A pioneering canine behaviorist draws on cutting-edge research to show that a single, simple trait—the capacity to love—is what makes dogs such perfect companions for humans, and to explain how we can better reciprocate their affection.
Around the time he adopted a lovable black mutt named Xephos, Clive Wynne’s work as a canine scientist led him to a crisis of conscience. He had bucked the prevailing scientific wisdom by disproving that dogs have a unique ability to understand humans. But then what explained the special bond between our species—and what else about dogs were we getting wrong?
As he welcomed Xephos into his home and pursued these questions in his lab, Wynne arrived at a startling conclusion: dogs are perfect companions because they actually have the ability to love. This capacity for affection is now being confirmed by cutting-edge research that shows how dogs’ brains, hormones, and even heartbeats reflect love for their special humans. What's more, scientists have pinpointed the genetic mutation that gave dogs the ability to feel love in the first place. These findings force us to rethink our basic assumptions about dogs’ evolution and psychology. Perhaps most important, they offer powerful new clues for how we should care for our canine friends. A humane, illuminating book, Dog Is Love is essential reading for anyone who has ever loved a dog and experienced the wonder of being loved back.