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Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know
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Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know

3.6 255
by Alexandra Horowitz
 

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The bestselling book that asks what dogs know and how they think. The answers will surprise and delight you as Alexandra Horowitz, a cognitive scientist, explains how dogs perceive their daily worlds, each other, and that other quirky animal, the human.

Horowitz introduces the reader to dogs’ perceptual and cognitive abilities and then draws a picture of what

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Inside of a Dog 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 255 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I too got sucked in by the "New York Times Bestseller" billing. I could not get through more than 35 pages. The prelude started ok enough, but then the author felt the need to spend 2 pages expaining why she uses the term "the dog" and what she means by it. You get the point after a paragraph, but it goes on. And on. The whole thing comes across to me as a pretentious mess. I have a PhD of my own, and when I pick up a book to read for leisure I expect to have an enjoyable read, not a book that is exponentially longer than it needs to be because of the use of extremely long-winded explanations of the author's opinions and unnecessary "$100 words" Case in point, and there are many: page 15- "Anthropomorphisms are not inherently odious." It reminds me of a gathering of stuffed-shirt university professors who feel the need to show their intelligence and superiority by out-wording each other. The author's dog must be glad he doesn't understand English.
KatrineHB More than 1 year ago
The Inside of a Dog is very true to its title. I could not put it down at night, partially because my black labrador sleeps diagonally between my husband and I. If you are a dog lover, this book will forever change how you look at your dog. It gives you the inside scoop about why your dog enjoys smelling everything. There are suggestions in the book about simple things that will make your dog happy, which really work. The book shows how the dog has evolved into our common house dog, and what makes the dog the canine he is.
TheReadingWriter More than 1 year ago
Horowitwz is a scientist, after all. She has rigorously edited her book so that it is accessible to non-scientists, and tries to tell us which of the dog behaviors we observe are actually what we may believe them to be. Are dogs as knowledgeable as they appear? What do their behaviors signify? But first she must describe what she will do, set the parameters, explain her approach...I did not become engaged until late in the game, when Horowitz gave us a section on "theory of mind": can the dog know what we're thinking or are they simply responding to other physical cues? From this point the book explains some experiments conducted, their results, the conclusions. This is unfailingly interesting to me, though I get breathless at the amount of time and energy involved in constructing a successful experiment which may yield one data point and no firm conclusions. At the end of the book, Horowitz takes off her scientist hat and tells us what she thinks. She urges us to look on our pets as individuals with unique behaviors and not to be too regimented in our thinking about how they should perform or behave. Her final quote is a paean to her dead pet, Pump, in which she describes one of his ears "like a felted leaf, dried in the sun." Dog-people will find this an interesting book which will inform their understanding.
Econo More than 1 year ago
Curious dog lovers (like me) often try to better understand these great companion animals, but we're hampered by our tendency to ascribe human motives and traits to our pets. This book brings a scientific understanding of these animals to the endeavor and provides us with a richer awareness of dog behavior. I have put the knowledge to use and am enjoying these creatures even more. The main downside of the book is disappointment that there isn't more research on dog behavior.
Wiley More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend this book for other dog lovers. The author, Alexandra Horowitz, is a scientist in the field of animal cognition, and her book is about using cognitive science to try to understand how dogs view the world--the dog as subject, not just as an object and extension of human desires. Though Horowitz is a scientist writing about cognitive science, the text is accessible and entertaining. Another reviewer complained about the scientific language, but it seems to me that Horowitz has done a good job of making the science accessible to a non-scientist reader. But you do have to be a reader willing to read carefully and maybe even (gasp!) look up unfamiliar words.
CLKLKK More than 1 year ago
Definitely going in our permanent library. We understand our own dogs' behaviors much better in context of the author's insights and research.
cmp53 More than 1 year ago
I have been a dog lover all of my life and thus this book was of tremendous attraction to me. Honestly, I was disappointed. The author clearly knows her subject but the presentation was ok at best. Was really looking to grow in my understanding of dogs..can't say that I learned what I hoped I would. In addition, the book could have been 100 pages shorter... If you have dogs and really appreciate them, you already know most of what is in the book..if you don't, it will provide some insight to better understand "man's best friend".
MatthewKarns17815 More than 1 year ago
