Very good book for anyone who likes dogs regardless of whether they own one or plan to. Data has been collected and well worked out to determine both personalities of dogs and your own personality so that the two can be properly put together. Can provide a wonderful aid in determining which dogs are best for you. It is also full of stories of real life dogs and thier owners, and of people who didn't have dogs for one reason or another, who reacted to other peoples. It explains all the aspects of the book in easy to understand terms, and keeps you occupied with both the stories and the facts. A very good read!
My background is in the humanities rather than the sciences, so I won't presume to judge the methodology Coren uses to create his Cosmo-style quizzes. I do know a heck of a lot about dogs, however, and from a viewpoint of pure common sense and personal observation, his breed groupings are quite logical and his human personality-breed group matches are spot on -- I know this anecdotally, because I've shared the quizzes with other dog-crazy folks and the results are astonishingly accurate.
In my life, I've seen too many people choose their dogs on the basis of appearance alone. And all too often, I've seen the results of mismatched pairings in obedience classes or parks, where the humans look exhausted and irritated while the poor dogs look frustrated and confused.
Let's face it, we're all attracted to the look of a certain breed, or even the pop-culture ideas associated with it (the "heroic" rough collie, the "comedic" Jack Russell Terrier, the "diva" chihuahua...) But when a couch potato human adopts an athletic dalmatian because they love spots or because '101 Dalmatians' was their childhood favorite, disaster can result.
But even better than avoiding the negatives of a mismatch are the benefits of the perfect match. The book can steer people to consider a dog they wouldn't even have had on their radar, and the result can be a lifetime of love and fun for both human and dog. That's certainly worth the purchase price.
The history is great, if you like that kind of thing (I do). Ditto for the biographical sketches. The personality test was very interesting, but I took it several times over the course of a year or so and got rather different results, although I was trying to be as honest as possible each time. Fun to read, but I would use this book only as a first step -- and I'm not sure that I would ever reject a breed solely on the basis of its information. The groups Coren separates his breeds into make a lot of sense intuitively, and the statistics seem to make sense too.
This is quite interesting reading, having a dog which was not my personal choice but who has proved to be my soulmate and dearly loved companion for over four years now and hopefully for many more since she is still fairly young. I couldn't have picked a better dog, although at the time I had not intended to have one, and inherited this one more by accident than design. So, it was good to compare notes to see how accurate the book was in deciding what animal would be chosen had circumstances been different. An entertaining read.
This book is really interesting and will give you an insight into the characters and natures of dogs, and the owners who choose them. I especially enjoyed the little snips about famous people and the dogs they chose. It is well written, easy reading that any dog lover will enjoy.