Cat lovers turn away — this isn’t the documentary for you. Dan Child’s fawning, hour-long Dogs Decoded examines the unique relationship we have with “man’s best friend,” and how hundreds of years of domestication have made dogs nearly human.
While feline companionship is lauded in some segments of popular culture, we mostly tend to regard cats with bemusement, and a cool detachment. Humans have undeniably developed a unique relationship with their other furry friends, meanwhile, owing largely to the fact that dogs have been domesticated for longer than any other animal on the
planet. When people talk about feeling that their pet can understand them in a way that other animals can’t, they’re almost always talking about their dog. Now, new research is revealing what dog lovers have suspected all along: many mutts have an uncanny ability to read and respond to human emotions.
Though thin and suffering a bit from preaching-to-the-choir syndrome, Dogs Decoded digs into this incredible relationship between humans and dogs, and why, even though they are so closely related to wolves, canines by and large behave differently. In engaging fashion, Child delves into new discoveries in genetics that are helping to illuminate the
origin of dogs. (He’s less convincing with research that humans, in turn, respond to dogs with a release of oxytocin, the same hormone responsible for
bonding mothers to their babies.) For enthusiastic dog lovers, this is a slice of manna you can watch with your pet. Others may engage it with a bit less native interest.
Housed in a regular plastic Amaray case, Dogs Decoded comes to DVD presented in 1.78:1 widescreen, with an English language stereo audio track. Unfortunately, there are no supplemental bonus features. To order a copy of the DVD, call (800) PLAY-PBS or click here. To purchase DVDs with public
performance rights, meanwhile, click here. Or, if Amazon and only Amazon is totally your thing, click here. C+ (Movie) C- (Disc)