I'm a big fan of Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet by John Bradshaw published earlier this year. In it, the director of the Anthrozoology Institute at the University of Bristol uses the latest research to shred the myth of dog as cute wolf in need of a dominant boss. Instead, he offers up a complex portrait of unique and dependent animals. Examining what is understood about dogs’ brainpower, emotional states, sensory capacities, he uses science to advocate for a better life for companion dogs.
Bradshaw has boiled down the concepts of what dogs’ deserve into 11 basic rights, which I’ve printed out and pasted to my fridge as a gentle reminder. More recently, Bradshaw released a video that introduces the concepts in the book and also gives a sense of the man. There’s something about Bradshaw’s approach that just makes me want to be a better parent to my pups. Check it out: