The last Wednesday of the year (2018 has certainly flown past) and time for Shelf Control again. Shelf Control (as I’m sure you know if you’ve been reading these posts) is a feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. What is Shelf Control all about? Well, all about the books on your TBR and celebrating them. All you do to participate is pick a book from your TBR and write a post about it.

This week’s book, as you can see from the picture (as always), is a non-fiction title The Genius of Dogs by Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods.

What this book is all about: Dogs, of course!!! The book goes into questions of whether there are any specific breeds that can be dubbed the cleverest, and who should be boss when it comes to your dog, and many others. The author Dr Brian Hare shares insights from his own research on dogs and how one can better one’s relationship with one’s dog. The book is divided into three sections, the first on Hare’s own dog (and I’m assuming what he learnt about dogs from him), the second on “Dog Smarts”, and the last “Your Dog”. The book also discusses topics like domestication, and how it was probably dogs that domesticated themselves more than humans domesticating them.

My edition and when I got it: I am not adding a where I got it in this section since this was once again ordered online. I have a paperback again, published in 2013 by One Word Publications. The edition has 367 pages. And as to when I got it, it was may be around six months (ish) ago.

Why I want to read it: For starters, because I love dogs (almost all animals, really) and always love to learn more about them. But besides that, a couple of years ago, probably in 2016, I’d taken a MOOC called Dog Emotion and Cognition on coursera which was based off of this book, and since they had a lot of interesting things to say, I thought the book would be a good place to explore the themes further. In the course, we “met” some very bright dogs who could identify hundreds of toys by name, and also foxes who were as domestic as dogs. These I think appear in the book as well. The course also introduced us to different games that one can play with one’s dog (and even submit the results to be included in their research programme).

A little about the authors: The authors are a husband and wife team who both work with animals, Brian Hare as Associate Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Duke University and Vanessa Wood as journalist and researcher. Both are associated with the Duke Canine Cognition Center, which has in fact been founded by Hare.

Anyway, before this begins to sound like an advert for the course/book (it isn’t meant to be, really, just that I found one via the other), I’d better stop.

Have you read this one/taken the course? What did you think of it? Any other books on dogs (or any animal) that you’d like to recommend. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and recommendations!

5 thoughts on “Shelf Control #27: The Genius of Dogs

    1. The course was really enjoyable, and while I didn’t think personally that one breed was better or worse than the other, it was nice to see research on the same lines as well.


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