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Publisher's Summary

Alexandra Horowitz, the author of the lively, highly informative New York Times best-selling blockbuster Inside of a Dog, explains how dogs perceive the world through their most spectacular organ - the nose - and how we humans can put our underused sense of smell to work in surprising ways.
What the dog sees and knows comes mostly through his nose, and the information that every dog takes in about the world just based on smell is unthinkably rich. To a dog there is no such thing as "fresh air". Every gulp of air is full of information.
In Being a Dog, Alexandra Horowitz, an eminent research scientist in the field of dog cognition, explores what the nose knows by taking an imaginative leap into what it is like to be a dog. Inspired by her own family dogs, Finnegan and Upton, Horowitz sets off on a quest to make sense of scents. In addition to speaking to experts across the country, Horowitz visits the California Narcotic Canine Association Training Institute and the Stapleton Group's Vapor Wake explosives dog training team; she meets vets and researchers working with dogs to detect cancerous cells and anticipate epileptic seizures or diabetic shock; and she travels with Finnegan to the West Coast, where he learns how to find truffles. Horowitz even attempts to smell-train her own nose.
Being a Dog is a scientifically rigorous book that presents cutting-edge research with literary flair. Revealing such surprising facts as panting dogs cannot smell to explaining how dogs tell time by detecting lingering smells, Horowitz covers the topic of noses - both canine and human - from curious and always fascinating angles. As we come to understand how rich, complex, and exciting the world around us appears to a dog's sense of smell, we can begin to better appreciate it through our own.
©2016 Alexandra Horowitz. All rights reserved. (P)2016 Simon & Schuster
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Joel Geraci on 10-09-16

Pure Poetry

This book is pure poetry. The science is certainly there and very accessible but the book is a love poem to dogs. The fact that Dr. Horowitz reads the work herself makes the poetic nature of the prose hit even harder. I've had dogs all my life, I'm 53, and this book has opened my eyes to the world of my current dog in ways that I never expected. I thought I was buying a dog psychology book, and that's what I got, but I got so much more. As I listen to the descriptions of how dogs experience the world, I'm often moved to tears by the beauty of the words. Because of this book, the daily walks with my dog are a bit longer, a bit slower, and I'm less likely to pull him away from something I'd find revolting.

If you have a dog, you should buy this book.
If you're thinking of getting one, you NEED to buy this book.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 12-11-16


As a dog trainer and lover I was curious about the book. Once began to listen I enjoyed the book more than any other I have read or heard about dogs and their abilities before. So now I am off to go read her other book. Thank you Alexandra Horowitz's for your extensive research and personal experiences. I have and will continue to recommend this book to both my clients and friends.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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