information from recent studies and explains how the idea that dogs need a ‘pack leader’ is a myth, listing the reasons why the use of punishment in dog training has a negative effect on dogs as a whole.
The book engages the reader with pictures and diagrams, allowing people with different learning styles to understand what is being said.
I would recommend this book, as it gives good overall knowledge on canine body language and how dogs learn without going into too much science. It is also quite a small book so is easily digestible.
Reviewed by Maria Laken
Mutts is the perfect book for every dog lover’s coffee table. Inspirational rescue stories about mischief and second chances sit alongside beautiful studio shots by award-winning photographer Emma O’Brien.
Emma is based in South Africa where she created this collection of unique rescue stories, with the help of some generous crowdfunding. Putting a spotlight on the growing number of shelter dogs in her home town and around the world, this lovely book is a reminder of how much joy rescue dogs bring to people’s lives.
The book takes a light-hearted, glass-half-full approach that warms your heart and brings a smile to your face, while also highlighting issues such as neglect, abuse and full rescue centres. As well as a short rescue story, each dog in this book is brilliantly summarised in a few words – my favourite being, ‘Rasta dog who sleeps high’ – which is about Alfie, a dog that was once homeless and full of dreadlocks but now enjoys life relaxing in his forever home and is often found sleeping on chairs, desks and dining room tables!
Many of the dogs featured in thebook were adopted from the Societyfor the Prevention of Cruelty toAnimals (SPCA), and CommunityLead Animal Welfare (Claw), andthe proceeds from this book willbe donated towards both SandtonSPCA and Claw. Other rescue centres are given a special mention at the end of the book with links to their websites – great for those who have been tempted to adopt their own one-of-a-kind mutt.
For someone that has their own rescue mutt at home, I believe Emma when she says, “You can’t buy happiness, but you can adopt it.”
Wonderful Walks from Dog-Friendly Campsites throughout the UK
Reviewed by Megan Harding
The quest to find the best dog-friendly campsites in Britain began the day Anna Chelmicka got her first motorhome. She wanted to explore with her dogs by her side and has visited many parts of the UK and Europe in search of the best locations.
This book covers England, Wales and Scotland and each chapter details some of the best sites for holidaymakers, as well as numerous nearby walks and sights.
If you’re heading off on a camping or caravan holiday in future, you might just want to bring this book along. It has lots of great ideas for keeping everyone entertained, complete with first-hand accounts from Anna and her Labrador, Pearl.
Anna also provides tips on what to look for in a campsite, what to take with you and general countryside etiquette.
Look out for Pearl’s own ‘Pearls of wisdom’ snippets. Pearl is very honest about the pros and cons of each location. A real ‘dog’s-eye’ view