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

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  131 Ratings  ·  27 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
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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
Sep 15, 2007 Melody rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 02, 2008 A. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 did not like it  ·  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
Jan 07, 2014 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 liked it  ·  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.
Jul 26, 2013 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 liked it  ·  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.
May 18, 2008 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dog-books
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.
Feb 27, 2014 D. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written by a scientist, this easy-to-read volume uses various studies to describe and explain the temperament and personality of dogs. The author is a psychologist with a good understanding of evolutionary theory and natural selection which he uses to explain dog behavior. Breed personality profiles and anecdotes make the book engaging.
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.
Nov 14, 2007 Xenia0201 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Emily Steele
Apr 24, 2016 Emily Steele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting look into why dogs and different dog species exhibit certain behaviors. Great read for dog lovers
Jan 13, 2009 Peter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dog-books
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.
Feb 19, 2010 Victoria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, nature
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!
Jan 03, 2008 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 06, 2013 Lora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
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.
Aug 05, 2012 Abbey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 05, 2013 Darcy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!!!
Jul 04, 2010 Miranda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book! Really helped me understand my dog more and develop a closer relationship with him!
Jun 06, 2014 Carrie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not, has-dogs
Imagine your most boring college professor taking on the subject of dogs
Jason Caughell
It was funney the way it described the dog's personality.
Aug 04, 2011 Tisha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining, but not a behavior book.
Aug 23, 2009 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
it was ok
Cynthia Bradley
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