Top 5 Must Reads for Dog Lovers

Top 5 Must Reads for Dog Lovers

These are my top 5 recommendations for anyone who wants to know more about dogs and the special relationship we, humans, have with them. All of these were books I read during my obsessive dog research phase.

For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend (CAN) (US)

Patricia McConnell

Without anthropomorphizing dogs, this book shows you just how emotive and expressive dogs are in a very human way. It also teaches you how to “read” a dog. The start of every chapter begins with an anecdote that McConnell then delves deeper into. She explores each topic very thoroughly and yet doesn’t make this feel like a typical book based on research – you know, the ones filled with quotes from various sources that reads like a journal article. In this book, her passion and expertise, as an animal behaviourist and dog lover, are what makes this book stand out.  She explains science in a very approachable way.

Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know  (CAN) (US)

Alexandra Horowitz

This book puts you in the shoes paws of a dog. After reading this book I find myself being more aware of the smells around me and contemplate what it’s like to see the world through your nose. This book also taught me a lot about how to interact with dogs. This book is incredibly readable in one or two sittings. The others I needed a break here and there, but this one was an easy and insightful read.

Dog Medicine: How My Dog Saved Me from Myself  (CAN) (US)

Julie Barton

Just writing this blurb makes me want to read it again. This is the only book on the list not written by a PhD (she still has 3 degrees though), so it’s less science-y. It’s a very different from the other books for me because I relate so much to the Barton’s struggle, in terms of mental health and being 22 and out of college. This book is insightful, honest, and emotionally moving. By the end I was reading through tear filled eyes. This one is a page turner and not to be missed.


Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words  (CAN) (US)

Dr. John W. Pilley Jr. and Hilary Hinzmann

This famous pooch is probably not uniquely intelligent. However her human dedicated thousands of hours of training into harnessing the brain power of a collie for research (and fun). This book is really interesting study about dog’s memories, problem-solving skills, and grasp of parts of speech. Pilley is a retired psychology professor and I loved reading the stories about how he used his dogs in his classes.

What the Dog Knows: Scent, Science, and the Amazing Ways Dogs Perceive the World  (CAN) (US)

Cat Warren

I loved this book because explores Warren’s venture into the working dog world. You follow her throughout the process and learn everything that she learned with her German Shepherd Solo. This is the book that has given me great dinner conversation topics like me, “Did you know that dogs can sniff out bodies that have been dead for decades because they can detect the smell of very slight soil composition change?” I’m just kidding about bringing that up over dinner. It’s definitely breakfast talk.



Disclosure: Links in this post are affiliate links. If you choose to purchase through the links, I get a commission which I put towards a savings account for bloo. 

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