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How to Speak Dog [Paperback]

Stanley Coren
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 17 2001
Parlez-vous Doggish?
At long last, dogs will know just how smart their owners can be. By unlocking the secrets of the hidden language of dogs, psychologist Stanley Coren allows us into the doggy dialogue, or "Doggish," and makes effective communication a reality.
Drawing on substantial research in animal behavior, evolutionary biology, and years of personal experience, Coren demonstrates that the average house dog can understand language at about the level of a two-year-old human. While actual conversation of the sort Lassie seemed capable of in Hollywood mythmaking remains forever out of reach, Coren shows us that a great deal of real communication is possible beyond the giving and obeying of commands.
How to Speak Dog not only provides the sounds, words, actions, and move-ments with which we can effectively communicate with our dogs, but also deciphers the signs that our dogs give to us. With easy-to-follow tips on how humans can mimic the language dogs use to talk with one another, original drawings illustrating the subtleties of their body language, and a handy visual glossary and "Doggish" phrasebook, How to Speak Dog gives dog lovers the skills they need to improve their relationships with their pets.

Frequently Bought Together

How to Speak Dog + How Dogs Think: What the World Looks Like to Them and Why They Act the Way They Do + The Intelligence of Dogs: A Guide to the Thoughts, Emotions, and Inner Lives of Our Canine Companions
Price For All Three: CDN$ 45.08

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Product Description

From Amazon

An invaluable language manual for people who need to communicate with dogs, How to Speak Dog is far more than a simple training guide. Author Stanley Coren discusses at length the evolution of language in many species, and focuses as much on body language as he does on verbal communication. This is a man with his own theories on language development--when disagreeing with Chomsky or Darwin, he backs up his arguments with plenty of thorough, firsthand experience.

Separate chapters devoted exclusively to interpreting the movement of tails, ears, and bodies are fascinating, and can often provide surprisingly quick insight into canine behavior. There's a tremendous difference between showing affection and showing dominance, and humans have a strong tendency to misread our dogs' behavior and reward them in exactly the right way to ensure the continuation of frustrating behavior. Coren maintains that dogs can often learn far more words than we give them credit for--certainly, we've all seen pooches go bananas at the words walk and cookie, but he also suggests we watch for learned behaviors from certain words. Perhaps office gets your spaniel waiting by the door, or baby results in your terrier checking in on your child's location--you may just think it's cute, but actually, it's a sign of your dog's linguistic ability.

