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Dogs Never Lie About Love: Reflections on the Emotional World of Dogs Paperback – Sep 8 1998

3.5 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; First Paperback Edition edition (Sept. 8 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609802011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609802014
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.9 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 68 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #254,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson was, oddly enough, pet-free when he decided to write about their key role in his life. Not to worry, though. In a trice he acquired a troika of pups (a purebred and two mongrels) and a couple of kittens. (The pussycats, alas, play only cameo roles.) In Dogs Never Lie About Love, Masson finds plenty of new things to say about canines--not that there hasn't been a plenitude of pupper reportage in the '90s. Or at least he easily articulates what some of us might already think: "Dogs feel more than I do (I am not prepared to speak for other people)," Masson asserts. "They feel more, and they feel more purely and more intensely." Often, however, he seems to be writing less about animals than humans: "In searching for why we are so inhibited compared with dogs, perhaps we can learn to be as direct, as honest, as straightforward, and especially as intense in our feelings as dogs are." But this book is not just a cozy mix of navel gazing (bestial and human) and long, leash-filled walks. Masson offers several proofs that dogs do take the high moral road--one police pooch, for instance, refused to acknowledge his handler's attack command. A good thing, too, since Masson himself would have been the victim! In more ways than one, Dogs Never Lie About Love is a Milk-Bone masterpiece.--Kerry Fried

From Library Journal

Masson, a psychoanalyst and author, swings through a great deal of material and research in this work to discuss his beliefs regarding dog and wolf personalities. At the core of Masson's thesis is a belief about the nature of the dog's ability to love in an almost pure sense of the word and that dogs have uniquely keen feelings of pain, frustration, and happiness. His explanations are worthwhile; ultimately, many of his conclusions seem to be drawn primarily from observations of his personal pets, which, while valid, tends to weaken his credibility somewhat. Since the information doesn't seem terribly well organized and covers so much ground, listeners may have to replay the tapes several times to absorb the abundant ideas and the rich nuances in many of his messages. Still, Masson presents a genuinely useful look into the psychological make up of our "best friends." James Lurie is a fine narrator, and the technical aspects of the tape are satisfactory. Recommended for public and veterinary school libraries.?Carolyn Alexander, Brigadoon Lib., Salinas, Cal.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Understandably, I wanted to love this book; we all want to love books about subjects that interest us and that we paid for. And, I hate to criticize other people's work. So I've never dwelled much on this book since I've read it. But now that I've read the many negative reviews of this book posted here by readers, I have to admit that they represent most of my impressions. I might as well not bother adding my own, but directing you to those with the lowest numbers of stars.
Needless to say, many people loved it, and I'd still lend it to anyone who wants to read it. I'm not sure I'd even discourage anyone from reading it; I just wouldn't lend it out or recommend it without revealing that many people, myself included, have not found it to be so wonderful.
I do want to counter something said by at least one who reviewed it negatively. Someone criticized the fact that the author didn't even have a dog, but went out to get several of them to write the book. I'm not sure that's so bad. To do it the other way might have me thinking, "oh this author is just so crazy about his dogs that he wants to write about them just like I'm so crazy about my dog that I want to write about him and tell the world how much I love him" even if there's not really a book in it. So, yes that's a thought, but I don't think I really agree that that factor was such a negative.
If you haven't read it and you're curious or interested, go for it (but maybe to the library), BUT - find the negative reviews here first and consider if you want to read the stuff that these readers say the book contains. Because they're mostly right.
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Format: Paperback
"Hmmmmmm, I think I'll write a book about dogs! Oh, wait a minute, I don't own any dogs. That could be a problem. But if I get three dogs, annoint myself as the leader of the pack and then observe them for awhile, I might be able to pass myself off as some kind of expert and then people will buy my book."
I have no idea if this is what the author was thinking, but it might be true. And this seems to be the type of "analysis" the author used in this book. The author creates his "pack" after deciding to write the book. He then observes them and makes assumptions disguised as some sort of study. It wouldn't be so bad if he limited these assumptions to his own dogs or backed up his assumptions with some better evidence. I'm a true beliver in the emotions of dogs but this is a lazy and shallow attempt at canine psychology. I have lived with two or more dogs for over twenty years and the times the author makes a statement as a fact that is in direct contradiction to what I have observed with my own dogs are too numerous to mention here.
The author's love and affection for dogs is obvious and no doubt genuine, but there is nothing in this book that has not been discussed and documented somewhere else in a better and more consise format. I would suggust "The Intelligence Of Dogs: Cannine Consciousness and Capabilites" by Stanley Coren as a much better resource for this subject.
"Hmmmmmmm, I think I'll write a book about being an astronaut. But wait, I don't own a spaceship and that could be a problem. I know, I'll just..........."
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Format: Hardcover
Although Mr. Moussaieff Masson renders a touching observation of his pooches and presents many cute anecdotes to pepper his musing, he also shows a total lack of knowledge about his subject that can not be disguised by clever quotations. His comments on dominance, for expample, and pack ranking are misinformed and vague. Has he ever lived even a day with a Terrier or two? Terriers demonstrate that dominance has nothing to do with size or strength. Furthermore, claiming that dogs only play the "predator game" with cats is wrong; this can be observed live in my yard every day, as my female Fox Terrier - a most dominant bitch - will let the submissive male pretend attack her just for fun. In all, this book did not provide any new information and was an almost total let down. One might view Mr. Moussaieff Masson's candor about not being an expert as cute; I thought it was insulting to the paying customer. I'd call it tunnel vision: One should not make blanket statements about dogs based upon the observation of one's new found pet...
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Format: Hardcover
This book is full of sentimental garbage and subjectivity. Most of the ramblings seem to serve the purpose of sharing the author's own personal thoughts about dogs, about whom, he really doesn't have a clue. So he went out and picked out three from various sources along with a couple of cats. He didn't work with them specifically for any purpose except to be his companions, which is nice, but no scenario to write a book about. Some of the anecdotes are interesting, and those are what have kept me going throughout the book, but most of those have appeared often in other publications. I was familiar with many of them. Now, if he'd really wanted to get into dog psychology properly, he would have immersed himself in the world of dogs for many years like Gary Paulsen, or done plenty of research ,as did Mark Derr in his new rather negative, but very interesting, book about dogs and people. Masson's book lacks substance and credibility. It is quite dull.
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