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How to Talk to Your Dog    by Jean Craighead George & Sue Truesdell order for
How to Talk to Your Dog
by Jean Craighead George
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2003 (2000)
Hardcover, Paperback
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This picture book combines illustrations of eager pooches by Sue Truesdell with photographs of acclaimed children's writer Jean Craighead George. She explains to us how dogs became the loyal, loving creatures that they are, retaining some of the best traits of their wolf ancestors.

The author then gives a primer on dog talk, which is made up of sound, body language, odors and taste, and physical contact. Say hello by sniffing noses, and tell a pup you are boss by gently shaking his muzzle. Make sure you don't let him become boss by jumping up on you! Illustrated pages cover the meanings of tail, face and ear positions, and dogs' use of scent (which humans unfortunately are not very good at detecting) to catch up on neighborhood gossip. Eye contact is good for bonding. Then there are sounds, from a whimper to a growl or a howl. Don't bark at your dog as he won't understand your poor accent, but the author tells us you can try howling together.

Even if you know canines well, you might still learn something from this charming and informative book. And every child who lives with a dog (or is about to) should read this first, in order to understand How to Talk to Your Dog.

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