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Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Petby John Bradshaw
Synopses & Reviews
From the moment when we first open our homesandmdash;and our heartsandmdash;to a new pet, we know that one day we will have to watch this beloved animal age and die. The pain of that eventual separation is the cruel corollary to the love we share with them, and most of us deal with it by simply ignoring its inevitability.
With The Last Walk, Jessica Pierce makes a forceful case that our pets, and the love we bear them, deserve better. Drawing on the moving story of the last year of the life of her own treasured dog, Ody, she presents an in-depth exploration of the practical, medical, and moral issues that trouble pet owners confronted with the decline and death of their companion animals. Pierce combines heart-wrenching personal stories, interviews, and scientific research to consider a wide range of questions about animal aging, end-of-life care, and death. She tackles such vexing questions as whether animals are aware of death, whether they're feeling pain, and if and when euthanasia is appropriate. Given what we know and can learn, how should we best honor the lives of our pets, both while they live and after they have left us?and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;
The product of a lifetime of loving pets, studying philosophy, and collaborating with scientists at the forefront of the study of animal behavior and cognition, The Last Walk asksandmdash;and answersandmdash;the toughest questions pet owners face. The result is informative, moving, and consoling in equal parts; no pet lover should miss it.
"Bradshaw, the Waltham director of the Anthrozoology Institute at the University of Bristol, offers an alternative to conventional, dominance-based approaches to understanding dogs (Cesar Milan's methods, for example) in an informative if somewhat dry guide to how canine biology and psychology determine behavior. Dogs, he argues, are less similar to wolves than genetics suggest; we must 'widen the search for the biological characteristics that make up the dog's true nature.' His analysis of dogs' emotional landscape provides insight into typical misinterpretations — that dogs feel guilt, say, or that there is a 'pack mentality.' Save for one section — 'Home Alone: Can Dogs be Trained to Cope?' — Bradshaw does not offer training advice. His bailiwick is psychology, in the vein of Alexandra Horowitz's Inside of a Dog, so readers looking for practical training tips will find this lacking. Bradshaw's book is useful to those looking to further their understanding of dog behavior and clarify common misconceptions, but those seeking strategies for training should look elsewhere. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book News Annotation:
Bradshaw, (director, Anthrozoology Institute, U. of Bristol) an expert on dog-human interaction, draws on canine science to argue that dogs have been misunderstood and that current ideas about dogs' motivations and behavior are harmful. He discusses the ways in which changing expectations of dogs, breeding to accentuate certain physical traits, and an over-reliance on comparative zoology in linking dogs so closely to wolves, have done a disservice to dogs and suggests new ways of understanding and relating to our canine friends. A selection of further reading is included. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
One of the foremost researchers of animal-human relations offers a pathbreaking analysis of dog behavior, explaining the essentials of canine psychology that all dog lovers need to know.
Illuminating . [Bradshaw] articulates a revolutionary change in thinking in Dog Sense that should liberate both dog and owner from what had so often been portrayed as an adversarial relationship.”—Salon.com
Of the worldandrsquo;s dogs, only 1 out of every 4 and#160;could be considered pets, provided with food, shelter, breeding, grassy parks, doggie spas and day care.and#160; But millions of dogs roam the planet.and#160; These are village dogs, or neighborhood dogsandmdash;those that live in Masai villages, the streets of Calcutta, or that inhabit the Mexico City Dump.and#160; They are unrestrained, they are not owned, and, most importantly, humans exert no control over their reproductionandmdash;these are dogs, not pets.and#160; Like other wild species, these dogs have evolved to particular niches, often in the vicinity of humans, as they are highly adapted scavengers.and#160; And their adaptation is behavioral and morphologicalandmdash;the dogs themselves tend to look alike.and#160; Measurements of temple dogs in Thailand are strikingly similar to mountain dogs of Ethiopia, to the urban dogs of Nassaue and Mexico City.
