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Dogs Never Lie About Love: Reflections on the Emotional World of Dogs

4.02  ·  Rating Details ·  991 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
As he guides readers through the surprising depth of canine emotional complexity, Jeffrey Masson draws from myth and literature, from scientific studies, and from the stories and observations of dog trainers and dog lovers around the world. But the stars of the book are Masson's own three dogs - Sasha, Sima, and Rani - whose delightful and mysterious behavior provides the ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published August 26th 1997 by Crown Pub (first published December 12th 1991)
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Jan 26, 2010 LizG rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I appreciate that the author set out to explore the emotional, higher consciousness of dogs in defiance of the traditional, rather cold-hearted "mere beast" stance science typically takes, but he waxes overly sentimental about his own pack. His position is that when you live with and really observe them, you recognize a deeper relationship with dogs. Then he dismisses cats the way he accuses typical scientists of dismissing dogs!

I lived with two cats for 12 years. They were communicative, social
Aug 12, 2010 Ninya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone especially dog owners
Shelves: 2010
A book of knowledge about the feelings and love of dogs! The best dog book I've read! Perhaps the best book Jeffrey Masson has ever written! Dog-owners should read this and also those that do not appreciate dogs as pets or as important as they should really be. I love my dogs much more now since I appreciate all that they do and I know their deep thoughts, feelings, and anxieties! Dogs don't think like humans, but they do not think like "real" animals.

"A dog is the only thing on earth that love
Sep 04, 2014 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read! I liked when he mentioned his dog looking at him with a "long, rueful gaze," and when he wrote that "dogs return love so fiercely, so openly, so unambivalently" (that it's hard not to return the sentiment). I've seen lot's of emotion in dogs, I feel like sometimes they are more emotional than humans. However he claims that "to dogs, smelling and feeling are essentially the same. and to smell is to feel an emotion." Instead of the 5 million olfactory cells that humans have, dogs have ...more
This was a very interesting book. I read it on the heels of Elizabeth Marshall Thomas's The Hidden Life of Dogs, which Masson cited on one of the very first pages of the book. I actually started this one first, but then when I hit that reference, read Thomas's book first. In general, I think Thomas was more successful than Masson, perhaps because she attempted less. A former psychoanalyst, with a long list of liberal arts accomplishments, Masson tries to interpret perhaps a bit too much. While T ...more
Mar 11, 2010 Allison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In his book, The Outermost House...
"We need another & a wiser & perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal Nature, & living by complicated artifice, Man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge & sees thereby a feather magnified & the whole image in distortion.

We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, & greatly err. For the Anima
East Bay J
I dug this book in that it has lots of interesting and cool stories about dogs. Dogs Never Lie About Love is not a scientific book. Masson stresses that he is trying not to anthropomorphize and it is clear he wrote from a lot of research based on observation (scientific and otherwise) and best guesses. Regardless, anyone who has observed dogs, living either with them or around them for long periods of time, will sense the inherent truth in what Masson is saying. You will recognize what he is tal ...more
Jan 05, 2008 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jen by: My sister
Shelves: own
This was a Christmas present from my sister, so I can now blame her for the new dog we own. About half way through this book I gave into the pressure of my fiance and realized our current dog needed/wanted another dog around. So....we went to the animal shelter and picked out a new dog. It is really wonderful to have another dog around.

