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Recommended Reading List


  • Genetics and Dog Breeding
  • Structure Fundamentals
  • On Cocker Spaniels
  • Nutrition, Health and Care
Genetics and Dog Breeding

Control Of Canine Genetic Diseases. George A. Padgett, DVM. Published by HOW, © 1998, 256 pages.

The issue of genetic diseases in dogs is a matter of major concern for every dog breeder, every companion dog owner and every serious dog enthusiast. How to understand the mechanics of inheritance, how to deal with percentages, predictability of outcome and how to breed away from such scourges as canine hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy and other debilitating conditions are all covered in this important new book by one of the scientific community's most respected authorities on the subject. The text is augmented with charts, graphs, tables and all the data needed to help the dog breeder take a positive role in enhancing the genetic health of his or her own dogs and the health of entire breed populations. Many practical issues are included such as ethical dealings with buyers of puppies showing late onset conditions, test mating and much more. Destined to become a classic on this vital subject.

Future Dog: Breeding For Genetic Soundness. Patricia J. Wilkie Ph.D. Published by U. of MN Agricultural Experiment Station, © 1999, pbk, 103 pages.

Joint publication from the University of Minnesota Agric. Experiment Station and the AKC Canine Health Foundation. Nominated for a Dog Writers Assoc. of America award in Health & Care category. Contents include: How dog breeds began; Continuity of life; Diversity of life; Creating genetic maps; Selecting the best genes; Glossary and suggested reading. Appendices include steps to take if you suspect an inherited disorder, and information on the AKC Canine Health Foundation. Lavishly illustrated in full color, this is an excellent genetics book for the beginning breeder, an invaluable resource for achieving success in your breeding program.

Genetics Of The Dog. Malcolm B. Willis BSc, PhD. Published by Howell Book House c1989, hrdcvr. 413 pages.

Indispensable guide for general understanding of the genetics of the dog. Photographs, tables. Covers basic genetic principles, extends through more complex aspects of genetics, and in a series of chapters, looks at the genetics of reproduction, coat color, skeletal traits, hip dysplasia, eyes, circulatory system and central nervous system. There is also a chapter on behavior, and extensive discussion of breeding systems and selection, including inbreeding.

Understanding Gene Testing. Ed. Dr. Richard Klausner, Director, NCI, and Dr. Francis Collins, Director, National Center for Human Genome Research. Published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health. Booklet Publication no. 96-3905, December 1995.

Basic information on genetics, genetic testing and use and interpretation of those tests and how they apply in human health.

Understanding Epidemiology. Mary E. Torrence, DVM, Ph.D., Dipl., ACVPM. Published by Mosby c 1997. Part of the Mosby Biomedical Science Series. ISBN: 0-8151-8887-0

An introduction to the science of epidemiology; concepts, methods, principles, concepts of disease, causality, surveillance, and measures.

The New Art of Breeding Better Dogs. Kyle Onstott, revised by Phillip Onstott. Published by Howell Book House c1962.

First written in 1938 and published in 1946, this book has periodically been reprinted and available. Onstott explains fundamentals of genetics though relative to the timeframe he lived, and breeding plans for improvement based on this information. Interesting for an understanding of where the thinking of the purebred fancy has evolved.

The X Factor: “What It Is And How To Find It: The Relationship Between Inherited Heart Size And Racing Performance.” Marrianna Haun. Published by The Russell Meerdink Co. ©1997. 208 pages. ISBN: 0929346467

Born To Win: “Breed To Succeed.” Patricia Craige. Published by Doral Publishing, © 1997, pbk, 320 pages.

The philosophy and experiences of a breeder-exhibitor having some practical ideas based on a lifetime in dogs. For the breeder, just breeding a good animal is not enough. The puppy must be nourished properly long before the dam is bred, the litter born into the absolute ultimate environment and the puppies raised, trained and conditioned like Olympic athletes! Contents: Winning Takes a Plan--genetics, breeding programs; Winning Means Putting Your Plan into Action-- breeding stock, writing a pedigree; Winning Means Hard Work --kenneling, picking and raising puppies, conditioning, time management, record; Winning Means Having Fun--dog shows, handling, sportsmanship, Westminster KC; Winning Means Special People--mentors, families; Winning Means Factoring in the Future--breed changes, tomorrow's breeders.

Canine Reproduction: A Breeder’s Guide. Phyllis A. Holst, MS, DVM. Published by Alpine, © 2000, 224 pages.

