Going to the Dogs - Interview with Stan Coren

Here Rachel Rose interviews mutt maven Stanley Coren who has appeared on Oprah, Larry King and Charlie Rose. Coren has written one of the world’s bestselling non-fiction books about dogs, The Intelligence of Dogs, as well as Why We Love The Dogs We Do. (This interview first appeared in The Ormsby Review.)

As an internationally accepted author on books about dogs, Dr. Stanley Coren of Vancouver has a career that most writers and researchers only dream of; his lectures at UBC routinely attract hundreds of students. With his fifteenth book underway, Stanley Coren has also written seminal books on sleep deprivation and left-handedness.

In the following interview, Coren discusses the dogs that shaped his childhood, his canine research, his bestselling career as a writer and his family life. He arrived to talk with Rachel Rose at a café on Main Street looking dapper in a dark suit and a broad brimmed Australian hat. Nearly three hours later, they were still in the café, still discussing dogs.

As a psychologist, how did you get yourself into the study of dogs?

Most psychologists are trained either to be animal or human psychologists. I wanted to study the human-animal bond, specifically the human-canine bond. I recognized there was a different critter at each end of the leash and you had to understand both of them to understand the relationship. But when I got my doctorate, around 1968, if you’d said to anyone you wanted to study dogs, they would look at you as if you’d descended from a flying saucer.

There was probably zero funding.