Review–Dog Language: An Encyclopedia of Canine Language
Dog Language: An Encyclopedia of Canine Behavior by Dr. Roger Abrantes is exactly what the title states; an encyclopedia of canine behavior. Here at last is a text that explicitly defines, describes and illustrates canine behavior as it applies to communication. Much of the confusion and insecurity that is experienced by canine and human in the opening days of their life together is eased after reading this book.
Taking a Closer Look:
Within the first 34 pages Dr. Abrantes provides the reader with general definitions from the scientific field of Ethology. He gives the reader just enough information to understand that when attempting to communicate with a species that primarily uses body language instead of audible signals as the primary form of communication, then visual acuity becomes the preeminent tool. From Abnormal Behavior to Zoology, Dr. Abrantes provides the reader with alphabetically arranged concise definitions and detailed illustrations. This reader friendly format helps both new dog owners and experienced experts to identify specific observed behavior and predict other behaviors. Although the definitions are models in brevity, the illustrations are very detailed and deliver understanding at a glance. Even as the reader works his way through the text he is beginning to practice focused observation. By studying the details of each illustration, he trains himself to look for those mannerisms in his dogs. In time the reader begins to see similar mannerisms in other dogs and the information begins to gel. How the reader uses this format and pursues the study is totally self-directed. This allows the uniqueness of each personal learning style to lock-in the information. It also allows the uniqueness of the canine/human relationship to thrive.
Never forgetting for a moment that all dogs are individuals and have their own unique ways of behaving and responding to the world at large, Dog Language: An encyclopedia of Canine Behavior is an excellent resource for general observed characteristics. More importantly, while using this text the reader becomes actively involved in the process of communicating. As he gains experience in his interpretations, the excitement builds and the hunger for more dialogue increases. Ultimately this results in a richer experience for human and canine.
Dr. Abrantes provides an added benefit with a bibliography that reads like the Who’s Who in the field of animal behavior. By studying some of the texts and articles referenced, the reader will be able to provide himself with a high level of understanding and knowledge.