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"The Wolf in the Parlor"

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:23 am
by connie
I picked up this book because of the subtitle: "How the Dog Came to Share Your Brain" and because the author (Jon Franklin) is a science reporter who became interested, almost against his will, in dogs.

It's very well-written and just enough science for me, a non-science person; I recommend it. I'm only about 60 pages in, so I know I haven't reached the central thesis of the book yet.

http://www.jonfranklin.com/wolf/wolfintheparlor.html

A quick internet search shows me that Patricia McConnell doesn't like it, but that doesn't deter me, since I've never been in the PM fan club ROFL
http://www.theotherendoftheleash.com/th ... the-parlor

Other dog blogs had different views:
http://thepoodleanddogblog.typepad.com/ ... eview.html

Anyone else read this?

Re: "The Wolf in the Parlor"

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:46 am
by RobinS
I like PM and I saw this book and wondered about getting it. SO, I had to read her take on it....sounds like she may question his "science"? Keep us posted on it. Curious about why you don't care for McConnell?

Re: "The Wolf in the Parlor"

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:58 am
by connie
Franklin is making the point in his book that there is amazingly LITTLE science about the history and development of the dog; scientists have spent far more time on other species and really neglected the dog. He wonders why. So do I. :)

He interviews Dr. Stanley Olsen, who has spent 30 years traveling all over the world, mostly on his own dime, to become the world's leading expert on the paleontology of dogs. Olsen says he is now "working on a grant to do fieldwork on goats." Franklin is appalled, says "Goats?" and Olsen replies, "I can't get money for work on dogs. THere's no interest in dogs. I'm tired of struggling with it."

The book offers an interesting perspective, and just because Franklin didn't read Coppinger, I don't think that discredits this work. I like to read more than just stuff I know I agree with, I think it stretches my mind. My brother says it means I'm gullible. ROFL

Re: "The Wolf in the Parlor"

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 8:51 am
by RobinS
Many do think that Coppinger is the end all and be all of dog behavior science and the person I trained under would not agree. She has always encouraged me to read all ways of thinking and not be pigeon holed into one way of doing or thinking. I am not a gullible person because of that and neither are you.

Re: "The Wolf in the Parlor"

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:12 am
by UpwardDog
I'm very much a PM fan but I know I'll never read enough to weigh in on this book. I forced myself to slog through Coppinger's Dogs and only made it through because I was trapped for hours on end in a fertility clinic waiting room. Most topics pertaining to dogs fascinate me but when it comes to how close they are or aren't to wolves and how they did or didn't become domesticated, I just want the Coles notes.

Re: "The Wolf in the Parlor"

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:06 am
by RobinS
I hear you Heather......it's not easy to read.

Re: "The Wolf in the Parlor"

Posted: Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:57 pm
by connie
[quote=RobinS]I hear you Heather......it's not easy to read. [/quote]

I didn't manage it at all. :)

Re: "The Wolf in the Parlor"

Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 10:26 am
by Moemer
really?! I thought the Coppinger book was fascinating. Until the end where he dipped a toe into training/behaviour... It's been a while since I read it, so I can't remember details, but it struck me as a handful of naturalistic fallacies. The first half was interesting, though, especially the stuff on predatory FAPs.

Re: "The Wolf in the Parlor"

Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:25 pm
by Sabine
[quote=Moemer]really?! I thought the Coppinger book was fascinating.[/quote]

Same here, I like it and have read it twice from cover to cover, and sometimes re-read specific areas as needed.

Re: "The Wolf in the Parlor"

Posted: Mon May 23, 2011 6:11 pm
by connie
If I'm reading it right, the premise of "Wolf in the Parlor" is the hypothesis by the author that the dog emerged as a domesticated animal and companion /working partner to humans around 12,000 years ago; this is significant, he says, because right around that time, the brains of human beings got a lot smaller. And yet, the most significant advances in civilization took place with this smaller brain. Why is that, when it would seem it should be the opposite?

Well ... the dog, of course! ROFL Seriously, it's a very interesting suggestion: that the dog added so much to the life of the human being that it eased the burden of what had to be done just to survive, and thus freed up humans to become the highly advanced species we are today. (Okay, that last is my sarcasm. But you get the idea.)

A good book, worth reading!