This book is awesome and should be read but everyone, including non dog lovers! The title is so true! DOGS NEVER LIE ABOUT LOVE! Dogs have the purest emotion and
May 17, 2010 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend this book to any of my dog loving FB friends. The author does a great job of exploring whether or not dogs feel emotions such as embarrassment, humility, empathy, and even how deep they feel love. He makes a great point about why dogs are always so happy: they live in the here and now. They're not concerned with what happened yesterday or what's going to happen tomorrow; it's all about the living in the present. We could learn from them.
Sep 14, 2012 Anj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm still in the first few chapters of the book. Thus, I can't write a concrete review yet; however, I can say that this book has a lot of insights on the psychological aspect of a human-dog relationship. It makes us understand the whys and wherefores of our dog's gestures/activities. I also noticed my head nodding as I affirm to some of the writer's observation.. I think this book is very insightful for all dog-lovers..Can't wait to finish it.
Finally got to this one - interesting book. I felt like the author was very tentative in everything he was saying as if he didn't really want to commit to his words. He certainly cites a lot of sources. I did learn a few interesting things I didn't know - like that members of the dog family do not bark much, unlike domestic dogs. Also liked the chapter on how dogs relate to cats. The best parts were his personal antidotes about his own "pack".
Karen Kinsella
Aug 11, 2016 Karen Kinsella rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book, but felt a bit schizo... neither fish nor fowl. Part a summary of what is known about the emotions of dogs, especially the positive emotions. And part the personal observations and conclusions of the author as a dog owner. Still, well written and an enjoyable read that expanded my knowledge of our doggy friends a bit, at the same time giving me some things to think about and to try to observe in my own dog.
This thought-provoking book attempts to persuade readers to believe that dogs also have emotions and are capable of true love, not the human form of love/lust. Numerous accounts, many world-renowned, are provided to prove the theory.
Although the book is somewhat wordy, it is written in a way that allows the reader to feel it is more of a "story" than a thesis. Anyone who is a dog-lover/owner feels validated with this book. Dogs have feelings, emotions, thoughts, even a soul.
Livia Stone
Oct 14, 2007 Livia Stone rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This is the kind of book I was expecting when I read Rats by Robert Sullivan and Condor by John Nielson - a book entirely about dogs. It's a very thoughtful book that celebrates our connection with canine companions. It will give you a new appreciation for the depth of emotion they are capable of, and that they inspire in us.
Sep 12, 2011 Colleen marked it as quit-reading  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting. I'm only on page 17, but already two ideas so new and interesting follow me around.
One is that long ago it was not wolves who entered into men's culture, but men who joined the wolves for protection and sustinance.
The other is an idea from philosopher Ludwig Feuerbach, God is nothing but our projection, on a celestial screen, of the essence of man.
Jun 10, 2010 Victoria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, nature
This was an interesting book. I really enjoyed the many anecdotes about not only dogs, but wild animals as well. Though I think the most surprising thing was the three dogs he adopted were not really raised as puppies, for the most part. All in all, a fascinating book with a lot of fun stories to share.
Kate Matson
I read this book awhile back and I really enjoyed it. It's such a wonderful read and gives you the insight on the Emotional world of dogs. It gave me a whole different perspective on dogs and I just loved it. When I look at my dog, I now know that he truly loves me. And now I can truly love my dog back. A must read for all those animal lovers out there.
Feb 10, 2010 Carolyn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is basically just some guys' ramblings about his life with his dogs and how he loves them and thinks they have all these complex emotions. As a dog-lover myself I agree with him on most of it and it kept me entertained while at work. It didn't really tell me much I didn't already know just by having a dog though.
Stephen Castley
May 30, 2016 Stephen Castley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is amazing. His insights into dog behaviors and the way they think is great. It is well referenced. You can flick to any chapter in this book and be informed and entertained.
Definitely a great read for a dog lover.
Claudine Taillac
One of the best books I've ever read. Masson is a great storyteller and philosopher. He makes profound connections seem so logical. Anyone who thinks that they really love dogs should read this book.
Aug 17, 2011 Granny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book and this author, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson. I have read several of his books and every one is terrific. He has such a kind heart and writes about the animal kingdom with great love, respect, and compassion.
Sep 25, 2010 Sharon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was interesting, but kind of technical. I thought 'Animals Make Us Human' by Temple Grandin was an easier, more fun read! (Maybe I'm partly autistic or something, because I really liked her direct style of writing and laughed aloud at some of her turns of phrase!)
Lucy Wightman
Sep 24, 2011 Lucy Wightman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inspiring
Eye opening, even more surprising for non-doggish people (from what I hear on the street). Dogs being everywhere, do we take for granted what they have to teach us? Or are we just too arrogant to want to know? This book creates some questions to keep in the curiosity file.
It's a nice book, mainly because I just like to read about people and their relationships with their dogs. I don't think I learned anything new (but that's getting increasingly difficult, having read 40-something dog books now), but I enjoyed it just the same.
Mary Ann
Jul 16, 2011 Mary Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book many years ago when I first got my dog and found it to be a fabulous read. There is so much "behind the scenes" when it comes to dogs - from their descendance from wolves, to domestication, to their role as (wo)man's best friend. I have a much better appreciation for my 'pet'!!
Apr 29, 2009 Heather rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This book was not as good as his book, When elephant's weep--or something by that name. I did learn some new things, but I believe that there are better books about how dogs function and what they think.
Nov 23, 2009 Anderson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: regina
I like this book because it tells you about how dogs like you and how can you like them. If you are a person that likes dogs and love you will put that together and taran you would like this book!!!!!!
What can I say about this book, I'll tell you.. Roger Caras is brilliant when it comes to the truth about dogs.

I quote him all the time. This book greatly influenced me and how I have perceived the dogs that share my life.

A "must" read.
Jun 06, 2016 Lyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Compelling, a veritable valentine to man's best friend!" "Everyone who loves dogs and who knows the ultimate joy of being loved by a dog will want this book."
I loved this book so much, it is now on my need-to-buy list!!!!! :)
Aug 30, 2008 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've never learned so much from a book as I did with this one. It really opens your life to the way animals can think, and how animal feelings are pretty much the same to the ones humans have. The book really helps you view life in a different way, and makes you appreciate animals much more.
Tom Mueller
How true a statement the title is. Indeed, they are not capable of deception.
From the back cover
"Everyone who knows dogs and who knows the ultimate joy o being loved by a dog will want this book."
Gifted to Jesse Moranti Oct 1, 2011.
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He has written several books books critical of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy and psychiatry as well as books on animals, their emotions and their rights.

He currently lives in New Zealand with his wife, two sons, three cats and three rats.
More about Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson...

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“Perhaps one central reason for loving dogs is that they take us away from this obsession with ourselves. When our thoughts start to go in circles, and we seem unable to break away, wondering what horrible event the future holds for us, the dog opens a window into the delight of the moment.” 100 likes
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