Stephen Budiansky The Truth About Dogs

ISBN 13: 9780670892723

The Truth About Dogs

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9780670892723: The Truth About Dogs
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Scientist, author, and dog lover Stephen Budiansky draws on cutting-edge genetic research to reveal what really makes your dog tick, and why

With originality and keen insight, Stephen Budianksy offers an unprecedented look into the evolution and psyche of man's best friend. In The Truth About Dogs new evidence from behavioral science, archeology, neuroscience--and the Dog Genome Project--probes the unique relationship between Homo sapiens and Canis familiari.

Writing with an eye toward improving our relationships with our dogs, Budiansky discusses the enigma of the dog's very early evolutionary divergence from the wolf, and how the dog found the perfect survival niche in a symbiotic bond with humans. Just as we are genetically programmed to seek signs of love and loyalty, dogs are genetically programmed to complement this foible of ours. In fact, in the dog's evolutionary path, cognitive skills, and social constructions lies the key to understanding these wonderful but odd creatures. After this wry and informed tour of the world from a dog's-eye view, we'll never look at our pets the same way again.

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Prepare to have any illusions about your canine companion totally shattered. In writing The Truth About Dogs, author Stephen Budiansky (The Nature of Horses) is determined to uncover the true nature of our beloved beasts, and it's not always a pretty picture. The introduction presents a basic question: why on earth have we allowed these disease-carrying, biting, destructive, and expensive animals into our lives? We know why--it's because we love them, warts and all. So does Budiansky, and once you read past his inflammatory introduction, you'll find a book that presents a new way of looking at old behaviors.

His insistence on the recent evolution of separate breeds, even those generally considered to have originated centuries ago like the Mexican hairless, is sure to be controversial. His interpretation of recent behavioral research may raise some hackles as well, and begins with an examination of pack behavior in wolves. While wild packs have only one dominant male and female, we often expect our dogs to behave submissively to an extended family of dominants--not only can that be difficult, but some of their natural "submissive" behavior can be extremely frustrating. Face-licking is an easy example of this poor conduct; Rover thinks he's showing submission, but Grandma's not thrilled with having an 80-pound shepherd jumping on her. In discussions of more general behaviors, Budiansky's examinations of the motivation levels present in different breeds seems to explain much about the success or failure of obedience training. While you may raise your eyebrows and frown through a few of his assertions, this fresh look at old assumptions makes a fascinating read for anyone who's ever loved a dog. --Jill Lightner

About the Author:

Stephen Budiansky, journalist and military historian, is the author of nine books about history, science, and nature, including Air Power: The Men, Machines, and Ideas That Revolutionized War, from Kitty Hawk to Gulf War II. He publishes frequently in The New York Times and The Washington Post and currently serves as a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780141002286: The Truth about Dogs: An Inquiry into Ancestry, Social Conventions, Mental Habits, and Moral Fiber of Canis familiaris

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ISBN 10:  014100228X ISBN 13:  9780141002286
Publisher: Penguin, 2001
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9780756759858: Truth About Dogs: An Inquiry into the Ancestry, Social Conventions, Mental Habits, and Moral Fiber of Canis Familiaris

Diane ..., 2000
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