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Dog Lovers Book Club - June 2021

Here's our June 2021 Dog Lovers Book Club with a mix of new releases and some old favourites to kick off your winter reading season! Time to grab that cuppa and snuggle up with your dogs...

by Christina Hunger

The ground-breaking story of the world's first talking dog, the indispensable dog book for the new decade. An incredible, revolutionary true story and surprisingly simple guide to teaching your dog to talk from speech-language pathologist Christina Hunger, who taught her dog, Stella, to communicate using simple paw-sized buttons associated with different words.

When speech-language pathologist Christina Hunger first came home with her puppy, Stella, it didn't take long for her to start drawing connections between her job and her new pet. During the day, she worked with toddlers with significant delays in language development and used Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices to help them communicate. At night, she wondered: If dogs can understand words we say to them, shouldn't they be able to say words to us? Can dogs use AAC to communicate with humans?

Christina decided to put this to the test with Stella and started using a paw-sized button, programmed with her voice to say the word 'outside' when clicked, whenever she took Stella out of the house. Stella now has a bank of more than thirty word buttons, and uses them either individually or together to create near-complete sentences.

How Stella Learned to Talk is part memoir and part how-to guide. It chronicles the journey Christina and Stella have taken together from the day they met to the day Stella 'spoke' her first word, and the other breakthroughs they've had since. It also reveals the techniques Christina used to teach Stella, broken down into simple stages and actionable steps any dog owner can use to start communicating with their pets.

Filled with conversations that Stella and Christina have had, as well as the attention to developmental detail that only a speech-language pathologist could know, How Stella Learned to Talk will be the indispensable dog book for the new decade.

Publisher: Allen & Unwin, 18th May 2021
Paperback, 272 pages - C format

RRP: $32.99. Learn more at

For Dogs: The Canine Emotional Detox

by Diane Garrod

The first step most take with a problematic canine is jumping right to a behaviour modification program and/or skills applications process, when the reality is that a dog may not be in a state of learning due to distress or chronic/acute stress. The Canine Emotional Detox (CED) provides a step-by-step stress protocol, the right combination of elements and is focused on releasing stress first.

The Canine Emotional Detox differs from other books on stress because it focuses on the right combination of elements to reduce stress and to date has over 196 permission-based cases. 

Take a look at selected before and after photos, pattern discoveries and findings through real life research approach with dogs in a variety of environments, situations, and behavioural challenges. The book is filled with the who, what, where, when, how and why of stress and its affect on dogs.

Author, Diane Garrod takes a look at the dog from the inside out, from diet to waste analysis, to release of stress chemicals within the body and the brain and how the dog thinks and processes information. Think of the CED as a three-day intensive stress neutralization, with the canine taking a well-needed, and deserved holiday, or vacation in a spa-like, pampering process and a way to learn more about the individual dog in the process. From this perspective a final analysis is created, which becomes a customized behaviour modification process.

Paperback, 304 pages; also available as an eBook.
Published: 30th April 2021

RRP: $44.99 at

Everyday Gratitude from Dogs

by Mark Rogers (Photographer)

Give the gift of adorable dogs paired with the hilarious, heart-warming and oh-so-true reasons they love their fur-less human companions.

Have you ever considered what our precious pooches would say to us if they could speak?

In Thanks for Picking Up My Poop, our cute and cuddly canine companions impart their humorous and heartfelt motivations for staying so dedicated to their fur-less human companions.

Packed with engaging photos and clever snippets of doggy wisdom, this book helps us mere humans better appreciate those moments of happiness we share with others every day.

Paperback, 112 pages
Publisher: Ulysses Press, 4th May 2021

RRP: $28.95 at

by Ericka Waller

Ericka Waller's Dog Days is a debut novel about the challenges life can bring and the way dogs can bring out the best in us, helping us understand life.

George is a grumpy, belligerent old man who has just lost his wife. She has left him notes around the home and a miniature Dachshund puppy called Poppy. But George doesn't want a dog, he wants to fight everyone who is trying to help him.

Dan has OCD but has channelled his energy into his career as a therapist. Afraid to acknowledge his true feelings, his most meaningful relationship so far is with his dog Fitz. That is, until Atticus walks into his life.

Lizzie is living in a women's refuge with her son Lenny. Her body is covered in scars and she has shut herself off from the world. She distrusts dogs, but when she starts having to walk the refuge's dog, Maud, things begin to change.

As three strangers' lives unravel and intersect, they ultimately must accept what fate has in store for them with their dogs by their sides. Set against the backdrop of Brighton, Dog Days is an inspiring, unflinching, and deeply moving novel about the challenges life can bring and the way dogs can bring out the best is us, helping us understand life, and each other, a little better.

Publisher: Penguin Books Australia, Imprint: Doubleday
Trade Paperback, 368 pages

RRP: $32.99 at

by W. Bruce Cameron

#1 New York Times bestselling author W. Bruce Cameron once again captures the bravery and determination of a very good dog in the gripping sequel to A Dog's Way Home, the acclaimed novel that inspired the hit movie!

