Books on Animals: Dogs

Dog Breeds: Other breeds

(Airedales, Bedlingtons, Black Russians, Borders, Cairns, Dandie Dinmonts, Smooth and Wire Haired Fox Terriers, Irish Terriers, Kerry Blue Terriers, Jack Russells, Manchesters, Scotties, Soft Coated Wheatens, Welsh and West Highland White Terriers).

If you want to buy a book, clicking on the book cover will take you directly to that book on the Amazon.co.uk web site.

See also:

 

General overview

The dogs we have put in this category don't easily fit elsewhere, though some have been classified in other systems. Basenjis, for example, are called 'hounds' by the Kennel Club, yet they share some characteristics with spitz dogs, and can be more of a handful than the average sighthound. Dobermanns, Rhodesian Ridgebacks and Rottweilers are sometimes used as guard dogs, but they are versatile dogs which can do more than guard. Dobes and Rotties have also been portrayed in unhelpful ways - Dobes as outdoor dogs in movies, when they would much rather be on a warm sofa with their owners, and Rottweilers as synonymous with aggression, when a well-bred and well-trained Rottie can be a very gentle dog. These three breeds do have a potential for aggression, but it's safer to teach them to be friendly with people. They will tend to be intimidating to anyone who enters your property without your being with the dog, and it's preferable that they don't bite people you don't want them to, especially children. Shar Pei also need careful socialization, due to their potential for aggression, though well-bred, well-socialized Shar Pei can be gentle, calm dogs.

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Dalmations are very elegant dogs, and are sometimes taken on by people who see them as Labradors with spots...they aren't! They tend to be much less biddable than Labradors, need a lot of exercise and attention, and can't always be trusted to behave off leash.

Why Poodles in this company? Poodles are wonderful dogs, generally healthy, don't shed, easily trained, and relatively well behaved. They come in different sizes to suit the different strengths we acquire and lose as we become adults then grow older. And what do we do for them? Some people turn them into fashion accessories. A book on poodle clipping is included, but, please, if you get one of these versatile dogs, remember that they like retrieving and doing other doggy things. If you have to show them, please give them some fun too, even if it's just lots of games indoors where their coats won't get muddy or damaged. Standard poodles are generally more reliable in terms of temperament, but often smaller poodles are just bored rather than poorly bred. They are all dog, and need to go out and get those coats good and muddy now and then, like any self-respecting dog.

Hungarian Pulis are also often seen in terms of their coats, and, like poodles, they have a lot more to offer than their looks. They are herders, so a little more demanding than a Poodle, but can be very rewarding for people who want an active dog for agility and other sports. Italian Spinones are gundogs with a touch of hound in their character, not very well known in the UK, and worthy of more recognition. Schnauzers are very versatile, intelligent dogs, though not always easy to train because they are pushy dogs. They too are often seen in terms of their haircuts, but have far more to offer.

Many of these breeds attract owners because of their looks, but it's well worth getting to know the dog underneath. It can be an eye-opener to spend the day with one, if you are interested in the breed for your next dog.

Good manners are best taught from puppyhood, because it's easier, but adult rescue dogs can still learn fast. The best time to teach good manners to a rescue dog is as soon as the dog arrives. That is when the dog is watching you to learn what the rules are. It's tempting to spoil the dog a bit, because you feel sorry for him or her. But it's kinder in the long run to let the dog know gently and firmly what you consider to be appropriate behaviour. Rescue centres usually have their own behaviourists and provide ongoing help for adopters. Gwen Bailey's 'The Rescue Dog' is also full of good advice.

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Basenji Out of Africa (The Pure-breed Series)

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Basenjis are a very old breed, used as a hunting dog in Africa. They are sometimes classed as hounds, but they have a number of special characteristics that make them stand out. They don't bark, but they do have special Basenji noises when they are happy, and when they are sad and lonely, so they can annoy the neighbours when you leave them alone. In fact they can annoy neighbours more than most dogs, because the sound they make doesn't appear to have come from a dog, rather from a very unhappy human!

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Basenjis

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This book is a good, inexpensive, guide to Basenjis, which gives a very clear idea of the breed. There's help with training as well as general care. It's both accurate and well-illustrated.

