Dogs: A Natural History

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9780061132599: Dogs: A Natural History

Dog lovers do not need to be reminded that dogs are astonishing creatures, but recent research shows that they are even more amazing than anyone knew. Dogs draws on the last several decades of studies, examining everything from a dog's eyesight to its culinary preferences and sense of humor. Jake Page looks at dogs' wild brothers, the wolves, and their closer cousins, the wild or pariah dogs; explains the newest theory of how dogs were domesticated; describes a dog's development from puppyhood on; and finally ponders a dog's emotional life and intelligence.

While not a practical book on dog training, Dogs will give readers a better sense of why their pets behave as they do. And as an added bonus, Jake Page's own pack of six dogs makes multiple cameo appearances.

Engaging and informative, Dogs will make readers see man's best friend quite differently.

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About the Author:

Jake Page was the founding editor of Doubleday's Natural History Press, as well as editorial director of Natural History magazine and science editor of Smithsonian magazine. He has written more than forty books on the natural sciences, zoological topics, and Native American affairs, as well as mystery fiction. He and his wife live in northern Colorado with six dogs and a steady supply of dog hair, available free.

From Booklist:

Page and his wife live with six dogs, and as he observed them in one big group, he thought to himself, "Who are these guys?" The result of that question is an appealing look at our oldest domesticated animal. Dividing his narrative into three parts, Page looks at where dogs came from, how they became the dogs we know today, and how dogs handle the world. A chapter on the evolution of the Canidae answers the question of what makes a canine a canine, while a look at wolves offers the foundation for what became the dog. A long and very interesting examination of the various theories of how wolves were domesticated—and where—leads to a discussion of pariah dogs and their place as somewhere between wild and domesticated. Two chapters look at the role of the dog in human society (as determined from anthropological studies) and breeds in dogs (with consequent genetic problems). Sprinkled throughout with Page's drawings and his wife's photos of their own pack. Bent, Nancy

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