This wonderful book by Chris Walkowicz and Bonnie Wilcox, DVM, originally published in 1981 by Howell Book House, was updated and revised in a 1994 second edition, and is now available through Wiley Publishers.
Walkowicz, who lives in Sherrard, Il, began breeding and showing German Shepherd lDogs in the 1960s, and later became a leading force in Bearded Collies after the breed was recognized by the AKC. She judges all Herding and Working breeds. Wilcox, of Milan, Ill., has a successful veterinary practice and specializes in German Shorthaired Pointers.
I was an active breeder/exhibitor and my veterinarian/friend, Bonnie Wilcox, was also an exhibitor," says Walkowicz. "We both bemoaned the fact that the few hooks on breeding and reproduction were not geared to the average person. And most were technical and/or ... well, borrrring. I had learned that readers retained facts written with humor more than dull, dry, how-to advice. We thought (and still do) that dog people have a great sense of humor. We have to, or we wouldn't be out there every weekend in monsoons, desert heat, and Arctic temps. We knew a wonderful artist, Mary Jung, who was also in dogs. And so we tackled the hook we hoped would appeal to all dog breeders.
Well, these women have accomplished their purpose, and Jung's delightful illustrations bring the point home with wit and charm. From the dedication (which reads, "To our husbands, Ed Walkowicz and Ibm Wilcox, who first interested us in mating and reproduction") on through to the end, it's both fun and packed with serious, authoritative advice gleaned from mans' years of personal highs and lows. The authors also surveyed hundreds of other breeders, and their responses add "the experience of a thousand years. An added feature is contained at the end in Appendix I and II, which covers breed specifics and predispositions from Affenpinschers to Yorkshire Terriers, including breeding characteristics of the bitch and dog; approximate litter size: normal birth weights; common whelping tendencies; suggestions about dewclaws, tails and ears; standard deviations in pups; and reported disorders, listed numerically. A full 263 disorders are listed in alphabetical order, including multiple names for conditions, a description, and how each may be inherited. Awesome!