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Review of an All-Breed Book

The Encyclopedia of the Dog,
by Bruce Fogle |
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Chinook. Eurasier. Grand Anglo-Francais Blanc et Noir. Prazsky Krysavik. Shikoku. If you've never heard of these dog breeds, you're surely not alone. But it also means you've likely not added Bruce Fogle's superb volume, The Encyclopedia of Dogs, to your dog book library.  If you are looking for one book to take you around the globe exploring the world of dogs, Fogle's 312-page work deserves serious consideration. Click for more of the review.

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Review of an All-Breed Book, continued

The Encyclopedia of the Dog
by Bruce Fogle

The book's comprehensive approach is one of its greatest strengths, matched by the extensive use of color photography to introduce each breed, whether familiar or novel. More than 200 pages of the book are devoted to profiling 400 breeds, many better known in Europe and Asia than in America.

The book's organization makes understanding breeds -- and their relationships to other breeds -- easier than following kennel club show groupings. Fogle's categories are Primitive Dogs, Sight Hounds, Scent Hounds, Spitz-type Dogs, Terriers, Gundogs, Livestock Dogs, Companion Dogs. The reader is quickly reminded that a high percentage of dog breeds were created for work with people.

To convey much information in compact fashion, Fogle offers a "Key Facts" box on each breed, uses graphics and symbols to convey information such as size, and offers a unique fur color chart when a breed comes in various shades. Many breeds have both head shot and standing pose photos.

Rounding out the book are sections on the dog's body and movement, behavior, care, and origins and relationships with people. Noteworthy is the section on the dog's close relatives, with pictures of the various wolves thought to have been the genetic source of the domestic dog.

Still curious about those five breeds mentioned at the beginning? Here they are:

  • The Chinook is rare U.S. breed created in the early 1900s by musher Arthur Walden who crossed Eskimo dogs with St. Bernards and Belgian shepherds to get a strong sled dog.
  • The Eurasier was created in Germany in the 1950s by combining Samoyed, German wolfspitz and Chow Chow lineages; the aim was to recreate the Russian laika sled dog.
  • The Grand Anglo-Francais Blanc et Noir was created in France in the late 1800s by crossing the English Foxhound with French hounds; the "white and black" is considered a separate breed from the tricolor and the rare white and orange breeds.
  • The Prazsky Krysavik, created in the 1980s in the Czech and Slovak Republics, weighs two to six pounds, making it the world's smallest dog.
  • The Shikoku is a Japanese spitz-type dog said to have been developed in antiquity as a hunting dog; it looks striking like a Siberian Husky.

AUTHOR: Born in Ontario, Canada, Bruce Fogle DVM is considered an expert on animal behavior. The author of four other books on dogs and cats, he trained at the London Zoo and practices veterinary medicine in London. PUBLISHER: Dorling Kindersley, London, 1995.


Click here to order the New Encyclopedia of the Dog
Note: The original volume is out of print, and has been
replaced by The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

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