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How to Speak Dog

How to Speak Dog

Mastering the Art of Dog-Human Communication

Parlez-vous Doggish?

At long last, dogs will know just how smart their owners can be. By unlocking the secrets of the hidden language of dogs, psychologist Stanley Coren allows us into the doggy dialogue, or "Doggish," and makes effective
communication a reality.

Drawing on substantial research in animal behavior, evolutionary biology, and years of personal experience, Coren demonstrates that the average house dog can understand language at about the level of a two-year-old human. While actual conversation of the sort Lassie seemed capable of in Hollywood mythmaking remains forever out of reach, Coren shows us that a great deal of real communication is possible beyond the giving and obeying of commands.

How to Speak Dog not only provides the sounds, words, actions, and move-ments with which we can effectively communicate with our dogs, but also deciphers the signs that our dogs give to us. With easy-to-follow tips on how humans can mimic the language dogs use to talk with one another, original drawings illustrating the subtleties of their body language, and a handy visual glossary and "Doggish" phrasebook, How to Speak Dog gives dog lovers the skills they need to improve their relationships with their pets.
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  • Atria Books | 
  • 288 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451625684 | 
  • September 2010
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One: Conversations with Canines

The argument was very sound,

And coming from a master's mouth

Would have been lauded for its truth.

But since the author was a hound,

Its merit went unrecognized.


-- Jean de La Fontaine (1621-1695)

"The Farmer, the Dog, and the Fox"

It is probably the case that virtually every human being has, at one time or another, wanted to be Dr. Dolittle, or to own King Solomon's ring, so that he or she could understand and talk with animals. For me, the animals that I most wanted to speak to were dogs. I remember one Sunday evening, I was sitting on the... see more

About the Author

Stanley Coren
Photo Credit: John Bouliane

Stanley Coren

Stanley Coren an international authority on sidedness, is professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of Born to Bark: My Adventures with an Irrepressible and Unforgettable Dog (2010), among other books.

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