Top Dog, Choose the Perfect Breed for You – book review

This is a really well done handbook on choosing a dog and it has a great final chapter on so many of things people need to know about dog care. I really like it and can recommend it as a great reference manual for choosing, getting ready to bring the dog home, socializing, body language…there’s a lot of good photos and commentary here.Product Details

The DK book, Top Dog, consultant editor Dr. Kim Dennis-Bryan and commissioned photography by Tracy Morgan, published in 2012 is richly photographed (more than 420 dogs) and has clearly illustrated flowcharts on choosing a dog. Each breed includes several color photos, a description of origins/purpose/traits, kennel club, height and weight, life span, rating for: exercise needs, grooming needs, training and socialization needs, and finally coat colors.

There is a whole lot of information in a very concentrated package. The only difficulty I had with it was remembering what the bar ratings stood for (example; one bar under amount of exercise {icon collar} meant 30 minutes up to three bars meant more than 2 hours daily), so I had to refer back to this fairly frequently.

The other thing that did surprise me, but maybe shouldn’t have, was the photos of the dogs for the most part had un-cropped ears and un-docked tails…so, for instance, the Doberman didn’t quite look like what I’m used to seeing and it was categorized in the scent hounds. But there is an extensive index, so finding a certain breed is really no trouble. And there is a glossary of terms.

The downsides of this high quality book – maybe too many breeds? It also didn’t tell where the decisions for the ratings came from…breeders, owners, survey?

The positive training pictured mostly uses luring techniques, lovely photos and positive.

Overall, it is the best, most extensive book I’ve seen on choosing a breed of dog and then the key care and preparation needed. The photos are superb. I’d rank this at a 4.75 stars out of 5 (mostly because the bar/icon system was not as intuitive as it could have been).

If you like to have a dog breeds reference book that also has great choosing a dog, care, socializing, training, problem solving ideas, then this is the one for you. If you have a child that is very interested in dogs this is a reference that will help them know about dogs in a full color, clear way that also has the details for in-depth consideration.


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