Dogs for Dummies
should be required reading for anyone considering purchasing or adopting a dog. In this comprehensive, yet concise and entertaining book, author Gina Spadafori, pet care columnist for Universal Press Syndicate and host of AOL's "Gina Spadafori's Pet Connection," makes a strong case for researching breeds and considering how certain types of dogs will or won't fit an owner's lifestyle. She doesn't pull any punches in describing the fate of dogs who have been wrongly chosen by well-intentioned owners, then given up for possible adoption, but probable euthanasia, because they are too active, too aggressive, poorly trained, or, appallingly, because they don't fit in with the owner's décor.
For readers considering a purebred dog, Spadafori provides extensive information on selecting a breed that will fit an owner's lifestyle, including sources of possible breeders such as magazines, Internet sites, and AKC breed clubs, and tips for screening breeders to weed out the unscrupulous or the ignorant. She strongly encourages adoption of shelter animals, though, pointing out that many of the dogs who wind up in shelters are healthy, young, and lovable animals who would make excellent pets for the right people. She recommends proceeding with caution when shopping pet stores for puppies due to the high percentage of pet store puppies that come from puppy mills where animals are bred indiscriminately and often kept in horrifying conditions. Likewise, she discourages purchasing puppies from "backyard breeders" believing that this only encourages irresponsible pet ownership by giving owners a reason to keep breeding their pets rather than altering them.
Once a breed or type of dog has been selected, Dogs for Dummies moves on to the practical aspects of ownership, including bringing home a puppy or adult dog, feeding and grooming, veterinary care from puppyhood to old age, training and dealing with behavioral problems, and traveling with pets. One of the most interesting chapters of the book debunks common myths about dogs--that a barking dog won't bite, for instance. Spadafori even includes a chapter on silly tricks to teach your dog and another on "must-see" dog sites on the World Wide Web.
From Library Journal
Dog owners of the world, rejoice! Whether you are a dog owner wannabe or a seasoned veteran, there is something useful, interesting, or entertaining for you in this handy reference of practical canine information. For those purchasing a dog, the first chapters present the important factors to consider. Readers with Internet access will appreciate the references to helpful listservs, newsgroups, and web sites. For those who already have a dog, valuable chapters cover the necessary equipment and supplies, early puppy training, veterinary care, house training, grooming, and more advanced basic training. The author, a syndicated pet-care columnist and host of "Gina Spadafori's Pet Connection" on America Online, offers sound advice on breeding, caring for aged animals, and traveling with Fido and provides a thumbnail sketch of various competitions. The "Dummies" icons make particularly useful information easy to locate. Highly recommended; public libraries will want to have more than one copy?it's sure to be popular.?Edell Marie Schaefer, Brookfield P.L., Wis.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.