Friday, 25 October 2013

Review: 'The Genius of Dogs' by Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods

The Genius of Dogs by Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods, 2013, Plume, $17.00, softbound, 367 pages. Category/Genre: science. Cover: appropriate. Where we got it: publisher. Where you can get it: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million. 

This is a book that will appeal both to scientists and dog lovers alike. Written by Brian Hare, founder of Duke University's dog cognition lab and his wife, this book explores the scientific research in the area of dog intelligence. 

Human contact, say the authors, has increased the intelligence of dogs, and it has given them a special kind of social intelligence unique in the animal kingdom. 

The intelligence of dogs is not measured by what tricks a dog can learn, but by how they approach problems and make inferences. Therefore, no one breed is more intelligent than another, say the authors; it's a matter of how individually intelligent each dog is and how all dogs, as a species, compare with other animals related to them. 

In addition to better understanding dogs as a species, this book may help you understand your own dog and, perhaps, yourself. 

If you like this one, try: Dogs Can Sign, Too, by Sean Senechal. 

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