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Dog Eat Dog: A Very Human Book About Dogs and Dog Shows

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  74 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Canine competition wasn't always a pretty affair. In the early nineteenth century, "bull-baiting" and "ratting" were the sports du jour. By the middle of that century, however, another form of dog combat was slowly emerging: the more genteel but no less fiercely contested pedigree dog show. Today, the American Kennel Club sanctions over 11,000 of these shows each year. Of ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published February 4th 1998 by Touchstone (first published 1997)
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3.61  · 
Rating details
 ·  74 ratings  ·  10 reviews

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Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals
It's an entertaining read! I've never known much about dog shows and all the preparations (and politics!) that lead up to them since I've always had pound puppies and always will... After reading this, it just reaffirms my love of mutts! So many of the breeds have been bred to such extremes (and irresponsibly) that they are plagued with major health problems.

This book mainly follows one kennel's dogs (Allstar Bullmastiffs owned by Mimi Einstein) over the course of a year from the beginning of th
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
Meh. Not sure who is the audience for this book--people who theoretically would be interested in dog shows but don't know much about them? People who want to feel good about breeding dogs with such considerable genetic problems going on that it merits applause if one can still walk around the ring at age seven, but still get credit for "caring about the breed"? Whatever.

Mary Ronan Drew
Mar 21, 2012 rated it liked it
Jane and Michael Stern's Roadfood was the book that first grabbed my attention and I've delighted in many of their other food books over the years. In Dog Eat Dog they have written their usual fact-filled book with great humor and elan, only this book is about dog shows.

Much like the recent Show Dog by Josh Dean, the Sterns' book follows a breeder and a couple of dogs, in this case Bull Mastiffs, as they compete through the year and eventually wind up at the Westminster Kennel Club show at Madis
Cyndy Otty
Jan 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I've been wanting to read this book for over a decade. Ever since reading the follow up book, Two Puppies, which isn't exactly related to the subject matter here. Rather many references to this novel are made in the text as it was written while this book was being edited and, obviously, is also about the topic of dogs.

Basically this is a book about the dog show circuit. It isn't a how-to guide or an advertisement, just an overview from an outsider perspective. It's a very anecdotal and laid back
Mar 07, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommended to Erica by: Paige
Shelves: animals
“The world of dog shows is based on love of dogs and desire to produce beautiful examples of a breed, but it has little to do with the simple and time-honored emotional bond that defines the relationship of a pet and its master.”

Although showing is probably my least favorite part of the dog world, I loved following the Bullmastiffs around the rigors of professional dog shows and I thrilled at every mention of a breed that reminded me of a dog I knew( my friend Mandra's wonderfully protective Ro
Sandra Frey
Dec 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Throughout my childhood, when I enjoyed Westminster very much, I always thought the handlers were putting their dog treats up to their lips before baiting the dogs. It never made sense. Now I know they were taking the bait out of their mouths, where they were keeping it throughout the show. This was the most enlightening factoid (for me) in an otherwise very pleasant little book. Both human and dog characters were well rendered and discussed with a sense of joy. Purity of bloodlines is never goi ...more
Oct 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Jane and Michael Stern accompany a Bullmastiff breeder through a year on the show circuit, and along the way we meet dogs, owners, breeders, trainers, judges, and admirers. We see the tensions and exhilaration, the loyalty and competition, the humor and adoration that goes with this massive endeavor. Jane and Michael never get in the way of the facts or the fun as they teach history and biology, as well as the economics and politics of dog shows. The book is clear, accessible, and a joy to anyon ...more
Dec 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good book, read it quite a few years ago. But picked it up recently to review again. And, after many years of having dogs, find the stories related in this book to be very genuine in nature. Anyone who thinks they want to show their dog should read this book.
Apr 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
really interesting story about dog shows, and specifically about bullmastiffs. i don't know if i could commit to owning a dog that might not make it to 10, but they seem neat anyway. thanks, james!
Apr 16, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2007books, nonfiction
If Bill Bryson wrote a book about dog shows, this would be it. Funny.
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