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Reading about dogs tops my reading list

Updated on January 10, 2015

This year's reading list is all about dogs due to my dogs

Yes, my reading booklist is all about dogs. The books about dogs have been stacked, shelved, and shoved around for some time and at the top of my to-be-read list. They are a mix of books from fiction to nonfiction.

Who will be reading all these books about dogs?

I'm not surprised that my dogs somehow managed to push and lug the dog books out of their tucked away places into a stack that Charlie, my Pug, brought to my attention. It would appear that the dogs want me to read and they want me to read to them, the dogs.

Books and dogs go together

There is a close relationship between dogs, books, and readers. Even more so the last ten years as reading to dogs literacy programs have become more and more popular. Children, dogs and books are an even greater combination. Who better to read to than a dog? They won't interrupt, usually, and they're quite attentive.

Reading to dogs is a great book activity and fosters intimacy with your dog

Reading to dogs is an activity on the rise for many reasons. The first has to do with the reading to dogs literacy programs that are popping up in schools and libraries across the U.S. The second is due to a flurry of research which suggests real health benefits that result from the simple action of reading a book to a dog.

My fall/winter is all about reading books about dogs and to dogs

Read on to discover what the dogs have chosen for me to read this summer and how they plan to have storytime, too.

  • Image Credits .Photo above Charlie and me reading Copyright 2013 Vikk Simmons by author; Dog Cartoon below 2013 Copyright Vikk Simmons (graphic by JuneBear / Fiverr)

Deepen your relationship with your dog -- rescue dog, shelter dog, or any dog - Have a read-along, do-along with your dog

Bonding with Your Rescue Dog: Decoding and Influencing Dog Behavior (Dog Training and Dog Care Series Book 1)
Bonding with Your Rescue Dog: Decoding and Influencing Dog Behavior (Dog Training and Dog Care Series Book 1)
You'll find plenty of help and information within these pages plus a 27 page training guide.

The Book PIckers 6-Pack

The Book PIckers 6-Pack
The Book PIckers 6-Pack

Everybody needs a good guidebook, even dogs - Read dog training guidebooks for tips on dog training

Even presidents read to dogs

When he was sixty years old (1968), then President Lyndon B. Johnson enjoyed spending time reading in the pool with his grandson and his dog while at LBJ Ranch.

  • Image Credits: Photo of President Lyndon B. Johnson by White House Photo Office (LBJ Library (direct link, 44.5 MB TIFF)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

My dogs get ready for a books-about-dogs storytime - Train your dogs to sit and listen while you are reading to your dogs

Reading about dogs storytime with part of my pack.
Reading about dogs storytime with part of my pack.

The smaller dogs gather for storytime

Teddy, Riley, Freddie, and Charlie are perched on the storytime couch. Reading to dogs is a fun thing to do with your dogs. Incorporate it into a training session where the dogs remain in a sit while you read to them.

  • Image Credits.Photo of dogs gathered for storytime Copyright 2011 Vikk Simmons (author)

Storytime for dogs

Wonder what it's like to be the storyteller to a pack of dogs? Check out this video.

Who's raiding the bookshelves for dog stories?

The dogs enlist help to pull all the books about dogs from the shelves

One can only imagine how Charlie the Pug and his canine crew managed to get the books from all the nooks and crannies where they'd been stored. However, I'm pretty certain that the books were easy to identify since they all have dogs on the cover.

How the dogs chose the books for my reading list

Now you might wonder whether dogs recognize other dogs from any other animal. Well, the latest research shows that they do have the ability to single out dogs from other creatures. So we know how they identified the books. Although Charlie might tell you he actually read the title. I'm not so sure about that.

  • Image Credits: Photo by U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Douglas G. Morrison [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Books about Dogs

My reading book list all about dogs

Charlie is a book hoarder - Pug chooses books about dogs for fall and winter reading

Charlie the Pug chooses books about dogs for summer reading copyright 2013 Vikk Simmons
Charlie the Pug chooses books about dogs for summer reading copyright 2013 Vikk Simmons

My dogs like reading true stories about other dogs - My Dog Tulip: A classic dog story that is a modern classic

You may have heard about this fictional tale as it's now been made into a movie but the story was actually published back in 1956. I'm looking forward to this read as I grew up with German Shepherds and the Tulip is a rescued German Shepherd.

