Cover image for Dog's best friend : journey to the roots of an ancient partnership
Dog's best friend : journey to the roots of an ancient partnership
Birr, Ursula.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Abenteur Hund. English
Publication Information:
Rochester, Vt. : Park Street Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
vii, 133 pages : color illustrations, color maps ; 26 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
SF426.2 .B5813 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Explores the nature of the oldest human-animal relationship in cultures around the world.

* Over 100 stunning color photographs of rare breeds of dogs in their native environments.

* Gives dog lovers a new appreciation of the important role dogs have always played in human lives.

No other animal has influenced human development in as long-lasting or important ways as the dog. "He is the sanctuary of the tired, model of faithfulness, mirror-image of attention, peak of understanding and memory, the motto and mascot of wise men," historian Christian Franz Pollini wrote of the dog almost 300 years ago. This statement still holds true today, for the dog has long been man's partner in work and in play, and the roots of their spiritual connection extend into the very foundation of our culture.

In exploring the origins of this oldest human-animal relationship the authors traveled to Borneo, Patagonia, Greenland, Namibia, and Nepal, where they found races of dogs that are largely unknown, dogs of pure beauty and unique character such as the azawakhs, basenjis, kelpies, and sloug his, dogs that even today are an essential part of their human community. Dog's Best Friend follows the close partnership between man and dog in indigenous cultures and reveals how without our canine friends the cultural history of humankind would be vastly different. Whether as sled, shepherd, or hunting dogs, whether in the desert, jungle, or eternal ice, dogs have been the faithful companions of humans for thousands of years, and this union has proved one of the most enduring and fruitful in history.

Author Notes

Ursula Birr is a journalist and editor and the author of numerous books about dogs. Gerald Krakauer is a veterinarian and journalist. He was the director of the German documentary miniseries Adventure Dog . Daniela Osiander is a communications researcher and author.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

What are the roots of the modern partnership between dogs and humans? The dog is the earliest domesticated animal, descended from wolves and early recognized as a useful companion by Stone Age people. This new book, based on a television series, looks at the human-animal relationship as demonstrated in traditional societies, largely untouched by industrialization. The authors traveled to seven countries and visited with local dog-keeping groups to look at how the dogs were integrated into society. Burkina Faso and Morocco each have a form of greyhound, Borneo produced a dog much like the Basenji, Greenland, a husky type, Patagonia uses collie-like herding dogs, Namibia, the Rhodesian ridgeback type, and Nepal claims the lhasa apso and mastiffs. The authors present a lyrical look at traditional people for whom dogs are more than pampered pets--they are an integral part of their lives and often essential to their survival. The full-color photos of dogs most of us are not familiar with enhance a book that will be in demand. --Nancy Bent