What would happen to dogs if humans simply disappeared? Would dogs be able to survive on their own without us? A Dog's World imagines a posthuman future for dogs, revealing how dogs would survive – and possibly even thrive – and explaining how this new and revolutionary perspective can guide how we interact with dogs now.
Drawing on biology, ecology, and the latest findings on the lives and behaviour of dogs and their wild relatives, Jessica Pierce and Marc Bekoff – two of today's most innovative thinkers about dogs – explore who dogs might become without direct human intervention into breeding, arranged playdates at the dog park, regular feedings, and veterinary care. Pierce and Bekoff show how dogs are quick learners who are highly adaptable and opportunistic, and offer compelling evidence that dogs already do survive on their own – and could do so in a world without us.
Challenging the notion that dogs would be helpless without their human counterparts, A Dog's World enables us to understand these independent and remarkably intelligent animals on their own terms.
Jessica Pierce is a faculty affiliate at the Center for Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical School. Her books include Run, Spot, Run: The Ethics of Keeping Pets.
Marc Bekoff is professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado Boulder. His books include Canine Confidential: Why Dogs Do What They Do.
"This book is an evolutionary thought experiment – untestable, informative and great fun [...] A Dog's World appears to have all four paws on secure scientific ground as Ms. Pierce and Mr. Bekoff start from basic evolutionary and ecological principles to develop powerful predictions and insights into dogs as we know them today."
– David P. Barash, Wall Street Journal
"This thought-provoking book examines what the world would look like if all of us annoying, treat-wielding, doggie-day-care arranging grown-ups suddenly disappeared and dogs could run free. We might like to believe our dogs would be lost without us, but the reality might surprise you."
– Zibby Owens, The Washington Post
"I love creative approaches to science writing and this book – an imagining of what would happen to dogs if humans disappeared – delivers it all: fresh perspectives, top-drawer science and an original thought-provoking hook."
– Jules Howard, Big Issue
"Jessica Pierce and Marc Bekoff are in top form in A Dog's World as they explore the fate of dogs on a planet from which people have suddenly vanished. The genius of this book lies in the way it reveals how fact-based knowledge can lead to a richer, deeper understanding of the unique talents and abilities of our fellow creatures. This is a perfect read as we attempt to sort out the COVID-19 pandemic's legacy."
– Mark Derr, author of Dog's Best Friend
"We think we know our dogs, but who are they, really? By imagining their world without us, A Dog's World helps us understand what dogs need – and don't need – from us to live their happiest, most fulfilling lives. This entertaining and challenging book will enlarge our respect for beloved creatures we too often take for granted."
– Sy Montgomery, author of How to Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals
"Not only a fascinating flight of imagination into what dogdom might become in a world without people, this book will make you see your own dog in a new and more objective light."
– John Bradshaw, author of the New York Times bestseller Dog Sense
"Decentering humans from dogs' lives will help dogs thrive – what a fascinating theme Pierce and Bekoff develop! Their speculations about a posthuman world offer us innovative and profoundly compassionate ways forward for living with dogs right now. This is a must-have book for all animal lovers."
– Barbara J. King, author of Animals' Best Friends: Putting Compassion to Work for Animals in Captivity and in the Wild
"We often imagine what life would be like without our dogs, but Pierce and Bekoff brilliantly reimagine what it would be like for dogs without us. Reading A Dog's World is like seeing clearly through their eyes for the first time. If you love dogs, this is the most important book you will read."
– Brian Hare, coauthor of The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter Than You Think
"A riveting, deeply thought-provoking book that prompts us to question who dogs truly are and what could enable them to have satisfying lives, with or without human companions. A Dog's World is an important book that is likely to change our perspective on dog guardianship."
– Lisa Tenzin-Dolma, founder of the International School for Canine Psychology and Behaviour
"Are dogs really so dependent on us, or could they get along very well without us? Pierce and Bekoff lead you on an unexpected journey to a hypothetical world of posthuman dogs, offering a completely new perspective on our canine friends. This engaging and passionate book will stimulate you to revise your concept of dogs and your ideas about your relationship with them."
– Simona Cafazzo, ethologist