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FOR THE LOVE OF A DOG - UNDERSTANDING EMOTION IN YOU AND YOUR BEST FRIEND
by Patricia McConnell (See other books by author)


Publisher: Ballantine Books
Edition:
2007 Paperback, 332 pages

ISBN: 9780345477156
Item: DTB968
Ships the next business day.

Summary: Trish McConnell takes a look at canine emotions and body language. Like all her books, this one is written in a way that the average dog owner can follow but brings the latest scientific information that trainers and dog enthusiasts can use.

Price: $17.00 Add this item to my cart.

Expanded Description:

Trish McConnell takes a look at canine emotions and body language. Like all her books, this one is written in a way that the average dog owner can follow but brings the latest scientific information that trainers and dog enthusiasts can use. Learn about similarities and surprising differences between the canine and human brains and how current scientific studies have led the author to conclude without a doubt that dogs share a profound emotional life with us. A must-read for ALL dog lovers.

What reviewers are saying...

APDT CHRONICLE OF THE DOG
“Many dog lovers will be surprised to learn that controversy is still swirling in scientific circles about whether and to what extent dogs experience some of the same emotions and feelings that human beings do. As an applied animal behaviorist with a Ph.D. in Zoology, author Patricia McConnell wades into the fray, building her case that dogs do indeed share human emotions, by examining similarities in the anatomy and physiology of canine and human brains. In the process she provides readers with an introduction to how our own brains function, and with some of the recent fascinating developments in the world of neuroscience. The first chapter begins with an exploration of emotions and why some scientists still question whether non-human animals actually experience them. The second chapter, about emotional expressions, discusses how both human and canine emotions and feelings are reflected in facial expressions and body language. A photo section illustrates the distinctive facial features and body postures that accompany various moods and feelings. Unlike other books and articles I have read on this same subject, McConnell’s descriptions were so detailed and intriguing that they inspired me to make several trips to a near-by doggie daycare facility to sharpen my observational skills; I wanted to actually see such things as “tongue flicks” while watching dogs interact with one another. This chapter alone earns the book a place in every dog trainer’s library. However, trainers may also have a special interest in what McConnell has to say regarding the value of positive training methods. For example, on pages 105-106, McConnell explains how proper use of food in training will help wire an animal’s brain to associate listening to the owner/handler with actually feeling good. In contrast, force and coercion stimulate fear centers in the animal’s limbic system, resulting in the animal learning to associate the trainer with possible danger and to react accordingly. Subsequent chapters delve into the relationship between brain development and behavior, and explore the biological foundations for the most basic emotions - fear, anger, and happiness. Of course this book would not have been complete without taking a look at the complexity and depth of the emotional attachments that can exist between people and their canine companions, which many people, including the author, unabashedly call love. McConnell’s signature warm and witty style, coupled with a novelist’s knack for telling a good story, is much of what makes this such a compelling read. From the introductory opening scene on her farm where she describes how her Great Pyrenees, Tulip, approached the dead body of her favorite ewe, Harriet, to a later one relating how an old man began to weep in her office at the thought of having to euthanize his dog, McConnell could be saying to her readers “Welcome to my world!” It is this willingness to share the personal experiences she has had with her own clients and dogs, as well as some of her private feelings, including her grief over the death of her beloved dog Luke, which breathe life into her book and give it such a unique character. As a result I was able to connect with this book about emotions on a profound emotional level.” Beverly Hebert


Dig In

Front Cover
Back Cover
Table Of Contents
Introduction, Page 1

See all 5 Pages.

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My favorite dog book, ever. Here's why:, December 1, 2012
Reviewer: OkoNicer
This was one of the first dog-focused non-fiction books I have read, and it remains my very favorite. It explores the emotional capacity of our canine friends and mixes in artfully told stories of McConnell's experiences as an animal behaviorist, and with her own dogs. 'For the Love of a Dog' is full of insightful and exciting revelations about dogs thought process and emotions, yet it does not ever get boring. Hard fact and McConnell's own insightful speculations, especially in the way of dogs and grief, create an endearing and valuable 332 page book.

This book, and her other book 'The Other End of The Leash', are a delight to read and must-haves if you consider yourself to be a dog lover.
 
Very, very informative, September 24, 2008
Reviewer: Virginia D.
I found this book fascinating, not the least because as primates we tend to misinterpret what dogs are telling us. It was so interesting to read not only how dogs behave, but how their brains work. Dogs are often viewed as very simple but they have complex minds and instinct that I absolutely enjoyed reading about. This is a unique book. I've never read another book quite like it.
It was very touching to read about Luke. I got very fond of him reading 'The Other End of the Leash' and was sad to read about his passing.
 
Superb Book, February 13, 2008
Reviewer: Judy Rentrop
This is superb book. It is well written and gives so much insight into the emotions of both the dog and the human.

I found the section about the loss of a dog deeply moving. Not just the loss of Patricias beloved Luke but the loss of Patricia's Mothers dog as well.
 

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