Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You A Better Friend to Your Pet

( 126 )

Overview

Winner of a 2012 Independent Publisher Gold Award

Dogs have been “man’s 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. What’s more, we too often treat dogs like wolves or, ...

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Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You A Better Friend to Your Pet

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Overview

Winner of a 2012 Independent Publisher Gold Award

Dogs have been “man’s 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. What’s 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 dog’s 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.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Alexandra Horowitz, author of Inside of a Dog
“A lovely and clear-headed book on all things dog—emotion, mind, and breed. John Bradshaw’s authority and experience are matched by the thoughtfulness and humanity of his writing.  Read this before you bring a dog into your life.”

Stephen Zawistowski, PhD, CAAB, ASPCA Science Advisor
“Every so often we are reintroduced to an old friend, and we may see them in a new light, reinvigorating a long standing relationship.  John Bradshaw reintroduces us to mankind’s oldest friend, the dog.  He compiles and explains new information on the origin of dogs, their relationship with ancestral wolves and why we need to base our relationship with dogs on partnership and cooperation, not outmoded theories about dominance.  Dogs and dog lovers alike will benefit from Bradshaw’s insight.”
 

Publishers Weekly
“Bradshaw…offers an alternative to conventional, dominance-based approaches to understanding dogs (Cesar Milan’s methods, for example) in an informative…guide to how canine biology and psychology determine behavior…. Bradshaw’s book is useful to those looking to further their understanding of dog behavior and clarify common misconceptions.”

The Bark
“Bradshaw…provides a well-grounded overview of the Canis family’s evolutionary journey. He also considers dogs’ brainpower, emotional states, sensory capacities and problems that come with breeding for looks rather than temperament. The point of all this science is to lay the foundation for his central thesis…. Ultimately, this is what makes the book so appealing. He does more than simply lay out interesting theories; he uses science to advocate for a better life for companion dogs.”
 
Library Journal
“[Bradshaw] reveals a wealth of scholarly literature in biology, psychology, veterinary medicine, and zoology through detailed analyses and uses those findings to support and critique popular dog-training methods. Clear and charming black-and-white drawings illustrate key points…. Pet owners and those interested in the animal mind will learn from this balanced, well-referenced guide to the science of canine behavior.”
 

TusconCitizen.com
“In his fascinating new book, John Bradshaw uses ground breaking research into human-animal interactions to reveal the world from a dog’s perspective…. To better understand the canine who shares our home, this crisply written book might be a good place to begin.”
 
Kirkus
“Bradshaw draws upon two decades spent studying canine science to debunk the myths surrounding dog ownership…. [F]or readers with well-loved pets who view their canines as family members, there’s much to digest as the author traces the dog’s cognitive growth process as he matures from a sensitive pup into adulthood. Above all, Bradshaw advocates for increased public awareness and education to create healthier relationships between people and their pets.”
 
Dog Fancy“From wolf to worker, the book tracks the evolution of the canine to help owners better understand their dog’s behavior. Bradshaw also reexamines our modern day dog relationship and encourages owners to honor their pets for the unique animals they are.”
 
Los AngelesTimes
“Are dogs furry humans or friendly wolves? They’re neither, argues the author who looks at humanity’s effect, for better and for worse, upon its four-legged friends.”
 

New YorkPost
“Move over, Doctor Doolittle, and make way for Dr. John Bradshaw – a British scientist and the author of the new book Dog Sense…. Bradshaw may have the fancy title of anthrozoologist, but his advice for the pet set is simple: Stop looking at your pooch as a dog in wolf’s clothing, don’t leave him home alone in your apartment all day, and try seeing the world through your pup’s eyes – and nose.”
 
Claudia Kawczynska, The Bark
“[A] fascinating book…in which the author provides a compendium of research (both his own and others’) into dogs’ origins and behavior. More specifically, he details their evolution from a wolf-like ancestor into proto-dogs and then the first domesticated species; he also investigates how this very long-term relationship has affected both canines and humans. He goes on to clearly explain how today’s dogs differ behaviorally and culturally from wolves, and why the dominance/pack paradigm put forth by many trainers (including Cesar Milan) is not only the wrong way to understand dogs but has also done them a great disservice. It makes for engrossing and thought-provoking reading.”
 
