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A firsthand exploration of the extraordinary abilities and surprising, sometimes life-saving talents of “working dogs”—pups who can sniff out drugs, find explosives, even locate the dead—as told through the experiences of a journalist and her intrepid canine companion, which The New York Times calls “a fascinating, deeply reported journey into the…amazing things dogs can do with their noses.” There are thousands of working dogs all over the US and beyond with incredible abilities—they can find missing people, detect drugs and bombs, pinpoint unmarked graves of Civil War soldiers, or even find drowning victims more than two hundred feet below the surface of a lake. These abilities may seem magical or mysterious, but author Cat Warren shows the science, the rigorous training, and the skilled handling that underlie these creatures’ amazing abilities. Cat Warren is a university professor and journalist who had tried everything she could think of to harness her dog Solo’s boundless energy and enthusiasm…until a behavior coach suggested she try training him to be a “working dog.” What started out as a hobby soon became a calling, as Warren was introduced to the hidden universe of dogs who do this essential work and the handlers who train them. Her dog Solo has a fine nose and knows how to use it, but he’s only one of many astounding dogs in a varied field. Warren interviews cognitive psychologists, historians, medical examiners, epidemiologists, and forensic anthropologists, as well as the breeders, trainers, and handlers who work with and rely on these intelligent and adaptable animals daily. Along the way, Warren discovers story after story that prove the capabilities—as well as the very real limits—of working dogs and their human partners. Clear-eyed and unsentimental, Warren explains why our partnership with working dogs is woven into the fabric of society, and why we keep finding new uses for the wonderful noses of our four-legged friends.
Alexandra Horowitz’s runaway bestseller Inside of a Dog began a movement among dog owners to not just quietly accept and enjoy the presence of the pooch at their sides, but to wonder at that dog, and let him show us how he sees the world, and what he knows. What the dog sees and knows comes mostly through his nose, and the information that every dog has about the world based on smell is unthinkably rich. It is rich in a way we humans once knew something about, once even acted on, but have since neglected. By smelling, tapping into this sensory resource that we have but that we largely ignore, the dog has become an informant. To a dog, there is no such thing as ‘fresh air.’ Every gulp of air is full of information. In Being a Dog, Horowitz, a research scientist in the field of dog cognition, explores what the nose knows as never done before by taking an imaginative leap into what it is like to be a dog. Under the tutelage of her family dogs, Finnegan and Upton, Horowitz sets off on a quest to make sense of scents, combining a personal journey of smelling with a tour through the cutting edge and improbable science behind the olfactory abilities of the dog. From revealing the spectacular biology of the dog nose, to following a tracking dog being put through his paces and trying herself to become a better smeller, Horowitz covers the topic of noses – both canine and human – from surprising, novel, and always fascinating angles. As we come to understand how rich, complex, and exciting the world around us appears to the canine nose, Horowitz changes our perspective on dogs forever. Readers will finish this book feeling that they have glimpsed or sensed or smelled into the fourth dimension, literally breaking free of their human constraints and understanding smell as never before; that they have, for however fleetingly, been a dog.
This enhanced eBook includes the full text of the book plus 40 minutes of video*: • Eight “Dogism” Training Tips: Jennifer Arnold teaches you how to better understand your dog and offers some quick training tips you can use right away. • Seventeen Audio and Visual Cues for Your Dog: Learn simple cues and commands you can teach your dog to help them make the right behavioral choices. • Canine Assistants Documentary: Discover how Jennifer Arnold and her special dogs at Canine Assistants help people with disabilities. *Video may not play on all readers. Check your user manual for details. A stirring, inspiring book with the power to change the way we understand and communicate with our dogs. Few people are more qualified to speak about the abilities and potential of dogs than Jennifer Arnold, who for the past twenty years has trained service dogs for people with physical disabilities and special needs. Arnold has developed a unique understanding of dogs' capabilities, intelligence, sensitivity, and extra-sensory skills. Her training method is based on teaching dogs to make choices—as opposed to following commands—through kindness and encouragement rather than fear and submission, and her results are extraordinary. To Arnold, dogs are neither wolves in need of a pack leader nor babies in need of coddling; rather, they are extremely trusting beings attuned to their owners' needs and they aim to please. Relationships between dogs and humans go awry when we fail to understand our dogs and when we send them confusing, mixed signals. Arnold's firsthand experience—from what moved her to start her exemplary nonprofit and how she developed her methodology—guides this book and gives it a powerful emotional heft. Stories drawn from Arnold's life and the lives of the dogs who were her greatest teachers are convincing, unforgettable, and compelling testimony and make this book a heart-warming, captivating read that will forever change the way you see your dog by showing you the way your dog sees the world.
