A lifelong love of dogs has taught me that there is a special chemistry between each dog and his people. I sought this book out specifically to help us select the best possible "match" for our family at this time in our lives, empty nesters with grandkids as frequent visitors. Stanley Cohen "nails it" -- describing in clear and concise terms how and why we connect with particular dogs, how to choose a dog who will both be happy in our home and bring happiness to us who dwell there. With his help, and weeks of "surfing" the available dogs in our local shelters, we found the perfect dog, who's been with us for 4 wonderful years so far. Read it if you love dogs and want to ensure a good match for you and your furry friend.
Interesting theories. The author breaks down dogs and people into categories and tries to match them up. This might work if you are interested in pure breeds, but if you are happy with a mutt, all bets are off, anyway. You are to rate yourself on a scale from 1 to 8 on certain characteristics (e.g. friendly, outgoing, tricky, kind ... whatever these things mean to you), based on that you perform some simple calculations, and voila: breed is the dog for you!
He also differentiates between men and women; for example: "Dog Groups that are most preferred by men and women with differing levels of warmth."
I think he tries too hard and overanalyzes things ... It's a book to satisfy your curiosity about certain breeds, maybe, but I still would go by whether I "like" a dog or not.
(He even has a chapter on cats and cat people, but that one is laughable - his dog-bias is just too obvious.)
Stanley Coren is a psychologist and researcher at a University in Canada. He is one of the smartest and most helpful authors in the entire market of 'books about dogs.'
Anything Dr. Coren writes is so worthy of owning a copy...you'll want to reread it again and again at different points in time.
This book is so serious! I really wasn't expecting such a scientific and data-driven exploration of matching dogs and people, but it certainly is thorough. Not always convincing, despite the plethora of information, but definitely thorough.
I love this book and have lent it out to many, many people who were trying to pick out the best dog for them. It explained to me why my Shar-pei mix and I were so bonded, when my first dogs - a terrier mix and a Sheltie mix - and I never really saw eye to eye. Best yet, it helped me to pick a successor when my last dog passed on, who is the greatest dog I have ever owned, bar none! I love Dr. Coren's stories about different famous people, from Picasso to Richard Nixon to Jimmy Stewart, the dogs they loved, and why.
The heart of the book is a simple personality test that the reader takes and then uses to match against the major personality qualities of different dog breeds. It can be used for mixed breeds, too - just look at the dog's major personality traits and match yourself against them. There are the best dogs for dominant personalities, for shy people, for trusting people, for warm-hearted people. Dr. Coren even explains why some people prefer cats (although his depiction of cats-only people - and of cats - isn't very flattering!)
If you are looking for the best dog ever, or love your dog and want to know more about why, or just like reading about dogs, get this book. You won't regret it.