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Paws to Consider: Choosing the Right Dog for You and Your Family Hardcover – September 1, 1999
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Top Customer Reviews
The breed descriptions in this book are just great. They aren't as long as some of the wordier books' encyclopedia-style listings, and somehow they seem to include much more information. (Partly it's just writing style; I wish technical writers were this good.) Comparing these descriptions to the lengthy temperament tables in "The Right Dog for You" by Daniel Tortora, "Paws to Consider" comes across as being a measure less objective but more genuine and intuitive and accessible. Temperament isn't described in 16 or 18 separate scales, but these are solid writers and they have a way of hitting the right note. Three different people I've shown the book to have looked for 'their' breed and immediately said something like "This is right, my bassett DOES hate to have his nails clipped more than my other dog."
It's also nice to see a dog book that doesn't group breeds by their official (usually AKC) categories. Instead of (cue the Westminster guy's voice again) "The Hounds" and "The Working Dogs" this book has categories like "The High Input, High Output Dog" and "The Low-Shedding Breeds." There's a category of dogs you can leave home alone for a working day. Geez, that should be in EVERY dog book.Read more ›
Also, a lot of those books use "code": "Protective" really means aggressive; "active" means "hyper." Unless you have a lot of experience with dogs, you might underestimate what you're getting yourself into. But this book lists assets and drawbacks objectively, so the potential owner can make an informed decision.
The authors have decades of experience with dogs, and their training approach is humane and effective. They know what they're talking about. With my limited experience, a lot of what they say rings true. (I've had an Irish setter, a lab/terrier mix, and currently a golden retriever and a longhaired dachs.)
This book is also cross-referenced, so you can see if the family dog is also a good watchdog.
The only problem with this book is that it doesn't list every breed. That may make a future edition as big as the Chicago yellow pages, but I did find that to be a little limiting. Some of the super-popular breeds are suffering because of irresponsible overbreeding (goldens, for example) and I know a lot of people who are attracted to the less-popular types for that reason. It would be good to have profiles of some of those dogs in here, too.
Best of all, this book is FUN--I found myself chuckling at descriptions of dogs my friends and I have had ("If there is a God, there is surely a dachshund at His feet..."). It should be on the shelf of anyone who owns, works with, or just gets a kick out of dogs.
My favorite aspects of "Paws to Consider" are the clear, concise list of common health problems each purebred has, and the way the dogs are broken down into categories. Instead of sticking to the AKC groupings, they divide breeds into city dogs, family dogs, "not for everyone" dogs, and so on. Important information is easy to find. I'm a dog trainer, and I constantly flip through this book to refresh my memory on the different breeds.
If you're considering a new dog, please buy this book! It will make choosing your new companion, whether single-breed or mixed, a lot easier.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It had the basic novice information about a number of breeds, but not the in depth information I was looking for on specific breeds. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book tells the truth about each breed of dog without your having to learn a special code. Like in real estate where cute means tiny and fixer upper means dump. Read morePublished 12 months ago by zentrainer
I read this book and complete the questionnaire and did not follow the recommendation: and the prediction is 100% accurate. Read morePublished on March 8, 2014 by Momo11
Brian Kilcommons has a few books, he is a fantastic trainer, his advice is spot on. Practical, no nonsense, easy to follow, and it works. Read morePublished on February 11, 2014 by Paula Fischer
Useful descriptions of breeds, coats, temperaments, grooming needs. Aids in pairing down options from the dog pool available. Wish more breeds were described... Read morePublished on December 6, 2013 by Amazon Customer
I recommend buying this before you get a dog, because once you have the dog, there is not much to learn from this book.Published on February 19, 2013 by SuzyQ
I bought this book Used for one penny plus shipping. It is worth maybe ten cents. The breeds are described subjectively and not objectively - - - it is very clear which breeds... Read morePublished on August 22, 2012 by Randall C. Stein
Kilcommons and Wilson do a nice job summarizing pluses and minuses of breeds you're likely to encounter. Read morePublished on June 10, 2012 by Mark W. Bohrer