Review: Dogs Never Lie about Love

Dogs Never Lie about Love.

In his own good-natured way, my husband, Guion, likes to make fun of my obsession with dogs, including my ferocious appetite for dog books. He especially likes to tease me about the goofy names that dog writers often give their books. Dogs Never Lie about Love is certainly up there as far as cheesy, sappy titles go. (Guion also made a lot of fun of the title Bones Would Rain from the Sky, which is totally fair, but I actually loved that book.) I was reading this book while killing time before a wedding and I made sure to hide the spine and cover from any passersby, to save myself from any outright judgment, looks of concern, and the like.

Goofy title aside, this book reminds me of Stanley Coren’s work and the one Jon Katz book I read, as they can be categorized as “emotional quasi-science” books. Emotional quasi-science books like to sprinkle in lots of little studies and research among the body of heart-grabbing stories of canine wonder and relationships. They can tend to the gimmicky, but I admit that I like them just the same.

I am perfectly content reading a book in which Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson keeps describing the ways his three dogs interact with each other. In this way, I, the dog-less one, can live vicariously through Masson and his furry trio. (I told Guion that I would totally watch a reality TV show that just filmed dogs playing in their living rooms. No drama, no medical emergencies, no training nightmares. Just dogs being dogs. It would be the most boring and unprofitable television show ever, but *I* would watch it. Again, cue loving husband’s teasing laughter.)

That said, I don’t know if many people would actually enjoy this book–that is, people who were lucky enough to already have dogs of their own. I myself had already read about the majority of the research that Masson cites. The book is split into chapters that cover a dog’s basic emotions. And while I enjoyed this overview, I’m not sure if I learned anything new.

However, if you’re like me and you just like reading about the inner world of dogs, even if you’re not learning anything exciting or new, Dogs Never Lie about Love might be the book for you.

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3 thoughts on “Review: Dogs Never Lie about Love

  1. I just read this too!

    The logic in the book puzzled me. The story that stands out most is about the dog being locked in with the meat for days, dying of starvation yet not eating the birds and it supposedly being a demonstration of loyalty. 1) How is that loyalty as opposed to not seeing the birds as a food source? 2) How does a dog die of starvation in such a short period of time 3) How do we know if the event really occurred? And the whole book was like that!

    My justification was that the book is “really old” in terms of dog books and especially for writing about emotion in animals. A lot has changed in the last 14 years!

  2. I haven’t read this book yet and may pass, though I like Masson’s other books. I really liked “What a Dog Thinks” (or close to it, title wise) by Alexandra ………… I’m looking forward to reading the behavior book by that Brit dude (I am so good with names today!) and have “The Lost Dogs” still sitting waiting for a large chunk of time – I have a strong feeling I won’t be able to put it down. I really liked “Bones Would Rain from the Sky” and I enjoy Jon Katz, knowing he learned hands on like (as?) I am learning….I read everything Patricia McConnell writes, follow her blog and understand how more scientifically based and up to date she and Karen London are compared to more soft reads. Reviews are always welcome – thanks!

  3. I read Masson’s book years ago. I seem to recall enjoying his writing about elephants more–perhaps because the info was new to me.

    I also loved Bones would Rain From the Sky. For me, Suzanne Clothier is a game changer. She’s done more to change my thinking about dogs than anyone else.

    I wish she’d write another book. But she seems to be doing more seminars now. You should check out her updated website if you haven’t already.

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