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Books I have read and loved

The product of a pathological need to categorise and remember every book I've ever read, and my only creative outlet being critiquing others' creativity.

Currently reading

Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit
Barry Estabrook
Where I'm Calling From: New and Selected Stories
Raymond Carver
To Say Nothing of the Dog
Connie Willis
Flying Too High
Kerry Greenwood
The Luminaries
Eleanor Catton
High Conflict Personalities: Understanding and Resolving Their Costly Disputes
Bill Eddy
In Defence of Dogs - John  Bradshaw I am so glad that I read this book, and as some recommendation on the blurb says, I want to give it to every current and prospective dog owner to read and understand. I finished the book months ago, having purposefully read each chapter slowly and thoroughly, fully digesting it all. It had a huge effect on me and my thinking; I just don't know what to say about it. The book is brilliant.

I have been a dog lover and owner my whole life, but in the last 18 months or so, have become more interested in the training, behaviour and health side of dog ownership. This book enlightened me to a number of myths and misunderstandings about dogs, which completely opened my eyes to different methods and approaches to training and dog handling.

Dominance and the erronous interpretation of wild wolf behaviour, which I now know was disproven nigh on 40 years ago, continues to underpin the interpretation of dog behaviour by many celebrity dog trainers. And whisperers. (No names mentioned). I want to throw this book at anyone who does the alpha roll on their dog at home, or won't play tug with their dog lest it encourage "dominance". Urgh.

It's well written, thoroughly researched and referenced, and an easy pleasure to read. I'm not so sure about the underlying premise that the domestic dog is under threat through misunderstanding, but I do wholeheartedly believe that people, communities and dog would all live much easier and less stressful lives if we all took the time to care about and understand how dogs actually work.

If you live in an apartment, do not get a working dog and then have the audacity to disown him when out of physical and mental boredom, he destroys your couch and curtains. If you get a Jack Russell, please understand the instincts for which s/he was bred, and that he will bark and bark and chase and chase. He wouldn't be here, were his ancestors not bred and able to do those things.

Learn about how dogs learn, and how they see and interpret the world. A great understanding will help us all.