324 pages, b/w illustrations
John Bradshaw, one of the world's leading dog experts, brings us a compelling insight into what dogs would ask us for, if only they knew how. The dog has been mankind's faithful companion for tens of thousands of years, yet today finds itself in crisis throughout the western world. Until just over a hundred years ago, most dogs worked for their living, and each of the many breeds had become well suited, over countless generations, to the task for which they were bred. Now, in their purely domestic roles we fail to understand their needs. And it is time that someone stood up for dogdom: not the caricature of the wolf in a dog suit, ready to dominate its unsuspecting owner at the first sign of weakness, not the trophy animal that collects rosettes and kudos for its breeder, but the real dog, the pet that just wants to be one of the family and enjoy life. Biologists now know far more about what really makes dogs tick than they did twenty years ago, but this new understanding has been slow to percolate through to owners, and has not yet made enough of a difference to the lives of the dogs themselves. In Defence of Dogs is here to set the record straight.
Please note: this book has been published in the US under the title Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You A Better Friend to Your Pet (ISBNs 9780465030033 and 9780465019441)
The most fantastic book ... required reading for dog lovers everywhere ... his style is tolerant, clear and benign and he is interested only in what science can support. His book is a revelation - a major rethink about the way we understand our dogs ... he makes one feel fantastically upbeat about being a dog owner ... there is no doubt about it - Professor John Bradshaw is a dog's best friend
- Kate Kellaway Observer
"Every dog lover, dog owner or prospective dog buyer should read this book. It will change how you feel about dogs and, likely enough, how you treat them, too...Sparkles with explanations of canine behaviour"
- James McConnachie Sunday Times
"Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the complicated psychology behind the growl, the rising hackles and the wagging tail"
- Roy Hattersley Daily Telegraph
"Scholarly yet passionate ... nothing less than a manifesto for a new understanding of our canine friends ... fascinating"
- Chris Cox Guardian
"[A] wonderful, reassuring, and encouraging book ... distinguishes canine science from canine folklore"
- Jonathan Mirsky Literary Review
"A lovely and clear-headed book on all things dog-emotion, mind, and breed. John Bradshaw's authority and experience are matched by the thoughtfulness and humanity of his writing. Read this before you bring a dog into your life."
- Alexandra Horowitz author of 'Inside of a Dog'
"An alternative to conventional, dominance-based approaches to understanding dogs (Cesar Millan's methods, for example) in an informative...guide to how canine biology and psychology determine behavior... Bradshaw's book is useful to those looking to further their understanding of dog behavior and clarify common misconceptions"
- Publisher's Weekly
"A well-grounded overview of the Canis family's evolutionary journey...this is what makes the book so appealing. He does more than simply lay out interesting theories; he uses science to advocate for a better life for companion dogs."
- The Bark
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John Bradshaw is a biologist who founded and directs the world-renowned Anthrozoology Institute, based at the University of Bristol. He has been studying the behaviour of domestic dogs and their owners for over 25 years, and is the author of many scientific articles, research papers and reviews, which have not only shed new light on the dog's abilities and needs, but have also changed the way that dogs are understood and cared for all over the world.