Dogs: A Startling New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior & Evolution

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Simon and Schuster, May 27, 2001 - Pets - 352 pages
Marking the first time that dogs have been explained in such detail by eminent researchers, Dogs is a work of wide appeal, as absorbing as it is enlightening.

Drawing on insight gleaned from forty-five years of raising, training, and studying the behaviors of dogs worldwide, Lorna and Raymond Coppinger explore the fascinating processes by which dog breeds have evolved into their unique shapes and behaviors. Concentrating on five types of dogs—modern household dogs, village dogs, livestock-guarding dogs, sled dogs, and herding dogs—the Coppingers, internationally recognized canine ethologists and consummate dog lovers, examine our canine companions from a unique biological viewpoint. Dogs clearly points the way for dog lovers, dog therapists, veterinarians, and all others who deal with dogs to understand their animals from a fresh perspective.

How did the domestic dog become a distinct species from the wolf? Why do different breeds behave differently? Most important, how can we improve the relationship between humans and dogs?

The authors show how dogs' different abilities depend upon the confluence of their nature and nurture—that both genetics and the environment play equally key roles. They also reveal that many people inadvertently harm their canine companions because they fail to understand dogs' biological needs and dispositions.

Dogs is a highly readable biological approach by noted researchers that provides a wealth of new information about the interaction of nature and nurture, and demonstrates how unique dog behavior is in the animal world.
 

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User Review  - CitizenClark - LibraryThing

This book will totally change your understanding of canine psychology. While the "pack-oriented" focus of popular canine trainers like Cesar Millan yields results, this volume explains the real ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - louparris - LibraryThing

I have read both high praise for this book, and some condemnation. The rating in this system is high. I like the Coppingers, of course, because they so sled dogs, but I realize their experience is not limited to that. I would like to hear from others. Read full review

Contents

Acknowledgments
11
Studying Dogs
21
THE EVOLUTION
37
Village Dogs
69
Natural Breeds
85
WORKING DOGS
97
The Physical Conformation of a Breed
157
Behavioral Conformation
189
Assistance Dogs
253
THE TAIL WAGS THE DOG
271
The Age of the Dog
283
Why Dogs Look the Way They Do
295
Conclusion
317
Bibliography
327
Index
339
Copyright

ARE PEOPLE THE DOGS BEST FRIEND?
225

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About the author (2001)

Raymond Coppinger is professor of biology at Hampshire College and the author of Fishing Dogs. A former sled dog racing champion, he now lectures widely about dogs.

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