Review WHAT THE DOG KNOWS by CAT WARREN @Cat_Warren @TouchstoneBooks

Book Description

 October 1, 2013
Cat Warren is a university professor and former journalist with an admittedly odd hobby: She and her German shepherd have spent the last seven years searching for the dead. Solo is a cadaver dog. What started as a way to harness Solo’s unruly energy and enthusiasm soon became a calling that introduced Warren to the hidden and fascinating universe of working dogs, their handlers, and their trainers.

Solo has a fine nose and knows how to use it, but he’s only one of many thousands of working dogs all over the United States and beyond. In What the Dog Knows, Warren uses her ongoing work with Solo as a way to explore a captivating field that includes cadaver dogs, drug- and bomb-detecting K9s, tracking and apprehension dogs—even dogs who can locate unmarked graves of Civil War soldiers and help find drowning victims more than two hundred feet below the surface of a lake. Working dogs’ abilities may seem magical or mysterious, but Warren shows the multifaceted science, the rigorous training, and the skilled handling that underlie the amazing abilities of dogs who work with their noses.

Warren interviews cognitive psychologists, historians, medical examiners, epidemiologists, and forensic anthropologists, as well as the breeders, trainers, and handlers who work with and rely on these remarkable and adaptable animals daily. Along the way, she discovers story after story that proves the impressive capabilities—as well as the very real limits—of working dogs and their human partners. Clear-eyed and unsentimental, Warren explains why our partnership with dogs is woven into the fabric of society and why we keep finding new uses for their wonderful noses.

About the Author
Cat Warren is an associate professor at North Carolina State University, where she teaches science journalism, editing, and reporting courses. She lives with her German shepherd, Solo, in Durham, North Carolina.



When Cat Warren gets a gorgeous German Shepherd, he is all parts uncoordinated, curious and needs a job.  Like most working breeds, shepherds are happiest when they have a job to do and when Warren takes her boy to a trainer she knows he needs a job, but she also knows that she physically couldn't keep up with a search and rescue team.  She had never really thought of a cadaver dog, but Solo, proves to be a standout early on.  And so, the pair have found a calling and not a likely one for the author.  Much like Mary Roach attacks a subject, Warren leaves no stone unturned in explaining the science and psychology behind these working dogs.  

First off, I got that "ewww" feeling when Warren describes exactly what Solo would be doing, but the whole story is just so fascinating and balanced between personal anecdotes with the science behind the skills, that I just couldn't put it down. The importance of these working dogs is not really that well known.  I have read Susannah Charleson's books about training service dogs and this gives a whole new facet to the interesting lives they have.  I admire people that have the time and patience to do the hard work that provide these services to help the public.  I know from being around my dachshund that the power of scent in dogs is amazing.  

I received this book from the publisher at no charge and in no way influenced my review.  If you are considering purchasing this book or anything else from Amazon, please use my link above since I earn a very small percentage of the sale which helps pay for shipping my giveaways!  

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