Dog Sense

Dog Sense

How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You A Better Friend to your Pet

eBook - 2011
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"Dogs have been mankind's faithful companions for tens of thousands of years, yet today they are regularly treated as either pack-following wolves or furry humans. The truth is, dogs are neither--and our misunderstanding has put them in serious crisis. What dogs really need is a spokesperson, someone who will assert their specific needs. Renowned anthrozoologist Dr. John Bradshaw has made a career of studying human-animal interactions, and in Dog Sense he uses the latest scientific research to show how humans can live in harmony with--not just dominion over-- their four-legged friends. From explaining why positive reinforcement is a more effective (and less damaging) way to control dogs' behavior than punishment to demonstrating the importance of weighing a dog's unique personality against stereotypes about its breed, Bradshaw offers extraordinary insight into the question of how we really ought to treat our dogs"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Basic Books, c2011
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xxiv, 324 p.) : ill


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Jan 08, 2017

Interesting book.

Nov 11, 2016

I love her voice. She could read the dictionary and I would listen.

Not knowing anything about her, I had no expectations. She is very much like David Sedaris - cutting and witty. Loved the delivery of history and information about Hawaii about which I knew nothing. Never been there - but if I go I will look at it with a bit of knowledge.

Sep 16, 2013

For dog guardians who want to understand their companions, this is a smart book based on up to date research. Among the book's useful gems is the author's recounting of the research flaws that led to the belief that dogs are obsessed with dominance. He explains that a wolf pack in the wild is a family unit, with older siblings hanging around for a year or two before leaving to start their own family. The research that got the whole dominance thing going was on captive wolves who were not related to each other, trapped in close quarters. Sort of like judging human psychology by what you see in a prison yard, eh? - See more at:

Sep 09, 2013

There is a great deal of interesting perspectives in this book. One should never follow one trainer exculsively or one method for as the dog and owners change so should the training improve. Take it all in, absorb it and find what works best for you and your dog. Good insights here if maybe a little "old school".

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in animals! They don't think or see the way we expect. It's worth getting to understand them a little better, so we can find ways to get what both the human and the dog want!

Dreneen Jun 16, 2012

Quite liking this (and not just because he shares my much less educated POV about dogs and the myth of dominance). Some new pieces of research I hadn't read, interesting perspectivies--not just a repeat of similar books. Worth a look

ksoles Jul 16, 2011

In "Dog Sense," John Bradshaw (Director of the Anthrozoology Institute at the University of Bristol) outlines current beliefs in the science of dog behaviour. Most interestingly, he debunks the pack theory made so popular by Cesar Millan that assumes an owner has to assume the "alpha" personality in order to keep his/her dog under control.

Bradshaw dedicates the first third of his book to detailing the evolution of domestic dogs. In short, the wolves from whom our pets evolved no longer exist; today's wolves are the products of constant harassment by humans in the form of hunting, observation and territorial invasion. Whereas puppies exhibit friendliness to both humans and to other dogs, wolves show no sociability to either humans or to wolves outside the pack. Thus, if our beloved dogs truly responded to dominance-based training, no two dogs from different households would ever play together and all would be extremely wary of other humans. Bradshaw presents compelling evidence to support this discussion, so much in fact that the first 100 pages become extremely tedious and ultimately unhelpful in explaining how to apply such evidence to improving canine-human relationships.

The book briefly touches on the science of dog training and contains engaging chapters on canine brain power and emotional sophistication (or lack thereof) before ending with a diatribe against "pedigree" dog breeding. Puppy mill operators and certain show breeders certainly fail to consider animal welfare but a meticulous attack on inhumane pet owners does little to enlighten readers on how to be better friends to their pets.

debwalker Jun 19, 2011

Debunking the advice of many celebrity trainers, animal behaviour expert John Bradshaw urges understanding, not dominance, as the key to human-canine relations.


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Jun 07, 2011

"Personally, I'm delighted that the most recent scientific evidence backs up an approach to managing dogs that I'm comfortable with. as a scientist as well as a dog lover, I am dedicated to assessing the best evidence available and then deciding on the most logical approach to adopt. If wild wolf packs had turned out to as fraught with tension as their counter parts in zoos, I'd have to agree that the dominance approach had merit. I'd still be reluctant to adopt punishment rather than reward as my philosophy for training my dog, because for me the whole point of having a dog is the company it brings, and dominance and companionship don't jibe for me. As a dog owner, I was relieved. By the discrediting of the wolf-pack idea, since I could then explain to myself and more importantly, to others why routinely punishing a dog is not only unnecessary but also counterproductive."


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