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Alabama reader: you should read the book before reviewing it
am 4. Oktober 1999
I've found the book a very convincing and well-researched description of this phenomenon. I saw the 20/20 episode about this book and it seemed very clear that the dog was reacting to the owner's intention to return, though it wasn't obvious if that was an unusual occurrence. If you read the book, it is clear that the dog is not just sitting by the window the whole time. The percentage of time that the dog spent by the window was measured for each 10-minute interval in the entire time the owner was gone. The dog spent an insignificant amount of time at the window before the owner decided to return home, and a significantly larger amount of time afterward, far more than could be expected by random chance. The data was collected from the videotapes by someone who was unfamiliar with the details of the expirement and thus wouldn't be likely to expect a particular result. I will agree that "most" dogs do not know when they are coming home, but the fact that some do is very surprising.