(This blog originally posted on 4/26/2006.)
The Dog ... Structure and Movement by R. Smythe, M.R.C.V.S
This little gem of a book isn't cheap. But it is Essential. It's a major weapon in the arsenal of the smart puppy buyer.
The only thing that will ever improve the quality of pet puppies in this world is the educated puppy buyer. This book is a beginners textbook to the structure of the dog. WHY do the bones fit together the way they do; WHAT happens when breeders purposely change one little thing here or there. And most importantly, Dr. Smythe tells the reader where the "withers" are, what a "barrel-shaped" ribcage looks, etc.
When you finish this book you will be able to pick out the dog with the long, obliquely angled shoulder blades, and you will know if it is a good or a bad trait for that type of dog.
Ms. X has often heard the complaint about a pet breeder whose dogs don't match the standard, and she's heard the show breeder using this as an excuse to tell pet buyers they should only buy from show breeders. Yes, Mrs. Show Breeder's dog may match the standard better, but she may also be matching an interpretation of the standard that is BAD for the dog's structure.
How's a puppy buyer to know?
With Dr. Smythe's book, you can. With Dr. Smythe's book in one hand, and a standard for ANY breed of dog in the other, the now-educated puppy buyer can look at the parents of any potential new family member and tell 1) do they fit within the standard for the breed? and 2) do they have a strong, healthy structure?
Ms. X recommends: BUY BUY BUY. The Dog, Structure and Movement is about putting the power to make smart choices back in the hands of the puppy buyer. And the puppy buyer's intelligently discriminating decisions will benefit all dogs.
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