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It started when two canine scientists decide to become pen pals in an era of digital media...


18 July 2013

Dog-eared books

Hi Julie,

I loved hearing from Clare Browne about her research into timing of reinforcement in our first guest post last week, and it certainly stimulated lots of great comments and questions on Facebook and Google+

I know you've been busy Chaser-ing around (lucky ducks, both!) and there's also all those amazing conferences happening this week, what with the ISAZIAHAIO and AVSAB events on in Chicago, so just a very quick post from me this week! 

You know how we recently put together out list of top ten books for the Science Book a Day team?

Well, Chaser's upcoming book release reminded me that we should put them all in one place here, so that we (or anyone else looking for a canine science book or fourteen) could find them easily if needed. 

Science Book A Day

In no particular order, here they are:

McGreevy (2009) A Modern Dog’s Life. 

A fabulous book, written with humour and insight, that offers a modern take on what challenges and motivates our dogs and how we can best meet their needs.
Search to purchase:

Horowitz (2009) Inside of a Dog.

What’s it like to be a dog? This book covers the science of how dogs think and perceive the world and is accompanied by personal reflections on Horowitz’s own dog’s behaviour. Get to know the umwelt of the dog.
Search to purchase:

Bradshaw (2012) Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet.

This recent publication answers the very important question: “What’s good for dogs?” Explore recent research into dog behaviour and cognition and take away ways to make your dog psychologically healthy.

Search to purchase:

Lindsay (2000 / 2001 / 2005) Handbooks of Applied Dog Behavior and Training Triptych

Three enormous books containing so much canine science that even the heartiest of appetites will be satiated.

  1. Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior and Training, Vol. 1: Adaptation and Learning
  2. Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior and Training, Vol. 2: Etiology and Assessment of Behavior Problems
  3. Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior and Training, Vol. 3: Procedures and Protocols
Search to purchase:

Miklósi (2009) Dog Behaviour, Evolution, and Cognition.One of the first books to collate and synthesise the growing primary research on dog evolution, behaviour and cognition. Often used in the classroom, it offers an in depth overview of canine science research methods as well as study findings. Keep a lookout for the second edition!

Search to purchase:

Csányi (2005) If Dogs Could Talk: Exploring the Canine Mind.

What does careful observation and documentation of dog behaviour tell us about the canine mind? And how did people and dogs come to share these strong emotional bonds? Readers join Csányi, and his dogs Flip and Jerry, in this scientific exploration of the high degree of mutual understanding between humans and their four-legged best friends.
Search to purchase:

Coppinger & Coppinger (2002) Dogs: A New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior and Evolution.How did dogs come to be dogs, and where does their diversity come from? From village dogs to dogs in our beds, the Coppingers investigate how physical appearances and behaviours develop from both genes and the environment in which they are raised.
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McConnell (2003) The Other End of the Leash.

Dogs and humans are two entirely different species with distinct evolutionary heritages, yet can walk down the street together, move in synch and seemingly share mutual understanding. But are we always on the same page? Learn how dogs might interpret our human behaviour, and learn how to interact with dogs in ways they best understand. A must-read for anyone interested in enhancing their relationship and communication with canine companions.
Search to purchase:

Jensen (2007) The Behavioural Biology of Dogs.
With separate sections by various experts, this book offers a nice overview of canine behavioural biology. Sections focus on dog evolution and development, basic behaviour and assessment, prevention and treatment of common companion dog behaviour 

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Serpell (1995) The Domestic Dog: Its Evolution, Behaviour and Interactions with People.

An early publication pulling together research into dog behaviour, cognition and evolution. The book dispels many myths and stereotypes about our canine friends and includes sections on dog origins, behaviour and behaviour problems as well as human-dog interactions. A comprehensive overview, rooted in scientific evidence. Keep a lookout for the second edition! 

Scott & Fuller (1965) Genetics and the Social Behavior of the Dog: The classic study.

Often referenced, but probably not so often read, this classic study, spanning twenty years, covers research into the role of genetics and socialisation on dog behaviour.
Search to purchase:

Now, we were asked to put together a list of 10 canine science books and managed to squish in 13 there, but if anyone has others they'd have liked to see on this list, PLEASE list them into the comments section and we have have the best list of 15, or 20 or 500 canine science books going round!

In other news, Julie, I've joined a cartel. A while ago, my clever friend, Carolyn, had the idea of creating a positive space for working mums that offers support and smart ideas on how to get through the day. And now, it exists. Somehow, I'm part of it?! 

We're called Champagne Cartel and we have a lot to say. Champagne Cartel is a bunch of six working mums who are all doing the best we can with what we've got. Between us we have 11 kids - ranging in age from 21 years to teeny-tiny - and loads of wisdom and experience to offer. We believe in sometimes putting yourself first, which may or may not include the odd sneaky glass of champagne. And we think guilt is for suckers. 

So if you're ever feeling like a break from canine science, and think you'd like to dip a toe in the champagne, so to speak, you'd be very welcome!

I've just received some more SUPER EXCITING NEWS, but it will just need to wait until next time!

Most importantly Julie, what (and how??) does Chaser think?


Further reading:
  • The books above!
  • Ramos D., Ades C. & Dornhaus A. (2012). Two-Item Sentence Comprehension by a Dog (Canis familiaris), PLoS ONE, 7 (2) e29689. DOI:
  • van der Zee E., Zulch H., Mills D. & Dornhaus A. (2012). Word Generalization by a Dog (Canis familiaris): Is Shape Important?, PLoS ONE, 7 (11) e49382. DOI:
© 2013 Mia Cobb
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