Steve H's Reviews > Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know

Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz
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's review
Jul 30, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 636-pets, dogs, psychology, the-dog-dies
Recommended to Steve by: somebody on a plane.
Recommended for: anybody who is really interested in dogs.
Read from July 19 to 30, 2011

A mix of heart-felt homage to a long-time pet, introduction to scientific/anthropological concepts, and in-depth study of dog physiology and behavior, this work will probably receive mixed reviews based on ones interest in or fixation with dogs. I'm really a dog person, and I was truly captivated by the new, often esoteric information I gleaned from this work.

Horowitz does a good job of balancing the objective look at dogs the species with the emotional look at the dog, the pet, companion, and family member. This book delves into some pretty technical topics that most people probably wouldn't be exposed to until a college level class, but I could see a highly motivated teen (one who's really into dogs) picking this up and getting a great introduction to a lot of concepts they might not otherwise learn until they're out of high school. I wish I'd come across such a work when I was 13 instead of when I was pushing 50.

New things you might learn: The dog's umwelt (how the dog experiences things - how does it smell or taste? can it fit in my mouth? how different are things when you're 10-20 inches from the ground?), the vomeronasal organ (VNO), the flicker fusion rate (or how many frames a second we see (60) compared to a dog (80)), various places scents come from and travel to, a philosophical look at how a dog's sense of the present is not a snapshot (visual) but a selection of things past, present, and future based on experiencing the world primarly through smells.

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