Myriad canines loyally serve in a variety of roles aiding their human companions; National Geographic portrays the efforts of 24 working dogs.
This small-format volume—about 6 1/2 inches square—briefly describes the work of five categories of dogs: war dogs from the past; current war dogs; rescue dogs; scent-following dogs (although this chapter is called “Leaders of the Pack”); and police dogs. There is some overlap between sections, with a retired war dog grouped with the scent-following dogs and a couple of dogs with two careers. Each dog portrait includes several attractive color photographs, a description of the dog’s background and training, and information about the dog’s working techniques. Various text boxes that fit nicely into the narrative without interrupting the flow provide information on related topics, such as relief organizations for working dogs, traits of certain dog breeds, military mascots, noncanine working animals, and dog-training information for readers. Occasional captions printed in white on a lime-green background are difficult to read. Although no dogs that were killed in action were included, the hazards of the work are mentioned but not emphasized; two of the war dogs lost legs in Afghanistan, as did one of the handlers.
The photographs will make this highly appealing to dog lovers who will also find the brief text and short chapters easy to manage. (Nonfiction. 9-14)