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The Dog Who Couldn't Stop Loving: How Dogs Have Captured Our Hearts for Thousands of Years

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  227 ratings  ·  38 reviews
A groundbreaking and inspiring exploration of the unique relationship between dogs and humans, from the bestselling author of Dogs Never Lie About Love

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson has long been interested in the relationships between humans and animals, and he’s always been aware that there was something very special in our bond with dogs. No other animals love us in quite th
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Hardcover, 190 pages
Published October 5th 2010 by Harper (first published October 1st 2010)
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3.40  · 
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 ·  227 ratings  ·  38 reviews


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Kelli
Jun 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-of-2013
Mr. Masson presents a pretty clear picture of how dogs and humans have "evolved" together. I did take exception to some parts, however.

First, his take on pitbulls being naturally aggressive was shortsighted and based on some very flimsy data. One piece of evidence was the euthanasia rate of pitbulls in the United States. Pitbulls ARE killed more often then other breeds but this has more to do with 1)breed bias (including bsl and insurance requirements) and 2) their sheer numbers (backyard breed
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Sharon
Dec 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animal-rescue, dogs
Jeffrey Masson's latest work examines the co-evolution of dogs and humans, and explains how it is that the two species are interlinked via their ability to feel love for creatures different from themselves.

Inspired by the Masson family's dog, Benjy, the author examines the unconditional love that his dog displays for the family members, cats, people in nursing homes, etc., and sets out to determine how it is possible for this to be so.

In the process, Masson learns (and shares) information on how
...more
jeanie
Dec 19, 2011 rated it did not like it
I did not get very far in this book. The author just rambles on and on about how dogs love people and it is a special bond that other animals don't have, etc.

Here is one paragraph, for example:

"Dogs are eager to see and meet other dogs and people; they are eager to play with other dogs and people/ they like to walk with other dogs and people; they like to sleep with other dogs and people/ they are eager to express affection to other dogs and people. But even more important, or more astonishing,
...more
Leslie Lindsay
Aug 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
In honor of "National Dog Day(s of Summer)," I picked up Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson's book, THE DOG WHO COULDN'T STOP LOVING, because quite frankly I can't stop loving *my* dog, a sweet highly lovable geriatric basset hound. Call it selfish, or call it neotenic or symbionic as Masson does, but the canine love is alive and well.

If you are looking for a book like MARLEY & ME or THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN, this isn't the one for you. This book is a little more scholastic--lots of studies are
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Dindy
May 06, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: vine, non-fiction
I was disappointed in this book. I read When Elephants Weep by Masson several years ago and really enjoyed it, but this book made too many emotional suppositions and blanket statements such as, "Dogs are the only animal that plays across species," that it is hard to take it seriously as having any sort of scientific validity.

I think part of the problem was Masson couldn't decide whether he wanted it to be a book about his family's dog, Benjy, or a study of the relationship between dogs and peopl
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Girls Gone Reading
If you have ever owned a dog then Masson’s argument in The Dog Who Couldn’t Stop Loving is obvious to you. If you have ever shared part of your life with a cuddly pet then you can easily see how he/she made you better. The unique element in Masson’s book is that he offers scientific evidence to back up this connection.

For at least the last 15,000 years (many believe longer) humans and dogs have lived together. In the beginning the dog was a wolf, and the relationship was rather tenuous. Neverthe
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Darcia Helle
Apr 08, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, animals
This book is a fun read, though I didn't find it as engaging or enlightening as some other books on this topic.

My problems:

Masson does a lot of rambling and repeats himself quite a bit.

For the most part, he uses his dog Benjy as an example for all other dogs' behaviors without much else to back up his claims. For instance, he states many times that all dogs love all other dogs and humans. I've had dogs all my life and can say from personal experience that this is absolutely not true.

On a posi
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Kara Beal
May 31, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nonfiction, dogs
Having recently adopted my first dog, I've been doing a lot of dog-related reading. Some of it has been scientifically-themed and some has been training-themed and some has been touchy-feely. This book is just weird to me. It's a love tribute to dogs, masquerading as a scientific volume. There's really no science here, so the tone was completely wrong to me.
Phil Fragasso
Dec 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
A fascinating look at the co-evolution of dogs and humans. Masson raises the possibility that humans wouldn't be quite so human had we not had dogs in our lives. You will never look at your dog the same way after reading this book.
Claudia
Nov 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book about dogs and the bond between dogs and people. The idea that dogs and humans co-evolved and that is why the relationship is so strong along with personal anecdotes about the authors dog makes for a very readable book. But, he seemed to be repeating himself at times.
Constance
Apr 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A little repetitive but a great read for any dog lover with interesting scientific and cultural information on the human/dog relationship.
Audiobook Accomplice
A bit of a memoir of a very special dog; a LOT of science and such all too
My Full Review
Lisa Gomez
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love listening to it over and over again.
Mary
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
I started liking this book but as I read more, what he was saying about cat, that the only real love is from a dog. I love dogs. Just got turn off with him saying about cats.
Heather
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
As a dog lover, I was hoping to enjoy this book more. Unfortunately, it is much more about the author's theories of evolutionary biology than his dog that couldn't stop loving. Furthermore, the writing was very frustrating. I was taught by my 10th grade English teacher to avoid using universal quantifiers such as always, never, every, none, etc. because your reader can usually think of an exception and you will lose your credibility as a writer. Not only is this book absolutely filled with unive ...more
Cayr
Jun 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dogs
Marred by Inconsistencies.

