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What Is My Dog Thinking?: The Essential Guide to Understanding Pet Behavior Hardcover – September 10, 2002

24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gwen Bailey is the Animal Behaviorist for The Blue Cross, Britain's largest animal welfare charity. She is the author of several books about pet care including Rescue Dog and The Perfect Puppy.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Thunder Bay Press (September 10, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1571458700
  • ISBN-13: 978-1571458704
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #629,292 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Friends often ask how I can be writing 'another' book about dogs, but there is so much to say. You never stop learning about dogs, which is why they are so fascinating and why I am so lucky to have had a career that has invovled them for so long.

I try to make sure that everything I write helps to enhance the life of dogs in some way. They are vulnerable, emotional creatures in a cruel world and need our love and protection. Aggressive owners produce aggressive dogs so all techniques are gentle and friendly, espeically for puppies. You don't need to be domineering with dogs to be successful.

I have been lucky enough to spend all of my adult life, and a lot of my childhood, learning from some of the great trainers and behaviourists. My books pass on as much of that knowledge as I am able to give, put together with all the things I have learnt over the years from the dogs themselves.

I hope they help you with your dog, to solve problems, train him or her to have good manners, and to give both of you a better life than before.

For those of you who have cats, there is just one of my books for you too.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is a short review, as it is a short book. "What is My Dog Thinking" is a satisfactory overview of various canine behaviors and their meanings. This overview didn't offer much that I haven't read elsewhere. Also disappointing was its lack of instruction on how to address certain dog "feelings" - for example, if I can interpret that my dog is fearful, what are some basic ways that I can help my dog deal with this fear?
That said, for its price and the time it takes to read it and occasionally refer back to it, it probably is a worthwhile purchase for a dog owner or prospective dog owner, even if it is somewhat lacking. However, it would not be my first choice.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Judy K. Polhemus VINE VOICE on November 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover
"What is my dog thinking?" is a pure delight--both fun and informative! The reader will be so pleased to learn the meaning behind specific dog behaviors.

For example, why does a dog lick its owner's face? Originally, dogs in the wild licked their parents' faces for regurgitated food. Sometimes that was how feeding was done. However, your licking dog is not instinctively asking for a regurgitation: He is simply showing that you are the dominant one in the "pack" of his family.

Dogs are very much pack animals and do not like to be left alone. If you come home and he has scattered your personal things around him, he is just seeking your scent for reassurance that he is still part of a pack and that you will return.

A dog will acquiesce to your commands because as a pack animal, he is being cared for by the leader. He belongs, feels secure. The reason a dog likes to play fetch is a throw-back to the days dogs sought out and killed prey for food. The toy bone or ball is prey once again, marking the faint echoes of another time and place. There are just so many things to learn about dog behavior both with people and other dogs.

Another great aspect of this book is the number of pictures--at least two, sometimes three, that's per page, to demonstrate a behavior. So text and picture work in tandem to provide explanations. This is also a well-made book, which should extend its lifetime.

I intend to donate this book to the school library where I work. It will be a great hit with children of all ages. Actually, the 96-page book was probably designed with children in mind. (Warning: There are a couple of pictures showing mounting behaviors. I found them appropriate in explaining behavior children will surely see at some point. Also, the very young will probably find the pictures funny without further ado.)

Oh yes, I immediately ordered the companion book, "What is my cat thinking?"
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By L. Carol on November 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This skimpy little book has a catchy title and full-coloured pictures but does not add much to an observant dog owner what he/she already knows. While the book maybe a quick read to prospective or new owners, I would recommend "Puppies for Dummies" by Sarah Hodgson which gives you the A-Z of raising those cute but oftentimes wilful pups and "The Only Dog Training Book You Will Ever Need: From Avoiding Accidents to Banishing Barking, the Basics For Training a Well-Behaved Dog" by Gerilyn J. Bielakiewicz, Andrea Mattei which discusses the highly effective method of clicker training for dogs at length. These books were major life-savers as I was a complete novice when I adopted my 3-month old Pembroke Welsh Corgi a month ago. I picked up insightful and no-nonsense tips off of the "Dummies" series and taught my pup over 10 commands with ease in just days (!) with the aid of a clicker. Betsy Brevitz's "Hound Health Handbook" is also another excellent reference book which offers credible advice from a writer-turned-vet behind the award-winning site. These books are must-reads for owners who are experiencing problems instilling discipline/obedience in their dogs, not least prospective owners who are contemplating what breed to buy and the pros and cons as well as problems and the how-tos of adopting a dog(s) to complete their lives.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John A. Lefcourte VINE VOICE on November 30, 2014
Format: Hardcover
A well written book on basic dog behavior for individuals w/o much information on dogs. Clear descriptions and great photographs describe and show the physical characteristics displayed by dogs experiencing their different emotions.

Probably no new information for the experienced dog owner but a good refresher.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The cutest and most helpful book on dog behaviour. This book helped my wife see that our "baby" was not being malicious when she chewed the paper towels, toilet paper, slippers and shoes only to leave them scattered on the floor, but really just making sure that the scent of "her mommy" could be smelled all around as a way of protection.

This is especially helpful with children, as the photos that accompany the stated behaviour allows small children to focus on what they need to look for and see in dogs. I have purchased this book several times as gifts to those people who have expressed some frustration with their new arrival (their pet) in their family.
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Format: Hardcover
This is not a training book. This is a short, simple first look at basic dog behavior. Dogs aren't people. Dogs say what they mean and mean what they say, so this is important! I work with dogs alone and dogs with owners and I've read extensively. Text is simple and to the point. The photos are quite good. I especially like her section on hands, touch, and respecting a dog's sensory organs. I would recommend it to new owners, young adults, and inquisitive children. You can pick it up and put it down or use it for reference. A great beginner's primer to understand basic canine communication, to grow trust and respect, and to keep things safe.
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