We read rarely of these dogs, but their story is one of incredible natural selection.and#160; And they provide a fascinating means of exploring what it actually meansandmdash;genetically and behaviorallyandmdash;to be a dog. Raymond and Lorna Coppinger have studied these dogs for nearly four decades, and building upon their Dogs, which we published in paperback, they here present the first general interest book on these dogs.and#160; The book runs counter to the many books now available about companion dogsandmdash;and particular breeds.and#160; Many a bulldog or greyhound afficianado may be disappointed to learn how little their beloveds actually resemble dogs.and#160;
The dogs the Coppingers introduce here are hardly our best friendandmdash;they are responsible for the 70,000 human deaths from rabid bites each year. They also are the worldandrsquo;s second largest public health problemandmdash;sexually transmitted diseases being the first.and#160; What is a Dog? explores the natural history of these dogs.and#160; What resources (food, water, shelter) are available to them? How are those resources shared or competed for? How does an animal convert food into energy without being eaten itself? How does the physical environment, the andldquo;ecological landscape,andrdquo; shape behavior?and#160; Readersandmdash;dog lovers and those curious about animal origins in generalandmdash;will walk unleashed into a new appreciation for just what it means to be a dog.
Of the worldandrsquo;s dogs, less than two and#160;hundred million are pets, living with humans who provide food, shelter, squeaky toys, and fashionable sweaters. But roaming the planet are five times as many dogs who are their own mastersandmdash;neighborhood dogs, dump dogs, mountain dogs. They are dogs, not companions, and these dogs, like pigeons or squirrels, are highly adapted scavengers who have evolved to fit particular niches in the vicinity of humans. In What Is a Dog? experts on dog behavior Raymond and Lorna Coppinger present an eye-opening analysis of the evolution and adaptations of these unleashed dogs and what they can reveal about the species as a whole.
Exploring the natural history of these creatures, the Coppingers explain how the village dogs of Vietnam, India, Africa, and Mexico are strikingly similar. These feral dogs, argue the Coppingers, are in fact the truly representative dogs, nearly uniform in size and shape and incredibly self-sufficient. Drawing on nearly five decades of research, they show how dogs actually domesticated themselves in order to become such sufficient scavengers of human refuse. The Coppingers also examine the behavioral characteristics that enable dogs to live successfully and to reproduce, unconstrained by humans, in environments that we ordinarily do not think of as dog-friendly.
Providing a fascinating exploration of what it actually meansandmdash;genetically and behaviorallyandmdash;to be a dog, What Is a Dog? will undoubtedly change the way any beagle or bulldog owner will reflect on their four-legged friend.
Winner of a 2012 Independent Publisher Gold Award
Dogs have been mans best friend” for tens of thousands of years. A century ago most dogs worked for their living, and were bred to be healthy and hard-working, as well as companionable. But in the course of a few decades, many of those carefully selected attributes became obsolete, and nowadays we breed dogs more for their looks than for their health or suitability as pets. Whats more, we too often treat dogs like wolves or, just as hazardously, like furry humans. The truth is, dogs are neither—and our misunderstanding has put them in a state of crisis. In Dog Sense, renowned anthrozoologist John Bradshaw seeks to rescue dogs from this crisis by reminding us of their rights, gripes, and specific needs. He uses groundbreaking research into human-animal interactions to show us the world from a dogs perspective, teaching us how to live in harmony with—not just dominion over—our four-legged friends. Debunking a range of popular, dominance-based training theories and offering extraordinary insight into the question of how we really ought to treat our dogs, Dog Sense is a must-read for any dog lover.
About the Author
John Bradshaw is the Waltham Director of the Anthrozoology Institute at the University of Bristol and founder of the Anthrozoology Institute at the University of Southampton. He lives in Southampton, England.
Table of Contents
1: Final Odyssey
The Ody Journal, September 29, 2009and#8211;January 15, 2010
2: Into the Open
The Ody Journal, March 14, 2010and#8211;June 3, 2010
The Ody Journal, June 5, 2010and#8211;September 4, 2010
The Ody Journal, September 20, 2010and#8211;October 24, 2010
5: Animal Hospice
The Ody Journal, October 25, 2010and#8211;November 28, 2010
6: Blue Needle
The Ody Journal, November 29, 2010and#8211;December 7, 2010
The Ody Journal, November 29, 2011
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