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How Dogs Think: What the World Looks Like to Them and Why They Act the Way They Do Paperback – June 6, 2005


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How Dogs Think: What the World Looks Like to Them and Why They Act the Way They Do + How To Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication + Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know
Price for all three: $38.44

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (June 6, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743222334
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743222334
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"With a sharp-eyed analysis and wry wit, [Coren] meticulously examines the species' capabilities in a four-star toolbox fully equipped to help you better interpret Fido."
-- The Seattle Times

"Meticulously researched, highly readable, and essential for anyone who loves and lives with a dog."
-- Jon Katz, author of A Dog Year

"The thinking dog owner's guide to everything they ever wanted to know about their dog. Truths expanded, myths exposed, common sense prevailing, Dr. Coren tells it the way it is. Two dew claws up for this excellent book."
-- Nicholas H. Dodman, BVMS, MRCVS, DVA, author of The Dog Who Loved Too Much and If Only They Could Speak

"Coren's love for dogs shines like a beacon throughout this thoughtful and fascinating exploration of the mind of a dog."
-- Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D., author of The Other End of the Leash

About the Author

Stanley Coren an international authority on sidedness, is professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of Born to Bark: My Adventures with an Irrepressible and Unforgettable Dog (2010), among other books.

More About the Author

Stanley Coren, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia, is a recognized expert on dog-human interaction who has appeared on Dateline; The Oprah Winfrey Show; Good Morning, America; 20/20; Larry King Live; and many other TV and radio programs. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, with a beagle, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, and a Nova Scotia duck-tolling retriever, as well as his wife and her cat.

Customer Reviews

Every dog lover should read this book.
Linda Nostrant
The book is also an enjoyable read; remarkably, Coren manages to make reading ultra detailed scientific information pleasant, not tedious.
Alisa M. Berman
Bottom line, it's his approach that's both the good and the bad about the book.
Robert E. Petersen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

128 of 129 people found the following review helpful By Robert E. Petersen on February 5, 2006
Format: Paperback
In his usual thorough and "text-booky" approach, before he takes on the real question of how dogs think, Coren wants us to fully understand how information, used in the thought process, gets into the mind of the dog in the first place. To this end, he takes us on a detailed study of eyes, ears, nose, tongue and touch. Many implications for animal trainers are strewn throughout the entire manuscript. Along the way, he imbeds other useful suggestions for dog owners on how to get finicky eaters to eat, how to test your elderly dog's eyesight and hearing and how to compensate for weaknesses that commonly afflict elderly dogs. He even addresses the question of whether dogs have a sixth sense that allows them to predict earthquakes or anticipate exactly when their master will arrive home. Yes, I love the way he puts this section together and, no, I won't divulge his conclusion.

Did I say "text-booky"? How Dogs Think has been very thoroughly researched with over 241 citations. It would make a fine text book as part of an extensive canine trainer certification program like that offered by the Animal Behavior College [...] for example. Coren can be rather technical at times, using and defining terms like "invisible displacement test", "implicit", "explicit", "episodic", and "semantic" memory. Bottom line, it's his approach that's both the good and the bad about the book. While it's what I was looking for, it may not be what you are looking for.

Finally, on page 290 (with less than 10% left to read), Coren asks the real question: are dogs conscious and do they have a mind similar to our own? His conclusion, they are considerably different from us in degree but not really all that different in kind.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Linda Nostrant on January 9, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have 3 beagles and often wonder why they behave they way they do. This book answered my questions and then some. It is chock-full of information and is written in a chatty style that is easy to read yet does not patronize. I learned a lot - for example, dogs don't see particularly well, which explains why my beagle looks so puzzled when I stand very still behind a window. I was so impressed with the book that I bought an extra copy for my vet, who loved it. Every dog lover should read this book.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Susan Elizabeth Anderson on March 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book to give an overview of how dogs views the world as well as how that view compares to the view of humans. Dr. Cohen not only explains how dogs think but also how their senses work to perceive the world, again as compared to humans. The information is not just based on casual observations and anecdotal tales, although those are used, but also based on many laboratory studies over the years to give a good solid foundation.

This book is invaluable if you live with a dog, train dogs, work with dogs, or just love and admire dogs. I would consider this a must read for dog owners and especially trainers - after all you cannot teach if you don't understand how the mind receives and process the information you are trying get across. Dr. Cohen also does a beautiful job of dispelling many myths - like dogs don't see color - and provides the scientific proof to back it up.

Many of the studies used in this book go towards demonstrating how brilliant nature is in creating and how amazing the mind is - whether it is canine or primate!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Alisa M. Berman on January 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
As the owner of an established pet care business, and the parent of a rescue dog with severe aggression issues, I've read just about every book on dogs you can imagine. How To Speak Dog is without a doubt the single most informative and interesting book relating to dogs that I've ever read. Coren's detailed and precise explanation of canine body language has helped me aniticipate and prevent acts of aggression by my troubled dog a countless number of times; the book has opened my eyes to all the communicating our client's dogs have been doing with us and each other, and we've been able to resolve a number of behavioral issues with our clients simply because we are able to understand what the dog is telling us about why it does what it does. The book is also an enjoyable read; remarkably, Coren manages to make reading ultra detailed scientific information pleasant, not tedious. Every dog owner should have this book on their coffee table, and every dog professional should have it in a holster at their hip.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Hoskins on March 30, 2007
Format: Paperback
Fantastic Book! If you're a dog owner, dog lover or BOTH then this is the book for you. If you want to understand your dog like never before then do yourself a favour and purchase this book. It gives a wonderful incite through the dogs eyes how they see us and why they do certain things. This book certainly goes hand in hand with How to Speak Dog. A must read.
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41 of 56 people found the following review helpful By George M. Strain on March 28, 2006
Format: Paperback
The author cites research of mine on deafness, but gets the facts about my research wrong and gets the reference citation wrong. Hopefully he does a better job with the other research he quotes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By P. Stewart on November 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book makes so much sense. The author writes in language clearly understandable to laypersons, with lots of examples and cited studies. This book has answered a lot of the questions I have about what my dog is doing; what she senses; and what she might be thinking. The author shows how genetics and instinct translate from wolves and wild dogs all the way down to the cute little furballs we keep around our houses.
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