Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Sep 15, 2009 - Pets - 368 pages
The bestselling book that asks what dogs know and how they think. The answers will surprise and delight you as Alexandra Horowitz, a cognitive scientist, explains how dogs perceive their daily worlds, each other, and that other quirky animal, the human.

Horowitz introduces the reader to dogs’ perceptual and cognitive abilities and then draws a picture of what it might be like to be a dog. What’s it like to be able to smell not just every bit of open food in the house but also to smell sadness in humans, or even the passage of time? How does a tiny dog manage to play successfully with a Great Dane? What is it like to hear the bodily vibrations of insects or the hum of a fluorescent light? Why must a person on a bicycle be chased? What’s it like to use your mouth as a hand? In short, what is it like for a dog to experience life from two feet off the ground, amidst the smells of the sidewalk, gazing at our ankles or knees?

Inside of a Dog explains these things and much more. The answers can be surprising—once we set aside our natural inclination to anthropomorphize dogs. Inside of a Dog also contains up-to-the-minute research—on dogs’ detection of disease, the secrets of their tails, and their skill at reading our attention—that Horowitz puts into useful context. Although not a formal training guide, Inside of a Dog has practical application for dog lovers interested in understanding why their dogs do what they do. With a light touch and the weight of science behind her, Alexandra Horowitz examines the animal we think we know best but may actually understand the least. This book is as close as you can get to knowing about dogs without being a dog yourself.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - andycyca - LibraryThing

File under "things to keep in mind when addressing someone else's dog. How they might think, or feel, or (re)act. If you're smart enough, this might serve to understand and approach maybe another human Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - KimBooSan - LibraryThing

And absolutely excellent book every single dog owner should read. It reveals a lot about how dogs perceive the world around them, especially in regards to their relationships with other dogs and with ... Read full review


From the Dogs Point of Nose
Belonging to the House
Sniffers The nose nose The vomeronasal nose
Seen by a
Canine Anthropologists
Dog smarts Learning from others Puppy see
Inside of a
You Had Me at Hello
The Importance of Mornings
Me and My Dog

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

Alexandra Horowitz is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know and On Looking: A Walker’s Guide to the Art of Observation. She teaches at Barnard College, where she runs the Dog Cognition Lab. She lives with her family and two large, highly sniffy dogs in New York City.

Bibliographic information