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Canadian Kennel Club.

Toronto, General Publishing, c1982.
836pp, cloth, $29.95.
ISBN 0-7736-0104-X.

Grades 7 and up.
Reviewed by Ruth MacKneson.

Volume 10 Number 4.
1982 November.

The Canadian Kennel Club has brought out its first edition of a definitive reference text of the purebreeds of dogs now recognized in Canada.

The first section begins with a history of the club, its achievements, problems, and goals. This is followed by advice about buying a purebred puppy and the procedures for its registration. The section about shows and trials points out the differences between bench, obedience and field trials, and shows, and the CKC events statistics. Since such regulations vary among the clubs of different countries, their inclusion in this Canadian book should increase their visibility.

The major portion of this volume is the 700 pages devoted to outlines of the history and the official breed standards of each breed. They are grouped into categories, such as "Sporting, Working and Terriers," and then listed alphabetically within their grouping. A complete index provides ready reference to a particular breed if their grouping is not known. Incorporated in the text about the breed is a page with a few pencil sketches, which, while charming, are not of uniform quality and do take up considerably more page space than seems warranted. The descriptions appear to have been written by a number of different people, and it is somewhat unfortunate that the club has not enforced more rigid editorial standards to provide smoother and more uniform style.

Some of the most interesting sections are the selections of colour photographs of many fine Canadian dogs, with the captions of their breeders and owners. Not all breeds are represented, and some appear more than once, but collectively these photographs add to the attractiveness of the book, and its interest not only to those seriously involved with the sport, but to the many ordinary people who just like dogs and enjoy looking at them.

One of the most important sections deals with a history of Canadians and their dogs and outlines their importance to the Indians and the Inuit as well as present-day owners. The magazine, Dogs in Canada, has been published by the Canadian Kennel Club for over ninety-two years, and its history is an important part of the lore of the sport and worth inclusion if only to document its development. To complete the book, there is a short veterinary section, which, while of interest to a novice, is less than adequate for a serious breeder.

This book is very similar to that of the American Kennel Club, and as such will be significant to those especially interested in purebred dogs in Canada. It is time for a Canadian publication both to delineate differences between the standards and practices in Canada and elsewhere and also to chronicle the Canadian development and give the sport greater visibility. This is not a great improvement on the American Kennel Club's The Complete Dog Book but does offer the Canadian reader a readily accessible reference text on Canadian practice. The Canadian Kennel Club is to be commended on its courage in undertaking such a tremendous task. With time and new editions, the shortcomings of this first will undoubtedly be overcome, especially now that the enormous work of establishing such a publication has at last been accomplished. It marks a milestone in the development of this sport and can be expected to greatly enhance public interest in and knowledge of it.

Ruth MacKneson, Toronto, ON.
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