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The Modern Dog: A Joyful Exploration of How We Live with Dogs Today Hardcover – December 2, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Coren's insights into dog-human interaction in such books as Why Does My Dog Act That Way? and How to Speak Dog have attracted large numbers of devoted readers who will delight in this collection of shorter essays on our relationships with and our emotional bonds to our dogs. Topics explored include the influence of technological advancement on the development—and in some cases extinction—of various dog breeds; how the author helped diffuse the tension between his wife and his Cairn Terrier, who is bred to loudly bark when it is the least bit excited (Jack Russell Terrier owners should be required to read this essay); and whether dogs love their owners (Coren says, yes). Fascinating sections detail how humans have shaped canine temperaments and the various health and psychological benefits of dog ownership. The essay form allows Coren to display a lighter, humorous and often more personal tone than is found in his other books, and his affection and vast knowledge are on full display in this engaging collection that will leave his fans hankering for further installments. (Dec.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

No wonder we think so highly of dogs; we practically invented them, according to Coren, psychology professor and author of popular dog books. Dogs have evolved from the canine species that includes wolves, but humans have helped to shape them over 15,000 years. Humans have bred and trained dogs for special traits and features from special and retrieving abilities to the merely decorative. Coren explores science, folklore, and history to offer a portrait of modern dogs as they have grown from protectors of Cro Magnon campsites to home guard dogs, companions, and family members. He chronicles evidence of human devotion to dogs over the centuries from mummification and burial with their masters in ancient Egypt to modern-day cloning. Beyond their role as companions, Coren notes dogs’ usefulness in a range of activities, from guiding the blind to crime investigations, and the ways dogs have been featured in popular culture from literature to movies. Dog lovers will appreciate this detailed look at the ways humans have shaped “man’s best friend.” --Vanessa Bush

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; 1st Free Press Hardcover Ed edition (December 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416593683
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416593683
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,052,876 in Books (See Top 100 in 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Julie S. on March 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I have read a number of Stanley Coren's books and this is by far my favorite. Well researched and well written, this book is full of interesting information that will change the way you see dogs as well as the human/dog relationship. The best part is, this book is so enjoyably easy to read that its wealth of valuable information comes easily and never feels like work or reading a text book the way some non-fiction can. If you have an interest in dogs, give this book a read, I believe that your insight and relationship with your dog will be the better for it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Wright on December 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
This review is actually for the 2008 hardcover edition which has the subtitle "A Joyful Exploration of How We Live with Dogs Today"

This outline offers a glimpse of the wide range of topics covered in the 31 chapters organized under 5 headings.

Preface: The author invites the reader to read the chapters in any order, and to look over his drawings, which are intended to convey the mood of each story.

How Dogs Fit into the World of People
1) The Modern Dog: How technological changes have led to use of selective breeding to develop major groups of dogs, such as scent hounds, sight hounds, pointers, setters, retrievers, and stress reducers.
2) Why Neanderthals Don't Rule the World: Domestication of dogs may have assisted Cro-Magnons in better adapting to changes at the end of the Ice Age about 14,000 years ago.
3) The Children of Anubis: Respect for dogs in ancient Egypt, including the story of a prince whose life was protected from a crocodile, a scorpion, and a serpent by three generations of a dog named Uzat.
4) The Patron Saint of Dogs: Discusses Saints Hubert, Bernard, Roche, among others.
5) Cloning Rover, Fluffy, and Snuppy: Explains why clones may differ from originals, and suggests that traditional dog breeding can provide better results than cloning at much less expense.
6) Venus, Mars, or Pluto? Discusses properties attributed to male, female, and newtered dogs.
7) Do You Look Like Your Dog? Some evidence indicates that purebreds resemble their owners, by mutts do not.

What Dogs Do
8) Dogs in the Witness Box: Use of bloodhounds in solving crimes and in counting endangered Siberian tigers.
9) Why Do Dogs Have Wet Noses? Story about Noah's ark may be easier response than explaining facts.
Read more ›
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ashley M. Labrie on September 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed this. It had quite a bit of interesting information, and it was a quick read. You don't have to go in order chapter by chapter; you can skip around. I chose to go in order. Basically the book is full of stories of dogs in history (real and fictional), observations about dogs in our homes and lives, and scientific information about things like how dogs evolved and how they came to live with humans. There is a lot of focus on the dog-human relationship and our interactions with them. I love all of Coren's books, and this one is a great intro to his writing and topics. I think this would make a cute gift for someone getting a new dog. Also, I especially liked the little doodles at the beginning of each chapter--they were just very charming to me for some reason and always made me smile.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another one of Stanley Coren's excellent books. It has helped me look my relationship with my dog in a different light.
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3 of 10 people found the following review helpful By mdbiker on September 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found A Modern Dog to be interesting in places but the dry treatment left me, well, dry. Everything was so 'to the point'. It felt like he had little passion for the subject. So if you want a dull documentary with lots of facts, this is for you.
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