Salon.com
“In his densely illuminating new book, Dog Sense, John Bradshaw explains how our understanding has been skewed by deeply flawed research, and exploited by a sensationalized media…. 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.”
 
People
“Debunking the advice of many celebrity trainers, animal behavior expert John Bradshaw urges understanding, not dominance, as the key to human-canine relations.”
 
The American Dog Magazine
Dog Sense is a fantastically written book about why dogs are progressively becoming less healthy and what we can do about it…. This is a wonderful book to read for us dog-lovers who want to understand where man’s best friend came from and comprehend ‘the world from a dog’s perspective.’”

Nature
“Anthrozoologist John Bradshaw summarizes what science can teach us about man’s best friend. Arguing that modern dogs should not be considered domesticated wolves, he asks how we can best breed these social animals to be companions and family pets.”

The Guardian (London)
“[A] passionate book…nothing less than a manifesto for a new understanding of our canine friends…. His account of the evolution of dogs is fascinating.” 

Sunday Times (London)
“Every dog lover, dog owner or prospective dog buyer should read this book. It will change how you feel about dogs and, likely enough, how you treat them, too…. This book sparkles with explanations of canine behavior.”

Jewish Herald-Voice
“Dog behavior often is mistaken for wolf behavior. And, it’s here that Bradshaw’s book uses research into human-animal interactions to set the record straight.” 

The Telegraph (London)
“Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the complicated psychology behind the growl, the rising hackles and the wagging tail.”
 
The Observer (London)
“[A] most fantastic book...about to become required reading for dog lovers everywhere…. [Bradshaw’s] book is a revelation – a major rethink about the way we understand our dogs, an overturning of what one might call traditional dogma…. For anyone interested in dog emotion, [the book] is also a sentimental – and surprising – education…. He is good news for owners and – there is no doubt about it – Professor John Bradshaw is a dog’s best friend.”
 
The Daily Mail (London)
“[T]his unusual book is concerned with dogs as a species, no matter what breed, shape or size. There are no charming anecdotes of pets’ winning ways, extraordinary tricks or loveable manners. It is the inner dogginess that [Bradshaw] explores, and its relationship to our own human nature. There are quite a few surprises to report.”

Mail on Sunday (London)
“Bradshaw, founder of the world-renowned Anthrozoology Institute at Bristol University, has spent his career studying animal behaviour and he brings unrivalled expertise to this examination of the relationship between dogs and humans…. [Bradshaw] offers an invaluable guide to the latest scientific thinking on canine behaviour and he has plenty of sensible advice.”

The Economist
“This is a wonderfully informative, quietly passionate book that will benefit every dog whose owner reads it.”
 
The Independent (London)
 “[Bradshaw] puts a case grounded in kindness and science for letting dogs be dogs. This is not as tautologous as it sounds: the two most widely held misconceptions about dogs are, first, that they are stupider versions of people and, second, that they are wolves in mufti…. [The book] is authoritative, wise and, in its sharp appreciation of the cost to dogs of living with us, rather moving.”
 
The Sunday Business Post (Dublin)
“The connections [Bradshaw] makes between ancient species down through history and the nuggets of insight he provides from his own lengthy experience working with and studying domestic dogs is truly fascinating. This book is rich in ideas and counter-ideas, and will reward anyone who respects animals, with enlightening chapters on dog behaviour, evolution, training and breeding, causing us to re-examine our relationships with our pets. Bradshaw is not so much trying to convince us with finite answers, as to stimulate a new conversation about dog behaviour with intelligent questions…. Bradshaw’s years of knowledge and his clear passion for dogs both shine through.”
 
