Saturday, December 08, 2007

Stanley Coren's five best books about dogs

Stanley Coren, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia and the author of several books on dogs, including Why Does My Dog Act That Way?, named a five best list of books about "man's best friend" for Opinion Journal.

One title on the list:
If Only They Could Speak by Nicholas H. Dodman (Norton, 2002).

Nicholas Dodman has written several excellent books about pets with problems ("Dogs Behaving Badly," "The Cat Who Cried for Help"), but this may be the best of all. It is a collection of stories about dogs -- and some cats -- that were treated at the animal behavior clinic Dodman founded at Tufts University. He depicts familiar pet problems (dominance, separation anxiety, aggression) but also documents their effects on the human-canine bond. In the chapter "The Two Dogs of Mrs. Spinelli," a dog owner's favoritism toward her poodle has provoked her German shepherd to viciously attack the other dog. Dodman convinces Mrs. Spinelli that peace will not reign until the shepherd is acknowledged as top dog (a little Prozac -- for the shepherd -- helps, too). Although not every case ends happily, all are instructive.
Read about the book that tops Coren's list.

--Marshal Zeringue