My Dog Tulip: Movie tie-in edition (New York Review Books Classics)
My Dog Tulip: Movie tie-in edition (New York Review Books Classics)
This memoir details the love story between the author and Tulip over the course of their sixteen years together. The story has survived over the years and is now considered a classic. Should be a great summer read.

My dogs want me to better understand them - Do Dogs Dream? Stanley Coren's latest book about dogs

Stanley Coren brings a lot to the table in any book he writes about dogs. Everything he discusses is based on the latest scientific findings found in dog research literature. Most dog owners have a lot of questions about their dogs and why they do what they do. This should be a helpful read and supply some answers to those age-old questions that plague us dog owners.

Do Dogs Dream?: Nearly Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know
Do Dogs Dream?: Nearly Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know
How curious are you about dogs? Do you wonder if they're dreaming when they shake, growl, and kick their legs in their sleep? Do you think they really recognize themselves in the mirror? Charlie thinks I should find out what's really going on in their little canine brains, so he's really been pushing me to read this one.

My dogs want to read more about war dogs - From Baghdad with Love: A wartime love story

This memoir combines war and dogs in a beautiful way. Talk about puppy love. Who would have thought a little puppy would have such a tug-hold on the hearts of so many Marines? It's also an adventure story as the author, a Marine in Iraq, actually smuggled the little pup out of war-torn Iraq and had him sent to the U.S. The book has received many great reviews and has captured the heart of many readers and dog lovers.

From Baghdad with Love: A Marine, The War, And A Dog Named Lava
From Baghdad with Love: A Marine, The War, And A Dog Named Lava
I have been wanting to read this book forever and I've had the book on my TBR stock for nearly the same amount of time. So Charlie won't have to do much pawing to get me to cooperate with this summer read.

My dogs want me to understand them better - Inside of a Dog: What are dogs really doing when they roll around on the grass?

This is what you get when you have a psychology professor who is studying animal behavior apply that curiosity to her own love of the dog. Clearly this author has experienced what ever dog owner comes to wonder: What the heck is my dog doing now? Do they "see" color? What's it like to be driven by a different primary sense, that of smell? Just how different are we?

Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know
Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know
Its' pretty obvious that my dogs want me to know what their inner and daily lives are like. But frankly, I'm interested to find out, too, so I'm happy to read this book. Why is Riley such a rockhound? What is it about rocks that makes him obsessively dig for three weeks to uncover one rock and then drag it into the house to his crate? Why is it that Teddy has managed to hold onto the alpha position despite his being an now elderly Shih Tzu and has younger and much bigger dogs in the pack?

My dogs like me to read outloud to them about writers and their dogs - A Big Little Life: Dean Koontz's memorable tribute to the dog of his life

Most dog lovers will admit that there is usually one dog in their life that becomes "the dog of their life. Bestselling author Dean Koontz met his in the form of a golden retriever who, Koontz willingly admits, saved his life. This is their story.

A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog Named Trixie
A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog Named Trixie
Bestselling author Dean Koontz is such a wonderful writer that I'm happy to read pretty much anything he writes, and I was delighted to learn that he was dog lover, too.

From Charlie the Pug

Charlie says you can click on the book images or titles to learn more about the books. He hopes you enjoy the book list he and the other dogs came up with and will join in our dog book reading project.

My dogs are curious about other dogs lives - The Dogs of Bedlam Farm: Jon Katz's acclaimed book about dogs

Jon Katz has pretty much shaped a writing career out of his love for dogs and the dogs he's loved. He's been writing about dogs for years. This is a true story about events that unfolded during one long winter at the farm.

The Dogs of Bedlam Farm: An Adventure with Sixteen Sheep, Three Dogs, Two Donkeys, and Me
The Dogs of Bedlam Farm: An Adventure with Sixteen Sheep, Three Dogs, Two Donkeys, and Me
I've read a couple of Katz's books before and he's a great writer who has a real gift of writing about dogs and their relationships with their owners. He really captures your heart in his storytelling. I am looking forward to this read, too.

My dogs want me to improve my canine communication skills - How to Speak Dog: I need to up my dog talk game

Another book by Stanley Coren and one that received a lot of attention and became an instant bestseller. Can we really commninicate with out dogs at a human's two year old level? What are we really saying to our dogs by our speech and our body language? Coren provides the answers to these questions and more.

