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4.6 out of 5 stars
The Domestic Dog: Its Evolution, Behaviour and Interactions with People
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 23 May 2005
As a graduate of animal management and now a student of animal behaviour, this is a book that I could certainly recommend.
"The Domestic Dog, its evolution, behaviour and interactions with people" edited by the great James Serpell is certainly one reference book you should not be without.
After the Introduction, the book is divided into 3 parts: Domestication and Evolution, Behaviour and Behaviour Problems and Human-dog interaction.
Each of these parts has chapters which are each written by different experts and researchers who are renowned in their fields, such as: Juliet Clutton-Brock, Raymond Coppinger, James Serpell and Roger Mugford to name a few. In all there are 17 different chapters, each focusing on a very specific area.
Naturally the book begins with the Origins of the dog: domestication and early history, followed by the Evolution of working dogs.
The chapters in the second part are: Genetic aspects of dog behaviour with particular reference to working ability, Analysing breed and gender differences in behaviour, Early experience and the development of behaviour, Feeding behaviour of domestic dogs and the role of experience, Social and communication behaviour of companion dogs, The ethology and epidemiology of canine aggression, Canine behavioural therapy, Effects of owner personality and attitudes on dog behaviour.
The third part of the book deals with: Dogs as human companions: a review of the relationship, The welfare of dogs in human care, Variation in dog society: between resource dispute and social flux, Population biology and ecology of feral dogs in central Italy, From paragon to pariah: some reflections on human attitudes to dogs, and finishing up with The hair of the dog.
As you can see this is an all encompassing, scientific book about canis familiaris (excuse the lack of italics!).
In my opinion, this book is ideally suited to students either studying animal management at a-level and degree level, it is not for the faint-hearted, but if you are serious about dogs in the scientific and academic sense, this is the ideal book for you and your assignements.
It is a clearly laid out book, with some very nice clear black and white pictures (as it is printed on nice paper).
Definitely a worthy additon to your bookshelf!
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 17 June 2002
If you are seriously interested in studying the behaviour of dogs this is an excellent book to read. Amongst many other scientifically explored topics it shows how the circumstances surrounding a dogs life can relate to the dogs behaviour. I found I needed to re-read some areas several times to be able to fully appreciate the text, but I don't think this detracted from my enjoyment of this very interesting book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A collection of scientific abstracts on literature research/experiments relating to dogs and their behaviour. Guaranteed to put some dog-related myths to rest.

Among the myriad soft, barely researched, and oft-emotional literature relating to dogs and dog behaviour, this collection of articles stands out as one of the few oases of reliable, science-based facts.

Only minus points:
- I do not detect the logic behind the chosen subjects. The chosen articles are all dog-related, but the weight given to this or that subject seems random. This is perhaps as a result of limitations in available research?
- If you are not used to read scientific material, you might find the style prohibitively dry and put the book down before you even reach the second page.
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on 3 January 2014
This was a gift for a family member who had specifically asked for this book. The condition it came in was fine, exactly as advertised, and speedily despatched so perfectly happy. I can't tell you anything about the book itself as it was a gift and like a good sister I didn't read it myself before gift-wrapping it. My brother thought it was excellent though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 May 2010
Domestic dogs, love em or hate em, this book gives an idea of why they are as they are.
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on 5 January 2015
Love this textbook, so much interesting information, good for students of zoology, or jut someone with an interest in dogs. My advice is not to try and read from page 1, but to use the index to find topic that interest you and read the book that way :)
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on 6 January 2015
Read this book as part of my Diploma in dog behaviour. Very good, but also very scientific with a lot of tables, charts, etc and results and comparisons of experiments, studies, etc.. Not your average book for dog owners.
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on 30 April 2013
I bought this book to supplement the reading on my college class and to be fair I haven't read it from cover to cover, just dipped in and used bits that I need. For that it has been very good
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 23 December 1997
This book is packed with easily understandable, concise information. Whether you are a behaviorist or simply a dog lover, this is a must have.
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on 24 November 2012
a must for anyone seriously interested in dog behaviour related to human-dog interactions. Can be heavy-going but that's the nature of the beast...
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