There are few activities more utterly appealing and delightful to the avid dog fan than ogling a glossy, picture-filled dog encyclopedia. Perhaps you're a dog owner wannabe, reading up on your options in case your parents or landlord or spouse were to suddenly give the go-ahead. Or maybe you already have a dog and want to revel in every word devoted to her breed. Or you're the kind of dogophile that takes pleasure in everything dog-related, and a coffee-table book devoted to dogs is just the ticket to soothe your nerves after a hard day.
More than 400 breeds are profiled here, including far more international varieties than many a dog-breed book. Alongside the oft-seen German Shepherds and Great Danes, you'll find profiles of Pudelpointers and Groenendaels, Portuguese Watchdogs and Karabashes, Tibetan Mastiffs and Danish Chicken Dogs. And while the profiles are short--generally a half to a full page of pictures and text--each is accompanied by a series of icons that indicate important traits, such as whether or not the breed tends to be good with children, suitable for urban living, or good watchdogs, and whether it requires a lot of exercise or grooming, gets on well with other dogs, and is easy to obedience train.
"Domestic Dog Breeds," however, is but one chapter among six. The encyclopedia tracks the evolution of the dog, and does a beautiful job of explaining and illustrating the dog's body and systems, from skeleton and musculature to organs and coat variations. There's a worthwhile chapter on canine society and psychology that covers courtship and mating as well as integral concepts such as the dog pack, aggression, and affection. The encyclopedia also traces people's interest in dogs, from early domestication through folklore, film, art, and advertising to dogs in sports, in work, and as companions. And finally, there's a chapter on how to care for a dog, with advice on choosing a dog, nutrition, grooming, and behavioral problems.
In short, Fogle's encyclopedia is a fine book for dog owners to rely on and a beautiful book for soon-to-be dog owners to dream on. --Stephanie Gold
From Library Journal
Here are two exceptional new titles in the dog encyclopedia category. Superb illustrations of every conceivable common and uncommon breed are the main focus of these books, designed to take the reader on a photographic tour of the dog world. Fogle (ASPCA Complete Dog Care Manual, LJ 6/1/93; The Dog's Mind, LJ 12/92) is an acknowledged animal behavior expert. Because of his vast experience as a practicing veterinarian, Fogle is able to provide his readers with more practical insight. His book includes brief but informative sections on the development and evolution of the dog, dogs and humans (i.e., folklore, art, sports), structure and physiology, communication and behavior, and care (health, feeding, grooming, travel, and behavior problems). Readers wanting further information are referred to Fogle's other books for more details. As expected, the sections on the various breeds dominate. The categories chosen are admittedly arbitrary and unlike those used in similar titles: primitive, sight hounds, scent hounds, spitz type, terrier, gundog, livestock, companion, and random bred. Multiple outstanding photographs accompany half-page to full-page descriptions of the over 400 breeds featured. Legacy of the Dog covers fewer breeds (about 200) but is better organized. The table of contents lists seven standard categories (herding, working, sporting, hound, terrier, toy, nonsporting) and an alphabetical list of the breeds included in each category. There is a brief discussion of the history of domestic dogs, which include the characteristics of the groups chosen. Group charts display all the breeds listed in each group, making comparison very easy. Most breeds have a double-page spread with exceptional photographs (taken by the author over a three-year period) and very brief descriptions. Since Yamazaki is a photographer and not a vet, his book's emphasis is obviously on photography. One also questions some of Yamazaki's observations on the breeds themselves. For example, in a discussion of Border Collies, he remarks that "it is also well suited as a household pet," a statement that Fogle disputes. Both titles are highly recommended for the quality and quantity of photos. However, Fogle may be more accurate in his observations, and if you can purchase only one title, it should be his.?Edell Marie Schaefer, Brookfield P.L., Brookfield, Wis.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.