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For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend Paperback – August 28, 2007
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
And here's why:
This book is an uncommon combination of 3 things that usually don't go together.
1) Entertaining and moving (yet educational) stories of dogs and their humans (many from McConnell's long career as an animal behaviorist),
2) Immediately useful knowlege about dog behavior and the "clues" dogs give about what is going on with them, and
3) Relentless scientific backup for what she says, while NOT being hard to read or "science-y."
For instance, do you know what it means when a dogs mouth is closed?
Do you know what it means if a dog is pointing her muzzle away from you, but looking in your direction?
Do you know what it means if a dog is pulling the corners of his mouth forward?
You should, because these are all critical clues about what the dog is going to do next -- it may even prevent you from being bitten by the next dog you reach out to pet!
Do you know the government-tested 30-second puppy-exercise regime that helps them grow into dogs that are gentle, flexible, and tolerant?
You should, it might make a huge difference in the next dog you get!
Along the way McConnell provides TONS of useful and entertaining knowledge about dog and human brains, how we learn, developmental phases (and how to impact them!), the nature of happiness (and how to be more happy!) and a whole lot more.
. . .even how to tell if a dog might be laughing at your hairstyle.
And it's so well written it's hard to put down.
I'm sorry if this sounds like an ad for the book . . . I'm not selling the book, just reviewing it, and I really liked it.
I think that if you like dogs and spend time with them, your relationships with them will be noticibly enriched by your reading this book.
Especially pleasing to see is that in her discussion of counterconditioning and other techniques the author diverges from the decades-old approach of addressing "behavior problems" (a term that should be killed off and unceremoniously buried - it's not the animal's problem any more than if your husband had a habit of talking too loudly to your liking would you tell your friends that he had a behavior problem) by focusing on simply eliminating the behavior. This mechanistic behaviorism approach may be effective in eliminating the behavior but frequently does nothing to relieve the dog's underlying emotional distress that is causing the behavior. For example, if a dog is suffering from loneliness because he is tied up alone in a backyard and barks endlessly for human attention and companionship there are plenty of ways to eliminate the barking. But there is only one correct one: alleviate the emotional pain of loneliness. McConnell understands this and focuses on this underlying emotional distress when working with the dogs to change unwanted behavior.Read more ›
(Note: some of her conclusions may have to be taken with a grain of salt... but they will get you thinking.) All in all, this is one book that never gets boring... and is definitely puppy chow for the medula oblongada (if you don't know what that is she'll explain.)
Think of it as EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE for doglovers!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gave it as gift to our son he is enjoying reading it as he helps out at a shelter and is using multiple books for pointersPublished 17 days ago by Rick
Awesome book. Thanks for all the useable knowledge. I use it on a daily basis in my grooming shop. Thanks again.Published 22 days ago by Jen
Great book to help you understand your dog and the similarities and differences between humans and dogs. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Lee Edwards
I love everything about this book and everything about Patricia McConnell! It's informative on not only dogs, but ourselves as well. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Rita Viola