Take the Lead

Take the Lead

How to Care for Your Dog – A Fun & Practical Guide

Written by Elena Browne, Illustrated by Jennifer Farley

A fun and practical guide to caring for dogs and puppies. From exercise and play to comfort and care this book is an ideal guide for children who already have a dog, would like a dog or love learning about dogs.

Paperback: €11.99
Paperback: 48 pages
Size:224x167 mm
ISBN: 9781788490818

Category: Nature, Reference

A fun and practical guide to caring for dogs and puppies.

How to be your best friend’s best friend

For thousands of years, dogs and people have looked after each other, played, grown and learned together. It is the greatest friendship that there is.

Introducing children to the responsibility and fun that comes with owning a dog. From exercise and play to comfort and care this book is an ideal guide for children who already have a dog, would like a dog or love learning about dogs. Dogs and children can be great friends and having a dog can help children develop kindness, understanding and respect for all living things. Dog companionship can improve a child’s social skills with people and caring for a pet can encourage responsibility. The aim of this book is to keep child and dog safe and happy as well as promoting animal welfare.

This fun and engaging guide will teach you

  • how to choose your dog and find a perfect name
  • how dogs think
  • training, tricks and play
  • grooming, health and nutrition
  • how to be the best dog owner you can be

The essential guide if you have, or are thinking of getting, a dog


Elena Browne

ELENA BROWNE has worked in the book industry for many years and now works in publishing. She loves books and dogs, so decided to combine the two in Take the Lead: How to Care for your Dog published in 2020. You Can Do It, Rosie! is Elena’s first picture book and is very close to her heart.

Jennifer Farley

Jennifer Farley is an author and illustrator from Dublin. Her artwork is bright, colourful and a little bit humourous. Jennifer has illustrated several books for other authors, and has written and illustrated three books herself, including Island of Adventures, and her latest book, Scout's Best Day Ever

In 2019, she illustrated Shooting For The Starswritten by Dr. Norah Patten, which won an An Post Irish Book Award. 

Jennifer's latest book is Scout's Best Day Ever. Scout (the dog) promises to send cat a postcard from every place he visits on his travels around Ireland. But which will be the BEST. DAY. EVER?

Having left the bright lights of the city, Jennifer now lives in rural Ireland with her husband and their two dogs. 


this is an excellent handbook for those who are looking for a four-legged addition to grow their family, detailing everything from choosing a breed to grooming to health and well-being … peppered with interesting asides …This modern, colourful guide is a delight to read will help children become responsible owners to happier, healthier dogs. The vivid illustrations are simply adorable and show the joy and excitement pets bring to homes. Take the Lead has a wealth of knowledge and the imagery, gentle tone and playful layout of information (such as boxes and lists) mean it is accessible and suitable for children of all ages. Parents can also be reassured that readers’ safety is recognised throughout and the importance of seeking advice from vets where necessary


What a wonderful read and fantastic gift for all ages about caring for dogs properly..... I loved it


wonderful illustrations … beautiful illustrations … a reference forever

Shannonside-Northern Sound’s Joe Finnegan Show

from working out if you and your family are ready for a dog, to choosing the right breed, this attractive pocket-sized paperback is full of useful information for young dog owners. It covers all kinds of practical things from naming your dog, to the hows and whys of setting house rules for both dogs and humans, and it also includes lots of important and easy-to-follow training tips. The friendly-looking, colourful illustrations by award-winning illustrator Jennifer Farley add to the book’s appeal, and it comes with a recommendation from dog trainer and vet, Gillian Hick

Irish Independent

it is a truth universally acknowledged, that a small child in possession of anyone to pester, must be in want of a dog. Thanks to Take the Lead, a lovely new book by Elena Browne, and endorsed by vet Gillian Hick, you can make sure your child knows what they’re talking about when they say "but I PROMISE to look after it all by myself!" [featured illustration by Jennifer Farley]

Irish Times

with more people spending time at home during Covid-19 restrictions, there has been a surge in demand from families looking to adopt and buy pets. Elena Browne’s guide to caring for a dog, therefore, couldn’t have been published at a better time, not least for those currently trying to make decisions about whether to introduce a dog into their home. Indeed, much of her guide to dog-ownership should be required reading before any such decision is reached ... accessible guide to caring for a dog … encourages children – and potential dog-owners of all ages – to ask themselves why they want to own a dog ... Browne is there to lead owners through the do’s and don’ts ... a no-nonsense guide to animal ownership in an Irish context, balancing the joys of having a canine friend with the practicalities and responsibilities that entails’

Evening Echo

'really helpful – great lil book for all new dog owners'

Lottie Ryan

a lovely book ... lovely illustrations

Today FM Ian Dempsey's Breakfast Show

If you’re considering getting a dog or would like to continue training your dog, then Take the Lead by Elena Browne and illustrated by Jennifer Farley is the ideal guide for you and your canine companion to enjoy … Celebrating the history of ‘man’s best friend’ Take the Lead is a practical guide for anyone hoping to get a dog or already an experienced dog owner looking to increase their knowledge and skills. From cover to cover, this is a fun, uplifting and engaging book. An ideal gift, but also a perfect addition to any classroom and home. Elena Browne’s warm and encouraging text is a perfect complement to Jennifer Farley’s entertaining and exuberant illustrations, which are sure to make you smile. There’s also an array of gorgeous photos of dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds; crossed, mixed and pedigrees. The information is succinct, and the simple and colourful layout is ideal for emerging readers 7+. Take the Lead is a guide to treasure. It’s sure to be a big hit!

RTEjr's Book Club

a colourful factfile for any age

Irish Examiner

This book is a compendium of all things dogs and advocates for correct dog caring for anyone considering a new furry addition to their home. Brown’s guidance on dog training and how to care for your dog will leave the reader confident in their care as a canine owner. Farley’s playful illustrations and design keep the eye searching, as each page hosts a pack of fluffy pals. This is a perfect care manual for any child considering adopting a new fourlegged friend

Children's Books Ireland

The ultimate guide for young dog owners, Take the Lead uses fun facts and eye-catching illustrations to educate children on caring for their furry friend

Image Magazine

A useful book for any young dog owner, packed with sensible information and facts

Irish Independent

Teaching Resources: free to view and download

  • Download Activity sheets: A 'Dog's Best Friend' Licence - to be downloaded and filled in after completing the Take the Lead quiz! Instructions: You can print out your licence, then fold it in half and in half again.

  • Download Activity sheets: Take this quiz after reading Take the Lead to earn your 'Dog's Best Friend' Licence!

Also by Elena Browne:

You Can Do It, Rosie!

Go to author page...

Also by Jennifer Farley:

Island of Adventures
Scout's Best Day Ever!
Shooting for the Stars

Go to author page...

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