“What breed is she?” Every owner of a mixed-breed dog is eventually asked this when out on a walk. But how much do dogs’ breeds — and genes — really tell us about who they are? Alexandra Horowitz asks Soledad O’Brien about her dog Coco’s ancestry (and her own), then talks to a pioneer in the field of canine DNA.
The dogs we know best live as pets: indoors, wearing bespoke collars, and sleeping on our sofas. But the majority of the world’s dogs are stray, or “free-ranging” dogs. What are their lives like? Alexandra Horowitz talks to filmmaker Elizabeth Lo about her documentary Stray, which follows street dogs in Istanbul, and a behavioral scientist who studies a community of stray dogs in a Moroccan beach town.
Hollywood loves stories of canine heroism. But can ordinary dogs really be heroes? To find out, Alexandra Horowitz talks to a dog-cognition researcher and to Susan Orlean, author of the book Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend.
To the law, everything is either a “person,” with rights, or a “thing,” without. Where does that leave dogs? Alexandra Horowitz considers animate things, living property, and what happens when the law and our families collide.
What do dogs know about their own names? And is there any science about what to name them? Alexandra talks to a researcher with some answers, and takes a walk with the actress Isabella Rossellini, her dogs, and a sheep named Frida Kahlo.
Dogs are, above all, creatures of the nose. What can they sniff out, and what can we learn about smelling by following them? Alexandra Horowitz talks to a detection-dog handler and a food critic about olfaction, then puts some Freakonomics hosts’ noses to the test.
In the Freakonomics Radio Network’s newest show, dog-cognition expert and bestselling author Alexandra Horowitz (Inside of a Dog) takes us on a walk into the scruffy, curious, joyful world of dogs. What does it mean to “own” a dog? Can dogs demonstrate genuine heroism? And what is it like to experience reality primarily through smell? Off Leash is a delightful and surprising look at the deeply familiar, profoundly mysterious animals who walk alongside us.
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