How to Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication
How to Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication
I've read enough to know that there's been a lot of research into dog communications and that much of that can be translated into ways for a dog owner to have a better relationship with their dog. Now, my goal in reading this book may be slightly different than that held by my dogs but read it I will.

My dogs want me to know how they think - How Dogs Think: What do they really mean with that cute, head cocked-to-the-side look?

Can you really interpret your dog's behavior? Stanley Coren clearly thinks so and has once again delved into the psychology of human and canine behavior. A professor of psychology, Coren has written a number of bestselling books about dogs and is considered an international authority on the subject. As much as we may look at dogs and give them human attributes, what are we to the dogs? Human or dog?

How Dogs Think: What the World Looks Like to Them and Why They Act the Way They Do
How Dogs Think: What the World Looks Like to Them and Why They Act the Way They Do
I don't know about you but I"m starting to see a pattern here. My pack has a definite goal for the summer. They want me to connect with my inner dog and get to know them better. I wonder if they realize this could impact their training?

My dogs want me to know they each have a purpose in life - A Dog's Purpose: Every dog has a purpose

Written from the viewpoint of a dog, this story attempts to tackle the big subjects of life through a dog. Apparently cats aren't the only ones with more than one life.

A Dog's Purpose: A Novel for Humans (A Dog's Purpose, 1)
A Dog's Purpose: A Novel for Humans (A Dog's Purpose, 1)
So one of my dogs has a philosophical bent as one of them is pushing this book forward. It sounds like a good, fictional read with a clear message. The book has more than a thousand 5-starred reviews just on Amazon so it must be a great story. As a writer and a dog owner, I'm curious. What are my dogs trying to tell me?

My dogs want me to know, well, thing could be worse - Marley: The things dogs do

If you're a book person at all, it's hard not to know about Marley. Not only was the book a bestseller but the story went on to become a movie. Talk about adventure and fun. This is a clear book choice for any dog lover or anyone interested in dogs or even a good story.

Marley: A Dog Like No Other
Marley: A Dog Like No Other
Hard as it is to believe I have yet to read this book. Thankfully, I haven't seen the movie, either. I think Charlie has an ulterior motive in insisting that I read about Marley. Have any idea what that motive might be?

Which book about dogs would you most like to read?

See results

My dogs want me to read this dog story to them. - The bonus books

Written from the point of view of a dog, this novel tells the story of a mutt named Enzo who loves to race. We've all seen these dogs, the ones who aren't content to chase cars but manage to run alongside them and even strive to pass them. This is the story of one dog's racing obsession and what he did about it--and then some. And it's the "then some" that makes the novel.

Racing in the Rain: My Life as a Dog
Racing in the Rain: My Life as a Dog
I guess it's an obvious choice if you're a dog and you want to read a good fiction story. This is a novel where the dog is the main character so Charlie and the rest can obviously relate to the character. The novel is written in short chapters so that will make it a good choice for our reading to dogs storytime.

Teach your dog to read

How to teach your dog to read

Sonny reads flash cards

Have you thought about teaching your dog to read? Maybe you have a super intelligent dog at home who is eager to learn. Check out how this dog owner managed to teach her little dog to identify words. Do you think Charlie could do this?

Dogs love books and love to read

This is a cute book trailer about the story of a dog who loved books and wanted to read more than anything else.

Reading to Dogs

Reading is a fun thing to do with your dog - Book things to do with your dogs

What books should you read to dogs?

Looking for a book to read to your dog? Don't worry. You don't have to choose a book that is only about dogs. Dogs love the sound of your voice, they love the intimacy that is created when the two of you are together and engaged in an activity. You can read fiction stories to them, nonfiction, even picture books. They will listen. What better way to spend time with your dog?

  • Image Credits.Photo: Reading to Teddy 2004 Copyright Vikk Simmons

Top three reasons to read to a dog

There are any number of reasons why children enjoy reading to dogs but here are three.

  1. Children are less self-conscious when reading out loud to dogs.
  2. Children are calmed by the presence of the dog and enjoy the reading session more.
  3. Children know the dogs are not critical of their reading skills.

Katie the Saint Bernard helps kids read - Therapy dog enjoys having kids read to her


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