Some 40mm deep this is naturally a heady volume. For the average owner or breeder it is not essential for your own shelves, but make sure you have access to a copy. Unfortunately, breeds listed in the tables in each article are not included in the index. So it requires you to skim through the articles that may be relevant to your interest or concerns. There is a substantial amount of information on DNA mapping and the dog genome and only a few chapters of great relevance to the breeder.
The Chapter headings are:
Phylogeny and Origin of the Domestic Dog – Wayne & Wila
Experimental Studies of Early Canid Domestication – Trut
Consequences of Domestication: Morphological Diversity of the Dog – Wayne
Genetics of Coat Colour and Hair Texture – Sponenberg & Rothschild
Genetics of Morphological Traits and Inherited Discorders – Nicholas
Biochemical Genetics and Blood Groups – Juneja, Gerlach & Hale
Molecular Genetics of the Dog – Sragan, Sampson & Binns
Immunogenetics – Wagner, Storb & Marti
Genetic Aspects of Disease in Dogs – Brooks & Sargan
GEnetics of Cnaine Hip Dysplasia and Other Orthopaedic Traits – Breuer, Lust & Todhunter
Cytogenetics and Physical Chromosome Maps – Breen, Switonski & Binns
Linkagae and Radiation Hybrid Mapping in the Canine Genome – Ostrander, Galibert & Mellersh
Genetics of Behaviour – Hopt & Willis
Biology of Reproduction and Modern Reproductive Technology – Linde-Forsberg
Developmental Genetics – Ruvinsky
Pedigree Analysis, Genotype Testing and Genetic Counselling – Oberbauer & Sampson
Genetics of Quantitative Traits and Improvement of Dog Breeds – Famula
The Canine Model in Medical genetics – Galibert, Wilton & Chuat
Dog Genetic Data and Forensic Evidence – Savolaintnen & Lundeberg.
It was nice to see a chapter on the inheritance of behaviour, but it really wrapped up saying very little had been proven as to inherited modes of even specific features such as pointing or shyness.
The coat colour and texture chapter is a nice compact review, and essential to anyone wanting to discuss what breeds make up another breed.
I was particularly interested to read in chapter one, “Despite intense selection for phenotypic uniformity within breeds, the genetic diversity within dog breeds is similar to or slightly lower than that in wild grey wolf populations. Consequently, only breeds with a closely controlled history of inbreeding should be considered genetically uniform. In most breeds, uniformity is likely only for genes affecting breed defining morphological, physiological or behavioural traits.” (cited from Wayne & Ostrander 1999 Origin, genetic diversity, and genome structure of the Domestic Dog in Bioessays21, 247-257).
There is some discussion on growth rates of various parts of the body, but no overview of how a particular conformational trait (eg lay of shoulder) is inherited, in fact the work of Stockard in the 1930/1940s still seems to be the mainstay for this type of study.
In the Houpt and Willis chapter it is interesting to see the differences in wolf and dog behaviour openly discussed, important if you are treating your dogs on the basis of recorded or perceived wolf pack behaviour.
Probably slanted more towards the scientist, there is still good material for the breeder and owner in the contributed chapters.
The editors are A Ruvinsky of the University of New England (Australia) and J Sampson of the Kennel Club (UK); the book was published in 2001 by respected scientific publishers CABI, UK.