Friday, July 27, 2018

Puppy Prep: The Everything Book of Dogs and Puppies

So you want to get a dog?

You've got a lot to learn!

And Dorling Kindersley Publishers have a brand-new book tailored for elementary graders who have a bad case of puppy love and can't wait to have one of their own.

But, wait! You need to ask yourself some questions first. What kind of dog do you want? Do you want a BIG dog, a small one, or one in the Goldilocks middle? Do you want a dog who is energetic enough to go strong all day and never tire of playing, or do you want a laid-back dog who doesn't need a daily mini-marathon to keep happy and healthy? Do you want an introverted dog who enjoys being left alone to nap, or do you want one who needs lots of affection and sticks to you like jelly to peanut butter?

Do you want one with an easy-care coat, a scant shedder who doesn't need anything more than an occasional bath, or do you want the iconic shaggy dog? (Beware! That lovable, funny-faced sheepdog is going to need daily brushing, lots of baths, fairly frequently, and perhaps professional grooming). Do you want a prestige pup, an unusual breed, or is a one-of-a-kind rescue mutt what you prefer?

For help in deciding, DK's new The Everything Book of Dogs and Puppies (Dorling Kindersley, 2018) is a very useful nonfiction choice. The editors provide a substantial history of the dog, with a list of their ancient ancestors on each continent. Sections with tidbits of dog lore, like Little or Large, Doggy Design, Family, Pooch Parlor, The Nose Knows, Ear Emotion, and Tell-Tail offer an amazing amount of information about dog physiology and psychology that every novice owner needs to know. Canine Characteristics points out the differences in habits and behavior bred into the different types of dogs--working dogs (rescue, military, detection and police dogs, herding and shepherd dogs, and hunting dogs), special types whose behaviors are somewhat baked in by their breeding.

There is ample advice about dog care (Day to Day), equipment and supplies (Pooch Palace), and feeding (Doggy Dinners), as well as a section on behavior training and dog tricks. As DK always does, there is a useful and thorough glossary and index provided to help young canine fanciers through the process of becoming dog owners. This book is a good start for young independent readers and can be adapted as a read-along for younger kids, comprehensive but not intimidating, and very appealing, filled as always by DK's large color photographs offered in their trademark spot art style. A real tail wagger for puppy lovers.

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