Times Higher Education Supplement (London)
“In an overcrowded field, one may feel fully confident when reading biologist John Bradshaw’s thoughts on [man’s best friend]. The latest developments in the newly named field of ‘canine science’ really need the sure hand of a skilled scientist to offer a balanced picture for the interested reader…. Bradshaw makes deft work of summarizing important and novel insights on dog evolution, along the way pointing out the difficulties we face in reaching full conclusions.”
 
Daily Mail (London)
“Bradshaw’s book is a plea for the tolerance and patience that will be needed from us if dogs are to remain ‘as significant a part of human life as they have been for the past ten millennia.’”

Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Bradshaw, a British scientist and watchdog against cruelty to animals, lays out the history and science of dogs in a way that illuminates your own dog’s behavior, for better or worse…. It’s a comprehensive, fascinating and often poignant read.”

Library Journal
Bradshaw (Waltham Director, Anthrozoology Inst., Univ. of Bristol) presents a wide-ranging review of canine psychology and behavior intended for a more general audience than his 1995 chapter on social behavior and communication in James Serpell's The Domestic Dog: Its Evolution, Behaviour and Interactions with People. Beginning with wolves and domestication and using examples mostly from the U.K., Bradshaw moves through cognition, emotions, senses, traits, and attention to humans, ending with a cautionary tale of genetically manipulated modern dogs. He reveals a wealth of scholarly literature in biology, psychology, veterinary medicine, and zoology through detailed analyses and uses those findings to support and critique popular dog-training methods. Clear and charming black-and-white drawings illustrate key points and provide a welcome break in the text. Complex sentences and terminology require close attention, but the information is worth the effort. VERDICT Pet owners and those interested in the animal mind will learn from this balanced, well-referenced guide to the science of canine behavior.—Kristine Alpi, North Carolina State Univ. Libs., Raleigh
Kirkus Reviews

An anthrozoologist dissects thehistory and behavior of man's best friend.

How did the domesticated dog become domesticated? What makes our canine companions tick? Bradshaw (Waltham Director of the Anthrozoology Institute/Univ. of Bristol) draws upon two decades spent studying canine science to debunk the myths surrounding dog ownership. Readers who believe their puppies can exhibit guilt, for example, would be wise to shelve that kind of thinking, the author writes: "The evidence that dogs can experience any emotions more complex than jealousy...is flimsy." He offers advice on how to build stronger human-dog relationships as well as a sharp-tongued critique of modern trends in dog breeding. According to Bradshaw, inhuman treatment of canines can often manifest itself in selective breeding for appearance and behavior, whether in creating a teacup-sized pooch, a goliath or an overly aggressive dog. For the non-dog lover, Bradshaw's work may appear rife with esoteric ponderings, as illustrated in Chapter 6, "Does Your Dog Love You?" But for readers with well-loved pets who view their canines as family members, there's much to digest as the author traces the dog's cognitive growth process as he matures from a sensitive pup into adulthood. Above all, Bradshaw advocates for increased public awareness and education to create healthier relationships between people and their pets.

Enthusiasm for all things dog will help offset the sluggish pace of the author's prose and dense scientific reasoning.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465030033
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 5/8/2012
  • Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 123,322
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.04 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

John Bradshaw is Foundation Director of the Anthrozoology Institute at the University of Bristol, where he was previously the University Research Theme Leader for Animal Welfare and Behaviour. His current research partners include the charities Medical Detection Dogs, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and Dogs Trust. Prior to joining the University of Bristol in 2003, Bradshaw founded the Anthrozoology Institute at the University of Southampton. He lives in Southampton, England.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction xvii

Chapter 1 Where Dogs Came From 1

Chapter 2 How Wolves Became Dogs 29

Chapter 3 Why Dogs Were-Unfortunately-Turned Back into Wolves 67

Chapter 4 Sticks or Carrots? The Science of Dog Training 95

Chapter 5 How Puppies Become Pets 122

Chapter 6 Does Your Dog Love You? 148

Chapter 7 Canine Brainpower 181

Chapter 8 Emotional (Un)sophistication 211

Chapter 9 A World of Smells 225

Chapter10 Problems with Pedigrees 252

Chapter11 Dogs and the Future 277

Notes 293

Further Reading 311

Index 313

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 126 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(55)

4 Star

(27)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(12)

1 Star

(21)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 126 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Very interesting!

