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How to Find the Dog That Matches Your Personality

by Stanley Coren

Pub Date: June 1st, 1998
ISBN: 0-684-83901-6
Publisher: Free Press

Coren, author of the bestselling The Intelligence of Dogs, wants you to get the right dog and to cut back on the alarming human-dog divorce rate, and here he delivers the kind of goods a professional matchmaker would be proud of. This is a book of pure good intention: Deploying his background in psychology and dog intelligence, Coren endeavors to hitch people and canines in a lasting, mutually beneficial relationship. Considering that four out of ten dogs don’t last one year with their adoptive families, it is a worthy project. He emphasizes the importance of emotional attraction and companionship over image, and devises a new classification of dogs that, in contrast to the classic kennel-club standards, groups them by behavioral characteristics and temperament (this is accomplished with the input of veterinarians, trainers, dog-show judges, and canine psychologists): friendly, protective, independent, self-assured, consistent, steady, and clever. He then provides a personality test for readers to measure their own extroversion, trust, dominance, warmth, and such. In subsequent chapters, he outlines what dogs fit what categories, including psychological detailings and copious anecdotes (a kind of —dog styles of the rich and famous—): why Steinbeck had a poodle, Eugene O’Neill a Dalmatian, Emily Brontâ a boxer, Picasso an Afghan hound, what dogs presidents have chosen, and those selected by queens. Then he delves into the mechanics of his personality profiles, how readers can use them to find an appropriate dog, or maybe even to learn that they are, like Goethe and Napoleon, not meant to have a dog at all. The final chapter, a listing of the dogs of celebrities, is gratuitous, as readers will likely have little clue as to the glitterati’s real personalities. Coren, a humble dog lover and a longtime student of the beast, has the best interests of both dogs and humans at heart. His is a scheme worth a gamble. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen) (Author tour)