This is a beautifully produced book, designed to introduce the newcomer to the delights, challenges and rewards of exhibiting dogs,
primarily in conformation (show) classes.
I can never figure why some authors choose to start a topic where they do, and this is another example. Why start before getting the dog? I would have thought most people seek their breed, the topic is mentioned, and then they research and may be enter into the world of showing after getting their dog. Anyway, that aside, this book is only a shallow look at the world of showing because the author covers a big topic and the topic considers showing in the United Kingdom, Europe, and the United States, no doubt to meet the needs of
the publisher. She dabbles into grooming and show training, but the topics are very lightly covered.
Despite this limitation, the book is (as always with Cunliffe) very well written in an easy to read style and has some beautiful photos.
The history of dog exhibition is beautifully illustrated with period photos, but covers the UK only, but still the photos are intriguing as they illustrate breed types in bygone eras, and ring layouts.
I think the real value of this title is for the more advanced exhibitor, one who has had their interest tweaked by how the world of showing is handled in other parts of the world. The guest articles, and Cunliffe’s own on the UK, are excellent synopses of the sport of exhibition in the UK, Europe, and the USA – and will enlighten readers from outside these regions as to titles, protocols, and judges’ education. For these parts alone the book is excellent.
Published by Kennel Club Books, USA 2004 =