Who’s a Good Dog?: And How To Be a Better Human

Univ. of Chicago. Sept. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780226721712. $26. PETS
Deeply thought-provoking and frequently uncomfortable, this outstanding book asks readers to carefully consider not just the immediate physical needs of dogs but their emotional needs as canines and individuals. Bioethicist Pierce (A Dog’s World) suggests that owners look at the world through the eyes of Fido and consider their needs, preferences, and desires. The typical “intensively homed” dog lives in small quarters and has no choice about when it goes outside; what it eats and when; whether to enter into relationships with other animals, mate, or get inoculated—is this in their best interests? If a dog doesn’t “fit in” with the lifestyle of a family, Pierce asks how a household might adapt to make the dog more comfortable, rather than forcing the dog to change. Extensive notes and resources are provided, along with references to works by other noted experts in the field of animal cognition, training, behavior, and zoology.
VERDICT This authoritative work asks how owners can provide their dogs with an environment to which comfortable, fulfilling adaptation is possible. Highly recommended for most collections.
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