Sunday, January 2, 2011

Book of the Month

In an attempt to keep my brain from spinning down a currently unproductive road, I'm getting back into the swing of things on the blog. Therefore, my pick for Book of the Month for January is "The Dog in Action" by McDowell Lyon. Conformation should be of concern to everyone who shares their life with a dog. The better you understand why the dog should be built a certain way, the better you can understand when things aren't working properly or what pursuits your dog is most suited for. Conformation is of concern for those who breed and show in this venue. But I think that it should be of special concern to those who compete in any performance event. The better you understand the areas where your dog could potentially break down, the more prepared you are to combat it, build up areas that need it, and avoid any unnecessary movements or exercises.

The dog's conformation is gone over from the tip of their nose to the tip of their tail. Ever wondered why your breed standard called for cat feet versus a hare foot? Ever wonder what the ideal should angulation was and why (though admittedly I have read other works that argue this author's view)? Wonder why a slightly sloping pastern is generally preferred over a straight one? All these questions and then some are covered in this book. I found it really interesting to read and I feel that it gave me a better understanding of some of my dogs flaws and where I need to be watching out.

The only draw back that I saw in this book were the illustrations. On the whole they were pretty helpful. However, there were a few where I felt the illustrations didn't adequately describe what they were supposed to be describing. There were a few where comparisons were being drawn between a correct form of something and an incorrect form of something and I felt that the drawings were so similar that there wasn't a very obvious contrast between the two. The descriptions are pretty good, but there were a few instances where a really obvious illustration that showed the differences would have helped a whole lot more.

Overall, I definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in why a dog is built the way they are. It's a good read and not too dry considering the subject.

As a Heffner update, he's not a whole lot better. There are moments where he seems fine, but generally he's still pretty uncomfortable and I'll be calling my vet tomorrow to make an appointment for him.


Jennifer H. said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Heff. :( Vibes that it's just a simple strain/sprain and that he's back to himself very soon! {{{{{{{{{Heff}}}}}}}}

Amy / Layla the Malamute said...

I'm definitely going to check out that book! I'm very much interested in things like that. I love how seemingly every part of a dog has an intended purpose.

Oh, I mentioned to my dad about how your dad was able to go elk hunting, and he's also jealous. He asked me to ask you, if you have time, to find out what your dad used and if it was a rifle, what caliber. Sorry! He got all excited in the same way we would get if someone started talking about dogs.