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How To Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication
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How To Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  894 Ratings  ·  70 Reviews
Parlez-vous Doggish?

At long last, dogs will know just how smart their owners can be. By unlocking the secrets of the hidden language of dogs, psychologist Stanley Coren allows us into the doggy dialogue, or "Doggish," and makes effective communication a reality.

Drawing on substantial research in animal behavior, evolutionary biology, and years of personal experience,

Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 17th 2001 by Atria Books (first published 2000)
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Jan 17, 2011 Rydh rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals

"How To Speak Dog" by Stanley Coren

Postscript ONE LAST WORD

"There is one sound that dogs make which I have not included in my discussion of Doggish vocalizations. I didn't include it because it is an automatic sound, which probably was not intended by either evolution or the gods to be communication at all, but it has come to mean something to me. It is the sound of dogs breathing. At night, when I lie down to sleep, my old dog Wiz lies on the bed beside me, while Odin lies on a cedar chip pillo
Sep 04, 2014 Alice rated it it was amazing
This book is thus far the most enlightening, beautifully written piece on dogs I've come across, and that is not just in comparison to all of the frivolous responses to my Google queries. (Well, maybe it is.) As a first time dog owner, I had more questions than a search engine could reasonably answer. What is this thing about being an alpha dog?! Is my dog painfully bored during my long workday? What is it about his greeting that seems to put all the other dogs in a tizzy? Why is he constantly s ...more
Jan 03, 2017 Renmarie56 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-2017
I liked this book because it's a clear guide as to how dogs communicate and how to read their body language. As someone who did not grow up with dogs, I found it useful to have some basics explained.
Ms. Yingling
Dec 26, 2016 Ms. Yingling rated it liked it
So when my dog used me as a mattress today, I am just going to assume that she likes me. As much time as she spends on my actual person, she is either really, really cold or she likes me a tiny bit.
Sandal Press
Nov 19, 2012 Sandal Press rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
May I begin by saying what an utter UTTER delight it is to come across someone in psychology who actually seems to like and respect animals! I have always regarded our history (whether economic or social) to be incredibly speciesist and unbelievably arrogant about our place on the planet. We would like to be respected but don’t consider it necessary to respect those we inhabit this world with. What a “civilised” attitude to have!

And so, again, to this book. Dr. Coren is a skilful and entertainin
Aug 06, 2012 Rosemarie rated it really liked it
After reading reviews and finding that a prominent trainer in my area recommended this book I ran right out and bought it from a bookstore, sorry Amazon I could not wait.
I tried everything to stop my boy from barking at other dogs, I even hired a trainer who proceeded to make matters worse so I now shy away from them too.

First I want to say, I have a Pug, if you have one of these wonderful animals this may not be your go to book. As you are well away our Pugs do not have normal ears, tails and s
Jan 15, 2017 Sofie rated it did not like it
Shelves: animals
Read something by Patricia McConnell instead of this.

Coren spends far too much time arguing (unconvincingly) that dogs have "true language". I don't really care if they do or not, but if this is the best argument that they do, I'm going to have to side with the linguists. He has presented no evidence that dog communication is any more complex or language-like than human body language or non-language verbalization (which aren't language either). He even compared dog communication with sign langua
Indy Hart
Mar 10, 2014 Indy Hart rated it it was amazing
How To Speak Dog: Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication is a masterfully written reference on the topic of canine communication. Stanley Coren thoroughly describes the many methods and messages of canine behavior; he also illustrates those behaviors both literally (with visual references) and anecdotally with personal stories and scientific studies.

