Not strictly a manual for care and training of dogs but a behavioral portrait of the domesticated beast, with many Ardreyan-Lorenzian precepts which juxtapose human/canine imperatives. The author, who has previously worked with the dog's wild brethren (particularly wolves), begins by tracing the natural history of dogs (he discards the wolf/jackal theory) and then discusses puppy inheritance and learned behavior, with a strong emphasis on personality differences, socialization, and endemic responses. Of unusual value to dog owners is the section dealing with dog body language -- how to read tail wags, facial expressions, those unsettling rumbles from the chest, and ear and lip action. There may be too many simplistic references to human behavior for your taste (""Wolves, some men and some dogs will display their weapons but not use them""), and phrases like ""sado-masochistic explorations"" seem a bit too rarefied for the average pet owner. But this is a fresh approach to understanding man's best friend. An appendix contains sample questions and answers on training. There will be photos, diagrams, and charts which might further redeem the ear-flattening subtitle.