A serviceable guide to dog ownership, dog training and popular dog breeds.
Intended more as a reference tool than a guide to be read straight through, this book contains a mix of practical tips, explanations of dogs' behavior and technical dog-breeding jargon (only the geekiest of would-be dog owners will want to know the difference between a brick head, a cone head and a dish face). Thirteen chapters cover the history of human-dog relations, bringing home a new dog, training tips, routine care and more. Kid-friendly cartoons, sidebars, photos and "Ask Your K-9 Coach" advice columns supplement prose instructions. The author takes a compassionate approach, usually explaining dogs' unwanted behavior by pointing to humans' mistakes and suggesting firm but kind methods of correction. Some of the books' suggestions seem inadvisable: One "lab report" tells readers to observe the reflective tapetum lucidum by shining a flashlight into a dog's eyes, and it is hard to imagine the dog party hat the author suggests as a craft project staying on for more than a few moments. A guide to 74 dog breeds common in the U.S. is attractively presented but organized, confusingly to the lay reader, by size.
Despite a few oddities, aspiring young dog owners will find useful information here. (Reference. 10- 14)