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In Defence of Dogs: Why Dogs Need Our Understanding by [Bradshaw, John]
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In Defence of Dogs: Why Dogs Need Our Understanding Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 188 customer reviews

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Length: 364 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Page Flip: Enabled

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Review

The most fantastic book ... required reading for dog lovers everywhere ... his style is tolerant, clear and benign and he is interested only in what science can support. His book is a revelation - a major rethink about the way we understand our dogs ... he makes one feel fantastically upbeat about being a dog owner ... there is no doubt about it - Professor John Bradshaw is a dog's best friend (Kate Kellaway Observer )

Every dog lover, dog owner or prospective dog buyer should read this book. It will change how you feel about dogs and, likely enough, how you treat them, too...Sparkles with explanations of canine behaviour (James McConnachie Sunday Times )

Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the complicated psychology behind the growl, the rising hackles and the wagging tail (Roy Hattersley Daily Telegraph )

Scholarly yet passionate ... nothing less than a manifesto for a new understanding of our canine friends ... fascinating (Chris Cox Guardian )

[A] wonderful, reassuring, and encouraging book ... distinguishes canine science from canine folklore (Jonathan Mirsky Literary Review )

Authoritative, wise and, in its sharp appreciation of the cost of dogs of living with us, rather moving (Robert Hanks Independent )

A lovely and clear-headed book on all things dog-emotion, mind, and breed. John Bradshaw's authority and experience are matched by the thoughtfulness and humanity of his writing. Read this before you bring a dog into your life. (Alexandra Horowitz author of 'Inside of a Dog' )

An alternative to conventional, dominance-based approaches to understanding dogs (Cesar Millan's methods, for example) in an informative...guide to how canine biology and psychology determine behavior.... Bradshaw's book is useful to those looking to further their understanding of dog behavior and clarify common misconceptions (Publisher's Weekly )

A well-grounded overview of the Canis family's evolutionary journey...this is what makes the book so appealing. He does more than simply lay out interesting theories; he uses science to advocate for a better life for companion dogs. (The Bark )

About the Author

John Bradshaw is a biologist who founded and directs the world-renowned Anthrozoology Institute, based at the University of Bristol. He has been studying the behaviour of domestic dogs and their owners for over 25 years, and is the author of many scientific articles, research papers and reviews, which have not only shed new light on the dog's abilities and needs, but have also changed the way that dogs are understood and cared for all over the world.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2651 KB
  • Print Length: 364 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1846142954
  • Publisher: Penguin (11 July 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005AGIV7S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 188 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #87,925 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of the most widely held views of dog training is based on two scientific observations. Firstly, that dogs share 99.96% of their DNA with the grey wolves from which they're descended, and secondly, that captive wolves housed in enclosures quarrel and fight until a particular individual is crowned dominant. These two notions have led to the popularisation of the `dominance model' of domestic dog training, an ideology that encourages owners to continuously assert their authority on their furry companion in order to establish themselves as the superior, or alpha.

However, anthrozoologist Dr John Bradshaw has a bone to pick with the dominance model of dog training, and In Defence of Dogs is where he presents his arguments.

Bradshaw's objections are compelling: he notes that, unlike the zoos in which a random assemblage of unrelated wolves are forced into an unnaturally small space, wild wolves of the same pack rarely fight with each other. A wild pack does contain an alpha coupling, but usually these two animals are simply the parents of the individuals that make up the rest of the group. Unfortunately, it is the behaviour of the wolves living in early zoos that have informed much of the opinion circulating around the field of canine biology.

As Bradshaw goes on to explain, this has led to the development and spread of training measures that are pointless (always eat before your dog) and occasionally harmful to the owner-dog relationship (never cuddle your dog). Bradshaw also argues that centuries of domestication has altered the modern dog well beyond application of what can be learned from wild wolves anyway, and subsequently goes on to set out an alternative view of dog training based on what current science has to say about man's best friend.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This intelligently written book presents an evidence-based case for enjoyable and humane relationships between people and dogs. It counteracts wide-spread beliefs about wolf packs, dominance and hierarchy in relation to domestic dogs. Highly recommended if you enjoy critical argument, and very useful for all dog-owners.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As described and could not have arrived quicker.
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Format: Hardcover
If you own or look after a dog then this book should be at the top of your list of priorities. After having spent years trying to figure out which dog trainers to believe I am finally getting the non-stressed, non-guilty relationship with my dog that I have wanted all along. Instead of always feeling bad for not managing to be the perfect 'pack leader' I can now stop blaming myself for the lack of 'obedience' in my dog and just enjoy his quirky and independent personality. It's a shame that I wasted so much time believing all those dog training approaches which kept banging on about how the 'perfect' dog ought to behave when he fully accepts the owner as pack leader.
After having read this book I can relax and enjoy my lovely, bouncy dog without worrying about his behaviour, which, it turns out, was just natural, loving dog behaviour all along. I have completely quit the 'dominant behaviour' approach and I am happy to report that my dog is no more boisterous, challenging or 'difficult' that he was before. In fact I am quite sure he feels more relaxed now that I am more relaxed about him.
Good to finally read a well researched, well thought through, easy to understand, scientific book about what dogs are REALLY like.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excellent book for dog owners and dog lovers. Erudite, informative and interesting. It's a real eye opener to their world, a world we dog owners thought we knew, but as it turned out we really don't. Bradshaw is a fine host to this ever changing world. He writes well, often quite wryly. His research into the millennia of dog history and subsequent domestication is impressive and interesting. I'll never see my dog with the same eyes again, but all the better for that. The accompanying illustrations by Alan Peters are fantastic. And there is a comprehensive and useful reading list for those that want to delve deeper into dog history and psychology.
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Format: Hardcover
Those fo us who are working in positive reward based training are constantly battling against the Cesar Milan brigade who believe we need to treat our dogs as if they were wolves trying to dominate everyone and everything in our lives. This book presents a clear rationale for why this is utter nonsense. Not only are dogs not wolves but the research on wolves is seriously flawed meaning that the basis of the 'dominance' training model is also totally flawed. It gives good analogies to human behaviour which helps understand why punitive methods create dogs who do behave, but they are only behaving because they are scared to put a paw wrong for fear of pain and fear. I do not want to force a dog to live in constant fear and anxiety, that is why I am a reward based trainer, which is fully supported in this book. The book helps me to explain to others why they should use positve reinforcement and not punishment on their dogs.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a first time dog owner and this is the only book of its kind that I've found that is exactly what I was looking for and more. People who say this isn't a dog training book simply don't know how to apply the greater understanding about dogs that this book provides with training and better understanding their dog. I think all dog readers should read this to better understand their dog instead of go along with conventional training techniques. This book explained to me why the citronella bark collar I got for my dog didn't work. It also has given me a clue as to why he barks at other dogs. I never went along with the being dominant and treating my dog like a submissive and this book confirmed that the way I have been treating my dog, more as a friend, has been the best way to communicate and get on with him. The books findings reassures me that the way I have instinctively cared about my dog seems to be the most effective way to care for and treat a dog. I think all dog owners should read this book. I think I remember a review stating it to be a dry read with lots of studies in it, it is not a dry read, it is easy and engaging to read. Yes there are many studies but that is what makes the book so great, it's not just wishy washy trainer beliefs, it is based on the findings of many unbiased studies. And the author summarises these studies into two or three sentences each time and explains the results in clear English and not complex statistics so it's not a difficult academic or boring read. The best book I have on understanding the way my dog thinks.
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