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For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friendby Patricia B. McConnell
Synopses & Reviews
Yes, humans and canines are different species, but current research provides fascinating, irrefutable evidence that what we share with our dogs is greater than how we vary. As behaviorist and zoologist Dr. Patricia McConnell tells us in this remarkable new book about emotions in dogs and in people, more and more scientists accept the premise that dogs have rich emotional lives, exhibiting a wide range of feelings including fear, anger, surprise, sadness, and love.
In For the Love of a Dog, McConnell suggests that one of the reasons we love dogs so much is that they express emotions in ways similar to humans. After all, who can communicate joy better than a puppy? But not all emotional expressions are obvious, and McConnell teaches both beginning dog owners and experienced dog lovers how to read the more subtle expressions hidden behind fuzzy faces and floppy ears.
For those of us who deeply cherish our dogs but are sometimes baffled by their behavior, For the Love of a Dog will come as a revelation – a treasure trove of useful facts, informed speculation, and intriguing accounts of man's best friend at his worst and at his very best. Readers will discover how fear, anger, and happiness underlie the lives of both people and dogs and, most important, how understanding emotion in both species can improve the relationship between them. Thus McConnell introduces us to the possibility of a richer, more rewarding relationship with our dogs.
While we may never be absolutely certain what our dogs are feeling, with the help of this riveting book we can understand more than we ever thought possible. Those who consider their dogs part of the family will find For the Love of a Dog engaging, enlightening, and utterly engrossing.
"Animal behaviorist, dog trainer, syndicated radio talk show host and prolific author on all things canine, McConnell (The Other End of the Leash) presents a compelling combination of stories, science and practical advice to show how understanding emotions in both people and dogs can improve owners' relationships with their pets. This is more than a simple dog-training book: much of what McConnell discusses concerns how dog owners can learn 'the language' of dog by recognizing important signals and reading them correctly. She provides numerous helpful examples of how owners can observe dog behavior, especially differences in posture and facial expressions, in order to help dogs be better behaved and help dog owners to be better handlers; her discussion of the meaning of a dog's 'tongue flicks' is alone worth the price of the book. Her overall goal is to help owners provide their pets with 'a sense of calm, peaceful benevolence,' and she skewers current dog-training fads that emphasize 'dominance' over a dog. 'Don't fool yourself: if you yell at your dog for something he did twenty seconds ago, you're not training him; you're merely expressing your own anger.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"McConnell offers sophisticated explanations to account for different types of behavior, as well as insight into how bad behavior can be prevented." Library Journal
"McConnell's main message is for readers to observe their own dogs and to understand the emotions behind their actions, both good and bad." Booklist
The critically acclaimed author of The Other End of the Leash offers fascinating insights into the canine mind — critical tools for a healthy relationship with a well-trained dog.
A neuroscientist finally and definitively answers the age-old question: What is my dog thinking?
The powerful bond between humans and dogs is one thatand#8217;s uniquely cherished. Loyal, obedient, and affectionate, they are truly and#8220;manand#8217;s best friend.and#8221; But do dogs love us the way we love them? Emory University neuroscientist Gregory Berns had spent decades using MRI imaging technology to study how the human brain works, but a different question still nagged at him: What is my dog thinking?
After his family adopted Callie, a shy, skinny terrier mix, Berns decided that there was only one way to answer that questionand#8212;use an MRI machine to scan the dogand#8217;s brain. His colleagues dismissed the idea. Everyone knew that dogs needed to be restrained or sedated for MRI scans. But if the military could train dogs to operate calmly in some of the most challenging environments, surely there must be a way to train dogs to sit in an MRI scanner.
With this radical conviction, Berns and his dog would embark on a remarkable journey and be the first to glimpse the inner workings of the canine brain. Painstakingly, the two worked together to overcome the many technical, legal, and behavioral hurdles. Bernsand#8217;s research offers surprising results on how dogs empathize with human emotions, how they love us, and why dogs and humans share one of the most remarkable friendships in the animal kingdom.
How Dogs Love Us answers the age-old question of dog lovers everywhere and offers profound new evidence that dogs should be treated as we would treat our best human friends: with love, respect, and appreciation for their social and emotional intelligence.
About the Author
Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D., is an adjunct assistant professor of zoology at the University of Wisconsin — Madison and a certified Applied Animal Behaviorist. Her company, Dog's Best Friend, Ltd., specializes in family dog training and treating aggression in dogs, and she is an immensely popular speaker around the country. She is the co-host of Calling All Pets, an animal behavior advice show syndicated to a hundred public radio stations, and was the animal behaviorist on Animal Planet's Petline. She works daily with three dogs (two border collies and a Great Pyrenees) on her sheep farm outside of Madison. Visit Patricia McConnell's website at www.dogsbestfriendtraining.com.
Table of Contents
Prologue: Dress Rehearsaland#8195;xii
1.and#160;Dia de los Muertosand#8195;1
2.and#160;What Itand#8217;s Like to Be a Dogand#8195;13
3.and#160;A Fishing Expeditionand#8195;21
5.and#160;The Scanner Dilemmaand#8195;41
7.and#160;Lawyers Get Involvedand#8195;56
11.and#160;The Carrot or the Stick?and#8195;97
12.and#160;Dogs at Workand#8195;105
13.and#160;The Lost Wedding Ringand#8195;114
15.and#160;Dog Day Afternoonand#8195;134
16.and#160;A New Worldand#8195;150
17.and#160;Peas and Hot Dogsand#8195;158
18.and#160;Through a Dogand#8217;s Eyesand#8195;168
20.and#160;Does My Dog Love Me?and#8195;186
21.and#160;Whatand#8217;s That Smell?and#8195;195
24.and#160;What Dogs Are Really Thinkingand#8195;225
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