Genealogy of Obedience

Reading North American Dog Training Literature, 1850s-2000s


In Genealogy of Obedience Justyna Włodarczyk provides a long overdue look at the history of companion dog training methods in North America since the mid-nineteenth century, when the market of popular training handbooks emerged. Włodarczyk argues that changes in the functions and goals of dog training are entangled in bigger cultural discourses; with a particular focus on how animal training has served as a field for playing out anxieties related to race, class and gender in North America. By applying a Foucauldian genealogical perspective, the book shows how changes in training methods correlate with shifts in dominant regimes of power. It traces the rise and fall of obedience as a category for conceptualizing relationships with dogs.
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EUR €135.00USD $162.00

Biographical Note

Justyna Włodarczyk, PhD (2009) is Assistant Professor at the University of Warsaw. She has published on the human-animal bond in the US and in Poland and has recently co-edited Free Market Dogs: The Human-Canine Bond in Post-Communist Poland (Purdue, 2016).


All interested in human-animal relations, animal training, biopolitics; the intersections of animal studies and cultural studies/American studies. Animal training practitioners and animal cognition scientists will also find this of interest.


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