This article is from the Publications about dogs FAQ, by Cindy Tittle Moore with numerous contributions by others.
These books provide an overview of dogs in general...of their amazing
variety in breeds and activities.
Alderton, David. _Dogs (Eyewitness Handbook)_. Dorling Kindersly Publ.
Thumbnail sketches of many breeds. Photographs include both
puppy and adult representives of the breed.
Caras, Roger. _Harper's Illustrated Handbook of Dogs_. HarperCollins,
It gives a picture of every AKC dog breed and a one page
description of each breed in the back. The description covers
appearance, AKC standards, potential health problems, needs,
De Prisco, Andrew and James B. Johnson. _The Mini Atlas of Dog
Breeds_. TFH Publications, 1990.
This book lists and describes over 500 breeds from around the
world. Abundantly illustrated with color drawings and photos.
Includes a short forward on what criteria you should consider
in choosing a breed, and a short description of the categories
it chose to group dogs in (slightly different from, eg. AKC
Gannon, Dee. _The Rare Breed Handbook_. Doral Publishing, 1990.
Describes 80 rare breeds. Loose leaf format.
Mandeville, John J., and Ab Sidewater, eds. _The Complete Dog Book:
official publication of the American Kennel Club_. Eighteenth
edition. Howell Book House, Macmillan Publishing Company, New
This is the reference for the AKC breed standards, each of
which covers several pages and includes a black and white
photograph and text on the breed's history, characteristics,
and nature. The health section is not illustrated, but is
otherwise excellent as it was prepared with the cooperation of
the faculty of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the
University of Pennsylvania. Newly admitted breeds, such as the
Shar-pei, have been added to this edition.
Sylvester, Patricia, ed. _The Reader's Digest Illustrated Book of
Dogs_. Revised edition. The Reader's Digest Association, Inc.,
Pleasantville, NY. 1989. ISBN 0-89577-340-6. 384 pages.
Besides the excellent text and illustrations in the album,
which cover 2 pages for each breed (175 total), the informative
sections are also well-written and illustrated and include many
color photographs as well. This is a good general reference on
dogs, and is especially helpful when choosing a breed to own.
The health chapters are invaluable to non-veterinarian owners.
Taylor, David. _The Ultimate Dog Book_. Simon & Schuster, 1990.
This is another breed book. Largely coffee-table material, its
distinguishing feature is the outstanding quality of
photography. Each breed featured has a two page spread, with
photos of the dog that include: full side view, side of head,
front of head, and variations within that breed (eg, coloring,
though surprisingly the Labrador Retriever entry only shows a
black Labrador). This is worth getting for the picture quality
alone, but not necessarily as an extensive breed guide in its
Tortora, Daniel F. _The Right Dog For You_, Simon & Schuster, 1983.
Offers a complex decision procedure, with lots of
questionnaires to alert you to the potential significance of
various features of breed behavior and physical
characteristics. This is one of the few books that will
discuss, candidly, negative aspects of a particular breed.
Walkowicz, Chris. _The Perfect Match_. Howell Book House, 1996.
Wilcox, Bonnie and Chris Walkowicz. _Atlas of Dog Breeds_. TFH
Publications, 5th ed, 1995.
Over 900 pages long in large format. The authors are top notch
writers and did extensive research to compile this
comprehensive resource of the world's dog breeds. The book is
profusely illustrated with excellent quality photographs and a
3-5 page article. This book makes a good effort to show every
color and every coat type of each breed in the various photos.