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Basenji (Pet Love)

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Juliette Cunliffe has written an up-to-date account of the history of Basenjis, and gives good advice on their general care. This is well written and easy to follow, and is a useful reference book for a new Basenji owner.

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The Complete Basenji (Book of the Breed)

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There is a lot of useful advice on Basenji health issues in this book, as well as an interesting account of the breed's history. It is also well illustrated, with fine photos of wonderful Basenjis.

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Dalmations Today: Book of the Breed

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Dalmations are delightful dogs for people who have the energy to keep up with them, and who are skilled at training. They are sensitive, and can switch off if trained too roughly, but can also be motivated by their desire to play. They are very active dogs, which take a while to mature, so they can be too boisterous for some children. Boisterous Dalmations have been known to knock over adults, just by giving a friendly greeting.

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Pet Owner's Guide to the Dobermann

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Dobermann Pinschers are high-energy, muscly, elegant dogs which often appear in movies in the role of dangerous guard dogs. Their ears tend to be cropped in the US, so they stick up and are pointy, while they are left uncropped in the UK, giving a much more natural appearance. Dobes have performed a wide range of roles as working dogs, so are difficult to classify.

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Dobermann

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This book is a good introductory guide to Dobermanns, which covers the basics, and gives you an account of the breed's history. There's advice on choosing a pup, and basic care and training. The book is well illustrated, and the photos will please lovers of this elegant breed. There's not much in this book that experienced owners are unlikely to know, though it's a little more in-depth than the Evans guide.

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Hungarian Puli

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Hungarian Pulis are not very well known in the UK, and stand out for their unusual appearance. They have long, black, 'dreadlocks'. They are often bought to be show dogs, because they look so striking, but they are herders, and are happiest when they are active. Pulis can develop behavioural problems if they aren't given enough to do. They are very good agility dogs, and also perform well in obedience competitions.

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The Italian Spinone (World of Dogs)

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Italian Spinones are gundogs with white wiry hair, sometimes with brownish patches, which are not very well known in the UK. They are quite big - just a little bit bigger than Golden Retrievers. They generally have nice temperaments so are well worth considering as family pets for active people who like the outdoors. Italian Spinones are not specialist dogs, in that they are able to point and retrieve, and bear some resemblance to hounds, being more independent than most gundogs. They are a very old breed which was revived in modern times.

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The Poodle

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Poodles come in different colours and three sizes, Toy, Miniature and Standard. They were developed to retrieve in water, so could be classed as gundogs. The first Poodle to be developed was the largest, or Standard, with the two smaller varieties developed later, when the Poodle became more popular as a companion dog for ladies at court in France, from the 17th century, moving away from its original role as a hunting dog.Standard poodles especially can work well as gundogs, in their original role retrieving.

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The Complete Standard Poodle

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Standard Poodles are the original Poodles, developed as hunting dogs before they became companion dogs. They tend to be calmer than the smaller varieties, and are very versatile. This book emphasises the versatility of the breed, and provides help with training, so that you can make the best of your Standard Poodle. There is also help with general care, including nutrition, as well as grooming, and an interesting account of the breed's history.

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Poodle Clipping and Grooming: the International Reference

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This book is a very useful resource for groomers, since Poodles are important clients of dog grooming establishments. There is help with different styles of Poodle clips, as well as an account of equipment used by groomers, with explanations of how the equipment works and opinions on how useful it is.

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Rhodesian Ridgeback

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Rhodesian Ridgebacks get their name from the ridge of fur along their spines. They are hunting and guard dogs, sometimes classed as hounds, but more territorial than most hounds. As with other natural guard dogs, it's safer to socialise them as much as possible with people from when they are pups, with ongoing socialization throughout their lives, so that their natural guarding instinct doesn't turn into aggression against people you would rather they were friendly with.

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The Rhodesian Ridgeback Today (The Book of the Breed)

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This guide to Rhodesian Ridgebacks is especially strong on the history of the breed, relating that to the breed's character. There is also a lot of help with socialization and training, which are important with this breed, as well as advice on general care, and on choosing pups. The book gives a very clear idea of what it's like to live with a Rhodesian Ridgeback. There are also some stunning pictures.

