“Meet the Breeds: Dog Breeds from A to Z,”

“Meet the Breeds: Dog Breeds from A to Z,” fourth edition. An Official Publication of the American Kennel Club. I 5 Press. $15.95.

Colorfully packaged, well-organized with an alphabetical presentation of 199 breeds MeetTheBreeds_4edrecognized by America’s premier dog registry, this softcover guidebook is a superb primer for anyone trying to decide which breed best fits his/her family’s lifestyle.

Breeds in each of AKC’s seven groups plus the Miscellaneous class are color coded with one-page vignettes, including color photos of a puppy and adult dog.

In addition to a one-paragraph historical introduction, each profile includes year of AKC recognition, group, size, coat, color, life expectancy, activity level, grooming requirement, temperament, parent club (with web-site), buyers’ advice from parent club, regional clubs and rescue groups. In other words, a complete get-acquainted tour of America’s dogs.

This is not the definitive book, but a can opener of sorts for each breed, allowing the reader to determine if it is the right one for him/her. For more information, each sharply etched portrait drives you to the parent club web site that is usually jam packed with solid information and resources.

“Meet the Breeds” isn’t saccharine but it is simplistic and savvy with a compelling presentation.