The Fascinating Wolfdog
October is Adopt-a-Dog Month

Recommended Reading: Inside of a Dog

Dogbookcover

Have you noticed that more and more books about dogs are on the shelves of bookstores and libraries these days? Both non-fiction books about dogs, and fiction books with dogs as characters, are fetching a lot of interest. One recently published book that's creating buzz goes where no human has gone before (kind of): "Inside of a Dog." Author Alexandra Horowitz takes a novel approach -- she tries to understand, and make us understand, the world from a dog's perspective.

Dog lovers already know, of course, that dogs are driven by their acute sense of smell. Horowitz points out that humans have about 6 million receptor cells in their noses, while a beagle has more than 300 million. She explains what that means in terms of a dog's life -- how a particular odor conveys a message to a dog. More than that, Horowitz says, a dog's sense of smell is the means by which he categorizes and identifies things. Sniffing another dog's urine, in fact, provides a lot of information about the other animal -- "who the urinator is, how often he walks by this spot, his recent victories, and his interest in mating," says Horowitz. Dogs view objects differently too. While we know what a chair is, for example, Horowitz says a dog may see it as just an obstacle that stands in the way of a path to their food bowl in the kitchen.

Unlike their wolf ancestors, the author writes, dogs like making eye contact with humans: "...dogs seem to be predisposed to inspect our faces for information, for reassurance, for guidance."

All in all, going "Inside of a Dog" is fascinating stuff. You can read Chapter One, courtesy of The New York Times, by clicking here. If you'd like to purchase the book online, click Inside of a Dog book now.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)