The Genius of Dogs:

How Dogs Are Smarter Than You Think

Brian Hare—dog researcher, evolutionary anthropologist, and founder of the Duke Canine Cognition Center—and Vanessa Woods offer revolutionary new insights into dog intelligence and the interior lives of our smartest pets.

In the past decade, we have learned more about how dogs think than in the last century. Breakthroughs in cognitive science, pioneered by Brian Hare, have proven dogs have a kind of genius for getting along with people that is unique in the animal kingdom.

Brian Hare’s stunning discovery is that when dogs domesticated themselves as early as 40,000 years ago they became far more like human infants than their wolf ancestors. Domestication gave dogs a whole new kind of social intelligence. This finding will change the way we think about dogs and dog training—indeed, the revolution has already begun.

Hare’s seminal research has led him to work with every kind of dog, from the tiniest shelter puppy to the exotic New Guinea singing dog, from his own childhood dog, Oreo, to the most fashionable schnoodle. The Genius of Dogs is nothing less than the definitive dog book of our time by the researcher who started a revolution.

Editorial Reviews

“Many authors have tried to anecdotally capture the emotional bond between humans and dogs. Here at last is a book that digs deep into cognitive science to unravel the mysteries of the canine brain. Thoroughly researched and written in the likable voice of a brainy scientist sitting at your kitchen table, The Genius of Dogs is a fascinating look at what goes on between the ears of the animals we share our lives with. I found it entertaining, fast-moving, and filled with gee-whiz insights that gave me a new appreciation for the complex social intelligence of man’s best friend.”

John Grogan, New York Times bestselling author of Marley & Me

The Genius of Dogs is a fantastic book. It makes it very clear that there are different kinds of intelligence. All dog lovers should read this book.”

Temple Grandin, New York Times bestselling author of Animals Make Us Human

“A fascinating, riveting, utterly engaging romp through the mind of man’s best friend. I promise: You will never look at your dog the same way again.”

Maria Goodavage, New York Times bestselling author of Soldier Dogs

“The definitive dog book of our time by the researcher who started a revolution.”

Daniel J. Levitin, New York Times bestselling author of This Is Your Brain on Music

“A masterful account of the way science is revealing just how smart dogs can be. Fascinating and highly readable.”

John Bradshaw, New York Times bestselling author of Dog Sense

“Based on Brian Hare’s game-changing research, The Genius of Dogs brilliantly explains the canine mind and in doing so illuminates the natural history of all intelligence. This book will captivate anyone interested in dog, ape, or human mentality.”

Richard Wrangham, Harvard University, author of Catching Fire

“A lovely book…Personal stories and facts from numerous research projects published in prestigious peer-reviewed professional journals make the book a delight to read.”

Psychology Today

“A scientific study that doubles as a warmhearted tribute to man’s best friend.”

Publishers Weekly

“A well-presented investigation into how dogs came to be.”

Kirkus Reviews

“This is the best book in existence, by far, for learning about the recent revolution in our understanding of the minds of dogs. And it’s fun, too.”

Mike Tomasello, codirector, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

The Genius of Dogs is not just about dogs and not just about genius. It’s an exciting detective story by two comparative biologists with amazing discoveries to report.”

Bernd Heinrich, author of Mind of the Raven

“With the help of some wolves, Russian foxes, New Guinea singing dogs, and a Labrador Retriever named Oreo, Brian Hare tells us about his fascinating search for an understanding of how dogs think and communicate.”

Stanley Coren, author of Do Dogs Dream

Author Biography

Brian Hare is a professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke University, where he founded the Duke Canine Cognition Center.

Reader Biography

Fred Sanders has received critics’ praise for his audio narrations, ranging from nonfiction to fiction, memoir, and mystery and suspense. 

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