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Dogs: A Natural History

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  42 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Dog lovers do not need to be reminded that dogs are astonishing creatures, but recent research shows that they are even more amazing than anyone knew. Dogs draws on the last several decades of studies, examining everything from a dog's eyesight to its culinary preferences and sense of humor. Jake Page looks at dogs' wild brothers, the wolves, and their closer cousins, the ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published October 9th 2007 by Smithsonian (first published 2007)
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Hilary
Jun 23, 2009 Hilary rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Townes v Z, PraisinJC
What a cool book!

This was a comprehensive guide to the natural history of dogs (surprise, surprise) that did not get bogged down by becoming too intensive. Each aspect of a dog's history and life was touched upon - from the origin of the modern dog, the process through which dogs most likely became domesticated, how different breeds arose -- to how a dog matures from puppyhood to doghood, how a dog utilizes the different senses it possesses, all the way to what a decent method of training dogs w
...more
digbybare
Sep 11, 2009 digbybare rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Jake Page
Shelves: non-fiction, science
Mildly informative. This book gives a shallow treatment of a broad range of topics concerning wild and domesticated canines. The author, while noticeably under-informed and clearly not fully understanding the research he conducted, gives a decent overview of dog history and behavior.

My main qualm with the book is with the "quips" found throughout the book. This includes his HI-LARIOUS mocking of scientific names. Scientists are stooooooooopid, hurf durf. Never gets old.

Also, from page 151:

"Belie
...more
Elaine
Jul 23, 2014 Elaine rated it liked it
I read this on a NOOKcolor. It depends heavily on the past several decades of canine evolution and how dogs today see and undersrand the world around them. Page also includes some information about other canidae, not all particularly relevant to canis familiaris. The biggest omission and disappointment are the lack of current research on the cognitive and social abilities of the domestic dog. Given the scope of the research on this, and also its relevance to those who own dogs, there is little e ...more
Tina Grove
Feb 07, 2011 Tina Grove rated it liked it
It was a decent overview for a first time reader of the history of dogs, however some of the generalizations and opinions he asserts in the end of the book angered and irritated me especially when they were mostly unsupported by any research or studies. For instance he begins to make claims about certain types of trainers and their methods and it seemed out of left field and not helpful at all. In a way it made second guess the credibility of the first part of the book. If one part could be so b ...more
Alexandra Heeter
Feb 25, 2015 Alexandra Heeter rated it really liked it
Great book! Very well put together and I loved the anecdotal stories which helped back up facts and break up the monotony. Definitely an easy ready and one that's nowhere near boring! Highly recommended.
MJ
Jul 26, 2008 MJ rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
The author has 6 dogs and this book is a wonderful combination of natural history and practical knowledge. I did not know that dogs and foxes are related. This is an entertaining, fast read and well worth your time if you have a fondness for dogs and want to find out more about how they tick and why.
Diane
Jun 05, 2008 Diane rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: dog lovers, dog owners
Jake Page has entwined history, anecdotes about his own dogs and asides to the reader to make this the most engaging book of the history of dogs I have read. (I've read a lot of them.)

Thoroughly entertaining, informative and amusing.
Marina
Jul 23, 2008 Marina rated it it was amazing
Awesome, awesome book. Read it in conjunction with watching the PBS Nature show: Dogs that Changed the World. Similar information but both compelling and interesting.
Aimee
Jan 09, 2008 Aimee rated it it was amazing
Gave me a lot of insight on my dog's behavior, and that dogs and humans really developed side-by-side.... we go together!
Promise Stark
Dec 11, 2012 Promise Stark rated it really liked it
Excellent in-depth examination of the biological and historical background of domesticated dogs.
Rebecca
Aug 22, 2008 Rebecca rated it it was ok
Although I'm not a dog person, I do find them interesting to read about. Go figure.
Dave
Mar 05, 2008 Dave rated it liked it
A fun book to read... especially since I love dogs but can't own one yet.
Katie
Jul 02, 2009 Katie rated it really liked it
Awesome book on the history of dogs. Informative and entertaining.
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James Keena "Jake" Page, Jr. was the founding editor of Doubleday's Natural History Press, as well as editorial director of Natural History magazine and science editor of Smithsonian magazine. He has written more than forty books on the natural sciences, zoological topics, and Native American affairs, as well as mystery fiction.
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