The book! Part Five: How humans view dogs.

The remaining chapters in Part Five are the essence of my story. That our dogs offer us a wonderful vision of how mankind needs to change, element by element, to stand a reasonable chance of surviving as a viable species into the distant future.

The writing of this book has been fuelled and motivated by an enormous amount of research, as has been mentioned previously. In general, what I have read has supported my overall hypothesis that I expressed in the opening paragraph above.

Then I read Jean Donaldson’s book The Culture Clash [1] almost when I had completed the first draft of this book. Whoops! This is what came at me in the first chapter [page 10] of her book:

One reason for our astonishingly poor understanding of dogs might be extremely slow trickle down from experts: trainers educating one owner or one class at a time rather that something on the scale of public service announcements or spots on Oprah.

But there’s a second reason for the slow acceptance of realistic interpretations of dog behavior: simple reluctance to let go of anthropomorphism.

Reinforced on the following page by these two sentences, “Our bond with dogs is obviously strong. But they are not human and so now we are stuck explaining the bond.

The book was a very interesting read and I can highly recommend it to anyone seeking a greater clarity about dogs, especially about dog training. As the back cover announces: “The most thought-provoking book ever written on dog behavior and training.”

The reason I reacted earlier with a ‘whoops’ was that the vision of what we need to learn from dogs, explored in detail in the following chapters, does, without question, leave me guilty of a “simple reluctance to let go of anthropomorphism.”

It doesn’t in any way, well to my mind it doesn’t, however reduce the central proposition of the book. That whether one sees dogs anthropomorphically or not, they represent wonderful and inspiring creatures, creatures that have proved their ability to live in harmony on the planet and that’s a track record that man can only dream of at present.

[1] Published by James & Kenneth, CA. USA. 2nd Ed. 2005

354 words. Copyright © 2014 Paul Handover

3 thoughts on “The book! Part Five: How humans view dogs.

  1. Just shows you Paul the level of my education as I had to look up the word anthropomorphically.. 🙂 and since I did.. It is we humans I think that Humanise Dogs.. they have their own set of intelligence rules they follow.. We teach them many of ours which adds to that level… But in my own opinion Dogs have a greater awareness than many of us give them credit for.. And they tap into those unseen energies which Humans fail to detect..


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