Canine Behavior: A Photo Illustrated Handbook

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Canine Behavior: A Photo Illustrated Handbook

By Barbara Handelman

If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, this book—which actually has 1,000 photos in it—is worth its weight in gold. No text can fully describe the richness of this book, with illustration after illustration of important aspects of canid behavior and communication. The photographs are stunning, and the integration of wolf and domestic dog images have much to teach us about the subtleties and intricacy of communication in our best friends. If you’re serious about understanding dogs, you simply have to have this book. In it, you’ll find:

  • 1,000 photographs illustrating canid visual signals.
  • How to identify subtle signs of offensive aggression.
  • How anatomy influences behavior and visual communication.
  • Indicators of ‘appropriate’ and ‘inappropriate’ play.
  • A discussion on the evolution of visual signals.

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Canine Behavior is the brilliant accomplishment of a woman whose first career—working with non-verbal children—gave her a solid background in observation, and whose later career as a professional photographer has resulted in a timeless classic that informs and improves our understanding of our best friends. Of course, in a book this large, there are some descriptions or interpretations that I might quibble with, but they are few and far between. This invaluable resource will be a classic for decades to come.

How Handelman managed to accomplish gathering all the photographs (they are excellent) and putting them together in a semblance of order is beyond me, but I’m thankful that she did. In a few cases my brain doesn’t follow the ways she has categorized information, but you’ve got to love some labels she’s given to behaviors we all are familiar with but haven’t named, like “Paw Thwack” and “Nose Boink.”

Anyone who is serious about understanding dog behavior needs this book. Honest. I page through it time after time just to keep my eye sharp, and have used it extensively as a resource. I don't know how many times I’ve been writing a blog or working on a speech and referred to it for information. Be clear that this is not “just” a book for those of us theoretically interested in the science of canid communication. Every dog trainer needs this book—how else are they to master the skills necessary to identify stress, confusion or impatience during training? Have I made it clear how much I love this book? If not, just imagine me flip-spinning like an excited Border Collie before a fly ball event. Got it now?

“Canine Behavior has the best array of illustrations of canid behavior that we've ever seen. The inclusion of Monty Sloan's photographs of wolves at Wolf Park gives a perspective to the book that is varied, in-depth, and unusual in the literature.”
Raymond and Lorna Coppinger, authors of Dogs: A New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behavior and Evolution.

“For the serious student of canine body language, Barbara Handelman’s marvelous compilation of photos offers a detailed look at the many subtle and not so subtle ways that dogs speak dog.”
Suzanne Clothier, lecturer, trainer, and author of Bones Would Rain From the Sky

Canine Behavior… is a must read for learning about what our best friends are saying to their dog and human companions…  Dogs around the world will surely benefit from this easy to read book.”
Marc Bekoff, Professor Emeritus of Ecology & Evol’y Biology, UC-Boulder, author of The Emotional Lives of Animals.

Publisher: Dogwise Publishing
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0976511827
ISBN-13: 978-0976511823
Product Dimensions: 11.0 x 8.5 x 0.75 inches
Author: Barbara Handleman
Publish Date: 2008
Number of Pages: 386


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