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The Dog's Mind: Understanding Your Dog's Behavior (Howell reference books) Paperback – October 14, 1992


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The Dog's Mind: Understanding Your Dog's Behavior (Howell reference books) + How To Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication + On Talking Terms With Dogs: Calming Signals
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Product Details

  • Series: Howell reference books
  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Howell Book House; 1 edition (October 14, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0876055137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0876055137
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bruce Fogle, D.V.M., M.R.C.V.S, is a practicing veterinarian and lectures internationally at veterinary colleges on animal behavior. He has written several books on the behavioral problems of pets, including The Cat's Mind.

Customer Reviews

Easy to read but very informative.
Mary Ann Lawrence
Bruce Fogle gives lots of in depth information on genetics and how early learning can effect your dog.
Amazon Customer
I recommend this book to all dog lovers.
Susan Aarons (bellela@aol.com)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

138 of 139 people found the following review helpful By Fernando Berzal Galiano on May 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent guide to dog behavior and, although not being a training manual, it includes a lot of information on how to train your dog. Apart from discussing how dogs learn (e.g. by observation, classical conditioning, or operant conditioning), it includes a short list of "canine learning" rules and an appendix that teaches you how to teach commands, as well as how to correct behavior problems by counter-conditioning (training him to do something else instead of its undesirable behavior) and desensitization (teaching him to accept the stimuli that cause unacceptable behavior).

The first part of the book covers material on dogs anatomy and physiology, including their genetic background (that of wolves), their brain characteristics and hormonal system, their senses (that might include a sixth sense), and the basics of their communication system. The latest part is essential to understand and properly interpret your dog's gestures and the sounds he emits in different situations.

The second part, on dog psychology, is, in my opinion, the really interesting part of this book. It describes how dogs develop their "personality" traits, how the learn, and how they behave as social animals. Many aspects of dog behavior are clearly explained, from their fears and phobias (and how to treat them) to their innate habits. Breed differences are also discussed, as well as how to deal with behavior problems (e.g. aggressions or house training).

I cannot but recommend this book to anyone who lives with dogs. There are similar books with a less formal style (as Patricia McConnell's "The Other End of the Leash"), but they are not as thorough nor as informative as this book is. It should be noted that, despite its undeniable scientific rigor, "The Dog's Mind" is far from boring. It is quite easy to read and even momentarily humorous.
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62 of 63 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 19, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have owned this book for over three years now and still think it is the best dog training/understanding book that I have ever seen. As a trainer of shelter animals and owner of 4 dogs I have seen almost every kind of "bad dog". Before getting this book I trained using the "commercially" prescribed techniques without a true understanding of the motivation behind the dog's behavior. After reading this book, I was able to develop my own methods tailored to each dog and have had great success. I would love to see every dog owner in the U.S. have a copy of this book as it would prevent a lot of animal abuse and neglect currently present here.
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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is NOT a training manual, this is a dog behavior manual. It teaches you how to read and understand your dogs behavior and why he does the things he does. This is very understandable and enjoyable to read. Bruce Fogle gives lots of in depth information on genetics and how early learning can effect your dog. This is very scientific, and not necessarily an "easy" read. Some of the information can take a while to digest. This isn't a book you can read in two evenings. Bruce Fogle is very articulate and well read, and knows what he is talking about.
I recommend this book to anyone who owns a dog, whether or not the plan on professionally training them or not. It has new information for even some of the most knowledgable people.
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62 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Robert E. Petersen on January 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
Fogle has taken a fairly typical approach to this topic. He starts with a thorough review of literature on canine senses and builds to a discussion of how dogs use these sometimes far inferior senses (like close vision) and sometimes far superior senses (like sense of smell) in communication and learning. He discusses the various ways dogs learn including observation, classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and what types of reinforcement and punishment works best. There is an interesting discussion of puppy personality testing, including, something I wasn't aware of, what it may be able to can tell you and, even more importantly, what it can't tell you.

He provides some great material on puppy's early learning from fellow siblings and from Mom with emphasis on its importance and the potential for problems if this critical early learning doesn't happen at all or at the proper time in the short puppy stage of the life. Before he finishes, Fogle wraps up with a discussion of how these senses change as dogs age.

There are many books on the market that cover much of the same material, but Fogle distinguishes himself in two sections. One is a useful discussion of how to deal with the different types of canine aggression which he discusses in some detail. This section is a great place to start if you ever have to face that problem. Second, he gives us an equally thorough treatment of canine social and eating disorders as well as fears, phobias, and anxiety.

The book concludes with a brief appendix (almost a checklist really) summarizing basic skills training Fogle advises to always train these behaviors in the following order: come, sit, stay, down, and down-stay.
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51 of 55 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have been a police officer for about 13 years and have always been fascinated with police service dogs. About 4 years ago I became actively involved as a K-9 officer. I purchased a German Shepherd dog from the Czech Republic and trained him as a dual purpose patrol/narcotic dog. I can't count the number of books I have read or the number of videos I have watched related to dogs and their training. A friend of mine suggested "A Dog's Mind". As other reviews said this is not neccessarily a training manual but it gives a great insight into just how the dog's mind works and how the dog relates to his surroundings. Should I ever have the opportunity to supervise a K-9 unit I would make this book required reading for all K-9 handlers. I highly recommend this book to any and all who work with service animals and to those who just want to better understand why Fido barks at the mailman or eats your shoes.
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The Dog's Mind: Understanding Your Dog's Behavior (Howell reference books)
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