    This book presents a highly detailed, very documented description of dogs. Although the initial section on genetics and the relationship between modern, domesticated dogs and preceeding generations of wolves becomes redundant, the author is quite clear and precise in his analysis. The chapters on dog's intelligence, emotional attachment and behavior is very interesting. These sections alone are well worth reading!

    15 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2011

    Great book that challenges training conventions

    Dr. Bradshaw has written an excellent book that challenges conventions of dog training, such as those practiced by The Monks of New Skete and Cesar Millan. Bradshaw suggests that, and then provides scientific support for, the hypothesis that dogs are not behaving aggressively due to a "dominance hierarchy" system but rather a "resource holding" system (you'll have to read the book for the lovely details!) Bradshaw calls for dog owners to reconsider their relationships with their dogs under this new model system as he believes the old one could permanently damage relationships. He has for ever changed my mind regarding human/dog interactions and I strongly recommend this book to any one who wants a companion dog, not an animal that lives in deep fear of their owner. PS-deniers of evolution should spend some time cozied up to this book.

    14 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2011

    My dog & I highly recommend this bood

    Early in 2011, I adopted a 6 year old dog who, through no fault of her own, needed a new home, thus becoming interested in why dogs behave the way they do. Professor Bradshaw's book explains how dogs came to be comfortable in human society and the remarkable adaptaptions that have made the relationship comfortable. From the origins of domestic dogs to the way we live with dogs today, I found much of value in this book. Prof. Bradshaw writes in a way that explains without pendantic excess or scientific jargon that should make the book accessible to most everyone.

    And I learned a new - perhaps British - way of explaining my dog's adoption: she is "re-homed" rather than "rescued," as clearly she was a well adapted, well treated, well trained dog in her previous, but no longer viable, home. Bradshaw's discussion of separation anxiety, however, leads to believe there's not much that can be done about that.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    This is a great book if you have a new dog and want to get them

    This is a great book if you have a new dog and want to get them settled in quickly. You will learn a lot about dogs and what it takes to train them quickly and easily.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2011

    Highly Recommended for Dog Owners

    Everyone who has a dog should read this.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2012

    Dog sense

    A clearly written book that provides a lot of insight into understanding the history and present relationship between humans and dogs

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2012

    Characteristics about the book

    I think this book is:
    Factual
    Interesting
    Amazing
    Sophisticated

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    My thoughts

    I thougt that this book was very factful and also very informative.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    Thought provoking

    It's nice to see a book that scientifically shows what most true dog lovers already know.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2011

    Nice one!

    I like reading this book because it tells me a lot about the characteristics of dogs.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 16, 2011

    Not what i expected

    Not light reading. It went more in depth than i expected

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2011

    Great book!

    Very informational, with solid scientific research to back it up, but written in a way everyone can follow. It should be required reading for every dog trainer and every dog breeder.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 7, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    This book is amazing! It is clear that Bradshaw is a scientist b

    This book is amazing! It is clear that Bradshaw is a scientist but also a dog lover himself. This book offers wonderful insight into the way dogs behave and it is all backed up with science. It actively challenges the concept of training a dog using punishment and offers a more successful and humane approach. If you want to understand how dogs learn and why they behave certain ways this is a great book. A MUST READ!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2012

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    Bcgb gfgchkbfxbtvfhtghgchvtnhj

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Bow wow

    1 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 23, 2011

    Intrigued me

    This is a great book. If you like dogs, have a dog, or are about to buy one this is a great book to read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2013

    No

    No

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    I have the sample

    Should i buy the full for $26?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2013

    Dum

    Dum

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2013

    Bquain

    3498
    William



    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 126 Customer Reviews

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