''Dog is Love'' is one of several new books on dogs out this year and one of a flood of such books over the last decade or so.

Brian Hare, an evolutionary anthropologist and researcher of dog behavior at Duke University, who founded the Duke Canine Cognition Center, recently wrote that there are 70,000 dog books listed on Amazon.

XEPHOS is not the author of ''Dog is Love : Why and How Your Dog Loves You,'' one of the latest books to plumb the nature of dogs, but she helped inspire it. And as I scratched behind her ears, it was easy to see why.

First, she fixed on me with imploring doggy eyes, asking for my attention. Then, every time I stopped scratching, she nudged her nose under my hand and flipped it up. I speak a little dog, but the message would have been clear even if I didn't : Don't stop.

We were in the home office of Clive Wynne, a psychologist at Arizona State University who specializes in dog behavior. He belongs to Xephos, a mixed breed that the Wynne found in shelter in 2012.

Dr. Wynne's book is an extended argument about what makes dogs special - not how smart they are, but how friendly they are. Xephos's shameless and undiscriminating affection affected both his heart and his thinking.

As Xephos nose-nudged me again, Dr. Wynne was describing genetic changes that occurred at some point in dog evolution that he says explains why dogs are so sociable with members of other species.

''Hey,'' Dr. Wynne said to her as she tilted her head to get the maximum payoff from my efforts, ''how long have you had these genes?''

No one disputes the sociability of dogs. But Dr. Wynne doesn't agree with with the scientific point of view that dogs have a unique ability to understand and communicate with humans. He thinks they have a unique capacity for for interspecies love, a word that he has decided to use, throwing side decades of immersion in scientific jargon.

Since 2000, around the time dog research had a resurgence, a small but significant number of those books have been written by scientists for a general audience. Like Dr. Hare's ''The Genius of Dogs,'' published in 2013, the books address what is going on in dog's heart and mind. Most emphasize the mind.

Dr. Wynne's book runs counter to Dr. Hare's when it comes to the importance of dog's thinking ability, which Dr. Hare sees as central to their bond with humans.

By using the L word Dr. Wynne may well appeal to the many besorted dog owners. But he may also disappoint. The reason dogs are such ''an amazing success story'' is their ability to bond with other species, he said. Not just humans.

The honor and serving of the latest research and writings On Dogs, continues. !WOW! thanks author James Gorman.


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