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‘DOG’S BEST FRIEND is as fascinating, funny and wise as we’ve come to expect from Simon Garfield. More than that, it’s a book that asks profound questions about what it means to be canine’ ANDY MILLER, author THE YEAR OF READING DANGEROUSLY

‘This is a book that will make your tail wag’ KATE HUMBLE

‘A fascinating, informative and highly entertaining expedition through the highways and byways of dogdom’ JOHN BRADSHAW, author of IN DEFENCE OF DOGS

‘Simon Garfield has written a book every owner will lap up with the same delight and enthusiasm their Fido would a discarded box of fried chicken. That is to say, with great pleasure’ KATE SPICER, author of LOST DOG

***

One of the first words we learn. Perhaps the best friend we’ll have. An animal so much part of our lives that we speak to it like a child and spend small fortunes on its wellbeing and wardrobe.

Dogs and humans: in the last 200 years no inter-species relationship has developed so fast nor come so far. Dogs accompany us in every walk of life, usually three times a day. How and why did this relationship begin? How has it changed over the centuries? And who’s getting the upper hand?

DOG’S BEST FRIEND investigates this unique bond by revisiting some of the most important milestones in our shared journey. It begins with the earliest visual evidence on ancient rock art, and ends at the laboratory that sequenced the first dog genome. En route we encounter the first Labradoodle in Australia, a misguidedly loyal Akita in Japan, an ill-fated Poodle trainer in the United States, and a hilariously disobedient Romanian rescue dog named Kratu at the Birmingham NEC. We will also meet Corgis and Dorgis at the Palace, the weightless mutniks of the Soviet space programme, a Dalmatian who impersonates Hitler, and an owner who claims his Border Collie can remember the names of more than a thousand soft toys.

If you own or once owned a dog, you will know that our relationship can be as rich, complicated and rewarding as the relationship we have with other humans, and the book reflects this diversity with the aid of trainers, breeders and psychologists. Above all, it explores the extraordinary ability of dogs to enhance so many aspects of our lives. DOG’S BEST FRIEND is as entertaining as it is informative, as eccentric as it is erudite, and all told with Simon Garfield’s irrepressible gift for witty and insightful storytelling.

Reviews

Garfield is like the schoolteacher who made the time fly, a one-man Blue Peter team for intelligent adults, a great British explainer
OBSERVER
Garfield has a genius for being sparked to life by esoteric enthusiasm and charming readers with his delight
THE TIMES
DOG'S BEST FRIEND is as fascinating, funny and wise as we've come to expect from Simon Garfield. More than that, it's a book that asks profound questions about what it means to be canine
ANDY MILLER, author THE YEAR OF READING DANGEROUSLY
Funny, fascinating and endearing - this is a book that will make your tail wag
KATE HUMBLE
A fascinating, informative and highly entertaining expedition through the highways and byways of dogdom
JOHN BRADSHAW, author of IN DEFENCE OF DOGS
Byron, Sassoon, Woolf, Charles Schulz . . . many have managed to express the love we have for our dogs, but until now, no one has adequately explained it. Simon Garfield has written a book every owner will lap up with the same delight and enthusiasm their Fido would a discarded box of fried chicken. That is to say, with great pleasure
KATE SPICER, author of LOST DOG
A witty celebration of the long-lasting dog/human relationship . . . There are some extraordinary facts in this book
Melanie Reid, THE TIMES
Garfield exudes a puppyish persona, his prose is bouncy and his dog facts digestible . . . [a] fact-packed history of a 15,000-year relationship
Jackie Annesley, THE SUNDAY TIMES
In the latest fun, excursive contribution to an eclectic oeuvre, this author explores the bond between humans and the dogs who love us and walk us, guard and rescue us
SAGA
A glorious new celebration of man's best friend . . . [a] moving and invigorating study of all things canine
Roger Lewis, DAILY MAIL
Witty, probing, and spot-on . . . With emotional acuity, DOG'S BEST FRIEND leaves the reader acknowledging that Canis lupus familiaris will always be a mixed bag of ancestry and characters while maintaining an unflinching connection with us
American Kennel Club
In this well-researched and absorbing narrative, written with the same enthusiasm that characterized JUST MY TYPE and ON THE MAP, Garfield explores the human-dog relationship with humor, intelligence, and warmth . . . A dog fancier's delight
KIRKUS REVIEWS
If you have a dog in your life, Simon Garfield's Dog's Best Friend will make you laugh with recognition, cry at the pity of it all, and leave you feeling like you've just had your belly rubbed. As refreshing and restorative as a good walk
D.D. GUTTENPLAN, Editor, The Nation
This engaging study, by turns wry, ironic and poignant, goes from prehistory to now. By the end - even though the dog comes when you call - you wonder who really is in charge
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
From the Queen's corgi named Rozavel Lucky Strike to Donald Trump being terrorised by a poodle, this love letter to our four-legged friends is a delight . . . there is a good joke, an intriguing tale or a fascinating statistic on every page
Craig Brown, MAIL ON SUNDAY
A treat . . . [a] charming and erudite book on the mutually rewarding relationship between Homo sapiens and Canis lupus familiaris.
Helen Brown, DAILY TELEGRAPH