One of the most important books a dog breeder can have on the shelf! Answers your questions about anatomy, breeding behavior, genetics, pregnancy, whelping, rearing a litter, reproductive and whelping problems, even artificial insemination. A must-have book! Has been updated very slightly to reflect current changes, i.e. use of ultrasound in detecting pregnancy.

The Inheritance of Coat Color in Dogs. Clarence C. Little, Sc.D. OUT OF PRINT

Structure Fundamentals

Dogsteps: “A New Look.” Rachel Page Elliott. Published by Doral Publishing, © 2001, pbk, 126 pages.

Continuing research has produced this third edition of a best seller, containing the most up-to-date scientific information. It is especially aimed at the layperson, with clear, simple wording and easy-to-understand drawings. Study of this material will aid in recognizing what is good and what is faulty action and the application of what is learned should produce rewarding results for the conscientious dog breeder.

Canine Orthopedics. Robert L. Rooks, DVM and Connie Jankowski. Published by Howell Book House, c1997. hrdcvr, 267 pages.

Identifies and discusses the disease and maladies, genetic, environmental and traumatic, that affect the skeletal structure of dogs. These are problems that determine the fitness, function, soundness and overall well being of dogs. Specifically, evaluating problems, prevention, treatment options, and causes of lameness.

On Cocker Spaniels

The Standard Book Of Dog Breeding. Dr. Alvin Grossman. Published by Doral Publishing. ©May 1992. 123 pages. ISBN: 0944875181

The art and science of breeding top dogs made easy! Once the despair of every breeder, the science of breeding better dogs is, at last, brought down to the point of "Easy Understanding." The art and science of breeding top dogs is made immensely easier by the introduction of this new and fascinating book. Learn how to recognize potential behavior problems and how important it is to be able to select for temperament. The previous book was great according to reviewers around the globe. Believe it or not, this one tops it. Now with a new comprehensive index and a non-stop bibliography, this is a book you cannot afford to be without.

The American Cocker Spaniel. Dr. Alvin Grossman. Published by Doral, © 2000, pbk, 240 pages.

Contents: History; The American Spaniel Club; The Golden Era (First Peak of Popularity); Golden Era (Resurgence of the Breed); Form Follows Function; General Appearance, the Standard of the Breed; They come in Coats of Many Colors (excellent section on color genetics); The Versatile Cocker as Show Dog; The Versatile Cocker as an Obedience Dog; The Versatile Cocker as a Hunting Dog; Outstanding Breeders and Kennels; Dogs Who Influenced the Breed; Great Winning Dogs & Bitches of the Recent Past; Top Producing Dogs & Bitches; How the Dog Show Game Works. Author: Dr. Al Grossman. *New paperback edition of an old classic! ***Other books that may be of interest include: B0811 World of the Cocker Spaniel (American), B0815 Am. Cocker Spaniel calendar. ***Only weakness of this book is that there are NO color photos!

The Book Of The Cocker Spaniel. Joan McDonald Brearley. NO LISTING

The World Of The Cocker Spaniel. Bill Gordoner & Lloyd Alton. Published by TFH, © 1994, 625 pages.

History of the American Cocker from its earliest evolution to the present day. Over 1500 photos, mostly in color, show the development of the breed, and every variety is spotlighted with insight and detail. Also offers expert advice on the breeding, training, showing, caring and housing of Cockers. Authors have extensive experience in the breed and their personal relationships with the breeders and dogs of this century make this book invaluable. A gorgeous coffee table book for any Cocker fancier.

The Complete American Cocker Spaniel. Norman A. & Jean S. Austin. Published by MacMillan Publishing Co. ©1993. 222 pages. ISBN: 0876051298

The Basic Guide to the American Cocker Spaniel. Ed. Michael R. Zervas. Published by Dace Publishing c1996. 119 pages.

Written by breeders to provide specific information on Cocker Spaniels. Basic information on history, purchasing a Cocker, the standard, health issues, care, events, training, and breeding.

A New Owner’s Guide To Cocker Spaniels: Cocker Spaniels. Judy Iby. Published by T.F.H. Publications, Inc. c1996. 160 pages.

Basic information on Cocker Spaniels, care, training, selection and grooming. Beautiful photographs.

Nutrition, Health and Care

UC-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine: Book of Dogs. Ed. By Mordecai Siegal. Published by HarperCollins Publishers, c1995, hrdcvr, 538 pages.

Written by members of the faculty and staff at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis. In-depth information about all aspects of canine health-from the selection of a dog, to emergency and home medical attention.

Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats. Richard H. Pitcairn, D.V.M., & Susan Hubble Pitcairn. Published by Rodale Press, Inc. c1995. pbk, 363 pages.

