Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You A Better Friend to Your Pet

Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You A Better Friend to Your Pet

John Bradshaw

Language: English

Pages: 352

ISBN: 0465053742

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

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.



















free-ranging dogs (Canis familiaris) in relation to sex, season, place and posture,” Applied Animal Behaviour Science 80 (2003): 45–59. 12. Ádám Miklósi and Krisztina Soproni, “A comparative analysis of animals’ understanding of the human pointing gesture,” Animal Cognition 9 (2006): 81–93. 13. The UK charity Medical Detection Dogs ( has recently trained an affenpinscher to alert its owner to onsets of hypoglycemia. This flat-faced toy dog may seem an unlikely

dogs may therefore carry American wolf genes from one or more long-distant male ancestors; research should be able to resolve this soon. What is clear, however, is that no female American timber wolves were successfully domesticated. It is impossible to determine, thousands of years after the event, whether the reason for this outcome is that American wolves were intrinsically difficult to domesticate or that the first human colonizers of the Americas, having brought their own dogs with them from

to the possibility of cheating; animals that threaten first and most emphatically may win even when they are no bigger than their opponent. If two dogs know each other, then their memories of previous disputes are also available to be taken into account. If not, then they may use information they’ve gathered during encounters with similar-looking dogs, perhaps even during disputes between other dogs that they have watched. However, prior acquaintance is not absolutely necessary: The RHP model can

time—and may even avoid the place where it found the food.9 These straightforward examples posit the presence of an immediate reward or punishment to trigger learning. However, other equally important types of behavior are not associated with any obvious reward and therefore must be performed simply because they make the animal feel good—in other words, happy. In the autumn, squirrels bury nuts in the ground rather than eat them so that they will have food for the winter. It is unlikely that a

transfer of skills from parent to offspring, and the longer the young are dependent on the parents, as in the canid “family pack,” the more frequent are the opportunities for this to occur. Thus there is good reason to conclude that dogs should have inherited some potential for learning from one another. This is not to say that one dog deliberately teaches another in the way that we teach our children. Biologists who study how one animal learns from another usually try to use simple explanations

Download sample