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BOOK REVIEW: How to Look After Your Human – A Dog’s Guide by Maggie Mayhem and Kim Sears, illustrated by Helen Hancocks

| 19 November 2016 | 1 Reply

BOOK REVIEW: How to Look After Your Human – A Dog’s Guide by Maggie Mayhem and Kim Sears, illustrated by Helen Hancocks

Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
June 2016
Hardcover, $24.99
Reviewed by Steph O’Connell

Picture Book



Keeping Homo sapiens is an immensely rewarding practice, yet one that requires a firm paw and hours of patience. As a keen human enthusiast, with years of knowledge developed over endless walks and cuddles, I believe that I’m well placed to educate you all in what makes this relationship so unique.

Maggie Mayhem has trained some of the world’s most stubborn humans (including her co-author Kim Sears), and so there is no better canine to explain the complexities of human behaviour and guide you through the ownership journey. How to Look After Your Human includes: tips and techniques on everything from choosing the right human for you, to managing their diet and instilling a mutually beneficial exercise regime; a guide to deciphering human language, including which words you should be paying attention to (very few) and those you should ignore entirely (rather a lot); and, advice on the vexed issues of fancy dress (canine) and personal hygiene (human). Written with Maggie’s signature wit and wisdom, How to Look After Your Human is a perfect gift for dogs looking to build that unique bond with their humans.


In this wonderfully designed, insightful guide for dogs, readers are walked through every aspect of owning a human – from deciding on the right one for you, working on communicating with them, and modelling their habits to be as mutually beneficial as possible. 

Effectively letting your human know what you want from them takes lots of practice, but as they are malleable, semi-intelligent creatures, you should begin to see results quite quickly, and it will become clear that interspecies communication isn’t all that tricky. As we progress to specific areas of training, bear in mind these easy steps to make sure that you get what you want out of your relationship with your human.

You must never let your human forget that the bed is yours and they are merely a guest. You should always get tucked up first, making sure you’re comfortable. I personally like to scrabble deep underneath the duvet, because the dark warmth helps me dream I’m chasing rabbits through their muddy burrows. Whether you like to sleep high atop a pile of pillows or sprawl across the middle of the mattress like a starfish, your human will need to slot in wherever there’s space. Once they have learnt that, you can apply the same rules to any piece of furniture in the house.

Thankfully this is a humorous dog book that goes through the various aspects in a dog and human relationship, but also reports the facts, unlike A Day With Dogs, for example.

– Important Note –
Some human foods are utterly revolting and/or poisonous to dogs: chocolate (totally overrated anyway, but great to use as a reward in human obedience training), grapes, raisins, onions and macadamia nuts to name a few.

It is loads of fun, funny, but also informative, which can be a hard combination to manage well, but Maggie does so perfectly. Though this is classified as a picture book and would likely be shelved as such in bookstores, the amount of text included would suggest its ideal human readership would be those who are 8 and up.

The overall package, complete with placeholder ribbon and an index, is just brilliantly put together, and would make the perfect gift for any dog or their domesticated humans. 

Whether you have an actual wet nose or just a metaphorical one, four legs or two, make sure you bound into life’s adventures side by side and remember that Man really is a dog’s best friend. Especially when Man has a pocket full of biscuits.

Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

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