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Book review - "Breeding better dogs"


We were asked to review "Breeding better dogs" by Julia Cecere and Phil Sponenberg. Here are our genuine thoughts...


The book begins with a comprehensive introduction of motivations for breeding dogs and some of the issues surrounding it. There is a clear bullet point summary of key points at end of every section that round things off nicely.

The explanation of dog genetics and heredity is thorough and is made accessible to the layman. There are good examples of each case spoken about to clarify points around heredity. The examples of the types of genotype/phenotype being discussed help to clarify points made.


The figures and diagrams throughout by DPS are simple yet very clear, helping to clarify sometimes complicated concepts. The photos add to the overall presentation of the book. All photos are given credit.


Unfortunately there is no referenced scientific evidence to back up any of the claims in the diet sections. We would have preferred this to be backed up with reliable literature to be credible advice.


The care of the neonatal puppies goes up to week 3 postpartum but no further. As such, this is not a book for those looking for advice on the first stages of a puppy’s life.


There is a fair amount of repetition throughout the book. This may be useful if the reader dips in and out of sections and doesn’t read the whole book.

Again, there is unfortunately no scientific or anecdotal explanation as to why they advise vaccination against rabies even in countries that don’t have rabies. In the UK, for example, rabies vaccination is not standard practice.


This is a comprehensive, practical account of everything you need to know about dog breeding from start to finish and the authors are clearly highly knowledgeable about the entire subject. Unfortunately the lack of sources and evidence for all of the information throughout the entire book is a major flaw that will mean it is overlooked in any academic setting or by any breeder looking for reliable and valid information. Should this be remedied with all references being added, this would be an excellent ‘go-to’ for anyone at any stage of their dog breeding journey.

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