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  Kids and Dogs - Book and Video Reviews

Books to learn about dogs, and books just for fun. Guest reviews are welcome.
  1. Dog Training and Dog Information for Kids
  2. Stories about Dogs, youth reading level
  3. Books to Help Kids Deal With Loss of A Pet

Dog Training for Kids

Dog Training for Kids by Carol Lea Benjamin, published by Howell. ISBN 0-87605-541-2. This book, like most of the writing by this author is easy to read. It is important to know that dogs do react differently to children, and this training book takes note of that. Especially important is that it points out problems a child should not be handling.

Sirius Puppy Training Video

Sirius Puppy Training by Ian Dunbar. A really excellent video. It uses untrained puppies and untrained adults and children. This makes it easier for both children and adults to see that the goals are within their reach. They can see how the dogs learn over time. The video spends a lot of time showing child and dog interactions. The gentle, persuasive training is ideal for a child. One caution: I agree with the way the video explains making the dog safe with children in the presence of food. But, make sure your child understands that your family's trained dog is not the same as other dogs. The child must never try taking food away from even a very very friendly dog that hasn't been carefully trained with that child.

Why Dogs Do That

by Nancy White from Scholastic Books, ISBN 0-590-26597-0
This book is for the younger child. The adult should read it first, then some other more complete books because there are some things that need a bit more explaining. For example, the book asks and answers " If a Dog Gets Lost, Can She Find Her Way Home" the answer is not complete because it suggests the dog will find its way home, but the truth is thousands of dogs do not. In my experience knowing that truth is helps a child understand the importance of closing gates and doors, and being careful.


by Jacqueline O'Neil from Howell Book House ISBN 0-87605-754-7
Lots of great stuff here. It includes a quiz for parents to evaluate whether their child is ready to have a dog, and one for evaluating your dog. It covers various activities in which a child and a dog can participate including agility, obedience, junior showmanship and much more. Discusses the basics for each activity and a short piece by or about a youngster involved in that activity.

The Bookshop Dog

This review first appeared in and is reprinted here with permission from the author:

My 6 year old daughter just brought "The Bookshop Dog", a new book by Cynthia Rylant, The Blue Sky Press (Scholastic) ISBN 0-590-54331-8, home from her school library. It's one of those that I have to go out and get for myself.

If you have ever had a very loving relationship with a dog, that really kooky kind of dog love, and are a bit of a romantic, look for this book. Oh and it's got humor too. I hope I don't spoil it for you by sharing this one quote.

"The woman found that the big man in the green coat had painted her mailbox, dusted her shelves, washed her windows, and swept her floor. But most important, he had loved her dog."

That really ties with my definition of romantic love. You know these two will never get divorced.

And luckily my daughter allows me to read it to her every day until it has to go back to the library.

Laurel Shimer

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Books to Help Kids Deal with Loss of a Pet

These reviews first appeared in and is reprinted here with permission from the author:

From: "Tracy L. Carter" (
Date: 1997/06/17

Got "The Tenth Good Thing About Barney" by Judith Viorst. Great book and I think we'll use it, even though we didn't have any type of funeral for Gilly (we donated his body for the vet students to do an autopsy on, I will get the results if I want them). I'm beginning to wonder if we should have some kind of memorial service. Will think about it.

Got "The Dead Bird" by Margaret Wise Brown. This was recommended to me by the young college guy working the desk when he saw which book I was looking for. He said he'd read it before to someone and it was very good. Seems to be. It's at a little lower reading level, and not quite as close to home as the Viorst book.

I also got an excellent book by Fred Rogers (recommended by the same college guy) called "When a Pet Dies". I think we'll be starting with this one tonight. I wish I'd had it enough together on Friday to think to go to the library for some books. This book is very good and says that it's okay to have different feelings (anger, sadness, etc) when your pet dies.

I'll Always Love You. by H. Wilhelm

Oh, Where Has My Pet Gone? A Pet Loss Memory Book by S. Sibbitt


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Copyright © 1997-2003, Diane Blackman and the various authors above     Created: February 22, 1997     Updated November 12, 2007    

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