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Why Does My Dog Act That Way?: A Complete…
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Why Does My Dog Act That Way?: A Complete Guide to Your Dog's Personality

by Stanley Coren

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Amusing, erudite and very informative. I was skeptical when I picked this up, fearing it would be another touchy-feely "love your doggie" sort of book. It's not. Coren is a scientist, pure and simple. He's also an unapologetic, unreconstructed Darwinist of the Dawkins school, which gets huge points from this reader. Highly recommended for dog-owners. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Not as good as Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs. The book had many, many amusing anecdotes in it - Nixon's Bouvier de Flanders bit him on the butt when he wasn't moving fast enough - but it seemed to lack focus. I've read many, many dog training and dog development books so the information about early socialization was nothing new. I tend to rate dog books a bit low because I'm looking for something new and beyond introductory. The most interesting part of the book, to me, was on brain stimulation/potential growth in older dogs. I haven't heard a lot on how to keep your older dog active and sharp, and since my own boy is really an elderly dog now, that is an issue close to home. Worth reading of course, but I have great respect for this researcher/author and was hoping for more. ( )
  cammykitty | Jan 15, 2012 |
I read Coren's How Dogs Think earlier this year, and there's a fair degree of overlap between that tome and this. Which is not to say that material's repeated (although it is, to an extent), but is, perhaps, to suggest that the two might have more sensibly been amalgamated into a single book.

The most interesting/fun bit of this book, for me, was the dog questionnaire buried in the central section. This consisted of six sets of ten questions that attempted to give your hound a grading for six attributes (energy, dominance, problem solving, sociability, emotional reactivity and anxiety). The book then includes, as an appendix, a ranking of the purebred breeds on this scale, so that you can, allegedly, see how your dog compares to the 'norm'.

Whilst, as I said, this was fun, it didn't really tell me anything about Mali that I wasn't already aware of (for example, he's very sociable, and has high energy). And whilst I was expecting that the book might then go on and discuss the ramifications of this, it didn't. Instead it went on to talk about selective breeding programmes (including an uncomfortable diversion into the world of dog-fighting), and then finally closed with tales of heroic acts by dogs, and how these might be explained in terms of a gene's-eye-view of evolutional theory.

So, it was a fun read (for the most part), and informative, but ultimately proved something of a 'frothy' read. ( )
  if0x | May 10, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743277066, Hardcover)

We've shared our lives with dogs for thousands of years, but they still act in ways that baffle us. Do you ever look at Ginger's body language and wonder what she's about to do? Do you wish you could predict how King will act when brought into a new situation or meeting a new person? Do you compare your sweet, mild-mannered dog with your neighbor's aggressive, unruly canine and wonder where your neighbor went wrong? In short, do you ever wonder why dogs act that way?

This new book by the undisputed expert on dog behavior, intelligence, and training, Stanley Coren, answers all these questions and more. For many years, most people -- even scientists -- mistakenly believed that dogs were simply domesticated wolves, with natures, minds, and behaviors significantly diminished from those of their wild cousins. But recent discoveries have demonstrated that dogs are actually much more complex than wolves, coyotes, foxes, and other wild canines; their ability to adapt to a man-made world is far more flexible, and their personalities are far more diverse. Using the fascinating findings from scientific experiments by dog breeders and the domestication of foxes and wolves, Coren re-creates the story of how dogs evolved over time into the myriad forms and breeds we love today. With specific information on which breeds were bred to become more dominant, affectionate, cooperative, or even dangerous, this practical, surprising book can help you to select a new companion or simply to understand your old friend better.

In "Why Does My Dog Act That Way?" Dr. Coren also presents for the first time a simple, fun test you can administer to your own dog to get a detailed picture of his personality.Based on the personality-profiling questionnaires used in human psychological studies, the "Dog Behavior Inventory" is a straightforward, user-friendly test to help you analyze the personality of your dog in relation to other members of his breed. Using the findings of the U.S. Army's once-classified studies of "Superdogs," you, too, can train your pet to become a "superdog" -- a friendly, calm, confident, "bomb-proof" dog that is not disturbed, angered, or frightened by much of anything. New, exciting data also explain the characteristics that make some dogs act heroically -- the real-life equivalents of Lassie and Rin Tin Tin who spontaneously act to save human lives.

So, why does your dog act the way he does? You'll soon find out in this uniquely complete guide to dog psychology, filled with all the entertaining anecdotes and scientific data that Coren's avid followers have come to expect and enjoy.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:58 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

For years, even scientists mistakenly believed that dogs were simply domesticated wolves. But recent discoveries have demonstrated that dogs are actually much more complex than their wild cousins--their ability to adapt to a man-made world is far more flexible, and their personalities are far more diverse. Using findings from scientific experiments by dog breeders and the domestication of foxes and wolves, Coren re-creates the story of how dogs evolved into the myriad forms and breeds we love today. With specific information on which breeds were bred to become more dominant, affectionate, cooperative, or even dangerous, this practical, surprising book can help you to select a new companion or simply to understand your old friend better. Coren also presents a simple, fun test you can administer to your own dog to get a detailed picture of his personality. You, too, can train your pet to become a friendly, calm, confident, "bomb-proof" dog.--From publisher description.… (more)

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