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Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know Paperback – Print, September 28, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"...a thoughtful take on the interior life of the dog....long on insight and short on jargon..." -Washington Post
"nearly flawless" -The Bark magazine
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Top Customer Reviews
It's more of a cursory glance at canine cognitive ethology rather than a definitive volume, but if you're looking for a good introductory to canine cognitive ethology, this would be a great starter. The anecdotes are sweet and the science is pretty good, and written in a way that the regular Joe Dog Guardian can read it without breaking his brain.
HOWEVER. There is one VERY glaring "scientific" experiment that I feel she used for a bad conclusion, a conclusion whose inclusion of the flawed scientific experiment betrays the entire premise of the book itself.
In the section on "Hero Dogs" (dogs that have responded to emergencies and saved the lives of their owners and people in general), Horowitz details what she calls a "clever experiment" with dogs where
"owners conspired with the researchers to feign emergencies in the presence of their dogs, in order to see how the dogs responded. In one scenario, owners were trained to fake a heart attack, complete with gasping, a clutch of the chest, and a dramatic collapse. In the second scenario, owners yelped as a bookcase (made of particleboard) descended on them and seemed to pin them on the ground. In both cases, owners' dogs were present, and the dogs had been introduced to a bystander nearby--perhaps a good person to inform if there has been an emergency.
In these contrived setups, the dogs acted with interest and devotion, but not as though there was an emergency...
...In other words, not a single dog did anything that remotely helped their owners out of the predicaments.Read more ›
Dogs do not sense the world we do. To take one of Horowitz's examples, a rose for humans is a thing of visual and olfactory beauty, and also has connotations of a love gift.Read more ›
First, there is surprisingly little information in it. The author touches on each subject so briefly that only the most superficial observations can be made. Dog body language gets maybe two pages and includes such revelations as the meaning of a tucked tailed (discomfort and/or submission). Is there a dog owner in the world who doesn't already know that? Note: if that's new to you and you own a dog, stop reading this review and find a dog trainer immediately. In the 250 pages I managed to read, I found two things of interest: the description of canine vision, and speculation on a potential flaw in experiments on dog intelligence (to wit: dogs know that humans are great providers of food, so if a dog that gives up on the puzzle in front of him and runs over to the researcher for help, maybe he's being smart, not dumb).
Second, the author spends way too much time bemoaning human chauvinism. Apparently, all research into animal behavior is done to shore up our belief that humans are the rightful masters of the earth.
Third, the tone of this book is insistently, forcibly whimsical. Sometimes it hits the right note, and I did find myself laughing out lot a few times, particularly at an anecdote about a doberman put to work guarding a collection of valuable teddy bears. Unfortunately, it's more often grating, and I found myself rolling my eyes at the little vignettes about the author's dog that start every chapter. It truly pains me to write that, as love between a dog and an owner is such a wonderful thing.
Fourth, the text has some odd contradictions, one which is noted by the reviewer below me.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great read - really helps you understand life from the dog's point of view. Tons of well supported information that is highly relevant and easily applied to your own dog. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Corey
Great book! The author did an excellent job of balancing a neutral, scientific perspective on the behavior of dogs with that of being a pet parent herself; enamored with her... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is such a good book. It tells you some important things one who loves dogs should know about dogs. It is a sweet story, well written and full of wisdom. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Rickey B
I love how the research debunks the myths even trainers and doggy day care professionals still believe. Such an informative and enjoyable read.Published 1 month ago by Paul M.
A well written and fascinating read. It will make you a better dog ownerPublished 1 month ago by John Rakestraw
At the beginning of the book, Ms. Horowitz says she is a scientist. I was hoping that her status as a scientist would not mean she wrote like a scientist; boring and long winded,... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jeff Gross