Whether you own a dog or two or work in the field of animal care, this manual will be a most informative read and is sure to have a positive effect on the relationship between you and man's best friend. --Jill Lightner --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Coren's premise is that to communicate effectively with a dog the owner must first learn the dog's language, including vocabulary, grammar, and how to form "sentences that can be used to send and receive meaningful messages." The goal of such enlightened communication is to prevent the misunderstandings that often lead to problem behavior (e.g., aggression) and result in hundreds of thousands of dogs being surrendered to shelters for placement or euthanasia. Using anecdotes and examples, Coren (psychology, Univ. of British Columbia; Why We Love the Dogs We Do) speaks with knowledge and authority. He makes slow but steady progress toward understanding how the canine mind works, why it works that way, and how owners can make the best use of that knowledge to train their dogs to be model companions. Chapters cover vocalization, face talk, tail talk, body talk, scent, and dialects. A useful visual glossary (with line drawings) and a doggy "phrasebook" are also featured. The book is written for the above-average pet owner who wants to build a better relationship with his/her dog. Recommended for larger public libraries or where pet interest runs high.DEdell M. Schaefer, Brookfield P.L., WI
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
It is probably the case that virtually every human being has, at one time or another, wanted to be Dr. Dolittle, or to own King Solomon's ring, so that he or she could understand and talk with animals. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By far, this is the best book I've read to date that's provided a complete understanding of my dog and her behavior. I couldn't believe how many dog "body postures" I've been misinterpreting. I tried using a few of the "signals" explained in the book on my dog that another dog would use to communicate - and my dog actually seemed to understand. She definitely reacted the way I thought she would! Every dog owner should read this book. I also believe this book should be required reading for anyone who works in a shelter setting or in any capacity where they're dealing with strange dogs. A big thanks to Stanley Coran for improving and enhancing my relationship with my Rottie-mix, Molly!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to understand, you will learn "doogish" Oct. 22 2001
This is the greeatest book I have ever read about dog language. The way Stanley Coren have build up the book is perfect, for both beginners, and people who already know, how to speak dog.
It is put up in a way so that you read about different bodyparts communications in different chapters. Face talk, body talk, eye talk, ear talk and so on. Each signal from the dog, whether it is a tail wag or a growl is being translated to Human language, so that you better can understand the meaning, ( "If you dont back off, I will fight you" ) even when you have finish the book, you will rememeber the meaning.
The book also gives you a big laugh, when Stanley Coren tells about his own experiments with dogs.
The book is also wery easy to read for "not american " people.
I know because I am from Denmark.
Read this book and learn "how to speak dog".........
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Having bought this book when it first came out, and having bought many others since then with similar content but slightly different approaches, I came back to HOW TO SPEAK DOG when I was choosing a book to give to a young teen who had just adopted a German Shepherd from a Rescue Organization. Why? Quite simply, this books has wonderful drawings that give direct visual clues to the student of Dog-Speak which is essentially a marriage of vocalization and body langauge. In many cases, it is the placement of the Dog's ears, his posture and more that helps to communicate his needs and the simple yet charming illustrations give concrete examples of what your doggie should look like when he is saying "I wanna play" or "I'm scared and might bite."
Added to this enormous wealth of visual information is Coren's charming storytelling abilities. In each chapter, he draws on his own experiences with his dogs with obvious affection. This tenderness lends credibility to his explanations and also underscores the importance of understandig your dog's needs and motivations when assessing the meaning of the communcation in question. Coren also brings considerable experience in human affairs to the mix...being a practising Psychiatrist. He masterfully explains not just the rudimentary basics of learning to communicate with Fido and goes further to explore virtually ALL of the possible means by which Dogs communicate with us. Especially touching is his description towards the end of the book of the personal significance the sound of his own dogs' breathing in the quiet night has to him.
Mixed in with the discussions of the various woofs, howls and ear postions are some very charming anecdotes.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I've been reading everything I can get my hands on lately in order to better my relationship with my dog Annie. We both have a lot of work to do (me definitely more than her). We've been through obedience training (beginner's and advanced classes), and are now working on the problem areas and reinforcing what we've learned. There are a lot of books out there with really great information. This one resonated the most. I've recommended it to several dog owners and lovers I know. Although my problems with Annie might not be the same as yours and your dog(s), you will still benefit from Stanley Coren's insight and experience handling these wonderful creatures. I've read some of his other books, and this is my favorite. His solutions are humane, intelligent and they work. There are books out there that are still encouraging choke collars and "jerk corrections" - they are SO out of date. There is no need for ANY kind of rough or aggressive handling with a dog. Annie has responded incredibly well to the lessons I learned through "How to Speak Dog," I am a much more confident owner and trainer, and we are both happier. The other day I was walking Annie and a woman pulled over, got out of her car and asked if I was a dog trainer. Imagine that!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By yogi1ab
I have loved and grown up with dogs all my life. I came to understand much of what they try to say, but this book shed light upon the many shadows of misunderstanding we all have about dogs. Coren does an excellent job of helping dog lovers see what it's like from a dog's perspective and giving them a compassionate voice to us all. This book will give you an understanding that will make training, playing, interacting with your dog much easier and much more fun for you and doggie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book for the "Student" of Doggy Language Jan. 27 2004
Another book I randomly plucked from the shelves of the local bookstore, I was expecting yet another shallow how-to book. But I was delightfully surprised to find exactly what I desired... a book which is truly about canine communication! Coren is in no way "wishy-washy" about the subject, nor does he dilute the doggy language in this book full of insight and thought provoking stories. Within its pages is an entire guide to understanding canine body language, verbal signals, and dog behavior. I would recommend this book to anyone who truly wants to understand their dog's communication!
But please note...
It is written in more of a "textbook" format, not "how-to." I personally prefer this type of book, and Coren's interjections of humorous stories and quotes make for interesting reading. I like this book because it is more of an understanding book and not a "quick fix."
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
SPCA workers must read!So helpful.
Published 22 days ago by raebrister
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm still reading it but it's been a big help ...
I'm still reading it but it's been a big help so far, especially watching to make sure my young dog is meeting other dogs safely.
Published 3 months ago by Colleen Vinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended for all dog owners
This book is great way to help understand your dog. Once you really spend time really trying to understand what your dog is saying, he/she becomes much more pleasurable to have... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Thomas A Aman
2.0 out of 5 stars Never worked
I read this and still couldn't speak to my dog in ways he would understand. I mean, he was absolutely no good in debates about today's governmental issues, or where I should be... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Dorothyanne Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars Muggins MacLean
This is a well researched book, and you know it at every turn of the page.
The author is 'thorough' to a fault. Read more
Published 23 months ago by muggins
5.0 out of 5 stars For any dog owner!
It would be so wonderful if Stanley Coren's books were mandatory reading for all dog owners or would be dog owners. Read more
Published on Aug. 18 2011 by ionicquest
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 Paws Up!
I really enjoyed this book! Sme people might think I'm nuts yawning at my dog but now I can read what my furry brown clown is telling me and I feel I can express my self more... Read more
Published on Jan. 4 2005 by J Dent
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE THIS BOOK!
This book is a must have for anyone who is really
interested in better communication with your dog.
I love it. I have a hard time putting it down. Read more
Published on May 22 2004 by Lynn Sparling
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for anyone with a dog
This book had so much information, not just on dogs alone, but dogs and cats as well as how their behavior related to human, primate, and wolf behavior. Absolutely fascinating!
Published on March 25 2004 by Sheila Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars Another outstanding book by Stanley Coren
As a dog trainer and owner of 4 dogs (all of whom are geniuses I might add!), I found this book to be fascinating and to validate a lot of what I see in my daily dealings with dogs... Read more
Published on Dec 21 2003 by F. Leykam
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