Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Why Does My Dog Act That Way?: A Complete Guide to Your Dog's Personality” as Want to Read:
Why Does My Dog Act That Way?: A Complete Guide to Your Dog's Personality
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Why Does My Dog Act That Way?: A Complete Guide to Your Dog's Personality

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  115 ratings  ·  25 reviews
We've shared our lives with dogs for thousands of years, but they still act in ways that baffle us. Do you ever look at Ginger's body language and wonder what she's about to do? Do you wish you could predict how King will act when brought into a new situation or meeting a new person? Do you compare your sweet, mild-mannered dog with your neighbor's aggressive, unruly canin ...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published December 5th 2006 by Atria Books (first published 2006)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Why Does My Dog Act That Way?, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Why Does My Dog Act That Way?

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 233)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
This book was a mix for me, and although I ultimately gave up on it, there was a lot in here that was really interesting and stuck with me.

-the history of domestication and wolf vs dog
-the experiments he cites about how animals are domesticated (or not)
-the section on pit fighting and history of fighting breeds

-the extensive and annoyingly 'common sense' guide to the breeds, which seemed to stand without actual evidence or any real purpose
-the way the book degenerated into a breeder's
Amusing, erudite and very informative. I was skeptical when I picked this up, fearing it would be another touchy-feely "love your doggie" sort of book. It's not. Coren is a scientist, pure and simple. He's also an unapologetic, unreconstructed Darwinist of the Dawkins school, which gets huge points from this reader. Highly recommended for dog-owners.
This book is more about establishing the personality of a newborn dog, rather than one that will help you divine why your dog (who came from the pound) is confused by playing but loves eating bees. It would be a very useful book for the new puppy owner, however, and it features several chapters of heroic dog stories (always inspiring to yours truly, sentimental dog lover).

It includes a little quiz that tells you which breeds have personality types more suited to you. It told me what I already kn
Dena Beck
It was an enjoyable read, but not a lot of practical information for the owner of three adult dogs. It would be practical for someone raising puppies. It covers the importance of the things they experience in the first weeks of their lives. For those of us who didn't have our dogs at that stage in their life, it highlights what they likely missed. It doesn't offer much in the way of how you can correct for that later in their life-possibly because he doesn't think you can. I liked his writing st ...more
Sep 29, 2007 Angela rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to read this author's ramblings about what dog breeds he hates
Shelves: dogs
I didn't get anything worthwhile out of this book. The author is constantly calling various dogs breeds "vicious" "angry" and "monsters."

Frankly I don't trust the opinion of any dog author who can call the Staffordshire bull terrier (one of the most popular breeds in England) "unfriendly to humans!" Has he ever actually SEEN one of these dogs? This guy is from another planet.

