For the Love of a Dog
Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend
By Patricia Phd Mcconnell
(Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345477156, 368pp.)
Publication Date: August 28, 2007
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Yes, humans and canines are different species, but current research provides fascinating, irrefutable evidence that what we share with our dogs is greater than how we vary. As behaviorist and zoologist Dr. Patricia McConnell tells us in this remarkable new book about emotions in dogs and in people, more and more scientists accept the premise that dogs have rich emotional lives, exhibiting a wide range of feelings including fear, anger, surprise, sadness, and love.
In For the Love of a Dog, McConnell suggests that one of the reasons we love dogs so much is that they express emotions in ways similar to humans. After all, who can communicate joy better than a puppy? But not all emotional expressions are obvious, and McConnell teaches both beginning dog owners and experienced dog lovers how to read the more subtle expressions hidden behind fuzzy faces and floppy ears.
For those of us who deeply cherish our dogs but are sometimes baffled by their behavior, For the Love of a Dog will come as a revelation–a treasure trove of useful facts, informed speculation, and intriguing accounts of man’s best friend at his worst and at his very best. Readers will discover how fear, anger, and happiness underlie the lives of both people and dogs and, most important, how understanding emotion in both species can improve the relationship between them. Thus McConnell introduces us to the possibility of a richer, more rewarding relationship with our dogs.
While we may never be absolutely certain what our dogs are feeling, with the help of this riveting book we can understand more than we ever thought possible. Those who consider their dogs part of the family will find For the Love of a Dog engaging, enlightening, and utterly engrossing.
Patricia McConnell, Ph.D., CAAB is an ethologist and certified applied animal behaviorist who has consulted with cat and dog lovers for more twenty-two years. She combines a thorough understanding of the science of behavior with years of practical, applied experience. Her nationally syndicated radio show, Calling All Pets, played in more than 110 cities for fourteen years and her television show Petline played on Animal Planet for two and a half years. She was the behavior columnist for The Bark magazine (“The New Yorker of dog magazines”—Time) and is adjunct professor in Zoology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, teaching “The Biology and Philosophy of Human/Animal Relationships.” Dr. McConnell is a much sought-after speaker and seminar presenter, speaking to training organizations, veterinary conferences, academic meetings, and animal shelters around the world about dog and cat behavior, and on science-based and humane solutions to serious behavioral problems. She is the author of thirteen books on training and behavioral problems, as well as the critically acclaimed books The Other End of the Leash (translated into fourteen languages), For the Love of a Dog, and Tales of Two Species. She lives with her Border Collies, Willie and Maggie, her rescue Cavalier Spaniel, Tootsie, and a very spoiled flock of sheep, and suffers from separation anxiety when she leaves them.
Advance praise for For the Love of a Dog
“For the Love of a Dog is a wonderful book. Fine, balanced, charming, it is sure to appeal to all dog fans whose numbers seem to be increasing (and rightly so) by the day. I read it with great delight.”
–Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, Ph.D., author of Dogs Never Lie About Love
“A step-by-step guide on how to interpret how your dog feels by reading his facial expressions and body posture. A marvelous book that everybody who loves dogs should own.”
–Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation
“Brilliant! For The Love of a Dog is a perfect balance of science and soul. These stories will either keep you up reading long into the night knowing that with your dogs, you love and are loved, need and are needed.”
–Dr. Marty Becker, resident veterinarian on ABC’s Good Morning America and author of Fitness Unleashed!
“A fascinating, highly educational read. McConnell alternates between expressing empathy with our canine friends and taking a step back to explain the scientific limits of any attempt to get into their heads.”
–Frans de Waal, author of Our Inner Ape
“Patricia McConnell skillfully blends cutting edge scientific data with examples from her personal experiences with dogs to produce a clear picture of the emotional life of dogs. In the process we learn more about how the mind of a dog works, and how to better understand and interact with them. This is a ‘must read’ for all dog owners.”
–Stanley Coren, author of The Intelligence of Dogs and How Dogs Think