Always brush your dog in the direction of its hair growth. Begin at the head and work your brush toward the tail and then down the sides of your pet.read more
Some dogs have a tale that needs telling.
I should know. My great-grandfather was Eric Knight, and I grew up hearing stories about how he turned his beloved border collie, Toots, into a loyal super-dog in the 1930s classic Lassie Come Home.
Other dogs and their antics are so outlandish that fact makes for better storytelling than fiction. John Grogan's Marley and Me is the latest example of a canine-inspired memoir that tells as much about dogs as the people who come to love them.
From children’s literature to obedience-training books, or doggie “self-help,” dog book genres abound. Below, experts share their own favorite dog-themed must-read tomes:
Classic Tail Tales
Many of the dog books today cannot compare with the joy and heartbreak you likely experience reading the following:
Kid Lit for Young Pups
Several book series feature cartoon dogs like Clifford, Spot and Harry, the dirty dog. Other books recommended by PBS Kids, the nonprofit children's television channel, include:
Dog Care and Training
For reference books, Nicholas Dodman, author and professor of animal behavior at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, recommends that every dog owner have on their bookshelf the American Kennel Club's The Complete Dog Book, which has chapters on dog care, training and nutrition, in addition to information on every breed.
Rebecca Wallwork, senior editor and book reviewer for the American Kennel Club's Family Dog magazine, recommends that first-time dog owners invest in Kathy Santo's Dog Sense, as it addresses the basics of feeding, care and training. Another good option is Puppy's First Steps: A Proven Approach to Raising a Happy, Healthy, Well-Behaved Companion by the faculty of the Cummings School, including Dr. Dodman.
To foster greater understanding of our canine companions, Dr. Dodman suggests The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell, an applied animal behaviorist, who looks at how humans behave around dogs. Wallwork endorses animal behaviorist Stanley Coren's work, such as The Modern Dog: A Joyful Exploration of How We Live with Dogs Today, as well as Dr. Dodman's If Only They Could Speak: Understanding the Powerful Bond Between Dogs and Their Owners.
“Memoirs are big right now because of Marley and Me,” says Wallwork. She recommends the following:
Dog stories often have the most impact when writers emphasize the human-dog bond. "Personally, I like it when the dog is part of a bigger story," says Wallwork. "Unless a dog is larger than life, it's very hard to let a dog carry an entire book." But maybe your own dog could?
Elizabeth Wasserman, a Washington, D.C., area-based freelancer, has been writing about pets, among other topics, for more than 15 years. Her love of dogs, in particular, was handed down through the generations from her great-grandfather, Eric Knight, who wrote the book Lassie Come Home in the 1930s.
Dog heights generally range from a few inches at the withers to around: