Book Review: The Year of the Puppy


image of the book cover of "The Year of the Puppy: How Dogs Become themselves" by Alexandra Horowitz

In her new book, The Year Of The Puppy: How Dogs Become Themselves, Alexandra Horowitz provides a new outlook on the way we consider those soft, rolly-polly, squishy-faced, fat-bellied creatures that become siblings to our human children, playmates, fitness pals, antidepressants, and our most dependable source of unconditional love and loyalty. What are those first days, weeks, and months like from your puppy’s perspective as they look to us and the world for cues? 

Rather than a book of instruction and training for your new pet, Horowitz explores and shares the world of puppies and their first experiences and discoveries. Puppy development occurs so swiftly in the first year that we often forget that they encounter “firsts,” just as our human children and they do so with the same sense of wonder and appraisal. 

We fail to consider that a puppy’s new life is curious and cognitively developmental just as with human babies - just a lot faster. She explores how puppies learn and develop instinctual cues, play bows, caution, and joy. Pet parents can become so focused on the success of their training efforts that they fail to observe what the dog went through to get to that point.

Horowitz is a dog behaviorist. Founder of the Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College, she is also a mother. Combined, these two skills provide us with an indispensable go-to resource for understanding the frustrations and joys of having our new canine family member through that first complex year of challenges and wonder. The Year Of The Puppy: How Dogs Become Themselves is available at Dog-Harmony recommends this book as a must-read!

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