How Dogs Work

  • by Raymond Coppinger, Mark Feinstein
  • Narrated by Chris Sorensen
  • 8 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

How well do we really know dogs? People may enjoy thinking about them as "man's best friend", but what actually drives the things they do? What is going on in their fur-covered heads as they look at us with their big, expressive eyes? Raymond Coppinger and Mark Feinstein know something about these questions, and with How Dogs Work, they're ready to share; this is their guide to understanding your dog and its behavior.
Approaching dogs as a biological species rather than just as pets, Coppinger and Feinstein accessibly synthesize decades of research and field experiments to explain the evolutionary foundations underlying dog behaviors. They examine the central importance of the shape of dogs: how their physical body affects behavior, how shape interacts with the environment as animals grow, and how all of this has developed over time. Shape, they tell us, is what makes a champion sled dog or a Border collie that can successfully herd sheep. Other chapters in How Dogs Work explore such mysteries as why dogs play; whether dogs have minds, and if so, what kinds of things they might know; why dogs bark; how dogs feed and forage; and the influence of the early relationship between mother and pup.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Error on my part

I guess I should have paid closer attention to the description of the book. I was way off course, I thought this would be a sort of "feel-good, let me tell you some cool stuff about your best friend" book. It's not. I didn't want to hear about the research and theories about everything concerning dogs. I didn't listen to the entire book but it seemed pretty solid in discussing the scientific aspects of canine research. This maybe the book you but it just wasn't for me.
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- Melissa

Fascinating Look at Dog Behavior

At first I assumed this to be some kind of training book, at least indirectly. It is not. The behaviors it goes over are less about how to teach dogs, and more about why dogs do what they do in a general, scientific sense.

I loved it. I learned so much about dogs as a species, and vicariously about a couple other animals, too.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in dogs going beyond the 'man's best friend' mentality.
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- K.F. Silver

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-31-2016
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio