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What makes dogs truly special? Why does our relationship with them feel so much more deep and intense than with other animals?
Any dog owner knows that the bond with their dog is unique. The unparalleled loyalty and total devotion of a dog seems the stuff of true love – but is this a whimsical construction that bears little relation to reality?
Through ground-breaking scientific experiments and eye-opening historical evidence, canine behavioural psychologist Dr Clive Wynne unlocks the secret to our unique bond with dogs: their capacity to love, an unprecedented attribute in the animal kingdom.
In Dog is Love, Dr Wynne debunks the myth that dogs possess a unique form of intelligence. Instead, he shows that dogs are able to show sympathy and can respond to human emotions in a way that is truly remarkable. One particularly moving study shows that dogs' and their owners' hearts beat in synchrony, just as the hearts of a loving human couple do.
Looking at the evolution of dogs, Dr Wynne points out that it was the wolves' ability to form relationships with mankind, becoming indispensable hunting companions, that enabled the depth of love and affection between dogs and humans that we know today. Dr Wynne shares his experiences of hunting with the Mayangna tribe in Nicaragua and the vital role played by their hunting dogs to shed light on what the early human-dog relationship might have looked like, and explains the science behind what really goes on when a young pup grows up in a human family.
This is a delightful, heart-warming and fascinating analysis of the unique bond between humans and dogs, perfect for anyone who shares their home with their dog and wonders just how much they love you. It will change the way you interact with dogs and help you get the best out of them in a way that will be truly life-changing.
The Mental Lives of Animals: Introduction
Other Minds, Other Matters
Detecting Cause and Effect
Other Ways of Seeing the World I: Physical Dimensions
Other Ways of Seeing the World II: Abstract Dimensions
Communication and Language
Conclusions and Comparisons
Dr Clive D. L. Wynne was born and raised on the Isle of Wight, studied at University College London, and got his Ph.D. at Edinburgh University. After time at the Ruhr-Universitat Bochum, Duke University, Universitat Konstanz, the University of Western Australia and the University of Florida, he joined the Psychology Department at Arizona State University in 2013, where he directs the Canine Science Collaboratory. He is also the Director of Research at Wolf Park in Battle Ground, IN.
"Science finally reveals the dog's secret: the unique capacity for love that separates them from all other animals. Superb"
– John Bradshaw, bestselling author of In Defence of Dogs and Cat Sense
"If you want to build an even stronger bond with your own dog, this book is a must read"
– Victoria Stilwell, author of The Secret Language of Dogs
"Dog Is Love is a riveting first-person account of how a behavioural scientist who was initially sceptical about animal emotions came to ask – and answer – the question, "What is it about dogs that makes them special?" Based on his own research as well as the latest findings in neuroscience, ethology, genetics, and animal welfare, Clive Wynne concludes that the bond between dogs and humans is based on their deep devotion to us. Part memoir, part scientific detective story, and part call to action, this book will change the way you look at dogs."
– Hal Herzog, author of Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard to Think Straight About Animals
"Dog Is Love is a lively and fascinating mash-up of science, memoir and anecdotes that reveals a simple and yet enormously profound insight: dogs are unique because they love us. That conclusion sounds obvious. It's not. Canine behaviourist Clive Wynne takes the reader on a vast, yet accessible journey through the genetics, the evolutionary theories, the science – and the mystery – of why and how this happened. Wynne doesn't shy away from challenging popular theories about dog behaviour and evolution, from detailing the brutal realities of dogs languishing in shelters across the United States, or from critiquing the ways in which we mythologize dogs and do them a disservice. But the reader comes away from Dog Is Love better informed, oddly cheered – and with a new and deeper appreciation for our amazing canine companions and their enormous capacity for love."
– Cat Warren, author of the NYT bestseller, What the Dog Knows