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on 26 June 2017
Part of my coursework, an excellent reference book, and learning new things every day.
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on 13 March 2017
Loved this book. Well recommend to all dog friends.
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on 12 March 2017
Oh dear. Is Stephen Budiansky supposed to be a scientist? I know there's such a thing as stifling a book with references, but some references for those enormous sweeping statements would be nice. He paints a picture of dogs as "connivers" and "master manipulators" with zero reference at all, glosses over some of the most crucial findings of his betters (Mech, Scott & Fuller etc - It would have been nice if he'd read their stuff in entirety instead of cherry picking to suit his point) and the bit where he says that bladders probably developed to hold urine instead of letting it go continuously, suggesting some kind of bladder-brain intent on some developmental goal is just outright laughable. I stopped reading at the bladder bit as it got just rather ridiculous. I'm unable to read further as I need to submit to my dogs' master purpose and go and feed them before they take over the universe, kill me and have a Napoleonic party instead of a wake.

Just a thought... If dogs' bladders had a higher developmental goal, surely dogs' paws need to get in on the game? They could develop opposable thumbs and cut out the middleman altogether. The future of humanity is clear: forget Planet of the Apes and think Planet of the Dogs.
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on 20 December 2010
Contrary to (only) one of the reviewers of this book and in my capacity as dog owner, breeder, trainer and judge, I found this to be one of the most thoughtful and rigorous attempts to define the relationship between dogs and people I have read. This is a serious, scientific and analytical approach, which clashes with many other more 'touchy feely' books which are around.
I have leant this book to friends and people in the dog club where I train and all of them have really enjoyed it.
If your dog is your 'little princess', you may not appreciate this book!
If, like me, you live with dogs, spending hours of time in their company and sharing your home with them, you will laugh out loud at times, but you will also almost certainly learn some new things about your canine friends, in a positive way.
I thoroughly recommend this book.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 5 December 2005
I have made several business trips to Japan in the past 10 years. The first time I went I was thoroughly unprepared, but before my second trip I bought and read "Culture Shock Japan" - a splendid book which set me straight - even to the point of my Japanese contacts telling me - "You are much better this time, Mark-San. Last time you were like Western Folk Musician!" [not a compliment I suspect...]
This book is in the same league. I have only just read it - having had the privilege of knowing Amber (a Golden Retriever) for 15 years (she died a few months ago) - and I am sure I would have been a better and more understanding owner had I found the book 16 years ago!
Please get this book for ALL your doggy friends - especially for the newer owners.
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on 17 May 2005
An engaging, thought-provoking and witty book. The author tackles both sentimental anthropomorphic cliche and animal activists' opinions about the dog/human relationship head on.
In a book which a scientist may read as a polemic but which never patronises a lay reader, he constantly entertains. Like any good communicator he makes complex scientific theory simple but never simplistic. He does it not to pontificate but to help answer those questions which bug any thoughtful dog lover - Where do dogs come from? Why does my dog wolf his dinner as if he won't eat for another 4 days? What's with the floppy ears? What do I have to do to get him to come? Why do dogs smell each other behinds when they meet? Why are some breeds so doolally?

The strong framework carries a fascinating narrative. Above all, this book is witty. A perfect gift for any dog lover, even those who don't make a habit of reading non-fiction.
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on 22 November 2001
This is a totally comprehensive guide to dogs that's as fresh as its cover. The evolution of every episode of a dogs life is reviewed in a serious but deviously humourous manner. Reading it is like slipping into the dogs skin and living his life for a few hours - an eye opening, earth shattering experience. Many human-dog misunderstandings are exploded so if like me, you love dogs but know little about them you'd better hold on to your hat. I've read many books on animal behaviour but never before have i read one about dogs so this certainly sets the benchmark. After the authors equally colourfull and scientifically accurate book on horses, "The nature of horses," I believe i've made a good choice. If you're a student of animal behaviour or just love dogs, this is a must have, informative read which won't cure insomnia.
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on 6 April 2011
I am suprised that a book written reasonably recently is so dated. He really doesn't understand the idea of training a dog using positive reinforcement. He also talks downright old fashioned discredited nonsense about dominant behaviour in dogs towards humans. He has some dreadful treatments for so called aggressive dominant behaviour, these are outdated and downright cruel and potentially dangerous for all involved. I would suggest dog owners should read something by Turid Rugaas or Scholz and van Reinhardt.I would absolutly not recomend this book to anyone.
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on 25 April 2006
A wonderfully easy and entertaining read but likely to burst your bubble or enrage you if you are an advocate of dog "pop psychology" and have an over pampered pet. Interesting coverage of how dogs have managed to attain their privileged place in human society. Includes some enlightening ideas on how to manage your dog and some useful follow up references. Bought for me by my son to read (to our dog?) on holiday and a refreshing change from my usual rather heavy reading.
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on 29 December 2014
Bought as birthday gift for my husband. We have a rescue dog with quite a history and this book has helped considerably. Although was have had five dogs previously the problems that we have met with Bridget are quite different and this books helps you understand the way dogs are and perhaps to evaluate the information you are fed by other canine experts. My husband was continually quoting from the book as he was reading it.
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