Monday, October 31, 2016

Farm Dogs - Book Review

When the book Farm Dogs came in the mail, I should admit it was not what I was expecting. If you are like me, and you spend a large chunk of your bookstore-browsing time in the farm and garden sections of shops - books with titles like this are common. What the usually are is coffee-table fodder. Beautiful and transportive, but lacking real information. Usually glossy spreads of posing border collies looking at a Wyoming Sunset from the bed of an old Ford, but rarely helpful in the task of actually choosing a working dog. Not this book. Farm Dogs: A Comprehensive Breed Guide to 93 Guardians, Herders, Terriers, and Other Canine Working Partners by Jan Dohner is exactly what the canine curious needs if looking for a true farm dog.

I started with the Border Collie section, since they are the dogs I know best. Jan was spot on without reiterating the same five things anyone can tell you about this herding breed. She went into things like startle reflexes, behavior around cats, and fear reactions. She makes suggestions throughout the herding section for other breeds if you “think” you’re the fit for these dogs but what you really need is something more like an English Shepherd (all around small farm working dog as opposed to sheep herder). Which isn't to say Border Collies aren't for you (Lord knows they weren't always for me) - she just knows what your farm needs in the k9 department. It is a fantastic resource.

She knows 93 breeds, and knows them well. Covering rare finds and up-and-comers in the working dog world. This book is not for your coffee table - it is for your reference library. If you already have a working dog this will only help you understand him and his kin better. And if you are an informed future-owner - you couldn’t make a better investment. A great guide that is easy to read and worth its weight in premium kibble.


Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for the review! I've had the same experience with coffee table books. Farm dogs are an underrepresented subject in the farm section too. I'll have to look this one up.

November 2, 2016 at 11:06 PM  

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