Dog Is Love: Why and How Your Dog Loves You

Houghton Harcourt. Sept. 2019. 288p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9781328543967. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781328543981. PETS
This entry in the growing category of books examining the human-dog relationship is solidly supported by current research coming out of the Canine Science Collaboratory at Arizona State University. Canine behaviorist Wynne draws not only on studies conducted in his laboratory, but includes research from other scientists and institutions as evidenced in 13 pages of notes and references. Following a brief reminiscence about his exposure to pets as a child, the author dives into his thesis: What if dogs don’t have cognitive abilities that enable them to understand humans (the longstanding opinion), but instead have some ability that hasn’t been defined yet? Wynne believes that anthropomorphizing our animals is permissible and proper, and that ignoring our dogs’ need for love is as unethical as mistreating them in other ways. The bond of love between dog and owner is strikingly similar to that found between couples.
VERDICT After reading this book, readers may not perceive their relationship with their dog in the same way. Engagingly written and understandable by general audiences, this is a worthy addition to any pet lover’s library.
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