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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.
©2015 The University of Chicago; foreword copyright 2015 by Gordon M. Burghardt (P)2016 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By K.F. Silver on 03-14-17

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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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Angie on 12-09-16

the reader was so horrible I skipped the intro!!

the way he spoke held on too long at the end of his sentence. it would've been fine if he was using it for a character's voice or emphasis, but it became obvious it was his manner of speaking. I simply couldn't focus on the words. I'm very disappointed because I'm certain it has great information. sigh.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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