Why We Are Fascinated By Dogs

An Inquiry Into Canine Consciousness, Intelligence, Temperament, and Extraordinary Abilities
(Published February 6, 2012)

Why We Are Fascinated By Dogs - Book Cover
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This is a book written by one dog lover for all other dog lovers. It's objective is to offer interest and pleasure to those who already “know” what is so about dogs, not to convince scientists or skeptics about anything.

Most people, when they interact with dogs, do so as if dogs have consciousness and deal with the world in much the same way that humans, at least small children, do. Many dog lovers, anthropomorphizing, believe that their dog thinks of her/himself as being human.

Perhaps there's more utility in believing that dogs think of humans as being dogs. That is “cynomorphizing,” from the Greek root cyno, which means “dog.” From the dog's perspective, humans are probably considered to be strange looking elongated dogs who walk upright rather than on four paws. Moreover, the dogs probably believe that humans are not very bright “dogs,” because they don't engage in, or respond to, the full spectrum of canine behaviors.

Nevertheless, humans act enough like dogs that dogs believe they can get along with humans by assuming that humans will generally react and respond much like dogs. Without anthropomorphism on humans' parts and without cynomorphism on dogs' parts, it is unlikely that dogs would have ever been domesticated, and come to live with, work with, and serve as companions to humans.

The underlying theme of the book is that dogs are wonderful, loving, social beings who are conscious, intelligent, and capable of exhibiting extraordinary abilities - much like the best of human beings. It is full of fascinating anecdotes that serve to enhance our love and admiration for our canine companions. It also provides guidance on how to select the breed of dog that is most compatible with your personality.


“I just read an ending paragraph from David Ritchey's book “Why We Are Fascinated by Dogs.” I was caught off guard that the book had ended…I wanted more!
Mr. Ritchey initially sets up a conversation about mainstream beliefs surrounding dogs' behavior as not necessarily remarkable. He then jumps right into inspiring true stories illustrating dogs' amazing abilities, temperament, and intelligence.
With a bit of Mr. Ritchey's wonderful wit thrown in, his thought provoking evidence is engaging and entertaining.
You will hug your dog when you are done. If you do not own a dog, you soon will. ”
— Mary

“David Ritchey's book, “Why We Are Fascinated by Dogs,” is written by a dog lover for other dog lovers. By no means a training manual, it is, rather, a thought provoking exploration into K-9 consciousness, intelligence, temperament, and extraordinary abilities. Filled with wonderful anecdotes that leave the reader in a state of amazement, Ritchey tentatively probes the possibility of “psychic” abilities in dogs. He also includes a section on how to determine which breed is the best match for your personality. Warning: If you do not already own a dog, you will want to after reading this book.”
— Harper