Our Dogs, Ourselves: The Story of a Singular Bond

Scribner. Sept. 2019. 320p. illus. notes. index. ISBN 9781501175008. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781501175022. PETS
Do dogs feel shame? Or, are their expressions in popular “pet shaming” pictures and videos based in fear? New York Times best-selling author Horowitz (head, Dog Cognition Lab, Barnard Coll., Columbia Univ.; Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know) explores shared (mis)understandings about and adoration of our canine best friends in her latest work on the subject. Topics in each chapter are handled from various angles. “The Trouble with Breeds,” for example, examines the history of breeding and dog shows; hereditary disorders and diseases associated with breeding (essentially, inbreeding); breed-specific legislation (BSL) and breed bans; and humans’ inability to identify or understand “breeds” in many of these situations. A robust resource list is provided for readers to explore topics further. Though grounded in extensive academic research, Horowitz’s book speaks to a broad audience through personal anecdotes and relatable prose.
VERDICT For readers interested in thinking deeply about dogs and our relationships with them.
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