The Genius of Dogs

Discovering the Unique Intelligence of Man's Best Friend

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About The Book

The award-winning scientist who started a revolution in the understanding of dog intelligence offers amazing new insights into the interior lives of our best -- and smartest -- animal friends

The journey began with a gut reaction. When award-winning scientist Dr Brian Hare watched a chimpanzee fail to read a simple human hand gesture in an intelligence test, he blurted out, ‘My dog can do that!’ The psychologist running the test challenged him to prove it, sending Hare on an odyssey to unlock the cognitive and evolutionary mysteries of our four-legged friends.

 

Hare’s research over the past two decades has yielded startling discoveries about how dogs think. He has pioneered studies that have proven that dogs exhibit a brand of genius for getting along with people that is unique in the animal kingdom, and that when dogs domesticated themselves around 40,000 years ago they became far more like human infants than their wolf ancestors. These findings are transforming how we live and work with our canine friends, and how we understand them. Is your dog purposefully disobeying you? Probably, and often behind your back. Should you act like ‘top dog to maintain control? No, you’re better off displaying your friendliness – not just to your dog but to everyone around you. Which breed is cleverest? As it happens, breed doesn’t matter much, though other factors do.

 

These are just some of the extraordinary insights to be found in The Genius of Dogs – the seminal book on how dogs evolved their unique intelligence alongside human companions, and how you can use this groundbreaking science to build a better relationship with your own dog.

About The Authors

Brian Hare is Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University, where he founded the Duke Canine Cognition Center. His research on 'dognition' has been published in the leading journals. With his wife Vanessa Woods, he cofounded the new dog intelligence testing and training company Canines Inc. To find out more, visit the Dognition website.

Vanessa Woods is a research scientist at the Duke Canine Cognition Center as well as an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in BBC Wildlife and New Scientist, among others. She is also author of the acclaimed memoir Bonobo Handshake, which tells the story of the scientic love affair and partnership with her husband, Brian Hare. With Hare, Woods cofounded the new dog intelligence testing and training company Canines Inc. To find out more, visit the Dognition website.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (February 1, 2013)
  • Length: 384 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781780741369

Raves and Reviews

 ‘You would be hard-pressed to find a more cheerful, optimistic and warm-hearted read. Difficult, too, to find another book about dogs touching not only on Darwin and Skinner, but also on Stalin. Even Justin Bieber gets a mention…’ 

– Spectator

‘Every dog-lover will enjoy this book; and those who, strangely, do not love dogs might come to see them in a new and more favourable light.’

– Mail on Sunday

"Many authors have tried to anecdotally capture the emotional bond between humans and dogs. Here at last is a book that digs deep into cognitive science to unravel the mysteries of the canine brain. Thoroughly researched and written in the likable voice of a brainy scientist sitting at your kitchen table, "The Genius of Dogs" is a fascinating look at what goes on between the ears of the animals we share our lives with. I found it entertaining, fast-moving, and filled with gee-whiz insights that gave me a new appreciation for the complex social intelligence of man's best friend."

– John Grogan, author of Marley and Me

'The definitive dog book of our time by the researcher who started a revolution.'

– Daniel Levitin - James McGill Professor of Psychology, McGill University

'With the help of some wolves, Russian foxes, New Guinea singing dogs and a Labrador retriever named Oreo, Brian Hare tells us about his fascinating search for an understanding of how dogs think and communicate. This is a book that is well worth reading.'

– John Grogan - author of Marley & Me

'Based on Brian Hare's game-changing research, The Genius of Dogs brilliantly explains the canine mind and in doing so illuminates the natural history of all intelligence. This book will captivate anyone interested in dog, ape or human mentality.'

– John Bradshaw - Foundation Director of the Anthrozoology Institute, University of Bristol, and autho

'This is the best book in existence, by far, for learning about the recent revolution in our understanding of the minds of dogs. And it's fun, too.'

– Stanley Coren - Professor of Psychology, University of British Columbia, and author of How to Speak

'The Genius of Dogs is fantastic. It makes it very clear that there are different kinds of intelligence. All dog lovers should read this book.'

– Richard Wrangham - Professor of Biological Anthropology, Harvard University, and author of Catching

‘The Genius of Dogs is not just about dogs, and not just about genius. It’s an exciting detective story by two comparative biologists with amazing discoveries to report.’

– Mike Tomasello - Co-Director, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

‘The Genius of Dogs is not just about dogs, and not just about genius. It’s an exciting detective story by two comparative biologists with amazing discoveries to report.’

– Temple Grandin - author of Animals in Translation

‘The Genius of Dogs is not just about dogs, and not just about genius. It’s an exciting detective story by two comparative biologists with amazing discoveries to report.’

– Bernd Heinrich - Professor Emeritus of Biology, University of Vermont

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