How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You A Better Friend to Your Pet
By John Bradshaw
(Basic Books, Hardcover, 9780465019441, 352pp.)
Publication Date: May 2011
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One of the foremost researchers of animal-human relations offers a pathbreaking analysis of dog behavior, explaining the essentials of canine psychology that all dog lovers need to know.
John Bradshaw is the Waltham Director of the Anthrozoology Institute at the University of Bristol and founder of the Anthrozoology Institute at the University of Southampton. He lives in Southampton, England.
Animal behaviorist John Bradshaw's books Cat Sense and Dog Sense detail what cat and dog owners should expect from their animals. Cat Sense originally aired Sept. 5, 2013. Dog Sense originally aired May 26, 2011. More at NPR.org
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Animal behaviorist John Bradshaw has spent much of his career debunking bad advice given to dog owners. His new book Dog Sense details what pet owners should expect from their dogs â?? and what their dogs should expect in return from their owners. More at NPR.org
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Alexandra Horowitz, author of Inside of a Dog
“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.”
“Every so often we are reintroduced to an old friend, and we may see them in a new light, reinvigorating a long standing relationship. John Bradshaw reintroduces us to mankind’s oldest friend, the dog. He compiles and explains new information on the origin of dogs, their relationship with ancestral wolves and why we need to base our relationship with dogs on partnership and cooperation, not outmoded theories about dominance. Dogs and dog lovers alike will benefit from Bradshaw’s insight.” Publishers Weekly
“Bradshaw…offers an alternative to conventional, dominance-based approaches to understanding dogs (Cesar Milan’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.”
“Bradshaw…provides a well-grounded overview of the Canis family’s evolutionary journey. He also considers dogs’ brainpower, emotional states, sensory capacities and problems that come with breeding for looks rather than temperament. The point of all this science is to lay the foundation for his central thesis…. Ultimately, 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.”
Library Journal“[Bradshaw] reveals a wealth of scholarly literature in biology, psychology, veterinary medicine, and zoology through detailed analyses and uses those findings to support and critique popular dog-training methods. Clear and charming black-and-white drawings illustrate key points…. Pet owners and those interested in the animal mind will learn from this balanced, well-referenced guide to the science of canine behavior.” TusconCitizen.com“In his fascinating new book, John Bradshaw uses ground breaking research into human-animal interactions to reveal the world from a dog’s perspective…. To better understand the canine who shares our home, this crisply written book might be a good place to begin.” Kirkus“Bradshaw draws upon two decades spent studying canine science to debunk the myths surrounding dog ownership…. [F]or readers with well-loved pets who view their canines as family members, there’s much to digest as the author traces the dog’s cognitive growth process as he matures from a sensitive pup into adulthood. Above all, Bradshaw advocates for increased public awareness and education to create healthier relationships between people and their pets.” Dog Fancy “From wolf to worker, the book tracks the evolution of the canine to help owners better understand their dog’s behavior. Bradshaw also reexamines our modern day dog relationship and encourages owners to honor their pets for the unique animals they are.”
Los Angeles Times“Are dogs furry humans or friendly wolves? They’re neither, argues the author who looks at humanity’s effect, for better and for worse, upon its four-legged friends.” New York Post“Move over, Doctor Doolittle, and make way for Dr. John Bradshaw – a British scientist and the author of the new book Dog Sense…. Bradshaw may have the fancy title of anthrozoologist, but his advice for the pet set is simple: Stop looking at your pooch as a dog in wolf’s clothing, don’t leave him home alone in your apartment all day, and try seeing the world through your pup’s eyes – and nose.” Claudia Kawczynska, The Bark
“[A] fascinating book…in which the author provides a compendium of research (both his own and others’) into dogs’ origins and behavior. More specifically, he details their evolution from a wolf-like ancestor into proto-dogs and then the first domesticated species; he also investigates how this very long-term relationship has affected both canines and humans. He goes on to clearly explain how today’s dogs differ behaviorally and culturally from wolves, and why the dominance/pack paradigm put forth by many trainers (including Cesar Milan) is not only the wrong way to understand dogs but has also done them a great disservice. It makes for engrossing and thought-provoking reading.” Salon.com
“In his densely illuminating new book, Dog Sense, John Bradshaw explains how our understanding has been skewed by deeply flawed research, and exploited by a sensationalized media…. Bradshaw…articulates a revolutionary change in thinking in Dog Sense that should liberate both dog and owner from what had so often been portrayed as an adversarial relationship.” People“Debunking the advice of many celebrity trainers, animal behavior expert John Bradshaw urges understanding, not dominance, as the key to human-canine relations.” The American Dog Magazine
“Dog Sense is a fantastically written book about why dogs are progressively becoming less healthy and what we can do about it…. This is a wonderful book to read for us dog-lovers who want to understand where man’s best friend came from and comprehend ‘the world from a dog’s perspective.’”
