Dogs have been “man’s best friend” for tens of thousands of years. But despite their valuable role in our lives, dogs today find themselves in a state of crisis throughout the Western world. A century ago most dogs worked for their living, and were bred to be healthy and hard-working, as well as companionable. But in the course of a few decades, many of those carefully-selected attributes became obsolete, and nowadays we breed dogs more for their looks than for their health or suitability as pets. What’s more, we too often treat dogs like wolves or, just as hazardously, like furry humans. The truth is: dogs are neither.
What dogs really need is a spokesperson, someone who will assert their rights, gripes, and specific needs.
In Dog Sense, animal behavior and welfare expert John Bradshaw does just this, using groundbreaking research into human-animal interactions to show us the world from a dog’s perspective. Bradshaw debunks a range of popular dog advice, explaining that, far from being domesticated wolves driven by a need for dominance, dogs are unique creatures that have evolved to socialize—and live in harmony—with other species, most notably our own. Knowing this, we have a fundamental responsibility to our dogs: to respect and accommodate their anatomical and psychological nuances, to breed them with their own welfare in mind, and to treat them with more understanding than widely held—and counterproductive—dominance-based training theories allow.
Eloquent, humane, and filled with valuable advice, Dog Sense aims to appeal as much to dog owners as it does to those interested in understanding the latest science of animal behavior. A penetrating work by a renowned scientist and dog advocate, it is a must-read for any dog lover.