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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
Psychology professor and dog person Horowitz was studying the ethology (the science of animal behavior) of white rhinos and bonobos at the San Diego Zoo when she realized that her research techniques could just as easily apply to dogs at the local dog park; there, she began to see "snapshots of the minds of the dogs" in their play. Over eight years of study, she's found that, though humans bond with their dogs closely, they're clueless when it comes to understanding what dogs perceive-leading her to the not-inconsequential notion that dogs know us better than we know them. Horowitz begins by inviting readers into a dog's umwelt-his worldview-by imagining themselves living 18 inches or so above the ground, with incredible olfactory senses comparable to the human capacity for detailed sight in three dimensions (though dogs' sight, in combination with their sense of smell, may result in a more complex perception of "color" than humans can imagine). Social and communications skills are also explored, as well as the practicalities of dog owning (Horowitz disagrees with the "pack" approach to dog training). Dog lovers will find this book largely fascinating, despite Horowitz's meandering style and somnolent tone.
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.
"...causes one's dog-loving heart to flutter with astonishment and gratitude..." -The New York Times
"...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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I love the personal stories that are sprinkled throughout the book about the author and her dog. It brings a bit of a personal note to the text and reminded me of special moments that I've had with my dogs. Additionally, although the book is written by a cognitive scientist, it is written in a manner that can be enjoyed by a wide audience.
My only hang up is that I felt the book could've been even more focused on the cognitive abilities of dogs without so many side notes (about rat testing, genomic mapping in foxes, etc.). These asides are not overwhelming, by any means, but my expectations were that the book would focus on dogs' abilities, so that led to my less than perfect rating. Overall, this book is an enjoyable and informative read!