“Anthrozoologist John Bradshaw summarizes what science can teach us about man’s best friend. Arguing that modern dogs should not be considered domesticated wolves, he asks how we can best breed these social animals to be companions and family pets.”
The Guardian (London)
“[A] passionate book…nothing less than a manifesto for a new understanding of our canine friends…. His account of the evolution of dogs is fascinating.”
Sunday Times (London)
“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…. This book sparkles with explanations of canine behavior.”
“Dog behavior often is mistaken for wolf behavior. And, it’s here that Bradshaw’s book uses research into human-animal interactions to set the record straight.”
“[T]his unusual book is concerned with dogs as a species, no matter what breed, shape or size. There are no charming anecdotes of pets’ winning ways, extraordinary tricks or loveable manners. It is the inner dogginess that [Bradshaw] explores, and its relationship to our own human nature. There are quite a few surprises to report.”
Mail on Sunday (London)
“Bradshaw, founder of the world-renowned Anthrozoology Institute at Bristol University, has spent his career studying animal behaviour and he brings unrivalled expertise to this examination of the relationship between dogs and humans…. [Bradshaw] offers an invaluable guide to the latest scientific thinking on canine behaviour and he has plenty of sensible advice.”
“This is a wonderfully informative, quietly passionate book that will benefit every dog whose owner reads it.” The Independent (London) “[Bradshaw] puts a case grounded in kindness and science for letting dogs be dogs. This is not as tautologous as it sounds: the two most widely held misconceptions about dogs are, first, that they are stupider versions of people and, second, that they are wolves in mufti…. [The book] is authoritative, wise and, in its sharp appreciation of the cost to dogs of living with us, rather moving.” The Sunday Business Post (Dublin)
“The connections [Bradshaw] makes between ancient species down through history and the nuggets of insight he provides from his own lengthy experience working with and studying domestic dogs is truly fascinating. This book is rich in ideas and counter-ideas, and will reward anyone who respects animals, with enlightening chapters on dog behaviour, evolution, training and breeding, causing us to re-examine our relationships with our pets. Bradshaw is not so much trying to convince us with finite answers, as to stimulate a new conversation about dog behaviour with intelligent questions…. Bradshaw’s years of knowledge and his clear passion for dogs both shine through.”
Times Higher Education Supplement (London)“In an overcrowded field, one may feel fully confident when reading biologist John Bradshaw’s thoughts on [man’s best friend]. The latest developments in the newly named field of ‘canine science’ really need the sure hand of a skilled scientist to offer a balanced picture for the interested reader…. Bradshaw makes deft work of summarizing important and novel insights on dog evolution, along the way pointing out the difficulties we face in reaching full conclusions.” Daily Mail (London)
“Bradshaw’s book is a plea for the tolerance and patience that will be needed from us if dogs are to remain ‘as significant a part of human life as they have been for the past ten millennia.’”
Minneapolis Star Tribune
“Bradshaw, a British scientist and watchdog against cruelty to animals, lays out the history and science of dogs in a way that illuminates your own dog’s behavior, for better or worse…. It’s a comprehensive, fascinating and often poignant read.”