Another of those assemblages that's as much designed as written, as replete with curious lore as vital data. You'll learn, for instance, that the St. Bernard uses body heat, not bottled spirits, to revive frozen victims; bloodhounds are losing ground to air-scenting German shepherds; ""Lassie's career is a tribute to masterful deception perpetrated on willing audiences."" And did you ever ask yourself ""What kind of dog is Pluto?"" (Or yearn for a look at Asta? There are lots of photos too.) Among the basics covered--and vetted by former New York Times dog-watcher Walter Fletcher--are: breeding (with a checklist of AKC breeds, and the trends in their popularity); showing; training (""swift and sure punishment"" vs. ""positive reinforcement""); health (stronger on prevention--e.g., those poisonous antifreeze pools in the driveway--than on treatment); reproduction; nutrition (filled out with lots on dogfood development and some home-cooked treats like Canine Cantonese); and the law. Engaging if excessive--like some pets we all know and indulge.