I have casually explored canine communication for a number of years, even doing a handful of science projects on the subject as a child. Recen
Feb 12, 2013 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
Stanley Coren’s How to Speak Dog is absolutely fascinating, interesting, educational, informative, and well-written. I loved it! I’ve read and watched numerous books and TV programs about dog behavior and dog training, and this book bets out the rest.
How to Speak Dog decodes how animals use language to communicate with each other, and how dogs communicate with their bodies, ears, eyes, tails, and faces. Coren incorporates sociology and psychology to understand the behaviors of animals, and he
Feb 12, 2017 Laurie rated it really liked it
It was very informative. With five dogs of various breeds, it's important to have an understanding of body language. I was able to put the new information into practice, and have reread it several times to refresh my understanding.
Al Maki
Sep 01, 2015 Al Maki rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals
Coren is the man who wore a cone on his face to see if his dog could better understand what he was looking at - it did. He's also an academic and reviews research on what's known about dog communication in a manner both comprehensive and easy to follow. It's an introduction to the signals dogs put out to express their state: barks, body positions, tails, eye shapes, smells and more. It does not try to teach how to get a dog to do what you want. Nor does it make assumptions about the mentality of ...more
Kris Semple
Dec 28, 2012 Kris Semple rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Very disappointing. Don't read this book if you are expecting to find out what the latest scientific evidence is on dog communications. The very concept of dog language is weak and seems to hinge in the author's wish for it to be true. On page 19 he states "evolution was heading toward the appearance of human-level linguistic abilities". This is a fundamental misunderstanding of evolution, there is no direction to evolution. Human language abilities are not the pinnacle of evolution, they are th ...more
Feb 16, 2009 Emily rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals
This book was really interesting to read. It really gives you insight into human and dog interaction. It covers all sorts of topics, from sent marking (i really enjoyed that chapter) to teaching children how to approach dogs, to even how cats and dogs interact. I found myself laughing out loud at some of the authors stories and examples. The one negative I found in this book was that sometimes he was too lengthy in talking on a subject. I found myself thinking "get to the point". That is why I g ...more
Tim Carter
Dec 31, 2013 Tim Carter rated it it was amazing
Ah my friend Stanley (you may tell him when you see him next ;-)
This a a hugely elaborate, detailed, and insightful book about dog language. Not about how WE communicate with dogs, but how THEY communicate with us, and amongst each other.
The only point that irritated me was that I felt sligthly misled by the title: I would have called it "How dogs speak". For me, "How to speak dog" suggests that the reader learns ... well, how to speak dog language! Which would mean it teaches Behavior Training
Chris M
Jan 14, 2016 Chris M rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nf-dogs
I believe the information on what dogs are saying is largely correct but dogs themselves are much easier to read than this book. After struggling to maintain intetest through the author's academic theorizing on what language is or is not and how it developed and why (a full quarter of the book), I felt as if he was trying too hard to convince me to agree with his own opinions. He could be right but the writing left me doubting his credibility. I thought maybe the book would live up to its "how t ...more
Fraser Sherman
Oct 12, 2014 Fraser Sherman rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
Coren argues that dogs understand us quite well, including both reading body language and recognizing words, and that their own language of barks, tail-wags, raised ears and mouth movements give them a fairly sophisticated level of communication. From the practical viewpoint (my wife and I are looking for a puppy, someone recommended this as a guide to dogs), it also includes a breakdown of What Your Dog Is Saying and suggestions for training (using the dog’s name before you give the command ens ...more
Heather Browning
Apr 10, 2014 Heather Browning rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, animals
Best book I've read on understanding dogs. It makes me miss having a dog in my life. Coren is clearly deeply familiar with dogs and the ways in which they communicate, and he does a great job of presenting the world from their point of view, without overly anthropomorphising. The text is easy to read, with a perfect mix of information and illustrative/entertaining anecdotes. I would recommend this to any dog owner, to help better understand your own pet and how to communicate with them, making b ...more
Dec 30, 2008 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Really great basis for understanding dogs. Can not be considered comprehensive, but it's just about there. Also has handy tips for understanding a dogs communication and how you can use that information to keep yourself safe and to communicate to an aggressive dog that you do not want to fight.

