What the Dog Knows: The Science and Wonder of Working Dogs

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A firsthand exploration of the extraordinary abilities and surprising, sometimes life-saving talents of “working dogs”—pups who can sniff out drugs, find explosives, even locate the dead—as told through the experiences of a journalist and her intrepid canine companion, which The New York Times calls “a fascinating, deeply reported journey into the…amazing things dogs can do with their noses.”

There are thousands of working dogs all over the US and beyond with incredible abilities—they can find missing people, detect drugs and bombs, pinpoint unmarked graves of Civil War soldiers, or even find drowning victims more than two hundred feet below the surface of a lake. These abilities may seem magical or mysterious, but author Cat Warren shows the science, the rigorous training, and the skilled handling that underlie these creatures’ amazing abilities.

Cat Warren is a university professor and journalist who had tried everything she could think of to harness her dog Solo’s boundless energy and enthusiasm…until a behavior coach suggested she try training him to be a “working dog.” What started out as a hobby soon became a calling, as Warren was introduced to the hidden universe of dogs who do this essential work and the handlers who train them.

Her dog Solo has a fine nose and knows how to use it, but he’s only one of many astounding dogs in a varied field. Warren interviews cognitive psychologists, historians, medical examiners, epidemiologists, and forensic anthropologists, as well as the breeders, trainers, and handlers who work with and rely on these intelligent and adaptable animals daily. Along the way, Warren discovers story after story that prove the capabilities—as well as the very real limits—of working dogs and their human partners. Clear-eyed and unsentimental, Warren explains why our partnership with working dogs is woven into the fabric of society, and why we keep finding new uses for the wonderful noses of our four-legged friends.
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About the author

Cat Warren is a professor at North Carolina State University, where she teaches science journalism, editing, and creative nonfiction courses. Before starting her academic career, Warren worked for newspapers across the United States, reporting on crime, poverty, and politics, from California to Wyoming to Connecticut. Warren started training her young German shepherd, Solo, as a cadaver dog in 2004. She and Solo were called to search for the missing across North Carolina for a number of years. She lives in downtown Durham, North Carolina, with her husband, David Auerbach, a retired professor of philosophy at North Carolina State University, and their two German shepherds. Visit CatWarren.com.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Oct 1, 2013
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9781451667332
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / General
Pets / Dogs / General
Science / Life Sciences / Zoology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Dog Heroes of September 11th -- A Tribute to America’s Search and Rescue Dogs, now in its Tenth Anniversary second edition, is the first and only major publication to salute the canines that served our nation in the recovery missions following the terrorists’ strikes on America. In his foreword to this edition, former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani says, “No American could be unmoved by the stories and images of these dogs and their handlers….Their journeys, as told in these pages, reinforce our resolve to persevere, rebuild and keep our nation safe and strong.”

A testament to man’s best friend and his most critical role in American history, Dog Heroes of September 11th pays tribute to 79 canine heroes and their handlers, retelling their heart-stirring stories and photographically capturing many defining moments of the days that followed September 11, 2001.

This oversized gift book features over 400 color photographs, many never seen except in this publication. Nona Kilgore Bauer, who has won multiple awards for her books on dogs, interviewed each of the handlers who participated in the recovery efforts at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, Shanksville, Penn., and the Fresh Kills landfill, the site to which remains from the fallen towers were transported, and lovingly retells their stories of heroism and bravery.

In its first edition (released in 2006), Dog Heroes of September 11th won numerous awards, including book of the year from the Dog Writers Association of America, Book-of-the-Month Club, and the Independent Book Publishers Association.

The second edition, expanded with over 100 new pages and over 150 new full-color photographs, presents chapters on military working dogs in Iraq and Afghanistan, the therapy dogs who worked at Ground Zero, the SDF’s new National Training Center, and post-9/11 rescue missions at home and abroad. A special section, written by selected 9/11 handlers, pays tributes to their canine partners who passed away after their recovery missions.

In addition to paying tribute to the dog-and-handler teams that were deployed after the attacks, this I-5 Press book supports the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation (SDF) in its mission to produce certified search and rescue teams to protect our whole nation. A portion of the proceeds of Dog Heroes of September 11th benefits the SDF.
Somewhere between hunting for gold in Latin America as a geologist and getting married to a new husband, thirty-three-year-old Susan Purvis loses her way.

Susan comes to believe that a puppy and working on ski patrol at the last great ski town in Colorado will improve her life. When she learns about avalanches that bury people without warning, she challenges herself: “What if I teach a dog to save lives?” This quest propels her to train the best possible search dog, vowing to never leave anyone behind.

With no clue how to care for a houseplant, let alone a dog, she chooses a five-week-old Labrador retriever, Tasha. With the face of a baby bear and the temperament of an NFL linebacker, Tasha constantly tests Susan’s determination to transform her into a rescue dog. Susan and Tasha jockey for alpha position as they pursue certification in avalanche, water, and wilderness recovery. Susan eventually learns to truly communicate with Tasha by seeing the world through her dog’s nose.