Bella was once a lost dog, but now she lives happily with her people, Lucas and Olivia, only occasionally recalling the hardships in her past. Then a weekend camping trip turns into a harrowing struggle for survival when the Rocky Mountains are engulfed by the biggest wildfire in American history. The raging inferno separates Bella from her people and she is lost once more.

Alone in the wilderness, Bella unexpectedly finds herself responsible for the safety of two defenceless mountain lion cubs. Now she's torn between two equally urgent goals. More than anything, she wants to find her way home to Lucas and Olivia, but not if it means abandoning her new family to danger. And danger abounds, from predators hunting them to the flames threatening at every turn.

Can Bella ever get back to where she truly belongs?

A Dog's Courage is more than a fast-paced adventure, more than a devoted dog's struggle to survive, it's a story asking that we believe in our dogs as much as they believe in us.

Paperback, 282 pages
Publisher: Pan Macmillan AustraliaImprint: Pan, 25th May 2021

Price: $19.99. To learn more, visit


by Remy Lai

A delightful graphic novel about friendship and belonging, starring the world's most adorable dog, perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier's Guts.

Every Saturday, Pawcasso trots into town with a basket, a shopping list and cash in paw to buy groceries for his family. One day, he passes by Jo's house, where she's peering out the window, bored and lonely. 

When Jo sets out to follow him, a group of kids from school mistake her for Pawcasso's owner and, excited to make new friends, she reluctantly hides the truth. But what starts as a Chihuahua-sized lie quickly grows into a Great Dane-sized problem when Pawcasso gets his own internet fan club … Trapped in a web of lies, will Jo risk her new friendships by telling the truth?

From the award-winning creator of Pie in the Sky comes a heartwarming and hilarious story about an unexpected friendship between the loneliest girl in class and the coolest canine in town.

Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Allen & Unwin Children's, 18th May 2021
For Ages: 8 - 12 years old

Price: $15.25 at

by Chris Grabenstein

Introducing Dog Squad, the crime-fighting, tail-wagging, hilarious new series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Max Einstein!

When trouble calls . . . it's Dog Squad to the rescue!

Duke is not your average dog. Along with his crew, he fights crime and goes on claw-biting adventures helping dogs in peril in the hit streaming sensation - Dog Squad! Fred is a pretty average dog. He's scrappy. He's loveable. But he's not brave like his heroes on Dog Squad.

Fred looks an awful lot like Duke from Dog Squad though. In fact, when Duke needs a stand-in, Fred's the perfect choice. But the Dog Squad action doesn't always stop on screen! When there's danger in real life, can Fred find the courage to step up and save the day?!

It's all paws on deck in this action-packed, middle grade adventure series just right for anyone who loves dogs - and anyone who loves to laugh!

Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books Australia, 11th May 2021
For Ages: 8 - 12 years old

Price: $23.75 at


All About Dogs

by Gwen Romack, illustrated by Jean Tower 

It's never too early to teach little hoomans about dog safety, care and health. 

Finn, the funny and loveable real-life character from the beloved The Finn Chronicles series uses his charming personality to teach kids All About Dogs in this delightful activity book! 

Through brain games, puzzles and colouring pages, Finn teaches dog care and safety essentials, the important role of dog rescues and veterinarians, and how to be a dog super hero. 

Endorsed by a veterinarian, teacher, rescue organisation and a mum, it ticks all the boxes. 

Kids can continue to engage with Finn on his website and social media to keep the fun going. This is a perfect gift for children ages 5-10!

Paperback, 32 pages
Publisher: Gwen Romack, 15th February 2021
For Ages: 5 - 11 years old

RRP: $11.17 at

How Dogs Evolved from Wolves to Become Our Best Friends

by Kersten Hamilton, illustrated by Jaime Kim

Long, long ago, when the world was new... a girl met a pup. In those days, everyone knew that wolves and children could not be friends. 

Still, they learned from each other-how to hunt, how to trade, how to survive, how to play. And years and years went by, and the world spun and changed.

And then-a boy fished with a wolf, and a girl traded with a wild dog, and animal and human grew up side by side-into the best friends we are today.

With lyrical text by Kersten Hamilton and luminous illustrations by Jaime Kim, First Friend is an exploration of how the wild wolves became dogs, and how we learned to communicate and grow alongside the creatures we love.

Hardcover, 40 pages
Publisher: Pan MacMillan Australia, Imprint: Farrar Straus Giroux,  27th April 2021
For Ages: 4+ years old

RRP: $32.99. To learn more, visit


by Libby Gleeson, illustrated by Freya Blackwood
Banjo is an old farm dog and Ruby Red is a haughty chicken, and they never see eye to eye. Can they ever be friends?

This funny story of antagonism and love is by award-winning author Libby Gleeson and internationally acclaimed illustrator Freya Blackwood.

Libby Gleeson has written over 30 books for children, she is one of Australia's most prolific and most loved authors for children. Her first collaboration with Freya Blackwood was the award-winning Amy and Louis. 

Paperback, 32 pages
Publisher: Hardie Grant Children's Publishing1st February 2016
For Ages: 3 - 7 years old

RRP: $13.49 at


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