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For the Love of a Dog
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About the Author

Patricia McConnell, Ph.D., CAAB is an ethologist and certified applied animal behaviorist who has consulted with cat and dog lovers for more twenty-two years. She combines a thorough understanding of the science of behavior with years of practical, applied experience. Her nationally syndicated radio show, Calling All Pets, played in more than 110 cities for fourteen years and her television show Petline played on Animal Planet for two and a half years. She was the behavior columnist for The Bark magazine ("The New Yorker of dog magazines"--Time) and is adjunct professor in Zoology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, teaching "The Biology and Philosophy of Human/Animal Relationships." Dr. McConnell is a much sought-after speaker and seminar presenter, speaking to training organizations, veterinary conferences, academic meetings, and animal shelters around the world about dog and cat behavior, and on science-based and humane solutions to serious behavioral problems. She is the author of thirteen books on training and behavioral problems, as well as the critically acclaimed books The Other End of the Leash (translated into fourteen languages), For the Love of a Dog, and Tales of Two Species. She lives with her Border Collies, Willie and Maggie, her rescue Cavalier Spaniel, Tootsie, and a very spoiled flock of sheep, and suffers from separation anxiety when she leaves them.

Reviews

Animal behaviorist, dog trainer, syndicated radio talk show host and prolific author on all things canine, McConnell (The Other End of the Leash) presents a compelling combination of stories, science and practical advice to show how understanding emotions in both people and dogs can improve owners' relationships with their pets. This is more than a simple dog-training book: much of what McConnell discusses concerns how dog owners can learn "the language" of dog by recognizing important signals and reading them correctly. She provides numerous helpful examples of how owners can observe dog behavior, especially differences in posture and facial expressions, in order to help dogs be better behaved and help dog owners to be better handlers; her discussion of the meaning of a dog's "tongue flicks" is alone worth the price of the book. Her overall goal is to help owners provide their pets with "a sense of calm, peaceful benevolence," and she skewers current dog-training fads that emphasize "dominance" over a dog. "Don't fool yourself: if you yell at your dog for something he did twenty seconds ago, you're not training him; you're merely expressing your own anger." (On sale Aug. 15) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

In her Ph.D. dissertation, animal behaviorist McConnell (zoology, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison; Puppy Primer) discussed the possibility that "acoustic signals can be used to influence the response of receivers to the sender's advantage." Her scientific research provided a solid foundation for her considerations of everyday interactions between animals and their humans. Her book focuses on the signals that humans can "read" ("talking" eyebrows, wrinkles, body shape, tongue flicks) in order to understand their dog's internal state. She also includes information on the relationship between the brain and how the dog reacts to its environment, incorporating the genetics of fear, the biology of anger, the programming that early development implements, and the effect that learning and experience have on the dog's response to stimuli. Using vignette examples of human-canine interactions, McConnell offers sophisticated explanations to account for different types of behavior, as well as insight into how bad behavior can be prevented. Extensive resource lists for each chapter include pictures of the facial expressions and postures discussed. Highly recommended for all public libraries, especially those subscribing to Dog Fancy Magazine, and academic libraries with zoology departments. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 4/1/06.]-Cleo Pappas, Lib. of the Health Sciences, Univ. of Illinois, Chicago Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Advance praise for For the Love of a Dog

"For the Love of a Dog is a wonderful book. Fine, balanced, charming, it is sure to appeal to all dog fans whose numbers seem to be increasing (and rightly so) by the day. I read it with great delight."
-Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, Ph.D., author of Dogs Never Lie About Love "A step-by-step guide on how to interpret how your dog feels by reading his facial expressions and body posture. A marvelous book that everybody who loves dogs should own."
-Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation "Brilliant! For The Love of a Dog is a perfect balance of science and soul. These stories will either keep you up reading long into the night knowing that with your dogs, you love and are loved, need and are needed."
-Dr. Marty Becker, resident veterinarian on ABC's Good Morning America and author of Fitness Unleashed! "A fascinating, highly educational read. McConnell alternates between expressing empathy with our canine friends and taking a step back to explain the scientific limits of any attempt to get into their heads."
-Frans de Waal, author of Our Inner Ape "Patricia McConnell skillfully blends cutting edge scientific data with examples from her personal experiences with dogs to produce a clear picture of the emotional life of dogs. In the process we learn more about how the mind of a dog works, and how to better understand and interact with them. This is a 'must read' for all dog owners."
-Stanley Coren, author of The Intelligence of Dogs and How Dogs Think

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