Holiday Gift Guide: Dog Books

Photo: @gusgusinthecity

There’s nothing like curling up with a good book. Especially if you’re curling up with a good book about dogs as you snuggle up with your 4-legged bestie. Yuh-huh, that sounds like a super-sized slice of heaven. Or, as we like to call it, a scrumptious holiday gift.

We are elated to have fetched up a whole pack of must-give books for the dog person on your list, including you. From training guides to luxe coffee table tomes, what you’ll find here will bring comfort and joy. And maybe even hugs and belly rubs just for YOU, you savvy gift-giver.


For Those with a Dog-in-Training

The Other End of the Leash

Patricia McConnell, 2003

Price – Hardcover, $20.00, Paperback, $11.00

Dr. McConnell gives a lucid and entertaining explanation of why dogs behave as they do, and includes tons of spot-on training tips.


Don’t Shoot the Dog! The New Art of Teaching and Training, New 2011 Edition

Karen Pryor, 2006

Paperback, $12.00

Dog training starts with human training in this sensible chronicle. “Whatever the task, whether keeping a four-year-old quiet, coaching a team or teaching your puppy, it will go faster, better and will be more fun if you know how to use reinforcement.”


The Culture Clash: A Revolutionary New Way to Understanding the Relationship Between Humans and Domestic Dogs

Jean Donaldson, New 2nd Edition, 1996

Paperback, $15.00, Kindle, $9.99

An affectionate, smart and practical book, this won the Best Dog Training Award in 1996 and remains a perennial favorite among dog people.


For A Friend Who Has Lost her Best Friend

Going Home – Finding Peace When Pets Die

Jon Katz, 2011

Price, $22

The popular writer of “A Dog Year” again creates camaraderie with readers in this very personal account of getting through the loss of a dog: “Embrace grief, and don’t let anyone tell you ‘he was just a pet.’”


Dog Years – A Memoir

Mark Doty, 2008

Price – Paperback, $14.00, Kindle, $9.99

As one reviewer put it, “for any dog-owned person, this is a must-read.” Deeply felt, humorous, tender and sad; a moving memoir by a renowned modern poet.


Good Grief: Finding Peace after Pet Loss

Sid Korpi, 2009

Price, $21.95 on the author’s website:

Local author Sid Korpi pens an award-winning book about thoughtfully dealing with life when our four-legged companions move on.


The Art of Racing in the Rain: A Novel

Garth Stein, 2009

Price – Paperback, $12.00, Kindle, $9.99

A modern classic narrated by Enzo the lab mix as he reflects on his life, this touching, insightful, quick-read-of-a- book is for anyone who has ever loved a dog.


For When You Want To Make a Coffee Table Irresistible

Dogs Make Us Human: A Global Family Album of the History of Dogs and their Bonds with Humans

Written by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, Photos by Art Wolfe

Price, Hardcover, $30

A broad, brilliant look at people and dogs from around the world:  sections on love, play, street dogs, working dogs, pampered dogs and more.


North Star Cocktails: Johnny Michaels and the North Star Bartenders’ Guild

Johnny Michaels, 2011

Price: $13.42 on

Okay, it’s not about dogs, but renowned La Belle Vie drink-master Johnny Michaels donates all royalties of this luscious recipe guide (perfect for holiday entertaining) to SPCA International… And dedicates the book to his former pets:  Lucy, Brutus and Brando.



Tim Flach, 2010

Price: $31.50 on

Stunning, beautiful, extraordinary photographs of all types of dogs, from greyhounds in motion to show dogs to pooches waiting for rescue.


For the Dog Parent Who Craves Spot-On Knowledge

Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You a Better Friend

Jon Bradshaw, 2011

Price – Hardcover, $25.99, Kindle, $9.99, Paperback, $12.00

A serious effort to collect in one great reference book the current state of the science of dog behavior (beginning with the myth of dog and wolf), all to make you and your dog better buddies.


Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight about Animals

Hal Herzog, 2011

Price – Hardcover, $22.99, Kindle, $9.99, Paperback, $15.00

Herzog discusses the new Anthrozoology – the science of the interactions between humans and animals. Known among scientists as a bit of a maverick, Herzog’s new work is full of insight and anecdotes to help explain why we’re often so ready to eat one species and cuddle the next.


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

Alexandra Horowitz, 2010

Price – Hardcover, $25.00, Kindle, $9.99, Paperback, $12.00

This book will delight and surprise any dog person; learn what your dog sees from two feet off the ground, how dogs can smell sadness or the passage of time, and what your dog knows that you don’t.


Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Lives for Animals

Temple Grandin, 2009

Price – Hardcover, $25.99, Kindle, $9.99, Paperback, $12.00

Grandin states, “All animals and people have the same core emotion systems in the brain.” Her uniquely in-depth take on the similarities between us helps people better understand how to do right by our dogs.


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