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World Atlas of Dog Breeds Hardcover – September 1, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Obviously an invaluable reference book, completely rewritten over three years, this handsome volume soon seduces even the average reader with any interest in man's best friend. Covering more than 420 breeds, the guide is easy to use, alphabetically arranged with ratings for a number of important breed characteristics such as compatibility with children, with other pets, grooming, and energy level. Beautiful photographs portray each breed, accompanied by origin and history, recognized by the seven foremost breed clubs and registries. Also useful are the appendices, including glossaries of canine terminology, disorders and diseases, as well as an extensive bibliography and index. An important volume for those who operate in "the world of dogs," it's also a surprising, fun, informative page turner for anyone contemplating owning a dog (or just wishing they could).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
World Atlas of Dog Breeds is just that, an atlas of breeds. Nearly 900 of the pages highlight the breed standards of more than 400 dogs. Each breed receives a two-page spread with easy-to-read descriptions of the origin and history of the breed, personality profile, and care requirements. The pages are enhanced with color photos; a world map with the breed origin; sidebars for breed facts (size, coat, colors, registries); and fast facts. Fast facts includes a “five-paw” rating system for compatibility with children and other pets, grooming, loyalty, energy level, protectiveness, exercise requirements, and trainability. Introductory chapters describe the history and development of dogs and care and training. Appendixes include a canine and medical glossary, resources, a bibliography, and an index. Libraries seeking a larger variety of dog breeds will find World Atlas very useful. The binding, placeholder ribbon, and high-quality paper with full-color photos make this a beautiful coffee-table book, but it will look just as good in the stacks of the public library. --Sue Polanka
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So this is basically a dog breed's catalogue which suffers from some faults. First, the breeds' accounts are very succinct. More information could have been included eliminating an irrelevant scheme of the" fast facts" of each breed, and an expendable map of the world where the country of origin is poorly indicated. Secondly, it is very questionable that (irrespectively of criteria employed by different breed registries) the varieties of a breed deserve a specific treatment. In practice, two additional pages with essentially the same text are employed for each breed variety. As a result the number of pages is artificially increased. Many of the useless pages on breed varieties could have been better employed in describing additional dog breeds: although the number of breeds described in the book is high, the authors use registries of only a few countries (Australia, Canada, UK and USA) and therefore breeds included in other national registries are not described (for instance, only four of the 16 Spanish breeds are described). This situation is only partially improved using data from FCI and ARBA registries. Thirdly, it is hard to understand why the breeds are arranged in alphabetical order in turn of according to breed categories (shepherd dogs, mastiffs, greyhounds and so on) especially when there is an index of breeds in the last pages. By last, the introduction is good but excessively short in my opinion.
However, maybe the main weakness of the book is in the photographs. There are only two photos (sometimes three ones, sometimes only one) of most breeds; additionally, too much photographs show the head of dogs (in some cases this is the only photograph) or show puppies, an approach that does not contribute to give a precise idea of the breed; by last, the quality of the photographs is very often debatable (although there are some nice ones like an infrequently seen salt and pepper Giant Schnauzer).
In summary, an Atlas of Dog Breeds is a quite exhaustive catalogue but very far of the "definitive source" on dog breeds as the authors claim in the Introduction of the book. In fact, I recently have read a similar book (Enciclopedia Mundial de Perros, see amazon.es) that despite it covers a lesser number of dog breeds it is superior in many aspects (arrangement of the information, introduction, and quality of photographs). In my opinion, the medium quality of an Atlas of Dog Breeds and its relatively high price makes it a questionable purchase.
I gave the book a five, because I have several other resources to suppliment it and I didn't need it to give me a comprihensive look at each breed. It fulfilled the purpose for which I bought it, which was basically to have a book with great pictures and more breeds then most of my others, as well as more updated information.
I will say, however, that I thought there where a couple things that weren't quite perfect: for one, the book tends to be determinately sunny about all breeds. I'm not saying that all breeds don't have good virtues, and I am a happy-ending girl myself, but the reality is that different breeds have special needs, and sometimes those needs mean they won't be good around children or that they need to have experienced owners. This book tends to (not in all cases, but in some) gloss over this to a point, occasionally leaving out known problems with breeds (such as Rage Syndrome in certain strains of American Cocker Spaniels). A lot of the information is good and fair, but sometimes, like I said, they sugar-coated it a bit more then I was comfortable with.
Like I said, I have enough knowledge to begin with for this not to affect me, but it does concern me where the novice dog owner looking for a new pet comes into play. I would definately recommend this book, but with a suppliment: Howell's Boook of Dog breeds is my favorite where breed information is concerned...the pictures aren't great in that book, but if you get both, you will have great pictures and decent information in one and more complete information in the other. (Howell's is about 100 dogs short, but it covers the 300 dogs it does have quite well) I am not saying that the information in this book is defective, just that it needs occasional supplimenting. For those interested in more information on breed confirmation (the way a breed has to look to be eligable to show) a good suppliment would be the International Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds. This is an older book (1995, I believe) and, agian, the pictures can't hope to compete with this one, but it's information is useful for those interested in showing.
Overall, it's beautiful and I enjoy it very much. To sum up, I would recomend this wholeheartedly, but would suggested a suppliment if you are looking for a more then very basic information and great picture
I like that it rates the dogs on energy level, good with kids, etc.
Most recent customer reviews
I would prefer 2-3 more pictures per each breed presentation.Read more