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A New Owner's Guide to Rottweilers

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Rottweilers are very versatile dogs, which have performed a number of roles, including herding, tracking, hunting, and guarding. They have also been used by police forces, and can perform well in competitive obedience. They pay attention and learn fast but can also learn bad habits very quickly, so their training should be carried out very carefully. They also need extensive and ongoing socialization from puppyhood and right through their lives, because of their guarding tendencies. A well-socialized, well-trained Rottie with a good temperament is a very gentle, stable and trustworthy dog, despite their reputation.

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Rottweilers for Dummies (For Dummies)

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This book is a more in-depth guide to Rottweilers than the Ochsenbein breed book. There is a lot of information on the history of the breed, and help with caring for your Rottie at every stage of his life, from housetraining and general obedience training, to health problems found in the later years. It is also very good value for such a comprehensive guide.

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The New Rottweiler: Essential Reading for Owners, Breeders and Judges

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This is an especially useful book for anyone choosing a Rottweiler pup, as well as for breeders and judges. It's not a very new book, this edition came out in the mid 1990s. It does have a lot of information to help choose a pup, and care for youngsters and adult dogs. The information on health and disease is especially useful, given that the breed is prone to a number of health problems.

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Miniature Schnauzer (Pet Love)

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Miniature Schnauzers are the smallest of the Schnauzer family, which also includes Standards and Giant Schnauzers. Miniature Schnauzers are easier to handle because of their small size, though they are lively dogs and know their own minds. They are a little like terriers in being bold, especially with other dogs, and liking to dig and chase and catch small prey, but they are more biddable than most terriers. Miniature Schnauzers do need regular walks, or they will tend to get fat and barky. They like following their noses, but generally have better recall than most terriers. They can perform well in obedience classes.

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Standard Schnauzer, a Complete Guide

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Standard Schnauzers are the middle size in the Schnauzer range (unlike Standard Poodles, which are the biggest size!). They are probably closest to the original Schnauzers which are depicted in old paintings, and are very versatile dogs which have been used in a variety of working roles, such as hunting vermin, tracking, retrieving, watchdogging, and they can also perform well in agility and obedience events.

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Giant Schnauzer (Pet Love)

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Giant Schnauzers are the biggest of the Schnauzer family, and are very similar to Standard Schnauzers. They are better suited to being guard dogs, because of their large size, though they should still be socialized extensively, so that they behave well with visitors. Giant Schnauzers are a little more prone to health problems. Common health problems are similar to those of other Schnauzers, and include hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, cancer, skin disorders including allergies, as well as heart problems and seizures.

This book is a very good guide to Giant Schnauzers, which should interest experienced owners, as well as those new to the breed. There is help with behaviour and training, as well as with general care, including nutrition and health care. The book gives a very clear idea of the Giant Schnauzer character, and is also well-illustrated.

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Shar-Pei (Pet Love)

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The Shar Pei has a very odd appearance, with folds of skin round the neck and face, and very small ears. This breed is similar to the Chow in many ways, with the same blue-black tongue, and tendency to be aloof with strangers. Shar Pei have performed different roles, as fighting dogs, guard dogs, and hunting dogs. Some individuals can be aggressive with both strangers and other dogs. Much depends on the temperament of the parents, as well as on early socialization.

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Dr. Ackerman's Book of Shar-Pei (BB Dog)

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This is a short introduction to the breed, which is especially good on Shar Pei health problems. It's a good introduction for new or would-be owners, though experienced owners are likely to find little they don't already know. The pictures are good. It is also an inexpensive book.

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The Chinese Shar Pei

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This is a classic guide to Shar Pei, which gives a lot of information on the breed's history and on different breeders and kennels. There is also a lot of useful help with general care of the breed. It's well-illustrated, and well-written. It's a little out of date to be the only book you have on Shar Pei, but is fascinating addition to the libraries of people interested in this breed and its history.

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The Book of the Shar-Pei

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This book is an in-depth guide to Shar Pei which is a useful reference book for novice and experienced owners. It is geared to US readers, but provides a lot of detail which is useful to readers both sides of the pond.