by Keith Somers / Like Keith & Dog Wonders on Facebook
Although this read is not kin to most formal training guides about dogs, Inside of a Dog does have practical applications for people who love dogs and and would like to begin at the beginning. That is, come to some understanding as to why dogs do what they do—what they see, smell and therefore know.
Alexandra Horowitz is a psychologist with a PhD in cognitive science and currently teaches psychology at Barnard College, Columbia University. She earned her PhD in Cognitive Science at the University of California at San Diego, and has studied the cognition of humans, rhinoceros, bonobos, and dogs. For seventeen years she shared her home with an unwitting research subject, Pumpernickel, a wonderful mixed breed. She now lives in New York City with her husband, young son, and Finnegan, “a dog of indeterminate parentage and determinate character.” (Photo by Vegar Abelsnes). An ardent dog-lover, Alexandra will take you on “an informed imaginative leap inside of a dog — to see what it is like to be a dog; what the world is like from a dog’s point of view.”
For example, “To a dog,” she points out, “a hammer doesn’t exist. A dog doesn’t act with or on a hammer, and so it has no significance to a dog. At least, not unless it overlaps with some other, meaningful object: it is wielded by a loved person; it is urinated on by the cute dog down the street; its dense wooden handle can be chewed like a stick.”
Dogs often stare soulfully into our eyes. And, she writes, “Though they have inherited some aversion to staring too long at eyes, dogs seem to be predisposed to inspect our faces for information, for reassurance, for guidance.” Perhaps we ought to try harder to reciprocate and be the better for it!
by Alexandra Horowitz
“Inside of A Dog” is a New York Times Best Seller
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