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Eminent Dogs, Dangerous Men: Searching Through Scotland For A Border Collie Paperback – July 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press (July 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1599210592
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599210599
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Virginia shepherd McCaig gathered a wealth of engaging border collie lore on his journeys to Scotland. Illustrated. The author's Nop's Trials has sold more than 500,000 copies in paperback.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Billed as a nonfiction sequel to the author's best-selling Nop's Trials ( LJ 4/1/84), this book details McCaig's stay in Scotland to attend sheep dog trials and meet breeders and handlers. The central theme evolves around his search for a trained border collie to bring back to his Virginia home. About three quarters through the book, McCaig finds his dog (Gael)--and then almost never mentions her again. Instead, he lapses into telling of another trip to see more Scottish trials and handlers. McCaig is a good writer, whose plain, friendly style appeals to those who enjoy dog stories, but neglecting to develop his story about Gael in her new home and her success or failure in American trials will limit the book's appeal to those seriously interested in sporting dog events. Casual readers will probably lose interest.
- Carolyn I. Alexander, Technical Information Ctr., Ft. Ord, Cal.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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He knows how to pull you into a good story.
Michel Francois
A Border Collie owner, I could hardly wait to read this book, and the author's other books, Nop's Trials and Nop's Hope.
Susan B. Rayburn
If you enjoy books about animals you will love this book.
Placid Lane Farmer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Susan B. Rayburn on April 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
A Border Collie owner, I could hardly wait to read this book, and the author's other books, Nop's Trials and Nop's Hope. A one-time visitor to Scotland who can't wait to go back, I eagerly looked forward to this book. And, I was not in the least bit disappointed on either count! The author's style is easy-going and readable, with a subtle humor throughout. His images are brilliant and I just felt like I was present for each scene that he wrote and a part of the action. Someone who has no interest in the working Border Collie might find the book dull. So also might someone who is not particularly interested in the very different lifestyle of the shepherd of Scotland. But for us who love the working Border Collie and find the life of the Scottish shepherd and his/her dog intriguing, this is an absolutely must-read book, over and over again!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Inga W. Holmquist on March 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
It probably helps that I own a "bonnie wee bitch" of a border collie myself, but I found this book to be delightful and moving. It's candid and immediate - you're right there rambling through Scotland on the quest yourself. I learned wonderful tidbits about shepherds as well as sheepdogs, and feel as if I might even recognize some of these characters if I passed them on the street - both canine and humanoid. As a result of this book, I've just placed my order for Nops Trials, but more importantly, I have just taken my little border collie to her first herding class and watched in awe as her incredible power and instincts came brilliantly alive. Suddenly, I'm hooked on sheepherding! And as for my dog, she discovered the meaning of life! I don't know if this book will have as profound an impact on all readers, but if you're one of the lucky ones for whom it does - what a rush! It's like finding out that you and your dog really do speak a common language.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
An interesting description of Scotland and many of the handlers and their dogs. It was a bit dull at times, but I got caught up and was anxious for the author to find his special dog. There was not enough about Border collies or on herding techniques/styles. There was alot of information about trialing in Scotland. I would only recommend for a person who is always reading (others won't finish) and you must be a Border collie enthusiast (others won't have a clue what the author is doing).
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Patricia Walsh on April 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
When I first read Eminent Dogs, Dangerous Men a few years ago, I had a delightful surprise in the middle. There was a grand photo of Viv Billingham and her remarkable dogs, including her hard-working Holly. While on a walking tour of Scotland, prior to reading this book, we had a most memorable demonstration of sheepherding at Viv's Tweed Hope. McCaig's book captures the intensity, devotion, and the "other worldliness" of shepherding and Scottish competitiveness of which we saw only a momentary frament. Unfortunately, I loaned this book to a Border Collie owner, who moved away and never returned the book. My mistake, because this book is a keeper.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Terrence Walsh on June 5, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you really respect your dog, you'll have done some serious homework before your dog ever came home. This is a story about a man who did not just do HOMEwork to find a working dog, he went to Scotland, to the roots of the Border Collie, to find the right dog. As he tells his traveling tale, we also get some history of shepherding, of sheep and dogs, and of the Scots who made the history we see today in movies.
The "right" dog isn't necessarily the ultimate "best" dog. The "right" dog is about chemistry, the needs of both parties, and the mutual satisfaction of those needs. "Relationship" is too pat. "Synergy," while apt, misses the art and mystery. Journey, companion, respect, dependence and regrets: those are good words for the "right" dog.
Plus, it's a good read. I've read "Eminent Dogs, Dangerous Men" twice in print and once on CD. McCaig is often lyrical. I'll happily read anything that has the power of song on a flat page of text.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Janet K Hoadley on November 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
I liked this book so much and it stuck with me so when I first read it - the many comments of his "wee bitch" and naming her Gael that my Gael was named from this book. Border collie enthusiasts who see just names on the papers of their dogs may well see some of those names in here. Wonderful people and dogs in real life and an enjoyable read of working dogs, both trials and every day dogs, in Scotland. Loved the book...as someone else mentioned if you're not a fan of border collies you might not find it quite as engaging. Recommended reading for border collie owners!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michel Francois on June 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
The only problem with his books are that they seem to read far too quickly. I find myself putting them down just to make them last. He knows how to pull you into a good story. "Nop's Trials" is a particularly great story. Unfortunately for me I stayed up all night with this one in hand until the very last page. Tired but glad to have read this one.

"Eminent Dogs, Dangerous Men" reads great but I'll lose no sleep from this one. A wonderful and captivating read. A real insiders perspective on working dogs and the sheepmen who work with them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Linda F. Kurtz on April 29, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having read McCaig's other books, I found this one fascinating, but I agree that you might have to be a border collie enthusiast to really enjoy it. The trip through Scotland and finding Gael held my rapt attention. I agree with the Publisher's Weekly review, that McCaig should have stayed on the theme of his new dog and her subsequent life. He left me hanging on that one and I'm hoping there will be a sequel. Despite that, I loved the book anyway.
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