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Dog Lovers Book Club - September 2023

Spring has sprung and so as our September 2023 Dog Lovers Book Club with a bumper selection of our favourite book releases for dog lovers of all ages. 

Whether you're looking for a belated Father's Day gift, want to learn more about service dogs or livestock guardian dogs, have an interest in canine behaviour and the ethics behind dog training, there's something here for everyone. Plus you'll find a fantastic array of educational titles for children in our Kids Corner.

How street dogs taught me the meaning of life
Featuring Rodney, McMuffin and King Whacker
by Niall Harbison

Most people think I save dogs, but really they saved me.

Niall Harbison is a dog hero based in Thailand. He spends his days feeding, caring for and rescuing the many street dogs he comes across. With every rescue there’s a story. 

Like the sweet gentle McMuffin who was found with many tumours and hours from death, only to be nursed back to health. She now lives with Niall and is a popular member of the pack. Then there is King Whacker – who escaped a vicious attack and is now ruling the nest living up to his name as the king of the all good dogs. And who could resist the puppy eyes of little Rodney, the beautiful dog with big paws who is melting millions of hearts around the world.

Originally from Dublin, Niall was the owner of a successful advertising company. After selling it, he moved to Thailand where his addictions – drugs and alcohol – almost got the better of him. One day he woke up in hospital, close to death, and realised that something had to change. And that was what spurred him on to start saving and helping street dogs. His aim is to help 10,000 street dogs.
This is his story.

Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, 30th August 2023

Price: $22.00 from

by Meg Freita, illustrated by Lucy Rose

Dog lovers rejoice! This Is a Book for People Who Love Dogs is a canine celebration featuring illustrated breed profiles, a history of how dogs evolved, and an exploration of the joys of sharing your life with a dog.

For dog lovers new and old, this gorgeous guide takes readers on a walk through the wonders of our four-legged friends. Author Meg Freitag shares all about the lives of dogs, from deciphering dog behaviour and tracing the long history of companionship between humans and dogs. 

Dog breeds - including Collies, Corgis, and Golden Retrievers - are profiled with spirited illustrations that'll leave you aching to bring another dog home. Thoroughly researched and presented in a warm, charming style, this book is a must-have for everyone who cherishes their furry friends.

Hardcover, 144 pages
Publisher: Hachette Australia, 22nd August 2023

RRP: $36.40 from

A Practical Guide

by Nicola Ferguson

Service dogs play an important role in society, assisting their handlers in leading independent, fulfilling lives. These amazing dogs are trained to work with a wide range of disabilities, from visual impairments to PTSD, and come from a variety of breeds and backgrounds. Some service dogs are custom bred and trained by large charities, while others are rescue dogs of indeterminate breed, trained entirely by their owners.

Disability knows no bounds and can strike anyone, at any time, leaving us alone, scared and confused, with many of us wondering how feasible it would be to integrate a service dog into our lives. 

This is a practical guide, written from the perspective of an ordinary dog owner turned service dog trainer, following her own need for a service dog. 
It covers everything from service dog breeding and selection, how to acquire a service dog, basic training, and public access work, to your dog's eventual retirement. Chapters also detail the day-to-day realities of living with and loving a service dog.

Paperback, 277 pages
Publisher: McFarland & Co Inc, 27th September 2023

RRP: $108.40 (pre-order now) from

An Illustrated Celebration of Livestock Guardian Dogs

by Cat Urbigkit

Learn about the brave dogs who help guard livestock around the world!

Wolf populations in the Rocky Mountains have reached recovery goals due in large part to an environmentally friendly method of predator control now in use on western ranches: livestock protection dogs (also called livestock guardian dogs). 

Although these dogs have been used around the world for thousands of years in primitive systems of livestock production, it's only in the past four decades that they have been put to work in America in a systematic manner. Guardian dogs were imported to the United States, and their use has allowed the expansion of predator populations into areas where the animals were previously subject to lethal control. The use of guardian dogs is typical wherever livestock may encounter predators - from fox and coyotes, to wolves and grizzly bears.

In Livestock Guardian DogsCat Urbigkit tracks her journeys from a Wyoming sheep ranch to learn about working livestock protection dogs around the globe. Using historic accounts, published research, personal interviews on four continents, and her own experience on western rangelands, she provides the reader an intimate look into the everyday lives of working livestock protection dogs. 

Previously published as Brave and Loyal and now available for the first time in paperback, Livestock Guardian Dogs includes details on raising successful guardians, their behaviours, a discussion of breeds and historic use, an assessment of numbers for various predator challenges, the adoption and spread of programs to place guardians on American farms and ranches, problems and benefits associated with guardian dogs, predator ploys, and matching the dog to the predator challenge. 

