book reviews , different studio guests each week. Join us every Thursday between 12 and 1pm on Radio Scilly 107.9fm or log on to

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Thursday, 13 October 2016

Denise McLeod - The Dog Behaviourst’s Diary

 review written and read live on the bookshow by Ro Bennett 13th Oct 2016

I’m not a dog owner now, although I enjoy dog sitting occasionally, however my childhood home was rather a menagerie with assorted animals and a variety of dogs - Spaniels, a  Border Collie, a Boxer. When I had my own family we had mainly German Shepherd dogs - My favourites being long haired Sabre and especially Zak who was huge, black and magnificent. 

Consequently I am always fascinated by programmes like the Dog Whisperer and have read many books on dog handling, some better than others. Some have been  heavy going. This book was a delight to read.  I enjoyed every single page and I learnt so much from it. 

The book is a collection of case studies and aspects of dog behaviour and each one was interesting. I was gripped from the very first story - especially since the dog was called Zak! It was a very dramatic and traumatic introduction to the book which deals with topics like dogs which bite people and dogs which are aggressive with other dogs, dogs which suddenly start to behave erratically or seem unhappy.  Like life it is a mixture of the tragic, sad and humorous. The author is very honest about mistakes she has made and problems she has encountered. 

The author has a good writing style so I felt emotionally involved in the stories. She seems an extremely warm and caring person and she is also very frank about her personal life and the affect it had on her own dogs. She obviously adores dogs and is passionate about their welfare and helping dogs and owners to have happy, rewarding relationships and interactions. I think every dog owner would learn something from this book, but it would appeal to even those who do not have a dog, because the stories are so interesting. There are some lovely photos as well. I found it a real page turner and thoroughly recommend it. I was so impressed with it that I not only bought my won copy to refer to again, but also bought a copy for my daughters.

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