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Book details
  • Genre:PETS
  • SubGenre:Dogs / General
  • Language:English
  • Series title:Dogs and People
  • Series Number:1
  • Pages:250
  • eBook ISBN:9781483551180
  • Paperback ISBN:9781631926792

Humans, Dogs, and Civilization.

by Elaine Ostrach Chaika

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This is about dogs, how they communicate with people and each other. It shows when and how dogs evolved, how dogs differ from wolves, both genetically and behaviorally. It also explains how dogs perceive the world. The book is based on hard, cutting-edge science, but written in a clear narrative style. Laced throughout the book are actual stories of how dogs think, act, and perceive the world. Not only my dogs, but those I know are used to prove what scientists have discovered- This book disproves most of the myths of how dogs came to be the only species of animals that work for and die for another species, Homo sapiens.


Alex Austin', the author of "Nakamura Reality," called 'humans, Dogs, and Civilization" "An enthralling blend of science and anecdote". Thirty-two illustrated chapters recount the latest cutting-edge science about dogs, as well as true stories about actual dogs. The book is partly a memoir, a scientific work, and an "engaging" narrative. Kirkus Reviews called it "persuasive and engaging...a must read for anyone interested in the long history of dogs and people. The book shows that dogs are not directly descended from wolves, that early humans didn't tame wolves to be dogs, that dogs partnered with Stone Age hunters of their own volition, and that dogs co-evolved with people. In fact, both dogs and humans have special receptors in their brains to allow them to communicate with each other. The human brain has shrunk 10% since dogs domesticated themselves. That's because we relied on the dog's superior senses of vision and scent, so that our brains no longer had to have space for such senses. Instead, the human brain became fashioned for complex speech, thought, and the arts. Since dogs became companions for humans, Homo Sapiens has become Homo sapiens sapiens. That is, our own species has become more intelligent, although more deprived of acute senses. The book shows that civilization could never have been built by humans until dogs provided enough food through herding so that people no longer had to be nomads following herds of prey animals. There would be no Beethoven, Rock 'n Roll, Rembrandt, opera,. symphonies, or scientists if dogs hadn't taken care of early humans.

About the author

The four children I've raised with my husband of 55 years, see me as Mom caregiver, disciplinarian and purveyor of delicious foods. But, I have another persona besides being Mom. I'm a scholar, with a doctorate in Linguistics, and numerous publications on various aspects of language. As a scholar, I've spoken locally, nationally, and internationally. Yet, here I am, writing about dogs. How does that fit in with being an expert on dialects, grammar, and psychotic speech? Well, Linguistics encompasses all human endeavors, including dogs. Dogs? Yes, humans and dogs communicate with each other. That's a Linguistics issue. Also, somehow humans managed to make dogs their partners. Or, as I now see it, dogs wooed humans so that they would allow dogs to be their partners. My passion for animals--and especially dogs--has been lifelong. In Academia today, dog studies are a hot topic. Universities worldwide have been busily establishing dog labs since 1994. I've kept abreast of their findings. Once I retired in 2008, I started observing my two. What they know, how they behave, and how they communicate with people and with other dogs. My book "Humans, Dogs, and Civilization" proves every scientific theory I present by reporting what my dogs over the past 74 years have done.My first dog saved my life when I was six.

Although this book is based on hard science, it is written in a narrative style, accessible to all readers. I've eschewed scholarly jargon, but if that's your taste, just look at the large Works Cited at the end of the book. With this book, I've strived to make it a delicious read.