Dog Is Love

By By Clive D. L. Wynne
Reviewed by Susan Tasaki, November 2019, Updated June 2021

Think of the word “dog” and the word “love” comes to mind almost immediately. For most Bark readers, it’s probably fair to say they’re synonymous … in fact, it’s part of dogs’ appeal. And according to some interesting recent research, we may be genetically hardwired to love them back.

The recently released book Dog Is Love: Why and How Your Dog Loves You gets into the science of 
the attraction. Author Clive Wynne is a founding director of the Canine Science Laboratory at Arizona State University, Tempe. Drawing on work done at his lab as well as at others around the world, Dr. Wynne considers how dogs became able  to build such exceptional (and unusual) interspecies bonds; what dogs need to build these bonds; and how we can use what we know to help dogs lead richer and more satisfying lives.

Thankfully, this is science for the nonscientist—an interesting, carefully written book that’s technically well-grounded yet accessible, with practical applications. Reading it will give you a whole new appreciation for the evolutionary wonder that is dog love. 

Image courtesy of the publisher

Article first appeared in The Bark, Issue 99: Fall 2019

Susan Tasaki, a freelance editor and writer, lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her Husky, who wishes they both got out more.