The bestselling author of Inside of a Dog and cognitive scientist Alexandra Horowitz takes an eye-opening, informative, and wholly entertaining examination of the dog-human relationship.
“You’re so cute and so smart. And worth money! I could marry you,” said a woman to her Goldendoodle. “Be nice! When you get tired, you get nasty,” reminded the man to his rambunctious dog.
Alexandra Horowitz is intrigued by the various ways humans are changed by our relationship with dogs. When humans unconsciously made the decision to domesticate dogs, they were changing the course of our species’ development. And, too, when each person makes the decision to breed, own, or adopt a dog, we enter into a relationship that will change us. Dogs change the course of our days: they need to be walked, fed, attended to. Dogs can change the course of our lives: they weave their way into our lives with their constant presence by our sides. It has changed, too, the course of our species.
In Our Dogs, Ourselves, Horowitz examines the “dog-human bond”: examining all aspects of the complexity of this unique interspecies pairing. From her position as a dog scientist, she uses the science of dogs and dog-human interaction to ground a consideration of the various ways that dogs, as a species, reflect us, and how they reflect (sometimes badly, sometimes well) on us. And she goes beyond the cognitive science to consider the culture, laws, and human dynamics that reveal and restrict this bond between two disparate species.
Much of what we accept as the way to live with dogs is odd, surprising, contradictory, revelatory, and sometimes disturbing. This book gets inside and explains the nuances of the dog-human connection, both on an individual basis and societally. The result: we understand dogs as never before.
Alexandra Horowitz is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know and On Looking: A Walker’s Guide to the Art of Observation. She teaches at Barnard College, where she runs the Dog Cognition Lab. She lives with her family and two large, highly sniffy dogs in New York City.