Discovering the Unique Intelligence of Man's Best Friend
Is your dog purposefully disobeying you? Probably, and usually behind your back. What animal hasn't beaten dogs on any measure of intelligence? Apologies, but it's the cat. Why shouldn't you act like 'top dog' to maintain control? You're better off displaying your friendliness. What is the most intelligent breed? As it happens, breed doesn’t matter – though other factors do.
Starting with a landmark discovery in 1995 by evolutionary anthropologist Brian Hare, a wunderkind who now leads the field, scientists have learned how dogs think. Then, Hare proved that his family's dog was not only cleverer than any fox but also cleverer than any chimp. Now, Hare and science writer Vanessa Woods share all of the secrets of dogs' uniquely evolved intelligence, how your dog is a genius, and how to understand your dog's world.
"The definitive dog book of our time by the researcher who started a revolution."
Daniel Levitin, James McGill Professor of Psychology, McGill University, and author of This is Your Brain on Music
"Many authors have tried to capture anecdotally the emotional bond between humans and dogs. Here at last is a book that digs deep into cognitive science to unravel the mysteries of the canine brain. Thoroughly researched and written in the likeable voice of a brainy scientist sitting at your kitchen table, The Genius of Dogs is a fascinating look at what goes on between the ears of the animals we share our lives with. I found it entertaining, fast-moving, and filled with insights that gave me a new appreciation for the complex social intelligence of man’s best friend."
John Grogan, author of Marley & Me
"A masterful account of the way science is revealing just how smart dogs can be. Fascinating and highly readable."
John Bradshaw, Foundation Director of the Anthrozoology Institute, University of Bristol, and author of In Defence of Dogs
"With the help of some wolves, Russian foxes, New Guinea singing dogs and a Labrador retriever named Oreo, Brian Hare tells us about his fascinating search for an understanding of how dogs think and communicate. This is a book that is well worth reading."
Stanley Coren, Professor of Psychology, University of British Columbia, and author of How to Speak Dog
"Based on Brian Hare's game-changing research, The Genius of Dogs brilliantly explains the canine mind and in doing so illuminates the natural history of all intelligence. This book will captivate anyone interested in dog, ape or human mentality."
Richard Wrangham, Professor of Biological Anthropology, Harvard University, and author of Catching Fire
"This is the best book in existence, by far, for learning about the recent revolution in our understanding of the minds of dogs. And it's fun, too."
Mike Tomasello, Co-Director, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
"The Genius of Dogs is fantastic. It makes it very clear that there are different kinds of intelligence. All dog lovers should read this book."
Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation
"The Genius of Dogs is not just about dogs, and not just about genius. It's an exciting detective story by two comparative biologists with amazing discoveries to report."
Bernd Heinrich, Professor Emeritus of Biology, University of Vermont, and author of Mind of the Raven
"You would be hard-pressed to find a more cheerful, optimistic and warm-hearted read. Difficult, too, to find another book about dogs touching not only on Darwin and Skinner, but also on Stalin. Even Justin Bieber gets a mention… fascinating."
Table of Contents:
Part One: Brian's Dog
1. Genius in Dogs? The many flavours of genius
2. The Wolf Event: Wolves conquer the world, only to lose it all
3. In My Parents' Garage: The perfect place for a scientific discovery
4. Clever as a Fox: How an obscure Russian scientist revealed domestication's secret
5. Survival of the Friendliest: How a little congeniality can get you ahead
Part Two: 'Dog Smarts'
6. Dog Speak: Are we having a conversation?
7. Lost Dogs: Dogs don't beat wolves at everything
8. Pack Animals: Dogs are best in a social network
Part Three: Your Dog
9. Best in Breed: The question on everyone's lips – which breed is smartest?
10. Teaching Genius: How do you train a cognitive dog?
11. For the Love of Dog: Could we love one another more?