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DOG EAT DOG: A Very Human Book About Dogs and Dog Shows Hardcover – February 10, 1997

15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Following World War II, ownership of dogs in America?particularly purebreds?skyrocketed. The American Kennel Club (long established as the epitome of canine registries and events-licensing organizations), registers millions of dogs and sanctions thousands of championship and titling events each year. People involved in the sport of breeding and showing dogs often lead lives of total immersion in their canine activities. This book offers entertaining insight into that unique world. As casual participants, the Sterns (Jane & Michael Stern's Image of Pop Culture, LJ 10/15/92) enlisted the aid of longtime bullmastiff breeder Mimi Einstein and followed her through one year of activities, including the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club show and the Bullmastiff National Specialty. We go on the roller coaster ride of breeding and handling decisions and longstanding rivalries. An enchanting romp through the dog show circuit that will entertain anyone who has even the most remote interest in show dogs.?Edell Marie Schaefer, Brookfield P.L., Wis.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Jane and Michael Stern have written 20 other books that chronicle American popular culture. Here they focus their attention on the joys and sorrows of professional dog breeding and dog shows by accompanying Mimi Einstein, owner of Allstar Kennel in Katonah, New York, as she exhibits her prizewinning bullmastiffs on the show circuit that culminates with the Westminster Kennel Club at Madison Square Garden. In the purebred competitive ring, "dogs are the soldiers in these battles, but tactics are planned and strategy is charted by human beings: breeders and breed loyalists, handlers and groomers." Between shows, readers will get to know Sam Kohl, director of the New York School of Dog Grooming, and Bill and Bonnie Wilson, whose passion for a Leonberger (a cross between a Newfoundland and a Saint Bernard) leads them into breeding with artificial insemination. Fans of bullmastiffs--the Sterns have two--as well as dog lovers in general will delight in this behind-the-scenes peek at canine contests and the people doggedly devoted to them. Jennifer Henderson
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; 1st edition (February 10, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684822539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684822532
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,492,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 2, 1997
Format: Hardcover
If you love dogs, but can't understand why anyone gets involved in dogs shows; if you've ever watched the Westminister Kennel club show on USA Network, and wondered what it's really like for the human contestants, if you want to know why anyone would turn their lives around for their dogs, this book is the best explanation I've read.

Havings owned show dogs and raised show dogs, I've found it nearly impossible to describe to the uninitiated what it's like to show dogs, what it's like to be with dog show people, and why anyone would devote all their vacations and much of their disposable income to a sport where you're going to lose most of the time.

The Sterns use a year in the life of a Bullmastiff breeder to get inside the world of dog shows, dog show people and expose the humor, pathos, bitchiness (both from the dogs and the humans) involved in a sport involving millions of dogs and owners, but one almost entirely foreign even to dog owners and lovers who don't show.

It's funny and reads much too quickly. You'll never forget Mimi Einstein the breeder or her charges Rusty, Sam and Sugar
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Madelyn Pryor VINE VOICE on April 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Recently, a friend mentioned he was thinking about breeding puppies. Luckily, I was already reading this book. After mentioning the schedules, money, paperwork, heartbreak, and blood, sweat, and tears that goes into dog breeding, he said "never mind"

Not only is Dog Eat Dog a brilliant expose on dog breeding, it focuses on the world of show dogs, a complicated place in which the slightest bump on a dogs shoulder can make the difference between winning and loosing, and where wirehair dogs have to be groomed by having individual hairs pulled out.

Though many breeds and breeders are mentioned, the main focus is on Mimi Einstein and her All Star Kennels, which breeds and shows Bull Mastiffs, massive, loving guard dogs. Many of the stories are touching, some will make you cheer outloud and one made my eyes water.

It's fast moving, well paced, and though a real tale it has a happy ending.

If you're thinking about getting a pure bred dog, showing a dog, or breeding for profit, please read this book first!

Highest recommendations.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
"Dog Eat Dog" is an entertaining look at the dog show scene, and is a must for any dog fancier. The book thoroughly chronicles the life of a prominent breeder and her campaigning special, Rusty. "Dog Eat Dog" is humorous and interesting, and will have you repeatedly nodding your head in agreement. Read this book.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 1, 1998
Format: Paperback
At first read, this is a highly entertaining, well written, humorous account of a behind the scenes look at the world of dog shows. However, after reading it once, I was left with a nagging feeling that it really shouldn't have been humorous, so I read it again, and, being a dog lover, I started getting quite disturbed. I and many others who love dogs have often thought that these beauty contests for dogs and the breeders who breed solely to win these contests are seriously damaging the genetic makeup of purebred dogs. This story, although it tries to present this side of the dog world in a positive light, if looked at closely it exposes many of the problems. The show dogs live a horrible life, travelling around cooped up in cages for years. The main character the book follows claims HER breed has no genetic problems, but an average lifespan of 5 years? constantly lame dogs? having to deliver all the pups surgically? breeding dogs that behave so badly no sane person would want to keep one as a pet? if this is a breed with no genetic problems, I don't want to hear about breeds that have problems! Over all, though, a very readable, informative book, something every dog lover should take a look at, and something anyone considering getting into the dog show business should read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Orange Smoothie on July 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this look into the world of dog shows. The author doesn't hide the truths of the ins and outs of the world of showing and breeding dogs. Quick read--I read it in a day. Very well-written. Great little book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Leslie H. Nicoll on August 28, 1997
Format: Hardcover
I have watched the Westminster kennel club show on USA for years. We just recently adopted a retired racing greyhound. Of course, we think she's wonderful...would anyone else?

After reading this book, I now know that I have no future in dog shows, but that's okay. I thoroughly enjoyed spending "the year" with Jane and Michael Stern, Mimi Einstein, Mugsy, Sugar, and yes, even Allen Levine (read the book to find out what *that* means!). Of course, once I started reading, I couldn't put it down and whipped through the book in an afternoon and evening. That's all?? I wanted more to read!

I have always loved Road Food, Square Meals and the Sterns' monthly column in Gourmet. I enjoyed them as much on the dog show trail.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 1, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Alright, I must admit, I am a little biased. I have known
Mimi Einstein, the subject of this fascinating book, since
I was a child. She and her incredible dogs, the "Allstar
Bullmastiffs" have been precisely captured in a work which
intimately details the goings-on of a very unique and somewhat deranged land, the world of purebred dog showing.

The book is an extremely telling account of this world, and a true and honest reference for anyone thinking about exhibiting their beloved Fido. The Sterns' language is, at times, grandiose and overbearing, but they really can't help it...so is the world of dog shows.
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