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If Dogs Could Talk: Exploring the Canine…
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If Dogs Could Talk: Exploring the Canine Mind

by Vilmos Csanyi

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    Dog Behaviour, Evolution, and Cognition (Oxford Biology) by Ádám Miklósi (nsblumenfeld)
    nsblumenfeld: Miklósi and Csányi are colleagues, and have written complementary books. Miklósi's is a methodologically rigorous academic text, an interdisciplinary review of the literature that eschews cute dog stories and folk knowledge and lays out what we are pretty sure we actually know about dog evolution, and the social, perceptual and behavioral world of dogs. Csányi's is a popular rather than academic book, more conversational and willing to look at the anecdotal as well as the empirical.… (more)
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First of all, there's some misunderstanding in the previous review because 'If dogs could talk' is not Ádám Miklósi's book (he wrote an another great book about dogs called 'Dog Behaviour, Evolution, and Cognition') but Vilmos Csányi's...

The world-famous ethologist Vilmos Csányi in this book speaks about something the scientists didn't believe for a long time: the dog's mind. He believes that dogs are 'artificial' animals bred by men and they are much more closer to us than any other animal.

A must read for anyone who had, have or ever will have a dog. ( )
  TheCrow2 | Jan 28, 2010 |
Eotvos University in Budapest, Hungary is the Mecca of canine ethological studies today. The work being done there is brilliant and ground-breaking. So, of course, this new book by Adam Miklosi, the head of the school’s Department of Ethology was a must read for me.

From the author:

"Until now, the study of dogs was hindered by the view that they represent an ‘artificial’ species, but by accepting that dogs are adapted to their niche, as are other ‘natural’ species, comparative investigations can be put into new light."

From a review in Current Biology:

"Whether one is a behavioral geneticist, a population biologist, a psychologist, an anthropologist or just a dog lover, one cannot help but wonder about the lives of dogs and our lives together with them. But even though Darwin began the Origin of Species with examples of dog domestication, and Pavlov’s dogs were the first to reveal to us classical conditioning, until now there has been no place to obtain answers to questions such as these that are based on rigorous scientific research."

"Adam Miklosi’s new book aims to fill this gap and will be a landmark contribution to the study of animal behavior, evolution and cognition. Over the past decade there has been an explosion of interest in dogs and it is this work that Miklosi uses to provide us with the first modern scholarly review of all there is to know about dogs — and the first review of scientific research on dogs since Scott and Fuller’s pioneering book Genetics and Social Behavior of Dogs published in 1974."

"Miklosi himself has been at the center of the surge in research interest on dogs over the past decade. So there is no one in a better position to write the first modern review of dog behavior, cognition and evolution. He has played a leading role in the work of the largest research laboratory working exclusively on dog behavior and cognition, at Eotvos University in Budapest, Hungary. In many ways this book is also a tribute to the hard work of his colleagues. Miklosi and his team have published scores of empirical papers on all aspects of dog behavior and cognition that test phylogenetic, ontogenetic, and even functional explanations of behavior. "

The book is organized into eleven chapters. The first two summarize the history of canine research and discuss conceptual and methodological issues related to the study of behavior. Each of the next eight chapters has a theme: dogs in human society; dogs in comparison to other canids; genetic versus archaeological evidence of domestication; the perceptual world of the dog; physical and environmental cognition in dogs; canine social cognition; behavioral development; and temperament and personality in dogs.

Also from Current Biology:

"This new book is a testament to the bright future of research on dogs. Miklosi has made the case for how important the dog is becoming in the study of animal psychology. The days of dogs being considered artificially created animals for use in conditioning studies have given way to the recognition of the dog’s rich social life requiring it to adapt to the most complex primate of all. With the increasing costs and ethical dilemma often created by keeping nonhuman primates in laboratories, dogs may provide a particularly attractive option in the future for psychologists interested in studying the cognitive processes in nonhuman animals (pet dogs are recruited for non-invasive research as in studies of humans). Miklosi’s new book will be a central fixture in all future work on dogs, as it will be the first place that students and experts alike will go to review unfamiliar topics or search for new research ideas. And it is not just researchers who will benefit. The book will be essential reading for all those using dogs as helpers for the handicapped, assistants to law enforcement, or just those who want to understand their best friend a little better."

If you are a dog lover or a student of animal behavior - you NEED this book. ( )
  SmartDogs | Oct 25, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0865476861, Hardcover)

Every dog owner knows intuitively that there's something special about the high degree of mutual understanding and empathy that exists between humans and their proverbial best friends. Now, an internationally renowned Hungarian ethologist (a specialist in the scientific study of animal behavior) traces the roots of this unique relationship back to the unusual circumstances in which the two species co-evolved over many millennia.

Drawing in part on close observations of his own two pet dogs, Flip and Jerry, the author argues that the longstanding alliance of dogs and humans arose from behavioral traits present in the original wolves from which all modern dogs are descended. Wolves, like humans, are highly intelligent social predators, with well-developed cooperative problem-solving and communications skills, giving them distinct advantages in their developing relations with humans. These basic intellectual skills were refined and enhanced over tens of thousands of years, resulting in the enormously varied "artificial animals" we see today.

Although the book's specific focus is on dogs, it ranges far afield to discuss in an easy-going, accessible style recent experimental and theoretical work on the behavior of other animals, and especially on their interactions with humans. A highly personal work, If Dogs Could Talk makes the case that the social and emotional bonds between dogs and humans are indeed special, and that they ought to form the basis for our treatment of dogs. Moreover, the author concludes, by closely observing the cognitive behavior of dogs, we can also learn a good deal about how the human mind works.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:53:17 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"How do dogs think? After a decade of research, the noted ethologist Vilmos Csanyi has captured the high degree of mutual understanding and empathy that exists between humans and their proverbial best friends." "Drawing in part on close observation of his own dogs, Flip and Jerry, Csanyi argues that the long-standing alliance of dogs and humans arose from the problem-solving and communication skills evident in wolves, from which all modern dogs are descended. These basic intellectual skills were refined and enhanced as dogs and humans evolved together over tens of thousands of years. And because dogs were bred to be mankind's helpmates, the dog owner who knows what to look for can interpret his pet's thoughts, desires, and motivations."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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