How Dogs Think
Understanding the Canine Mind
It's been said that dogs personify all the virtues of humans without the vices. Henry James wrote that his dog was "most reasonable and well-mannered" and Plato that "a dog has the soul of a philosopher." Over the years, dogs have taught us many things: loyalty, courage, and to turn around three times before lying down. Yet even in the face of millennia of evidence of thoughtful dogs, there has been little systematic scientific study until recently of what is actually going on in the dog's mind, and some people even question whether dogs have the capacity for that which we call mind. In this long-anticipated new book, written in the vein of his enormously popular The Intelligence of Dogs and How to Speak Dog, Dr. Stanley Coren looks at both the heights of intellect and the depth of our misunderstanding of what goes on in a dog's mind.
A bestselling author, psychologist, and world-renowned expert on dog behavior and training, Dr. Coren is always at the forefront of discoveries about dogs. With his ever-entertaining, erudite style, he provides a fascinating picture of the way dogs interpret their world and their owners, how they solve problems, learn, and take in new information. Dr. Coren lets you see through a dog's eyes, hear through his ears, and even sense the world through a dog's nose, giving you the insight that you need to understand the silly, quirky, and apparently irrational behaviors that dogs demonstrate, as well as those stunning flashes of brilliance and creativity that they occasionally display. Along the way, How Dogs Think will answer the questions about which you have always wondered, including: Can dogs count? Do they have an appreciation of art or music? Can a dog learn how to do something by just watching another dog or even a person do it? Do dogs dream? What is the nature of dog personality? Which behaviors are prewired into your dog and which can you actually change? And, can dogs sense future earthquakes or detect cancer?
With information not widely known to lay people, this lively guide also provides practical advice and wisdom that allows owners to discover the best ways to teach dogs new things, why punishment doesn't work, how a dog can actually learn to love or to fear, and how to turn that new puppy into a "perfect," emotionally sound, inquisitive, happy, and obedient dog.
Combining solid science with numerous funny, informative anecdotes and firsthand observations -- all characterized by Dr. Coren's own searching intelligence and his (and sometimes his dogs') irrepressible sense of humor -- How Dogs Think shatters many common myths and misconceptions about our four-legged friends and reveals a wealth of surprises about their mental abilities and intellectual potential.
- Atria Books, June 2005
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