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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 20 February 2010
First, I've read all Temple Grandin's books but don't get both "Animals Make Us Human" and this one as they are identical!

Further, this book is basically a rehash of "Animals in Translation" with some new information but missing the most fascinating last few pages where she offered her theory that it is animals that have humanised us. Both books offer many insights about animals and how they function, simultaneously creating a better awareness of human behaviours. In both books Grandin explains that "All animals and people have the same core emotion systems in the brain" then discusses the core emotions of SEEKING, RAGE, FEAR, PANIC & PLAY in subsequent chapters (other core emotions she mentions, LUST and CARE, are overlooked).

She approaches her subject with a system. "The rule is simple: Don't stimulate RAGE, FEAR, and PANIC if you can help it, and do stimulate SEEKING and also PLAY." She shows how to recognise emotional states in animals and gives advice on avoiding negative reactions. All animals are frightened by new things - and all animals are attracted to new things. It all depends on how it's presented - forcibly or voluntarily.

Grandin is an animal behaviourist known for her humane slaughterhouse designs. All her books, written in a scholarly and folksy way, are thought-provoking and suffused with a profound commitment to treating animals with understanding and respect. She is autistic and it seems an autistic perspective, while limiting in some ways, enables a deeper understanding of animals and in some ways also of ourselves. Although not meant to be, it is an important book on child psychology too.

Grandin uncovers research proving that a number of our assumptions about dogs and cats are wrong. Dogs, for example, descend from wolf families, not packs, and are looking for a parent, not an alpha. Horses' fear and flight responses are the basis of their survival in the wild and training them requires reassurance, not breaking.

Here's the chapter list:
1. What do animals need?
2. A dog's life
3. Cats
4. Horses
5. Cows
6. Pigs
7. Chickens and other poultry
8. Wildlife
9. Zoos
10. Afterword: Why do I still work in the industry?

While some animal "experts" appear to disagree violently with her, Grandin's take on animals always sparks reflection. In Grandin's view, if people paid attention to the emotional lives of the creatures that depend on them, all would have a better quality of life. In my view, this includes humans.
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on 10 July 2010
Wow. Now I understand why chasing the cat out of my bedroom doesn't actually train her to stay out of there. (1, you can't train cats with negative reinforcement and 2, after the first second, I'm effectively punishing her for moving in the direction I want her to go.) It's counter-intuitive, but when she explains it, it makes sense. It also explodes quite a lot of myths, like wolves living in packs with alphas, and cats being anti-social, and that can only be good for understanding animals better.

I'm very interested in animal psychology and behaviour, and I'm thinking of retraining to work with animals. This book was very useful and inspiring for that.

I think the only caveat I'd give is that the later chapters are heavily industry-based. Obviously you can apply the basic ideas to your own arrangement. But if you have, say, a pig or three chickens in the garden, the pig and poultry chapters won't be much direct help - I'm still not really sure how to get the cockerel to stop attacking me, though I have some ideas regarding distractions and not provoking fear and rage.
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on 16 July 2009
what a fantastic book!! I own dogs and thought I knew a lot about them. If you feel the same way THINK AGAIN.
I can't recommend this book highly enough and topics Temple Grandin brings up are worthy of note, and I wholy agree with her especially in the dog section as that is the field I am most interested in.Making Animals Happy: How to Create the Best Life for Pets and Other Animals
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on 26 April 2011
I was expecting this book to help me understand what really makes animals tick and it didn't disappoint. Lots of great real life stories which were easy to relate to and understand. If you are passionate about animals I would highly recommend this book.
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on 14 May 2012
Interesting observations and advice particularly regarding the FEAR response and negative reinforcement which is so often an issue many of us, no matter how well meaning, are guilty of when dealing with animals, domestic or wild.
Temple Grandin communicates with us all, raising awareness and empathy without inflicting too much guilt!

Well worth reading and keeping handy for future reference.
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on 6 July 2009
Oh my goodness!! What a fabulous woman!! I have three dogs of my own and after reading this book it has really made me understand my dogs in many ways, i have noticed this i would not have done before and i now have a much clearer understanding of how animals (not just dogs) think. This woman is so clever and sshe explains everything very clearly, this is a really easy read for anyone with an intrest in animals of all kind from dogs and cats to chickens and gerbils! this woman knows it all!! The best book i've read in ages. i MUST read for all animal lovers and trainers!
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on 22 April 2013
As a great admirer of Temple Grandin and her excellent work I was looking forward to reading another of her books. However, I was disappointed to find that I already owned the same book under a different title. Did I miss something when making my second purchase?

The content is excellent and easy to read.
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on 31 January 2013
Yes I found the book quite interesting although there is only a small section on cats, which is mainly why I purchased this book.
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on 6 July 2009
Fascinating insight into how and why animals behave. I am just left wishing there was more detail for each species. A book on each would be great!
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on 1 July 2009
As I have a rescue dog I found the book very useful and helpfulMaking Animals Happy: How to Create the Best Life for Pets and Other Animals
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