A “haunting meditation on trust, hope and love” by a woman who adopts and trains a Golden Retriever puppy to become a search-and-rescue dog (People). In the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, Susannah Charleson’s attention was caught by a newspaper photograph of a canine handler, his exhausted face buried in the fur of his search-and-rescue dog. Susannah, a dog lover and pilot with search experience herself, was so moved by the image that she decided to volunteer with a local canine team, plunging herself into an astonishing new world. While the team worked long hours for nonexistent pay and often heart-wrenching results, Charleson discovered the joy of working in partnership with a canine friend and the satisfaction of using their combined skills to help her fellow human beings. Once she qualified to train a dog of her own, Charleson adopted Puzzle—a smart, spirited Golden Retriever puppy who exhibited unique aptitudes as a working dog, but was a bit less interested in the role of compliant house pet. Scent of the Missing is the story of Charleson’s adventures with Puzzle as they search for a lost teen; an Alzheimer’s patient wandering in the cold; and signs of the crew amid the debris of the space shuttle Columbia disaster—all while unraveling the mystery of the bond between humans and dogs. “A riveting view of both the human animal bond and the training of search and rescue dogs. All dog lovers and people interested in training service dogs should read this book.” —Temple Grandin, author of Animals Make Us Human
A tour of the psychiatric service dog industry traces the author's work with unwanted shelter dogs before matching them with people in need, documenting her own partnership with a search canine while sharing uplifting success stories.
In a conversational Q&A format, a leading dog expert answers the most commonly asked questions about how dogs think and act. Do dogs dream? Can they recognize themselves in the mirror or understand what they’re seeing on television? Are they more intelligent than cats? People have a great curiosity—and many misunderstandings—about how dogs think, act, and perceive the world. They also wonder about the social and emotional lives of dogs. Stanley Coren brings decades of scientific research on dogs to bear in his unprecedented foray into the inner lives of our canine companions, dispelling many common myths in the process. In a conversational Q&A format with illustrations, Coren answers approximately 75 questions often asked of him during his nearly fifty-year career as a dog researcher, combining the authority of an expert with the engaging delivery of a guest at a cocktail party.
“In Iraq we put our lives in each other’s hands (and paws) day after day. We took care of each other no matter what. Rex and I have a bond that will last for the rest of our born days. If ever there was a marine who lived up to Semper Fidelis, the motto of the Marine Corps, it’s Rex.” Deployed to Iraq’s infamous Triangle of Death in 2004, Sergeant Mike Dowling and his military working dog Rex were part of the first Marine Corps military K9 teams sent to the front lines of combat since Vietnam. It was Rex’s job to sniff out weapons caches, suicide bombers, and IEDs, the devastating explosives that wreaked havoc on troops and civilians alike. It was Mike’s job to lead Rex into the heart of danger time and time again, always trusting Rex to bring them both back alive. Dowling had turned twenty-five and Rex three just after they arrived in Iraq. Neither of them had any idea what to expect, and no training could fully prepare them for this job. An animal lover since childhood, Dowling had fostered and trained dogs for Guide Dogs for the Blind, and he was determined to serve in the military’s K9 unit after joining the Marines. On their first patrols in Iraq, Rex suffered a seemingly incurable fear of explosions and gunfire, but with Mike at the other end of his leash, Rex gained the courage to perform his duty. Filled with harrowing tales of knife-edge bomb-detection work, including an extraordinary baptism by fire, Sergeant Rex is a heart-pounding account of how an unbreakable human-canine bond helped Mike and Rex to stay focused on their mission and save countless lives. Dowling takes us into the searing 130-degree heat, the choking dust, and the ever-present threat of violent attack that seemed to permeate Iraq’s streets. We experience Dowling’s visceral fear of walking down an IED-laden alley where dismemberment or death can come with any footstep, only his trusted partner, Rex, by his side. Loyalty is one of the hallmarks of any good Marine, and nowhere is that quality more evident than in this astonishing account of Mike Dowling and Rex’s wartime experiences. A moving story of how a man and a dog developed complete trust in each other in the face of terrible adversity, Sergeant Rex is an unforgettable tale of sacrifice, courage, and love.

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