Alexandra Horowitz and Ed Yong
What is it like to be a puppy? In conversation with Pulitzer Prize–winning science journalist Ed Yong, dog-cognition researcher and best-selling author Alexandra Horowitz dives into the perspective of a developing dog.
While few of us meet our dogs the day they are born, Horowitz was there from day one of her new puppy Quiddity’s life, documenting the young puppy’s critical early development rarely seen by new dog owners. She was there when Quid and her siblings first opened their eyes, first started to recognize one another, and learned about cats, sheep, and people—seeing them from their first play bows to puberty. The experience forms the basis of her newest book, The Year of the Puppy.
Scientist Horowitz and writer Yong discuss the social and cognitive milestones that so many that so many of us miss in the lives of our puppies—a progression through the equivalent of infancy, childhood, young adolescence, and teenager-hood—when caught up in the housetraining and behavioral training that overwhelms the first months of a dog’s life with a new family.
Horowitz keeps a lens on the puppy’s point of view—how they (begin to) see and smell the world, make meaning of it, and become an individual personality. Her work reminds us of what long-term dog lovers know and first-time owners will learn: Bringing a new pup home is essentially a 15-year-long blind date. But it’s one that’s well worth going on.
Horowitz, one of the most highly regarded and popular experts on dog cognition, heads the Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College.
Her book, The Year of the Puppy: How Dogs Become Themselves (Viking) is available for purchase.
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