cover image The Year of the Puppy: How Dogs Become Themselves

The Year of the Puppy: How Dogs Become Themselves

Alexandra Horowitz. Viking, $28 (304p) ISBN 978-0-59329-800-8

Horowitz (Our Dogs, Ourselves), head of Barnard College’s Dog Cognition Lab, charts the first year of a puppy’s life in this splendid dog behavior explainer. Aiming to “keep a lens firmly on the puppy’s point of view,” Horowitz offers a week-by-week milestone breakdown that starts with puppies as just a “splodge of fur” whose hearts beat 220 beats a minute. By one week old, they’re “sweet potatoes with ears, feet, and a tail.” At week three they’re able to “sense” humans’ presence, and by week eight, pups’ personalities have begun to develop. Along the way, Horowitz describes how dogs and humans coevolved to meet each others’ needs (the animals, for instance, “show more attachment to the people who adopt them than the mother who birthed them”), ruminates on what one’s furry friend might be thinking about going outside, and whips up creative ways to socialize Quiddity, a pup she adopted and raised during the pandemic. Animal lovers will eat this up. Agent: Kristine Dahl, Curtis Brown. (Sept.)