Cover image for Going for the blue : inside the world of show dogs and dog shows
Going for the blue : inside the world of show dogs and dog shows
Caras, Roger A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Warner Books, [2001]

Physical Description:
169 pages ; illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
SF425 .C37 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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What makes a good show dog?How long does it take to groom an animal for a class? How did shows evolve? Whats the most important factor in choosing a champion? Renowned dog show enthusiast Roger Caras answers these questions and many more, and shares charming anecdotes about dogs who have gone for the blue, as well as those who were delighted to just go home. Peppered with photos of champion dogs and dog shows from around the country, this up-close and personal peek inside the ring will make dog lovers howl with pleasure and sit up and beg for more.

Author Notes

Roger A. Caras was born on May 24, 1928 in Methuen, Massachusetts. At the age of ten, he went to work for 10 cents an hour cleaning the stables of abused horses seized by the Massachusetts ASPCA. During college, he did two tours with the U.S. Army, first in World War II and then in the Korean conflict. He graduated with a degree in cinema from the University of Southern California and worked as a motion picture executive for fifteen years.

He found his true calling in following the tracks of animals in their natural habitats, and wrote over 70 books on animals. His first book, Antarctica: Land of Frozen Time, was published in 1962. His other works included A Perfect Harmony: The Intertwining Lives of Animals and Humans Throughout History, The Bond, and Going for the Blue: Inside the World of Show Dogs and Dog Shows. He also served as president of the ASPCA and was an advisor to the Walt Disney Company, assisting in developing Disney's Animal Kingdom.

His television career began in 1964 with the position of House Naturalist on The Today Show. From 1965 to 1968, he worked with Stanley Kubrick on 2001: A Space Odyssey. In 1975, he moved to ABC where he became a special correspondent for animals and the environment on ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, Nightline and 20/20, as well as nature and companion animal correspondent for Good Morning America. Caras had a radio show which was first aired in 1969 called Pets and Wildlife and was heard on the CBS, NBC and ABC Radio Networks. He died of complications of a heart attack on February 18, 2001 at the age of 72.

(Bowker Author Biography) Roger A. Caras' recent books include New Roger Caras' Great Horse Stories (Bristol Books, 1998), A Dog is Listening (Galahad Books, 1998), and A Perfect Harmony (Simon & Schuster, 1996). He lives in Freeland, Maryland.

(Publisher Provided)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Anyone who knows anything about dogs will probably recognize the author's name: Caras is president emeritus of the ASPCA, he's appeared on television for a quarter of a century, he's written more than 60 books about animals, and he really, really loves dogs. His new book, an insider's look at dog shows and the people who devote their lives to them, is detailed and informative, filled with facts and history and anecdotes taken from the author's own experiences as a dog expert. It is also rather dry. Caras presents us with plenty of information, but he never quite captures the excitement and fierce sense of competition of the dog-show circuit. Jane and Michael Stern's Dog Eat Dog (1997) and, of course, the recent movie Best in Show, are far more humorous and entertaining, perhaps because of their irreverence. Recommend this one to purists interested in learning the facts about dog shows and dog breeding but who have no interest in laughing at themselves. --David Pitt

Library Journal Review

Aside from someone who has bred, raised, and shown dogs for decades, who other than CarasD"The Voice of Westminster," the hugely successful kennel club dog show held at Madison Square Garden each FebruaryDcould provide such an insightful look into the world of dog shows. With his typical charm, wit, and humor, Caras takes us on a behind-the-scenes tour, starting with early show history, the politics of the show ring, the mechanics of showing, and picking and choosing both a breed and that all-important puppy. Newcomers to dog shows are often surprised and finally disillusioned by the dedication required to succeed. The competition itself is often a source of frustration, and when the whole family gets involved, the stakes are even higher. This book should be read by anyone who just "might" like to have a "show dog." It does not give all the answers, and the depth of its practical information is not great, but those who still want to get involved after reading it will find that numerous other books provide advice on grooming, handling, breeding, and raising dogs. In the meantime, a book by Caras is always a welcome addition to any dog-lover's bookshelf.DEdell M. Schaefer, Brookfield P.L., WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. xi
1. What Is a Show Dog Supposed to Look Like?p. 1
What Is a Purebred Dog?p. 4
... And Not So Purep. 7
Early Historyp. 9
Writ in Black and Whitep. 12
Faultsp. 19
Random-Bred Dogsp. 22
Showing Your Dogp. 24
Politics in the Ringp. 25
2. When It's Up to the Dogp. 29
Rhonda and Snickersp. 41
3. Class Actp. 51
Conformation Showingp. 53
The Classesp. 57
The Final Judgingp. 62
The Mechanics of Showingp. 63
O'er Land and Seap. 78
The Miscellaneous Classp. 80
4. There Is a Breed for Youp. 87
Ouch! Bitersp. 97
5. Pick and Choosep. 105
The Truth about "Papers"p. 114
A Name for Those Papersp. 118
After Your Puppy Comes Homep. 119
6. Trials and Then Somep. 123
Obedience Trialsp. 125
Field Trialsp. 130
Stamina Can Help You Survivep. 134
Meet the "Competition"p. 138
7. Coming and Goingp. 145
8. Kids, Toop. 151
9. Details Worth Notingp. 157
Built-in Faultsp. 163
Afterwordp. 167