Dog Smart

Dog Smart

Jennifer S. Holland

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This cutting-edge science narrative, chock-full of heartwarming case studies, is one woman’s quest to learn the true meaning of dog intelligence.

This delightful narrative takes readers on a powerful search to unlock the secrets of dog cognition, based on evidence from trainers, owners, behaviorists, and the animals themselves. With in-depth reporting and more than a few personal adventures, bestselling author Jennifer S. Holland digs into what intelligence really means. 

Readers will meet a pack of genius dogs embodying all types of smarts. Holland heads into the field with a cadaver dog and his trainer to learn about "nose intelligence.” To unpack emotional intelligence, she examines how dogs help people dealing with trauma. To investigate task learning ability, she seeks agility trainers, TV-dog trainers, and a man whose dog has learned to hang glide—one step at a time. She interviews police-dog trainers (volunteering to be attacked by a bite dog in the name of science), service-dog trainers, and trainers who rehabilitate "bad" dogs. And she gets to know breeds that are considered especially intelligent—border collies, cattle dogs, and German shepherds—to discover whether they are truly "smarter" or just more willing to do as they're told.

In between field experiences, Holland spends time with the dogs she knows best while pondering the lessons the animals teach us about ourselves. And she poses entrancing philosophical questions: How do we define intelligence in another being? Where do "instinct" and "intelligence" meet and diverge? Can we be more "dog smart" in our own lives?

Both surprising and heartwarming, this book is one woman’s quest to understand what it means to be smart—and how dogs got that way.

Product details

ISBN-13: 9781426222719

Number of pages: 304

Format: Hardback

Imprint: National Geographic

English en