"Inside Of A Dog" by Dr. Alexandra Horowitz is a fascinating book which will make you look at your dog in an entirely new way and I feel enriched in my relationship with my dogs for having read it. Staying completely away from any anthropomorphic tendecies, the book lives up to it's title, providing the reader an excellent overview of canine cognition, senses, and "umwelt", which is defined as the dog's viewpoint and world view. Who would have thought that dogs really dislike when their owners make them wear sweaters, which is actually a show of dominance over the dog or that dogs identify us not through vision but primarily through smell? Throughout this book the reader discovers the above and many other intriguing and fascinating clues which led me to conclude that in reality dogs are not "little people in fuzzy costumes" but are their own species with their own motives, incentives, and inner driving forces. I recommend this book for anyone who really wants to "understand" their dog and be able to at least approach the ability of seeing the world as our canine companions see it.
mypaljack More than 1 year ago
I really am enjoying this book. I haven't quite finished it yet, because it really makes you think through your own dogs behavior and before you know it... you are really INVOLVED with your dog! Well written, logical, eye opening!
riki432 More than 1 year ago
She writes well and I've only gotten into the book a few chapters, but it's hard to stay with it. I feel like I'm reading a textbook.
UncleSkull More than 1 year ago
Makes me look at my four legged friend in a whole new light. Also makes me remember my past friends with a whole new respect. A must for dog owners and dog lovers alike.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book is a scientific work and is written scientifically. Although the author does a decent job of explaining the terms she uses and the research she cites, the book is at times difficult to read if you aren't fluent in scientific jargon. I loved the introduction paragraphs at the beginning of each chapter. I thought including personal experience with a dog the author knew and loved made the book less pretentious and more relateable. Overall, this book is filled with a lot of valuable information. The presentation is just a little off.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a dog owner I now look at my dog through much different eyes full of a new understanding. I hope that what I've learned from this book only adds to the enjoyment of Stella's life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really helps you better understand what, why, and how your dog does the wierd things she does.
jaki82 More than 1 year ago
although i had come across some of the information before, it had a lot of good analysis into a dogs viewpoints. i think that i will be looking at my dogs with a different view. i will say that you probably need a little scientific background to be comfortable with it.
slgUT More than 1 year ago
Contains very detailed information on what makes a dog act the way he does, siting both scientific studies as well as everyday observation. Although it may be a little too detailed for the average dog-owner, with my background as a veterinary technician, with a special interest in behavior, I found it very thought-provoking....and I find that I have become more patient with my resident canine, realizing that some of the behaviors that I tend to find frustrating are, after all,typical dog behaviors. It also re-enforces my opinion that dogs should not be treated as if they are humans.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Boring at first but after a while I was really into it, and finished it quickly. Great book for those who somewhat know the anatomy of dogs since the author uses a lot of that. Overall, it helped me understand my dogs better.
Cloud14 More than 1 year ago
I kept reading thinking I'd be given knowledge I didn't already know about dogs, but that never happened. I complained the whole way and only appreciated 2 sections (at most). If you keep up with dogs in the news or specials on tv over time, you don't need to read this book. I felt like I wasted my time and therefore I don't recommend this book. Also, Without saying his name, I understood her to criticize The Dog Whisperer. her opinion is that her understanding of scientific articles she's read and personal experience is more in line with the evolution of dogs. I agree with another reviewer's comments about the book being dull. Vocabulary words were frequently used and made the author sound pretentious. The book was way longer than it needed to be. I even skipped her last ditch efforts to try to train the reader how to work with their dogs. Overall disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Maybe my expectations were too high. I found this book good, but not as good as I thought it would be. I don't have a dog. But, I'm certainly curious about them! In this book, are lots of interesting things that I didn't know before. What was missing, you ask? Lift off. It didn't set me on fire, but it's interesting!
jerushasmom More than 1 year ago
I just bought this book in paperback. As others said, it is quite wordy and repetitive and I've only read up to the end of the first chapter!! However, I sort of expect this as it is scientifically based. I'll read what I want to get out of it.
Ernesto Amaya More than 1 year ago
full of facts and science! not emotional but real. i love this book.
jen_dressler More than 1 year ago
Some surprising observations are in thes book. The writing stalled me at first but then the doggy factoids were so eyeopening I read it to the end. Dogbrain, how enlightening! Anyone who owns a dog can relate to something inside.
DMT50 More than 1 year ago
Being an animal lover especially of dogs, I was eager to buy this book. I have read Alexandra's article in newspapers explaining how a dog thinks from their perspective and was excited to read it. I was highly disappointed because it's too technical and scientifically based. It was difficult to get through the introduction let alone the first chapter. I scanned through the middle of book and found it continuing the on same path. It did not hold my attention because it was difficult to comprehend for the average reader. I would not recommend this book unless you have a science degree.
Sweeney More than 1 year ago
Learned a lot about dogs that I didn't know and was curious about.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
or, at least, some form of email so we don't have to wade through your infantile messages.