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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing insight into the canine mind, 21 Dec 2002
This review is from: Reading the Dog's Mind (Paperback)
There are many books written about canine behaviour but few that start from the premise that dogs actually have a mind. This is what is refreshing about the Holmes' book - they assume that dogs have a form of intelligence that is akin to humans. As they explain in chapter three, this is not surprising, since dogs have evolved alongside humans and we have selected the ones that are most able to 'read our minds' and second-guess our feelings. This was most important in hunter-gatherer societies in which dog and human hunt like a single six-legged entity, telepathically assessing each situation and preparing for the kill and the capture.
One of the most uplifting chapters of the book describes how dogs have saved their owner's lives, purely by intuiting danger before it became obvious: the Canadian farmworker who was trapped beneath a sleeping bullock for three hours until his faithful Collie, sensing the danger and the oncoming night, ran six miles to the farmhouse and roused his wife from her breadmaking; the farmworker in India who waded across a narrow crossing in the upper Ganges just as a flood-bore swept down and swept her away - the family dog followed her for 14 hours along the banks, barking continuously until a whole village came out to save her.
As well as these obvious examples of the canine mind, the authors give more mundane, but equally touching, examples of how man's best friend is also mind's best friend. If you have ever owned a 'problem dog', and know how distressing it is to see that your dog's behaviour is a product of a suffering soul, this book will give you hope and practical advice about how you can change things. Because it is not just the dog that is troubled - the dog is troubled by you. Everything is a relationship and by knowing your dog better, you can come to know yourself as well.
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Reading the Dog's Mind
Reading the Dog's Mind by Mary Holmes (Paperback - Oct 1998)
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