How well do you and your dog understand each other?
Have you ever caught yourself wondering what your dog is thinking when he rolls in something stinky? Do you wonder how much of your emotional life is like that of your dog's? What about life from your dog's perspective? Join best-selling author and ethologist Patricia McConnell in pondering these questions in this thought-provoking collection of essays about people and dogs. Written for every dog lover out there who wants to know more about their canine companion.
Gain insight into the dog-human relationship
• What does the name given to a dog say about the owner and the future relationship between the two of them?
• Humans are experts at using words. Dogs are experts at body language. How can we use these talents to better communicate with each other?
• We have bred dogs for many different purposes over thousands of years —to hunt, to herd, to provide protection, even to cuddle. How has this process impacted a dog's ability to learn and be trained?
• Why getting "dominance" over your dog isn't the answer to having a more obedient dog.
What other dog experts say about Tales of Two Species
It's rare for someone with so much scientific knowledge to have her feet so solidly planted in the real lives of dogs. This book is a gift to those of us who want to understand dogs better, to communicate with them more clearly, and perhaps most importantly, to help dogs understand us!
Sue Sternberg, author of Great Dog Adoptions and A Guide to the Inducive Retrieve
In Tales of Two Species Patricia McConnell gives us a thoughtful and glowing picture of how the lives of dogs and people have become entwined. Some of these essays will make you laugh, others will bring a tear, but all will make you think more closely about your relationship with your own dog.
Stanley Coren, author of The Modern Dog and Why Does My Dog Act That Way?
Plato, Socrates, Descartes, McConnell — those are the great philosophers. Truly no one in our time asks the questions McConnell does about why dogs act as they do. For anyone interesting in going beyond training, to truly begin to understand how the canine mind ticks, this book is a must.
Steve Dale, My Pet World, Tribune Media Services; Pet Central, WGN Radio, Chicago; and nationally syndicated Steve Dale's Pet World
Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D., CAAB is an Ethologist and Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist who has consulted dog lovers for over twenty years. She is the author of ten books including The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs and For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend. Trisha lives on a farm near Madison, Wisconsin and two dogs, one cat and a flock of sheep.
Click here to view an excerpt.
What reviewers are saying...
NORTH SHORE NEWS
“What does your dog hear when you give it multiple commands? There are so many questions that come into your relationship with your dog because at the base of it is the attempt for two different species to live together. Gathered together for the first time is this wonderful collection of essays by animal behaviorist Patricia B. McConnell. Drawing from her regular column in Bark magazine, her radio show Calling All Pets, and the 11 books she has written, McConnell has picked the best of her writing. Her easygoing writing style makes each essay a comfortable journey towards increased understanding of your dog’s motivation and those signs for how he is trying to communicate with you. Essays are divided into chapters that include communication, genetics, behavior, and beyond. From puppies to training, to lifelong partnership, McConnell will warm you heart with her insights, and help you have a better relationship with your canine friend.”
MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
“The bond between pet and owner can improve one's health and make one's day. "Tales of Two Species: Essays on Loving and Living with Dogs" is a collection of essays on life with man's best friends. Focusing on the relationship between the two species, McConnell analyzes everything ranging from the name a person gives their dog, to better communication, to the effect of breeding on canine-kind as a whole, and other topics as well. "Tales of Two Species" is a fine read for those who want to better understand the bond of homo sapiens and their canine familiars.”
James A. Cox
“OK, I admit it. I am president of the Seattle chapter of the Patricia McConnell Fan Club. This poignant, fast-moving soft cover reflects why McConnell’s naturalness, resilience and resourcefulness separate her from other animal behaviorists. She tackles many hot-button subjects in our relationship with the dog, dissecting the heart of each issue in lay terms every owner will understand. Some issues she manages to simplify so adroitly that you’re left asking yourself, “Why didn’t I think of that?”… Communication, training, genetics and even dying are addressed in this wide-ranging bridge linking owner and pet. In the process, McConnell challenges breeders and owners alike to focus more on behavior than on looks, but not at the sacrifice of physical health. For the owner, that means carefully assessing the environment in which the puppy resides, its interaction with others and the parents’ disposition (assuming you are visiting a breeding kennel), as well as getting recommendations from others. While weaving a sobering but simplistic portrayal of the “two species” convoluted landscape, McConnell focuses on the responsibly we assume with dog ownership, concluding, “Dogs make us vulnerable, pure and simple. That’s fine with some of us, but it may make others uncomfortable and motivate them to downplay the importance of the family dog.” For most of us, she adds, the value of the joy and love that a dog brings to your home is priceless.”
BEST FRIENDS MAGAZINE
“”I’m reading a really good book!” enthused a dog trainer friend as we sat drinking mugs of coffee in her kitchen while our respective canines romped through the house. Her comment reminded me that I had meant to tell her about ‘Tales of Two Species’ by animal behaviorist and dog expert Patricia McConnell, which I had just finished reading for this column. I need not have been concerned; my friend went on to say that the book she was enjoying so thoroughly was that very one. McConnell, author of several excellent dog-related books such as ‘The Other End of the Leash’ and ‘For the Love of a Dog,’ will be no stranger to readers who have turned to her for positive training advice and behavioral information that combines science, psychology and sheer love of dogs. This current book is a collection of essays she originally wrote for The Bark magazine. Although I am not a fan of such collections because they are often disjointed, McConnell’s book is an exception. Reading her essays in book form provides succinct, sage advice on how dogs and the people who love them interact and enrich each other’s worlds.”
APDT CHRONICLE OF THE DOG
“Simply put, if all would-be dog owners read this book before getting a dog, I think the world would be a profoundly better place for our canine companions! This beautifully written collection of thought-provoking essays is a must-read for pet owners and trainers alike… The individual essay format allows each topic to be adequately addressed without unnecessarily belaboring a point. I often found myself wishing that a particular essay existed as a stand-alone handout to be shared with clients, as I think they would help foster lots of “ah-ha!” moments among dog owners… Overall, the book was a joy to read and has quickly become a new personal favorite. I will be recommending it to many.”
|I received this as a Christmas gift, and when the festivities were over, settled down for a few moments of reading.... and didn't set the book down until I was finished. Dr. McConnell has brought together a fine collection of essays giving insight into what it is to be a dog in the human-dog relationship. Like every good teacher, she never harangues, rather she gently asks questions to remind us of what we have forgotten, or gently encourages us to move in a different direction. I frequently found myself nodding, “I KNEW that,” or “Wow! I never thought of THAT.” Her points are skillfully presented with a combination of discerning insights delivered with compassion and humor, interspersed with delightful, touching, and amusing vignettes. Ever mindful of the difficult dance between two disparate species, she encourages the “average” two legged partner, by sharing a few of those moments when even the “expert” needs the “other half” to remind us of the differences between us.
The photographs are a beautiful compliment to the text.
Having heard Dr. McConnell speak I was fascinated that her style is so clear that I could practically hear her speaking the words I read, rather like a narrator in a movie.
My most sincere regret was that, rather than gulping the entire work in one reading, I did not take several days to savor this collection.
This collection is a worthwhile read for anyone who values their relationship with their canine companion, which certainly left me hungry for more.