Friday, January 4, 2008

Small Breed Shenanigans

I recently bought this book on impulse after one of my group training sessions at PETCO, and I'm so glad that I did because it's really fantastic! The Little Dog's Activity Book (by Deborah Wood) is filled with great games, activities, & observations. The author leaves you with the sense that she truly understands small breeds, and her insight and ideas are all delivered in a fun-to-read, breezy, non-clinical writing style that won't give you a headache! One of the best highlights: specific breeds are broken down into subgroups by energy level, so readers can better understand what to anticipate from their dog (her list is pretty comprehensive, but here's a sampling of some of the more popular breeds): High Energy: Bichons, Carin Terriers, Corgis, Jack Russells, Mini Pins, Mini Poodles, Papilions, Scotties, Silky Terriers; Moderate Energy: Beagles, Bostons, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Chihuahuas, Chinese Cresteds, Dachshunds, Maltese, Poms, Pugs, Westies, Yorkies; Low Energy: French Bulldogs, Chins, Lhasa Apsos, Pekingese, Shih Tzus, etc., etc. She also warns of "Dog Breed Profiling" and talks about how some dogs will not follow their traditional breed expectations. By knowing your dog's common breed-associated energy level, and combining that with your dog's individual personality, you can then select the games and activities that will be most fitting & fun. Great, great, great book!

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