Although a cat now resides in the White House, the dog remains a loyal friend and a hardworking assistant. Whether herding sheep or cattle, searching for lost skiers, assisting disabled people, or providing unconditional friendship, dogs play important roles in everyday life. Selecting the right dog and caring for it are major commitments, and people often seek information at the library
"Canine Lexicon" was prepared by the authors of "The Mini-Atlas of Dog Breeds", which "RBB" evaluated as an especially useful pet-selection tool ["RBB" D 1 90]. This new title provides a one-volume overview of all topics relating to dogs. It offers an alphabetical listing of breeds ("Abyssinian Sand dog", "Dogue de Bordeaux"), anatomical terms ("gay tail", "heart"), articles on the dog world ("agility trials", "choosing a dog"), organizations and abbreviations ("American Kennel Club," "A.V.M.A"), and dog care ("grooming", "nutrition"). Unlike most dog books, this one includes an article on mixed breeds ("mongrels"). Entries range in length from a few lines to several pages; "see" references appear when appropriate. The work is lavishly illustrated with 1,300 full-color photographs that enhance the text and illustrate the diversity of the species
"Canine Lexicon" is similar in scope to the American Kennel Club's "Complete Dog Book" ["RBB" O 15 92]. The latter has only a few full-color plates but offers detailed charts of such anatomical characteristics as tail and eye types and facial shapes. While its coverage emphasizes only the 134 purebreds recognized by the A.K.C. and the breed standards for competition, it costs less ($27.50) than the work under review. "The Ultimate Dog Book," by David Taylor (Simon & Schuster, 1992), offers greater detail on various aspects of dog care but less comprehensive coverage of different breeds. Another TFH publication, the "Atlas of Dog Breeds of the World" ["RBB" S 15 89], covers all the breeds and includes full-page color pictures but does not provide information about care and training. Libraries with large collections or high demand for information about dogs may want all these books. Libraries with small budgets or more basic collections would do well to select either "Canine Lexicon" or "The Complete Dog Book", along with "The Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook," by veterinarian Delbert G. Carson and medical doctor James M. Giffin (rev. ed., Howell, 1992).