Sunday, May 18, 2014

Review - Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell and Know by Alexandra Horowitz

Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and KnowInside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know by Alexandra Horowitz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Published September 28th 2010 by Scribner
Paperback, 334 pages 
Source: Own copy
'Temple Grandin meets Stephen Pinker in this engaging and informative look at what goes on inside the minds of dogs from a cognitive scientist with a background at The New Yorker.

With more than 52 million pet dogs in America today, it's clear we are a nation of unabashed dog-lovers. Yet the relationship between dogs and humans remains a fascinating mystery, as no one really knows what goes on in the canine mind. Now, in Inside of a Dog, Alexandra Horowitz fuses her perspectives as both scientist and dog-owner to deliver a fresh look at the world of dogs as seen from the animals point of view. Inspired by her years of living with her own dog, Pumpernickel, who was a constant source of delight and mystery, Horowitz's mind became filled with questions and ideas. In crisp, clear prose, she draws on her research in the field of dog cognition to give readers a sense of a dogs perceptual and cognitive abilities and paints a picture of what the canine experience is like. Horowitz's own scientific journey, and the insights she uncovered, allowed her to understand her dog better and appreciate her more.

Containing up-to-the minute research and providing many moments of dog-behavior recognition, this lively and absorbing book helps dog owners to see their best friends behavior in a different, and revealing light, allowing them to understand their pets and enjoy their company even more.

My Thoughts:
I am so glad to finally be sitting down and writing this review. It has taken me a good couple of weeks to get to it because I didn't have time at first and then we had some major trauma occur with our own dog last week that made me unable to face actually writing a review on a dog book. That's all over now (with a happy ending luckily!) so here I am now to finally give my thoughts on this book.

First up, this is a book about dogs so I was pretty much bound to love it straight away. Our dog is pretty much on par with our first born so I just love reading about dogs in any way I can and seeing how other people relate to their own canines.

Inside of a Dog was a great mix to me. It was full of scientific research facts thrown in with a lot of the author's personal experiences and observations with her own dog and others in comparison.

I found some of the chapters utterly fascinating, especially the part that describes just how powerful a dog's nose really is. We have a beagle so the little bit thrown in there about what a beagle can detect with their nose meant that I have never looked at her the same since reading it.

I loved all of the comparisons made between dogs and other species of animals and I also loved the cute little personal reflections that were thrown in at the beginning and throughout most of the chapters by the author and her beloved dog 'Pump'.

You can tell that this book was written by a true dog lover, not just someone with a lot of canine knowledge who decided to write a book about it.

Yes, I sometimes smell my dog and find myself laying down next to her to get a feel for what she is thinking and after almost losing her last week all I can say is that anyone who doesn't understand the amazing bond we can have with these animals is missing out big time.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a dog lover and wants to know a little bit more about the inner workings of these wonderful animals.

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