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.
"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."
"Debunking the advice of many celebrity trainers, animal behavior expert John Bradshaw urges understanding, not dominance, as the key to human-canine relations."People
"A lovely and clear-headed book on all things dogemotion, 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." Alexandra Horowitz, author of Inside of a Dog
"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."Stephen Zawistowski, PhD, CAAB, ASPCA Science Advisor
"[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."Claudia Kawczynska, The Bark
"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."Salon.com
"Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the complicated psychology behind the growl, the rising hackles and the wagging tail."The Telegraph (London)
"In an overcrowded field, one may feel fully confident when reading biologist John Bradshaw's thoughts on [man's best friend].... 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." Times Higher Education Supplement
"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.'"The American Dog Magazine
"[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."The Guardian (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."Sunday Times (London)
"This is a wonderfully informative, quietly passionate book that will benefit every dog whose owner reads it."The Economist