William F. Stratton
was an absolute
pioneer in the period of his published works in that he addressed a
then NEW issue - the explosion in popularity of the American Pit Bull
Terrier - which began in the mid and late 1970s and is still growing
today, much to the detriment of the breed itself in both quality and
public image. Pit Bulls are the pinnacle for the news media
demonizing any breed ever to exist and are a billion dollar a year or
more earner (this is a guess) if you count the numbers of advertising
dollars sold attached to sensationalized headlines per year.
Stratton was vilified to the point he pretty much became a hermit, yet
stood strong for years and got the real facts out despite the world's
attempts to draw horns and a pitchfork on both him and the
Being a new admirer and owner of the breed at the time (my first Pit
was found abandoned in the desert outside Wickenburg, Arizona 15 miles
from the nearest road on a 115 degree day in 1977) he served as a great
inspiration and mentor through his work. I still regularly
his information in my teaching and training.
Dr. Semencic's books
were done at a time
when foundational knowledge about many breeds was non-existent in the
general consumer market. They play a key role in any research
meant to uncover actual facts and histories on these breeds and are
written in a well thought out and clear way. He has had his
detractors over the years, mostly breed specific enthusiasts taking
exception to details about their dog's characteristics that don't play
out in their individual promotional breeding advertising and claims.
I've had the
tremendous honor of
actually speaking with Mr. Budiansky on a couple of occasions by
telephone, shortly after he wrote "The Truth About Dogs". In
instances I was awestruck at the man's intelligence, accomplishments
and fame and delighted that he maintains a very down to Earth and human
quality to his personality and communication with the public.
actually spent time thanking me for being in the industry he relied
heavily upon for the background data to write his works, when I had
simply called him to thank him for doing them in the first
I'm sure you'll enjoy any and all of his books and his data and
reliability in perspective is unmatched in modern writing.
This is not a book
for the faint of
heart when it comes to martinis. It's a bit dry, but if one
get past that there is very good information here that can lead to a
better understanding of our canine companions from a factual,
scientific and biological history of their evolution as a warm-blooded
predator. Highly suggested, rarely approached.