Urbigkit's work provides the best information on working livestock guardian dogs around the globe, accompanied by more than one hundred beautiful colour photos.

Paperback, 224 pages
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc., 11th July 2023

Price: $32.50 from

28 Affirmations For Humans Who Have Lost Their Precious Pet

by Andrea Cornish, illustrated by Tatania Vovchek

If you've ever experienced this kind of loss, you know it can be a deeply emotional and trying time. That's where "Loss Unleashed: 28 Affirmations for Humans That Have Lost Their Precious Pets" comes in.

This book is designed to help you navigate the grieving process with affirmations that will guide you towards healing and hope. The authors know that pet loss is a unique kind of grief, one that often goes unrecognized by those who haven't experienced it themselves. It can leave you feeling isolated, overwhelmed, and unsure of how to move forward. Within its pages you'll find solace in the words of those who have been there before you.

All affirmations are crafted with care and precision to address the pain points that come with pet loss. Whether you're struggling with guilt, regret, or just the emptiness that comes with losing a loyal companion, this book will help you find the strength to keep going. Loss Unleashed isn't just about the pain of loss, it's also about the joy of the time you shared with your pet. The witty and heart-warming stories will help you celebrate the love and light that your pet brought into your life. 
We believe that pet loss is a journey, and Loss Unleashed is your guidebook.
Hardcover, 70 pages plus a memory space at the back for treasured pet keepsakes.

RRP: $22.00 from

Casemate Illustrated
by Susan Bulanda

This fully illustrated volume offers fascinating insights into the dogs that served with both Allied and Axis nations during World War II. Animals, especially dogs, have served in all the wars of men since time immemorial. 

During World War II, most combatant nations employed dogs on the battlefield in a number of ways, including searching for injured men or downed airmen, detecting mines, carrying messages between units or dragging communications wires, particularly in difficult terrain, transporting supplies, and sentry duty. 

This illustrated book is an overview of how dogs were trained and used in WWII by different countries, including the stories of some of the individual animals that served. It also summarises the various programs established to take care of the animals and send them home after the war. 

Susan Bulanda is an author and certified animal behaviour consultant with the International Association of Animal Behaviour Consultants, and a retired adjunct professor.

Hardcover. 128 pages
Publisher: Casemate, 3rd August 2023

RRP: $55.75 from

Man's Best Friend as Movie Monster

by Brian Patrick Duggan

How did beloved movie dogs become man-killers like Cujo and his cinematic pack-mates? For the first time, here is the fascinating history of canines in horror movies and why our best friends were (and are still) painted as malevolent. 

Stretching back into Classical mythology, treacherous hounds are found only sporadically in art and literature until the appearance of cinema's first horror dog, Sherlock HolmesHound of the Baskervilles. The story intensifies through World War II's K-9 Corps to the 1970s animal horror films, which broke social taboos about the "good dog" on screen and deliberately vilified certain breeds - sometimes even fluffy lapdogs.

With behind-the-scenes insights from writers, directors, actors, and dog trainers, here are the flickering hounds of silent films through talkies and Technicolor, to the latest computer-generated brutes - the supernatural, rabid, laboratory-made, alien, feral, and trained killers. Beware of the dog - or as one seminal film warned, "They're not pets anymore."

Paperback, 277 pages
Publisher: McFarland & Co Inc, 7th August 2023

RRP: $161.50 from

A Heartwarming Tale Shedding Light on Canine Mental Health 
by Dr Dennis Wormald 
Are you ready to uncover the shocking reality of canine mental health in our modern world? Do you want to read the emotions of “misbehaving” dogs in a way you won’t be able to unsee?

Immerse yourself in the fictional world of Allen and Nella, two beloved puppies who find themselves misunderstood by the people around them. Their captivating story unfolds with vivid depictions of their emotions, and the factors contributing to their anxiety. As their behavioural struggles intensify, they embark on a quest for help, but their paths diverge in unexpected ways.

Each chapter of the book ends with a "Chapter Reflections" section, where some research and theory of canine behaviour is presented to shed light on the unfolding story. These short and accessible chapters strike the perfect balance, providing just the right amount of information without overwhelming the reader.

Allen’s barking is trained with force, providing quick results, but will he find happiness? Nella’s anxiety is managed with empathy, but will a soft-handed approach work? Join the dogs on their journey and see the devastating impact of ignorance about dog behaviour, and the power of compassion.

