‘A Dog’s Life’ examines how our canine companions perceive the world – from the moment they take their first morning walk to the time they curl up at our feet to go to sleep. We accompany Daisy, a Jack Russell Terrier, through an average day and on the way discover that, while dogs are not miniature humans, they are amazingly well adapted to life with us.
This fascinating and fun documentary is an exploration of the senses, mind and behaviour of our four-legged friends, which looks at a variety of species from St. John’s, Newfoundland to Budapest, Hungary. While dogs might come up short on some of our expectations, Macpherson’s experiments are revealing that dogs also have remarkable abilities we never anticipated. Who would have thought that our canine companions can count?
Ingenious experiments and meticulous observation reveal that the problems dogs solve best are those that involve interacting with humans. They are social creatures highly adapted to understanding even our subtlest gestures. For those of us who struggle to teach our pet the basic commands like sit or stay it is astounding to watch as Prof. Adam Miklosi of the Family Dog Project in Budapest trains a dog to carry out a variety of complex activities using only the command “do as I do”.
Dogs fit so well into human society that we have bred them into the most varied species in the world. But every one of them, from the giant Newfoundland to the tiniest Chihuahua, is descended from that most widely feared predator – the wolf. But unlike the wolf, dogs and humans developed a deep mutual sympathy, which after thousands of years resulted in dogs not only preferring human company to that of other dogs, but also provided them with an uncanny ability to understand us.
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