As the first female team in a male-dominated search-and-rescue community, they face resistance at every turn. They won’t get paid even a bag of kibble for their efforts, yet they launch dozens of missions to rescue the missing or recover the remains of victims of nature and crime.

Training with Tasha in the field to find, recover, and rescue the lost became Susan’s passion. But it was also her circumstance—she was in many ways as lost as anyone she ever pulled out of an avalanche or found huddled in the woods. “Lostness” doesn’t only apply to losing the trail. People can get lost in a relationship, a business, or a life. Susan was convinced that only happened to other people, until Tasha and a life in the mountains taught her otherwise.

Brigid Keenan was never destined to lead a normal life. From her early beginnings – a colourful childhood in India brought to an abrupt end by independence and partition, then a return to dreary post-war England and on to a finishing school in Paris with daughters of presidents and princes – ordinary didn't seem to be her fate. When, as a ten-year-old, she overheard her mother describe her as 'desperately plain', she decided then and there that she had to rely on something different: glamour, eccentricity, character, a career – anything, so as not to end up at the bottom of the pile. And in classic Brigid style, she somehow ended up with them all.

Fate often gave Brigid a helping hand – in the late fifties, in her teens, she landed a job as an assistant at the Daily Express in London, and by the tender age of twenty-one she was a Fashion Editor at the Sunday Times. It was the dawn of the swinging sixties, and London was the place to be. Brigid worked with David Bailey and Jean Shrimpton, had her hair cut by Vidal Sassoon, drove around London in a mini-van, covered the Paris Collections and was labelled a 'Young Meteor' by the press. Despite always trying her hardest, Brigid's enthusiasm - and occasional naivete - could lead to embarrassing moments, such as when she turned up to report on the Vietnam war in a mini skirt ...

Candid, wickedly funny and surprisingly touching, Full Marks for Trying is a coming-of-age memoir that will delight, entertain, and make you cry with laughter.
The Other End of the Leash shares a revolutionary, new perspective on our relationship with dogs, focusing on our behavior in comparison with that of dogs. An applied animal behaviorist and dog trainer with more than twenty years experience, Dr. Patricia McConnell looks at humans as just another interesting species, and muses about why we behave the way we do around our dogs, how dogs might interpret our behavior, and how to interact with our dogs in ways that bring out the best in our four-legged friends.

After all, although humans and dogs share a remarkable relationship that is unique in the animal world, we are still two entirely different species, each shaped by our individual evolutionary heritage. Quite simply, humans are primates and dogs are canids (like wolves, coyotes, and foxes). Since we each speak a different native tongue, a lot gets lost in the translation.

The Other End of the Leash demonstrates how even the slightest changes in your voice and the way you stand can help your dog understand what you want. Once you start to think about your own behavior from the perspective of your dog, you’ll understand why much of what appears to be doggy-disobedience is simply a case of miscommunication. Inside you will learn
• How to use your voice so that your dog is more likely to do what you ask.
• Why “getting dominance” over your dog is a bad idea.
• Why “rough and tumble primate play” can lead to trouble–and how to play with your dog in ways that are fun and keep him out of trouble.
• How dogs and humans share personality types–and why most dogs want to live with benevolent leaders rather than “alphawannabees!”

In her own insightful, compelling style, Patricia McConnell combines wonderful true stories about people and dogs with a new, accessible scientific perspective on how they should behave around each other. This is a book that strives to help you make the most of life with your dog, and to prevent problems that might arise in that most rewarding of relationships.
A “haunting meditation on trust, hope and love” by a woman who adopts and trains a Golden Retriever puppy to become a search-and-rescue dog (People).
 
In the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, Susannah Charleson’s attention was caught by a newspaper photograph of a canine handler, his exhausted face buried in the fur of his search-and-rescue dog.
 
Susannah, a dog lover and pilot with search experience herself, was so moved by the image that she decided to volunteer with a local canine team, plunging herself into an astonishing new world. While the team worked long hours for nonexistent pay and often heart-wrenching results, Charleson discovered the joy of working in partnership with a canine friend and the satisfaction of using their combined skills to help her fellow human beings.
 
Once she qualified to train a dog of her own, Charleson adopted Puzzle—a smart, spirited Golden Retriever puppy who exhibited unique aptitudes as a working dog, but was a bit less interested in the role of compliant house pet. Scent of the Missing is the story of Charleson’s adventures with Puzzle as they search for a lost teen; an Alzheimer’s patient wandering in the cold; and signs of the crew amid the debris of the space shuttle Columbia disaster—all while unraveling the mystery of the bond between humans and dogs.
 
“A riveting view of both the human animal bond and the training of search and rescue dogs. All dog lovers and people interested in training service dogs should read this book.” —Temple Grandin, author of Animals Make Us Human
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