We interrupt our regularly scheduled book reviewing to bring you a sneaky, sneaky book that snuck onto the list when I wasn’t looking:

It’s quite simple, really.  If you have a dog, love your dog, and are even remotely interested in understanding how to give your dog the best possible life, you need to read this book.

Alexandra Horowitz is a psychologist, not an animal scientist, which I’ll admit made me skeptical.  But boy, has this gal done her homework.  The crazy amount of research crammed into this book is staggering, and in spite of being full of solidly cited truths, it’s an easy and entertaining read.  Horowitz sets out to discover, as much as a human possibly can, what it’s like to experience life as a dog – what do they really see, know, understand, think?  She tramples on some, if not most, of our anthropomorphic ideas without diminishing the wonder of the bond between a dog and his person.  Other popular dog training theories, like being your pack’s alpha or wielding a squirt bottle, are artfully challenged, and in my opinion, walloped in these pages.

I’m all about this book.  If you’re around me and the kiddo in the next few weeks, you’re bound to be bombarded with new fun facts, like “Did you know Caper has 180 degree peripheral vision, but can’t see an inanimate object directly in front of him very well? ” or “Did you know he sees in green and blue, not black and white?” or “Did you know that dogs are one of a very few, if not the only animals to learn to use prolonged eye contact to communicate something other than aggression?”  I could go on.  In short, this book has made me obnoxious.  You should read it so you can be obnoxious too.

You may borrow it if you happen to have a brand new dog.  Just saying, DanyMel.


  • Noel August 1, 2011 at 11:58 am

    I’m excited to read this book because 1) It sounds awesome! and 2) I can thwart your obnoxious know-it-all-ness by saying, “Yes, I actually did know that dogs hate baths because the scents in their shampoo throw off their keen sense of smell for several days and essentially disable them.” 🙂

  • jazznjava August 1, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Oooh – I’ll have to check this out. I watched a PBS special, I think it was actually a NOVA episode, all about dogs and how truly special they are. It was fascinating but left me wanting more. Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Liesl August 16, 2011 at 1:34 am

    I would like to borrow this. Yesterday. 😉