Bradshaw, the Waltham director of the Anthrozoology Institute at the University of Bristol, offers an alternative to conventional, dominance-based approaches to understanding dogs (Cesar Milan’s methods, for example) in an informative if somewhat dry guide to how canine biology and psychology determine behavior. Dogs, he argues, are less similar to wolves than genetics suggest; we must "widen the search for the biological characteristics that make up the dog’s true nature." His analysis of dogs’ emotional landscape provides insight into typical misinterpretations—that dogs feel guilt, say, or that there is a "pack mentality." Save for one section—"Home Alone: Can Dogs be Trained to Cope?"—Bradshaw does not offer training advice. His bailiwick is psychology, in the vein of Alexandra Horowitz’s Inside of a Dog, so readers looking for practical training tips will find this lacking. Bradshaw’s book is useful to those looking to further their understanding of dog behavior and clarify common misconceptions, but those seeking strategies for training should look elsewhere. (June)
Reviewed on: 03/28/2011 Release date: 05/01/2011 Genre: Nonfiction
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