As a veterinarian with a PhD in dog anxiety, author Dr Dennis Wormald brings a wealth of knowledge to this remarkable story, which is inspired by his clinical work in dog behaviour medicine. His guidance will empower you to navigate the complexities of dog behaviour with empathy and compassion.

Gain practical insights into decoding your dog's emotions, pre-empting behavioural issues, and forging an unbreakable bond of trust. Whether you're considering welcoming a new puppy, or already dealing with an anxious dog, this book is an invaluable resource.

Paperback,‎ 264 pages
Publisher: ABAdog Pty Ltd, 14 May 2023

Price: $29.69 from


by Elena Bulay

A beautifully illustrated guide to caring for your dog.

Meet Lena and her rescue dog Jo!

This is the true story of how Lena and Jo became best friends, told through Lena’s own beautiful illustrations. It’s also a guidebook, packed with useful tips about caring for a dog of your own. Learn how to choose a dog, how to train them, feed them and groom them, and pick up lots of fascinating facts about why dogs behave the way they do.

Whatever the size and shape of your canine companion, this is essential reading for anyone who wants to be a dog’s best friend.

Hardcover, 96 pages
Publisher: Thames and Hudson Ltd, 31st August 2023
For Ages: 8 - 12 years old

Price: $32.50 from

by Natalie Leski, illustrated by Hazel Hicklin

Meet Frank the hearing dog and Emma the assistance dog. Both are working hard to help their handlers navigate their busy lives.

We see some search-and-rescue dogs save the day and meet other dogs with important jobs too.
The world of working dogs is growing.

This book helps children learn the important differences between working dogs and our pets.

Paperback, 20 pages
Self published, August 2023

RRP: $20.00 + postage from

An Allergen Detection Dog Graphic Novel
by Mari Bolte, illustrated by Diego Vaisberg

Tucker can't wait to become an allergy detection dog But this peppy Poodle has a lot to learn before that happens in this early graphic novel. 

During a smell test, Tucker can't sit still and wanders off. 

Is he following a scent or getting distracted from his job?

Series: Service Pups in Training

Paperback, 32 pages
Publisher: Picture Window Books, 1st August 2023
For Ages: 5 - 7 years old

RRP: $19.64 from


by Nicole A. Mansfield

Does the sound of dogs barking make you nervous? Does your heart race when a dog gets too close? You're not alone. 

In this Pebble Emerge book, explore the reasons many people are afraid of dogs and discover simple tips for facing this fear safely. 

Reassuring facts and helpful photos provide the knowledge young readers need to face their fear of dogs.

Paperback, 24 pages
Publisher: Pebble Books, 1st August 2023
For Ages: 5 - 8 years old

Price: $19.64 from

by Mick Elliott

A delightful dad-full, dog-full celebration of dads and dogs!

Dads and Dogs is a romp of a picture book featuring lots of different dads of with all their different dogs. 

A joyful celebration of togetherness, and the all the fun, chaos, mischief and laughter that dad's best friend brings to the family.

Mick Elliott is an author, illustrator, TV producer, screenwriter, literacy ambassador and professional mischief-maker. Mick has written and produced acclaimed children’s programmes for Nickelodeon, the Sesame WorkshopNetwork 10 and the ABC.

Hardcover, 32 pages
Publisher: Walker Books Australia, 4th July 2023
For Ages: 4 - 8 years old

Price: $23.75 from 

by Jan Fearnley

Harry loves stories. But they make him nervous. The words jumble and tumble when he tries to read out loud. 

Then one day, Harry meets Cal, a rescue dog, and with a little support and understanding (and one very wet nose) things begin to change...

A heart-warming and engaging story perfect for children who find it hard to read out loud.

Hardcover, 32 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK, 16th March 2023
For Ages: 3+ years old

RRP: $24.99 from

by Maddy Mara, art by Noemie Gionet Landry

Itty Bitty Kitty LOVES tree climbing, leaping on leaves and sleeping in sunbeams. She HATES being called cute. She is almost a tiger, after all!

She may still be a kitten, but Itty Bitty is ready to take on the world. And she knows all the Cat Laws.

But her family is taking a long time to learn the rules. They still don't know that cats must play when the moon is full. And they think cats are clumsy! Itty Bitty has alotto teach them.

Join Itty Bitty on three new epic adventures. Will she stick to the rules? Or will this kitty make up her own rules for life?

Paperback, 24 pages
Publisher: Affirm Press, 1st edition, 29 August 2023
For Ages:  2 - 6 years old

RRP: $14.99 from

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Love kitties too? Don't forget to check out our Cat Lovers Book Club - September 2023 selection!

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