The title of this book holds such promise, if for no other reason than the author has used the word “Who” instead of “That” when referring to his dog. Overall, though, the book is a disappointment and full of inconsistencies.

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson’s thesis in ‘The Dog Who Couldn’t Stop Loving’ is that dogs and humans evolved together, and that each species made the other what it is today. It sounds good in theory, but the reader will never know from the content of th
...more
Lynne
Feb 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading Masson's "When Elephants Weep," and after reading this book, I will continue to read anything he writes. Love him. There were just a few - very few - parts that got too scientific for my liking, but overall I thought it informative and fascinating. He mostly tells about his dog Benjy, a support dog who was released from the program, and about dogs and their behavior in general. Interesting fact: Humans walk into a kitchen and can smell stew cooking; dogs walk in and can smell every ...more
Aviva
Sep 22, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: animals
This book contained some sweet anecdotal evidence to support the author's thesis that dogs were in part responsible for the human capacity to love, and the stories he tells will make anyone who's ever had a dog in their life smile. What I missed was any truly scientific support beyond the anecdotal for his ideas. He does look at some compelling and fascinating scientific studies regarding the (self-)domestication of our canine anipals, but fails to bridge the methodological gap between these stu ...more
Charles Isom
Nov 23, 2014 rated it did not like it
I'm actually sorry there isn't an option for no stars in this case. Rather than being an examination about the co-evolution of dogs and humans, this is a preachy, touchy-feely, tome that relies on the "well, everybody I know thinks like I do so I must be right" thought process that left me frustrated while reading. The last straw was that the author name dropped the atrocious "Merle's Door" as a wonderful work of art. I should have stopped reading right then. The only good part of this book was ...more
Anita
Oct 15, 2010 rated it liked it
Having two deliriously happy labradors in my family, who thoroughly enjoy their walks on the beach, and who love me as much as I love them, meant that I had no trouble relating to Jeffrey's book. I get it. And I enjoyed it as a (mostly) uplifting reminder of the wonder of our relationship with dogs.

In saying that, I would have preferred a bit more Desmond Morris-style science throughout the book to keep me interested, and particularly to justify Jeffrey's ideas when they refuted commonly held sc
...more
Carol
Sep 19, 2016 rated it liked it
This book contain some really interesting information but sadly it was really repetitive not only through out the book but sometimes in the same paragraph. It read like a high school or junior high term paper. Sixty five percent of it was the actual book. The other 35% was the biography and foot notes. While I did find it somewhat entertaining I often questioned myself that I had lost place because of the repetition.
Kasandra
Jan 08, 2013 rated it liked it
The author surmises that dogs and humans co-evolved, each contributing to the development of the other. Though I found the "science" a bit lacking (even with a humongous bibliography), the book is heartwarming, with great stories. Dog people should love it, but even this cat person thought it was pretty good.
Andy Ross
Jul 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book is a wonderful heartwarming book for dog lovers. Also a very intelligent book by an authority in animal emotions. I was fascinated to learn that dogs and humans have had this love affair going for over 15,000 years. The only relationship, that can only be described as love, that exists between 2 species.
Anne
Jun 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
Perhaps this book would have been better in print versus audio. The sections on the relationships between wolves and dogs were repetitive and tedious, while the closing sections on service dogs could have been expanded.
Ilse
Jan 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: something-other
I love the way this author takes your hand and lets you rediscover what a dog envelopes. It is a loyal companion, a friend, a member of our families and a key to our evolution as a species. This book is amazingly written and I felt like I knew his dog and family by the end.
Frederic
Oct 14, 2010 rated it it was ok
From the title alone I should have realised that this book is simply a collection of anecdotes about the cute,sweet and affectionate behaviour of the author's dog and some speculation about the origins and benefits of dog/human interaction...which is nice,but...that's about it...
Margaret Killen
Apr 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Touching. Great stories about our companions.

Enjoyable. I learned a new vocabulary about love. Benjy changed this family's life for the better. There's no denying Benjy accepted and gave love in return.


Ninya Ignacio
Jun 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
A little bit redundant as the author keeps repeating what he wants to point out—"Dogs are pure love."
From the beginning of dog domestication to today's dogs... They only have one purpose in life.. To love.
JoAnn Jordan
Oct 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent book on human relationships with dogs. It is well written and appealing.

I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading about dogs.
Michelle
May 27, 2012 rated it liked it
I thought this would be a story about happy dogs. it more about the psychology of dogs. It was still good just not what I expected.
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He has written several books books critical of psychoanalysis, psychotherapy and psychiatry as well as books on animals, their emotions and their rights.

He currently lives in New Zealand with his wife, two sons, three cats and three rats.