Wynne, an Arizona State University psychology professor and founding director of the school’s Canine Science Collaboratory, argues that “dogs’ love is the cornerstone of the dog-human relationship” in his entertaining first book. He challenges previous theories positing that dogs enjoyed their “special relationship with humans” thanks to a “unique form of intelligence” allowing them to understand human “communicative intentions.” In one experiment, Wynne and his colleagues found evidence that wolves raised by humans can manifest this same trait, conveying to him that the dog-human bond rests on a different foundation. In another experiments, they led a dog into a room to find its owner in one spot and a bowl of food in another; the result suggested that “most dogs prefer to be with their person [to being] fed.” Wynne also recounts the research of others, including fMRIs of dog brain activity during interactions with owners. The book only falters with Wynne’s overly ambitious assertion that emotions as humans know them translate directly into canines’ lived experience. But dog lovers will be fascinated and the takeaway message that “we can do better for our dogs,” by keeping in mind that dogs feel a meaningful emotional connection to their human owners and thus should be treated respectfully and considerately, is solidly supported. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 05/10/2019 Release date: 09/24/2019 Genre: Nonfiction
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