Lavishly illustrated, the 256 page directory of breeds is presented by group in the order: non-sporting, working, herding, gundogs, hounds, terriers and toy. The background to each breed is detailed – its origins, development, characteristics and, where applicable, mode of working. Breed standards are given as well as care boxes for at a glance tips for looking after each breed. Also featured are some 79 rare breeds, ranging from the ancient Hellenic Hound to the highly specialized Lundehund, or Norwegian Puffin Dog.
An introductory sections covers the history of dogs, ranging back over the millennia to the wild dogs which first warmed themselves at the fires of early humans. There follow sections on the anatomy, physiology, and psychology of the dog, and specialist terminology is illustrated with examples taken from the breeds featured in the Encyclopedia. Photographs, maps, and drawings show how particular conformations and characteristics have evolved into groupings which are recognized today.