Dog Smart: Life-Changing Lessons in Canine Intelligence (Hardcover)

Dog Smart: Life-Changing Lessons in Canine Intelligence By Jennifer S. Holland Cover Image
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This cutting-edge science narrative, chock-full of heartwarming case studies, is one woman’s quest to learn the true meaning of dog intelligence.

This delightful narrative takes readers on a powerful search to unlock the secrets of dog cognition, based on evidence from trainers, owners, behaviorists, and the animals themselves. With in-depth reporting and more than a few personal adventures, bestselling author Jennifer S. Holland digs into what intelligence really means. 

Readers will meet a pack of genius dogs embodying all types of smarts. Holland heads into the field with a cadaver dog and his trainer to learn about "nose intelligence.” To unpack emotional intelligence, she examines how dogs help people dealing with trauma. To investigate task learning ability, she seeks agility trainers, TV-dog trainers, and a man whose dog has learned to hang glide—one step at a time. She interviews police-dog trainers (volunteering to be attacked by a bite dog in the name of science), service-dog trainers, and trainers who rehabilitate "bad" dogs. And she gets to know breeds that are considered especially intelligent—border collies, cattle dogs, and German shepherds—to discover whether they are truly "smarter" or just more willing to do as they're told.

In between field experiences, Holland spends time with the dogs she knows best while pondering the lessons the animals teach us about ourselves. And she poses entrancing philosophical questions: How do we define intelligence in another being? Where do "instinct" and "intelligence" meet and diverge? Can we be more "dog smart" in our own lives?

Both surprising and heartwarming, this book is one woman’s quest to understand what it means to be smart—and how dogs got that way.

About the Author

Jennifer S. Holland is the author of Unlikely Friendships, which spent more than 46 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. Holland’s insatiable curiosity has taken her all over the world: flying in zero gravity over the Gulf of Mexico, scuba diving with tiger sharks in the Bahamas, climbing the tallest tree in Costa Rica, and camping out with bushmen in Papua New Guinea. A contributor to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and NPR, she splits her time between Maryland and Virginia with her husband and two beloved dogs.

Praise For…

Dog Smart is a must read for all dog lovers. Jennifer Holland explains the latest cutting-edge research on dog intelligence in enjoyable, easy-to-understand prose.”—Temple Grandin, author of Animals Make Us Human and Visual Thinking

"Just when you thought it was impossible to love and admire your dog more than you already do, along comes Dog Smart. Jennifer Holland has a profound appreciation for all kinds of intelligence in all kinds of species, and her reporting here on new ways scientists are documenting the genius of our canine friends will knock your socks off."
—Sy Montgomery, author of Soul of an Octopus

Dog Smart shows that even people can be smart—if we pay attention to our dogs. It also shows what a wonderful and graceful writer Jennifer Holland is. Holland knows a lot about how dogs think. She knows what your dog would like you to know, about how you and your dog can live your best life together.”—Carl Safina, author of Alfie and Me: What Owls Know, What Humans Believe

"Dogs have been bred to bond with us and be helpful and protective. But, as with most animals, we underestimate their intelligence. We stand corrected by Jennifer Holland, whose journey to dig up signs of canine cognition will delight every dog lover."—Frans de Waal, author of Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?

"Jennifer Holland has scoured the globe, seeking out experts in all facets of canine intelligence. In Dog Smart, Holland synthesizes this wealth of cutting edge research and makes clear to all dog lovers how to nurture their own canine Einsteins."—Gregory Berns, New York Times bestselling author of How Dogs Love U

"Dog Smart is an important book. Filled with solid science, expert interviews, and personal stories, Jennifer Holland critically covers the landscape of dog intelligence for academics and lay readers alike. This delightful book can help us give our dogs the best lives possible."—Marc Bekoff, author of Canine Confidential and Dogs Demystified: An A to Z Guide to All Things Canine

"If you love dogs, accessible science, and great writing, this is the book for you. It offers a truly fresh perspective on our canine friends. I loved this engaging and illuminating book."—Patricia McConnell, animal behaviorist and best-selling author of The Other End of the Leash and For the Love of a Dog

"Yes, your dog is smart—maybe in more ways than you imagine. In this delightfully entertaining book, Jennifer Holland takes readers on a happy romp through the world of canine intelligence, the researchers and handlers who know it best, and the doggos who can track down orca whales, sniff out stage 1 lung cancer, or just wag their tails meaningfully (if we're smart enough to catch the meaning)."—Richard Conniff

Product Details
ISBN: 9781426222719
ISBN-10: 1426222718
Publisher: National Geographic
Publication Date: May 21st, 2024
Pages: 304
Language: English