- Hardcover: 176 pages
- Publisher: Ringpress Books Ltd (10 July 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1860540546
- ISBN-13: 978-1860540547
- Package Dimensions: 24.9 x 18.8 x 1.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 512,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Complete Boxer (Book of the Breed S) Hardcover – 10 Jul 1998
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|Hardcover, 10 Jul 1998||
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Athletic and agile, the boxer is a dog that enjoys physical exercise and its active mind also requires m ental stimulation. This book provides a comprehensive guide for boxer owners. '
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The first thing to notice is that many historical dogs' and notable kennels' names are given incorrectly in this book, especially German or Dutch ones. Most notably, the most famous kennel in the history of the breed, Kennel "vom Dom" from Germany, has its name misspelled throughout. There is really no excuse for this. In fact the author shows almost total disinterest for representation of the Boxer in any country except the UK or the USA (unless the foreign dog was imported to the UK of course), despite the fact that this is a German breed. He disrespectfully refers to countries improperly (using "English" in reference to a Scottish kennel, "British" referring also to Ireland etc). There is a huge bias evident in the material offered as what makes a great Boxer, ignoring many outstanding Dutch and Spanish dogs which were at the forefront at the time of publication, in favour of the author's own dogs or dogs belonging to friends. There are almost 40 pages at the end of this book comprised of nothing but a long list of names of the author's famous friends and their top-winning dogs, brags about show records and how he was somehow involved with them, with special attention of course paid to the author's own kennel and all seeming to culminate in their top winner at the time, Scotch Mist, as the crowning glory the breed had been building up to since its inception. Indeed, this book is full of brazen self-promotion, the author's own kennel and dogs (especially Scotch Mist) being used as examples of almost everything which is correct and great. Scotch Mist was a quality Boxer all right but she had some glaring faults, some of which are given as virtues in this book. This is difficult to bear.
The breed standard discussions and illustrations give cause for great concern because even though the author is an international championship judge of the Boxer, he seems not to understand what a correct Boxer head should be or what constitutes a properly angulated dog. He consistently gives examples of upright-fronted dogs with short, straight upper arms as correct, which is not a surprise as faulty upright fronts are the norm in the UK Boxer and have been for decades. He praises heads which are empty, dead-eyed and with improper muzzle conformation. He cannot describe the correct eye shape for the Boxer, which is one of the breed's most important characteristics. He does not know what a correct rise of skull is in a Boxer, nor does he know correct eyes, correct lip-to-lip placement or a coarse skull when he sees these things. He uses amateurish terminology throughout. I could go on but you get the picture. This guy is winging it and has been for decades. Newbies, do NOT take this book as an accurate guide to judging the Boxer. You will end up going badly wrong.
The health and breeding advice given in this book is of course well out of date. It tends to gloss over inherited health issues. The breed is now known to have a wide variety of incurable genetic health problems including 3 separate heart defects, kidney problems, a neurological defect and all kinds of cancer. "Thankfully this is not a serious problem in the Boxer" is a phrase you will see in some form repeatedly throughout this book, skimming over and providing excuses for why this or that precaution isn't necessary. You will not find a lot of Boxer-specific health information at all in this book, unless the short chapter talking about how to treat ticks, fleas and injuries counts, or the section about PA which was eradicated from the breed before the book was even published. But you sure will be encouraged to give your young male dogs a try at stud at 12 months old. This was the norm in the 90s and earlier, but nowadays is considered dangerous practice in the Boxer due to late-onset inherited health problems for which no reliable early detection tests exist. The advice given on inbreeding and linebreeding is also very much out of date (the author expresses admiration for kennels which make close inbreeding successful, defining success as lots of ribbons won at dog shows). And the discussion of tail docking laws in the UK is also outdated. Bear this in mind, newbies.
The one thing I can give this book is the advice on kennel construction is pretty solid. But it must be said that the feeding guides given are quite dated, the author somehow being confused about the cause of scurvy in his dogs while feeding them solely on tripe and biscuit.
All in all, the author's ego and biases are stamped all over this book. If you buy this book, buy it for the lovely photos. While you're shopping, make sure you stock up on salt as well. Because it's not just a pinch of the stuff you're going to have to take the author's copious spoofing nonsense with. It's heaping tablespoonfuls.
This book gives lots of excellent general boxer information and advice as well as a more indepth look at the history of the breed and showing requirements. Written by a gentleman living in the UK, the wording and recommendations are obviously not Americanised like so many others i have read - a refreshing change as i live in Scotland thus making the books content more relevant to me and my boxer! Well worth a read and certainly one worth buying.
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