What the Dog Knows

What the Dog Knows

The Science and Wonder of Working Dogs

Book - 2013
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Explores the world of working dogs, as well as canine intelligence and training, as the author and her German shepherd, Solo, work with forensic anthropologists, detectives, and dog handlers to find the bodies of the missing.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2013
Edition: First Touchstone hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781451667318
1451667310
Branch Call Number: 636.70886 WAR NVD
Characteristics: xvii, 332 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm

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ontherideau Jun 11, 2014

That handsome fellow on the cover is Solo. Solo is a working dog- no dress up or doggy strollers for him. When Cat Warren and husband David decided to get another dog they were thinking along the lines of one who would "lie beneath the desk and excel in the show ring". What they got instead was a "dark hybrid of colt and Tasmanian Devil." The name Solo was given because he was an only child, no littermates. Lone pups are often euthanized because they don't learn puppy rules or cause and effect principles from the others. This was a dog who needed an outlet for his energy and intelligence.
Working as a search and rescue dog was not suitable for him because they generally work in teams, sweeping a search area and other dogs distracted him. Solo uses his nose for cadavers, trained to find dead people or parts thereof. Dogs are able to locate old graves and even find bodies that are underwater, helping police close outstanding cases and tracking sometimes long after hope is lost.
The work is demanding, unglamorous and handlers are usually volunteers; dedication that comes from a huge heart on both ends of the leash in my opinion. Part memoir, part history of military and police canine units and part inspiration, What the dog knows is a fascinating read.

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