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Dog's Best Friend: Annals of the Dog-Human Relationship Hardcover – June, 1997

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Journalist Derr, whose March 1996 Atlantic Monthly article, "The Politics of Dogs," was the basis of this book, traces the history of the dog-human relationship. Describing the breeding/development of dogs from wild wolves to domestics of all sizes, shapes, and functions, he outlines dogs' natural instincts for herding, guarding, drug searching, etc., as well as the physical and mental characteristics required for each kind of activity. Derr's interviews with breeders, blind persons, and others who work with dogs provide firsthand examples of dogs at work and play. The author is quick to point out that dogs are individuals and that being of a specific breed does not guarantee personality or performance; he suggests careful selection before training. Derr's informal narrative style makes for easy reading of a complex subject. For popular pet collections.?A. Louis Shor, DVM, Veterinary Consultant, Mt. Laurel, N.J.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Popular as Thomas' Hidden Life of Dogs (1993) was, readers debated her allowing her husky to wander Cambridge on his own and the book's conclusion: "what dogs want" is interaction with each other. Derr's "Politics of Dogs" in the March 1990 Atlantic Monthly produced controversy, too: it urged the American Kennel Club and similar groups to impose tougher controls on appearance-only breeding and puppy mills. Derr's book grew from that article; it sketches the evolution of "the dog-human relationship," examines types of dogs and the genetic and cultural roots of specific dog behaviors, and offers dozens of anecdotes on dogs in nonpet situations (on the Iditarod sled dog race, herding sheep on a Navajo reservation, training for dog shows or Frisbee contests, serving as guides and service dogs, etc.). Show-oriented dog fanciers won't agree with Derr; neither will some People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals members, as the author approves using dogs to perform various functions. But average dog lovers will find much to relish here. Mary Carroll
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Co; 1st edition (June 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805040633
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805040630
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,871,402 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is certain to raise howls from the members of the AKC! It is scathing in its discussion of breed registration and the responsibility of the AKC in the production of unfit animals. Any person looking for a pure bred pet must read this first. The book brings to mainline dog lovers the knowledge serious dog trainers have been saying to each other for some time- breeding "for Pretty" damages the animals.

There is room for debate on several of Mr. Derr's contentions, but by and large he has brought important information to light that anyone loving dogs should be concerned about. He has also done it in a compelling fashion without pedantics.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The seller sold me this book as promised and on time, I only gave 4 stars because I have not completed it. I'm sure to up mthe stars to 5 when completed, I will use this seller again in the future. Thanks So Much!
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Format: Paperback
Very easy to understand and the author presents such brilliant theories. I have read other books about dogs and found them boring and so much less interesting. I would recommend this to anyone doing research or anyone who wants some information about dogs.
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