This book is also based around AKC breeds and raising dogs from a very young age - so if you have a mutt, a mix, a breed f
Coren offers a great introduction to the mind of dogs; he writes as both an animal behavior specialist (PhD in psychology) and as someone who loves the dogs in his life. If you've never read any of his books, you will learn a lot from this. If you've read some of his others, however, you will find a certain amount of repetition from earlier works.
Apr 22, 2007 monica rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dog lovers
This was a great book for anyone interested owning a dog, especially if you have no idea what breed would be the best choice for you. Written in an easy-to-read style, it incorporates a plethora of interesting elements: from American Kennel Club conformation standards, to commonly-used examinations of dog behavior, to university studies of human personality and the history of the man-dog relationship. Read it to gain a better understanding of the ins and outs of dog personality.
Many previous reviewers said that they stopped after the personality questionnaire. But I recommend reading the last two chapters as well, because there are some great stories of dogs rescuing their masters that teared me up.
This is a "why" book, not a book that offers solutions to existing behavior problems. Full of interesting research and anecdotes, discussions of personality testing for dogs, and how to raise a "superdog" from birth to age one. Lovers of the fighting breeds will be upset by his definite stance that their dangerous reputation is in part well founded and the result of centuries of careful breeding.
Jun 22, 2008 Ed rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dog lovers, dognappers, those seeking reading material for afternoon cat-naps
I feel I understand my 4-legged friends a bit better as a result of knowledge gained by reading this book. Only people who never had a dog could state that they don't have personalities. They are as different as people with their traits and quirks.
Recommended for larger public library collections or special collections dealing with domesticated animals.
One of my favorites- some chilling revelation in this one. I was almost disappointed, because it doesn't start out with the warm, anecdotal tale of dog lore that each of his books does, but... it's there... deep into the book. I imagine if the reader were hit with this one right off the bat, the story would have deterred any further investigation.
I don't know why I keep reading Stanley Coren; I think he's a mediocre researcher who relies completely on breed stereotypes. But I guess we all like to read about stereotypes. That's what this book is about. Some interesting anecdotes, but it didn't make sense as a cohesive work and had a lot of unnecessary, irrelevant chapters.
I ask myself that question every day...I was thinking I'd learn something here about my psycho pointer. Book was very clinicsl and very generalized. Explored much of the psychology of a dog but didn't offer too many solutions. Or at least any I could find. Lots of info, but none I found particularly useful.
Stanely Coren is always informative, funny and anecdotal. A Professional psychologist as well as one of the smartest people on dogs, this is truly a great book to have around when trying to figure out exactly what is going on when your dog acts or doesn't act the way you expect.
To clarify, this book is more on what constitutes a dog's personality and if is it possible to quantify a dog's personality. It won't give you pointers on what to do to train your dog, but it will make you cry at the stories about how dogs have saved people's lives.
This was a fun and rather fascinating study of dogs. I especially enjoyed the personality quiz that was included in the book. The anecdotes ranged from amusing to heart-breaking. The chapter on heroic dogs especially stood out. I really enjoyed this!
Book about dog bhx written by a research psychologist. Great resource for curious dog owners, especially psychologically minded ones. Only draw back is that it can read a little dry at points. Recommended.
Kind of left the book after the dog personality test (Stevie=high sociability/moderately low intelligence? A prescription for success for many PEOPLE.) But the rest of the book was good too really.
love it. As the owner of two neurotic rescue dogs and one very confident dog, it explains what may have been the causes in a very understandable way.
Even though I don't own a dog... This is a book that I would have my own copy of and keep on the bookshelves as it is so informative and well written. Wow!!!
Great book! Really helped me understand my dog more and develop a closer relationship with him!
Samara Gagne
This is the best comprehensive dog guide I have ever read. 5 million stars. (Seriously).
Jason Caughell
It was funney the way it described the dog's personality.
Entertaining, but not a behavior book.
Paige marked it as to-read
Feb 19, 2015
Sandi Turla
Sandi Turla is currently reading it
Feb 08, 2015
Charfenton marked it as to-read
Feb 05, 2015
Robin Salisbury
Robin Salisbury marked it as to-read
Dec 30, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Feisty Fido: Help for the Leash Aggressive Dog
  • The Dog Who Loved Too Much: Tales, Treatments and the Psychology of Dogs
  • The Dog Listener: Learn How to Communicate with Your Dog for Willing Cooperation
  • Feeling Outnumbered?: How to Manage and Enjoy Your Multi-Dog Household
  • The Dog Whisperer: A Compassionate, Nonviolent Approach to Dog Training
  • Reaching the Animal Mind: Clicker Training and What It Teaches Us About All Animals
  • Canine Body Language: A Photographic Guide Interpreting the Native Language of the Domestic Dog
  • The Complete Idiot's Guide to Positive Dog Training
  • Dogs Never Lie About Love: Reflections on the Emotional World of Dogs
  • On Talking Terms with Dogs: Calming Signals
  • 101 Dog Tricks: Step by Step Activities to Engage, Challenge, and Bond with Your Dog
  • In a Dog's Heart: What Our Dogs Need, Want, and Deserve--and the Gifts We Can Expect in Return
  • The Social Lives of Dogs
  • Divine Canine: The Monks' Way to a Happy, Obedient Dog
  • It's Me or the Dog: How to Have the Perfect Pet
  • Excel-Erated Learning: Explaining in Plain English How Dogs Learn and How Best to Teach Them
  • A Member of the Family
  • No Bad Dogs: The Woodhouse Way
How To Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication How Dogs Think: What the World Looks Like to Them and Why They Act the Way They Do The Intelligence of Dogs: A Guide to the Thoughts, Emotions, and Inner Lives of Our Canine Companions Do Dogs Dream? : Nearly Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know Born to Bark: My Adventures with an Irrepressible and Unforgettable Dog

Share This Book