A comprehensive guide to natural health care for pets. Alternative, natural, holistic healthcare for dogs and cats. From diet and supplements, to exercise, emotional issues, diets and nursing and end of life care.

The Cocker Spaniel Owners’ Medical Manual. Robert M. Brown, D.V.M. Published by Breed Manual Publications c1989, pbk, 264 pages.

A ready reference for medical information about the Cocker Spaniel. Explains conditions common or hereditary in Cocker Spaniels and provides information to help owners understand technical terms.

Hands On Dog Care. Sue Copeland and John A. Hamil. Published by Doral, © 2000, pbk, 400 pages.

Complete book of canine first aid. Part 1: Action Plans - you'll be asked a series of questions based on symptoms you observe, and given specific instructions based on your answers. Part 2: You'll be referred to this section, where you'll get visual, step by step instruction for how to perform the first-aid skills necessary to help your dog until you can get him to the vet, or as detailed in home-treatment instructions. (You'll also find the latest information on preventative dog care.) Part 3: Glossary, where you'll find detailed descriptions of conditions and terms used in Parts 1 and 2.

Keep Your Pet Healthy The Natural Way. Pat Lazarus. Published by Ballentine, © 1999, pbk, 336 pages.

Completely natural preventive care, healing diets for optimal health, holistic alternatives for serious conditions, acupuncture, homeopathy, herbs, and nutritional supplements, an inexpensive natural diet that every dog needs to maintain a strong immune system, facts about conventional vaccines and safer alternatives, new hope for even such diseases as cancer, heart trouble, arthritis.

Homeopathic Care for Cats and Dogs: Small Doses for Small Animal. Don Hamilton, DVM Published by North Atlantic, © 1999, pbk, 470 pages.

Small doses for small animals refers to dogs and cats, rather than larger domestic animals. Intended to supplement the advice of a vet. Many conditions are amenable to home care, but other situations warrant veterinary assistance. Contents: Introduction to Homeopathy; The Nature of Disease; The Nature of Cure. Part Two includes: Where to Start When You Have a Sick Animal; using Homeopathy at Home; then common ailments of each system are discussed, followed by Therapeutic Indications by Condition. Part Three: Vaccinations: Helpful or Harmful?

The Nature of Animal Healing. Martin Goldstein, DVM. Published by Knopf, © 2000, pbk, 345 pages.

The definitive book on holistic pet health and care!! Includes: why your pet gets sick and the steps you can take to prevent illness; veterinary care and treatment, how to identify and understand your pet's diseases; how to maintain optimum health for your pet; specific recommendations of herbs, supplements, and natural remedies; how to help your pet heal the natural way; how to make sure your pet eats the right foods and avoids the wrong ones; the truth about cancer, including new treatments and potential cures; the link between diet and disease; how to understand the emotional and spiritual nature of your pet, plus and extensive guide to holistic products, manufacturers and stores, books, newsletters, web sites, veterinarians, and associations. ***Extremely good section on vaccines!! Why NOT to vaccinate, and HOW to if you must. An intelligent approach to the subject.

What’s the Diagnosis: Understanding Your Dog’s Diagnosis. Foster & Smith. Published by HOW, © 1995, 270 pages.

A new medical book especially for anyone who is unfamiliar with medical terminology!! The dog owner will benefit from the plain talk and easy-to-follow format. The book details every common problem faced by today's dog owners, as well as many of those not so common. Problems are classified by body parts or systems; the format defines the problem, lists the symptoms, and describes the treatment. Written by the two veterinarians who founded and own Foster and Smith Pet Supplies. They also have a practice and call-in help line in Wisconsin.

Heal Your Dog the Natural Way. Richard Allport. OUT OF PRINT

The Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog. Vollard & Brown. Published by HOW, © 2000, pbk, 303 pages.

Fulfill your dog's individual needs for good health, find out what is REALLY in dog food and how to read labels, how to test your dog's diet (simple tests you can do yourself), homeopathy, chiropractic, alternative therapies, supplements, herbs, etc. This book will provide every dog owner with the practical information needed to use these holistic treatments from emergency care to chronic conditions.

The Healing Touch. Dr. Michael W. Fox. Published by Newmarket Press, c1983, pbk,150 pages.

Book on massage techniques to improve companion animal health. Photos and illustrations, detailed directions and explanations.
“The tender loving touch is essential for well-being and for the normal growth and development of all socially dependent animals.” M.W.Fox.

Food Our Pets Die For. Ann Martin.

Choosing The Best Food For Your Breed. William D. Cusick. –Published by Doral Publishing ©1997 Revised Edition. 201 pages. ISBN: 0944875505



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