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Publishers Weekly, 1998-05-26 Charles Darwin so loved his little West Highland white terrier, Coren reports, that he often wrote of his dog adventures around the house. Yet, the same man so loathed a big hound he had been given (he called it "graceless, noisy and drooling") that he ultimately had the dog shot. Dog expert Coren (What Do Dogs Know?) offers a scheme that describes why different types of people favor certain species of dogs. Entertaining the reader with historical anecdotes and odd facts, the author describes case after case of dogs who fit?or, disastrously, don't fit?an owner's temperament and lifestyle. Coren includes a conversation he had with Picasso about the many dogs the painter lived with, and reveals that Richard Nixon, who was greatly distrusted by the American public, liked dogs. Actor Jimmy Stewart was apparently as nice a man as the characters he played, and he, too, loved (and spoiled) dogs. Coren categorizes according to their basic temperaments some of the more than 400 breeds of dogs recognized by international kennel clubs. Golden retrievers and Labradors are warm and friendly, he explains, while dalmatians are independent and strong-willed. Coren supplies a personality inventory, "the interpersonal adjective scale," to enable readers to rate how well they are described by various adjectives that run the gamut from dominant to submissive, gregarious to cold, thus helping them to pick the appropriate dog for their personality. This is an engaging, edifying work, but the author's academic background does manifest in his prose from time to time. Photos not seen by PW. (June)
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