Looking for a summer reading list that will get you a ‘paws-up’ from your pet pal?  Here is our 2014 list of dog-related titles that will make great “summer reads!” From funny dog facts and statistics, to dog vs. cat arguments, to a charming and well-written novel featuring a dog and his vet, to dog trick training, these books are sure to enrich your mind (and maybe your heart) and teach you a thing or two about your four-legged pal.

Dog Gone, Back Soon by Dr. Nick Trout
New York Times bestselling author and double-board certified veterinary surgeon Dr. Nick Trout brings us a lively new novel about a small town vet with big time challenges and a host of eccentric cases to treat (those are just the pet-owners!). This tale of new beginnings gives us a glimpse into the challenges and joys of being a small independent veterinarian. Grab Dog Gone, Back Soon for a typical David vs Goliath tale-except that this David has to cure pot-head puppies, overly sensitive service dogs, and feline obesity.

Planet Dog by Sandra and Harry Choron
Are you one of those people who enjoy endless amounts of useless knowledge?  If so, this book is most definitely for you. This “doglopedia” promises serious and silly knowledge of just about anything you ever wanted to know about dogs. It’s a fun book for browsing, reference, or just fact-collecting next time you need a random piece of information to share with a crowd. Just a quick flip of the pages promises juicy tidbits of knowledge including:
Characteristics of “cat people vs. dog people”
27 songs about dogs
45 dogs who appeared on “The Simpsons”
18 World Trade Center dogs
Life expectancy of 68 popular dog breeds

If Your Dog Could Talk…A Training Guide for Humans by Dr. Bruce Fogle
This book is a wealth of information. It includes a great history of dogs, including topics such as domestication and evolution of dogs, the family habits, and behaviors of mothers and their puppies.
It also addresses physical characteristics of dogs and how they see, smell, taste, hear, and overall experience the world.
If you have ever wondered why a dog marks territory, smells backsides, sleeps in funny positions, or any number of other unusual dog behaviors, you should definitely pick up this book.

Why Dogs are Better than Cats by Bradley Trevor Greive
This book was, most obviously, written by a dog lover. The quotes used are witty, thought-provoking, and very well argued. And the pictures are simply incredible. They manage to capture the many emotions of dogs and, well, the far fewer emotions of cats. To put it best, the author feels as if “Dogs see you as a parent, partner, best friend, and soul mate. Cats see you as s source of warmth and food.”
So if you are a dog lover and a cat non-lover, then this is most definitely the book for you. Or if you have a cat lover in your life that you think can take the cat criticism, this one may be for you, too.

101 Dog Tricks: Step-by-Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog by Kyra Sundance and Chalcy
Who doesn’t want their dog to know more tricks? Tricks are cool and very fun to show off! But wouldn’t it be fun to have some unusual tricks to show? For instance, our Schnauzer knows dance and spin and those are far better crowd pleasers than the traditional shake and sit.
One thing to remember when teaching tricks, look for natural abilities that your dog may have that lends itself to certain tricks <insert link to “Teaching Tricks Based on Tendencies>.  An example may include a dog that likes to jump on its hind legs, which would easily morph into dance or touchdown or walk like an Egyptian.
Some fun examples of tricks that you could learn to teach include:

  • Doggy push-ups
  • Pickpocket Pooch
  • Find the Car Keys
  • Take a Bow
  • Chorus Line Kicks
  • My Dog Can Count

We wish you a very enjoyable and relaxing summer, and we hope you have time for some of these great books. Learn more about DogWatch and the products we make for dogs (and cats!) at www.dogwatch.com.