Also, has a charming little fable about how dogs and cats became to be enemies, with a following discussion about how their body language differs and results in "miscommunication" between these species.
Nov 04, 2012 Sheena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought I knew a lot about dogs, but this book proved me wrong. I learned a lot about body language of dogs and what they mean. When the author describes the meaning of dog barks, it was difficult for me to understand which sound he was talking about. Therefore, when a dog is talking to me, I might interpret it incorrectly. I also wish the book had more illustrations upon describing different body language. Although I felt like the author was going off topic sometimes, it's a great book and yo ...more
Erwyn Montagne
Jan 18, 2017 Erwyn Montagne rated it really liked it
Excellent book to give you insight into the behaviour of your dog. I got my first dog in august 2016 and this book really helped me understand canine communication. What is my dog trying to tell me through barking or posture. This book was recommended to me and it was an excellent choice as first book to get you started. I think I did a better job at raising and educating my dog thanks this book!!
May 30, 2012 Tatjana rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction-dogs
how to speak dog is an engaging read. I have read it every time a new dog comes into the pack.
I believe the information in this book is of great benefit, particularly to people who are not in crisis with dog behavioral cunundrums. the picture the author builds its cumulative and will help us live more harmoniously with our packmates.
it is far and away my favorite dog training aid since it reminds me that my signals van easily be misinterpreted.
Sep 22, 2012 Miss rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, pets
Generally good information.
Too much evolutionary hoo-ha.

Enjoyed the comparison of dog & cat communication.

Very anecdotal. His love of his dogs, and dogs as a whole, comes through & I found that reassuring - some writers of such books don't seem overly fond of dogs (yes, you, Brad Pattinson!) which is off-putting.

Diagrams & charts were clear.

Interesting tidbit: He's a Professor of Psychology at UBC and lives nearby.
Kathi Olsen
Dec 17, 2011 Kathi Olsen rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a really helpful book for anyone who has anything to do with dogs and needing to be able to work with them effectively. The first part of the book has a lot of language theory which is written in a very interesting and informative way. Even if you are not an animal person, there is value in reading this as it really will help in the way you deal with people not in your culture or circle of friends.
Oct 29, 2009 Florence rated it it was amazing
Neoteny, or the retention of juvenile characteristics such as rounded muzzle, floppy ears and high pitched bark, occurs in domestic canines, unlike wild canines. Some breeds of domestic dog have also lost some of th e ability to convey subtle social messages to the pack. In all, a fascinating book with great insight as to how dogs communicate with humans, with other species, and with each other.
Oct 27, 2009 Julie rated it liked it
I found this to be an interesting study of the "language" of dogs. Some I already knew but some was new to me. I loved the sketches showing heightening aggression and the chart on dog behavior meanings. I think it is an informative read for anyone wanting to have a better understanding of their dogs behavior as well as other dogs. Especially useful to understand the the behaviors that could lead to a fight between dogs or a bite to a human.
Jun 06, 2015 Christine rated it liked it
While this is a good book that gave me insight into how to interpret a dog's body language and sounds, it did not have a very extensive section on how to use this knowledge in training. There were more pages devoted to persuading the reader that dogs have language.

Bummer. I hope I have learned enough to apply this myself without extra tutorials and examples.
Jun 07, 2012 Scott rated it really liked it
Coren is at his best when he tell stories from his own experience to illustrate the science he presents. Unfortunately these moments are much more rare than the digressive moments in the book when he provides somewhat tangential psychology lessons. In a ten page chapter, there are a couple informative points. Skimming suffices for much of the book.
Sep 12, 2011 Abby rated it liked it
A nice place to start in a study of canine communication and behavior, but there have been better books written about it (to name a few: The Other End of the Leash (McConnell), Inside of a Dog (Horowitz), and Dog Sense (Bradshaw)). My full review here:
Donna Sandidge
Nov 24, 2012 Donna Sandidge rated it it was ok
The title made me think I would be having coffee and conversations with Rosie after reading this book. Instead, I have learned quite a bit about the domestication of dogs and about animal communication, in general. I liked the book but it took me FOREVER to read and it wasn't at all what I expected - more a theory of dog communication.
Oggie Ramos
Jul 27, 2016 Oggie Ramos rated it really liked it
I've read quite a lot of books on dogs and this one rates high on my list. Stanley corroborates a lot of things I'm already practicing but have not put a name or theory on and add some things I will add to my dog training practices. A good quick read any dog lover can benefit from to better understanding our canine friends.
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“From the dog’s viewpoint, however, they are directly asserting dominance with that stare. When you respond by giving him what he wants, the dog interprets this as a submissive gesture on your part, and also reads this as your acceptance that the dog has a higher status in the pack than you do.” 0 likes
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