Book Review Dog Alog by Dr Bruce Fogle

Title Dogalog
Author Dr Bruce Fogle
Rating: 3/5


The Dogalog is a picture catalogue describing over 400 breeds of dogs. Written by the well-published UK veterinarian Dr Bruce Fogle. The catalogue is compact and an easy read. The history, uses, breed characteristics and an annotated photograph is used to discuss each breed. A handy key reflecting suitability with children, urban living, climatic preferences, need for grooming and trainability provides a quick reference. Unfortunately the author was not consistent in using these ten categories, in some breeds only four categories are represented.

Being written by a veterinarian I expected a detailed focus on breed specific diseases. After all, prospective owners want to know what the temperament of a breed is and their health risks. I was surprised to find this information lacking and would prefer to see the most common diseases which are prevalent in the breed specified. When discussing a breed like the Great Dane, and not mention the risk for GDV (bloat and torsion) or the Rottweiler and not mention their genetic predisposition to elbow dysplasia is a bit of a concern. It would also be valuable if the author could point out which diseases can be tested for in the parents of the pup to decrease the risk of it manifesting in the offspring.

Tail docking and ear cropping for cosmetic reasons, have been outlawed and condemned  for more than 6 years in many countries including the UK. Veterinarians are prohibited to perform tail docking in South African since 2007 unless for medical reasons. The Kennel Club of the UK will not allow dogs with cropped ears and docked tails in the show ring since 2007. It came as a surprise that Dogalog features dogs with docked tails and cropped ears when these practises were banned in many countries including the UK. Dogalog was originally published in the year 2000 as Dogs, Dogalog is the third reprint of this book. We would expect if a book is reprinted 13 years after the original publication that contentious aspects like docking would have been removed to give a relevant updated  version of dog breeds.

In a pocket size format the author is restricted on how much detail can be given. When page size is premium the use of historical data and interesting facts cannot take preference over current information  regarding the breed. The author will often dedicate half a page to historical facts and a descriptive writing style takes up valuable space where more relevant  aspects of the breed could have been mentioned

I was disappointed to not see the Boerboel or Africanis represented. Although these breeds are South African in origin they are well established – rather than dedicating 10 pages to 5 different types of Bassets giving these two South African breeds some limelight would be commendable.

Book appearance

Compact, well organised, easy read


Concise. The prospective dog owner will have a good idea what the breed of interest looks like and some background information but Dogalog does not give enough information to make an informed decision in choosing a companion.

Value for money

Approximate price: R 220 (online source)

Average value for money.


Reviewed by:  Dr Adel Ferreira


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Book Review Dog Alog by Dr Bruce Fogle | Pet Health Care


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