November 02, 2007

The Good, the Bad, and the Furry

There are quite a few of these books around - "Choosing the dog that's right for you". But Sam Stall tells it like it is, giving the most important information would-be owners might need to know about more than 100 varieties of dogs. Each entry addresses key factors, like size, coat type, temperament, exercise requirements, potential genetic issues, schedule demands (does the dog mind if you leave her alone all day?) and financial demands.

Helpful pet icons tell if a dog is aggressive, very smart, needs a lot of grooming, can make a lot of noise, etc.; while other icons pertain to owners, differentiating between couch potatoes and active folk, suburbanites and city dwellers, etc.

Whimsical sketches of each dog give an indication of personality. Stall's humor makes the book a little different from others available: describing a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel's watchdog potential, he says "the only way it could harm a burglar is if the guy tripped over it." He warns that "Goldens like to carry things in their mouths. They may trot around for hours holding an interesting piece of underwear before presenting it to houseguests."

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