Tuesday, May 18, 2010

THE RED BOOK (A publication of the German Shepherd Dog Club of America)

Of all the books and literature that is available to the student of the breed, in my opinion, none is as informative and valuable to have than “THE RED BOOK.” The reason that I say that is because it’s about everything pertaining to the German Shepherd Dog. Here’s how The German Shepherd Dog Club of America describes it on their website:

THE RED BOOK - Year in Review
The Red Book has something for everyone. The latest in health, veterinary news, genetics, breeding and nutrition. The Thirteen Club. Our Juniors Program. Complete list of Award of Excellence winners, including pictures of the AOE recipients. Certificate of Health Merit Excellent recipients. Complete tabulations for the Futurity/Maturity shows, including pictures with write-ups for the top twenty producing sires and dams. Complete tabulations of sires and dams of progeny winning AKC major point shows during the competitive year, including pictures and write-ups of the top twenty producing sires and dams. Complete Register of Merit tabulations, including pictures and write-ups of the top twenty living ROM sires and dams. Complete tabulations of the top producing performance sires and dams. Dual award winners for the year. Information and pictures for GSDs in obedience, herding, agility and the GSDCA-WDA.

I wonder where they got the name Red Book from for this publication. Yes, it’s red, (see the picture) but I wonder why they chose that name. I’m sure someone will write to me to tell me why. The cover isn’t very eye appealing and you won’t buy it because it grabs your attention. It looks more like an encyclopedia or medical journal. But wait, open this magazine and be awed by pages after pages of pictures of some of the top producing and winning German Shepherds in the country. If the book at first doesn’t grab you with its cover, it’ll keep you entertained and informed for hours and hours of enjoyable reading. Be prepared to get an education.

The wonderful thing about this book is that you will find yourself referring back to it time and time again. It is truly a great reference book about genetics, health problems, bloodlines, etc. Many a time in the past, I turned to this book looking for bloodlines to breed a bitch of mine to. It’s great because not only do you get to see a picture of the sire of a potential future breeding, but pictures of what he’s produced as well.

There is not just one author of this book, but many authors. The health and genetics articles are written by different people that have some expertise in these fields. The sections with the pictures of the stud dogs and bitches are written by their owners. Here is where you can get a picture of what the dog is truly like and what he produces. They may suggest the type of bitch that goes well with their stud dog and they may tell us some of the faults of their lines.

Being invited to write about your dog because he/she has made their ROM (register of merit) is a dream come true in my opinion. I say this because this book is a history of our breed and many people collect these books for their dog library. I have had my dogs in these books in the past and writing about my ROM bitch…….well lets just say I was extremely proud and honored that she and her progeny would be included in these educational volumes.

The articles about health and genetics are very well written and they may not apply to any of the dogs that you have now, but in the future you may find yourself picking up one of these books to look something up.

My deepest gratitude goes to the people that give selfishly of themselves year after year to the excellence of the quality of this “must read” treasury of the history of our breed. These are volunteers that devote their time to the development and production of one of the best publications of our breed so that we and future generations will know the German Shepherd’s story.

So come meet the breeders, meet the stud dogs and bitches. Look at the winning show pictures. Read about the genetics and health of the breed. Get educated. Get informed. Get in the know. If you buy nothing else this year to read about our breed, buy this! You’ll be glad that you did! You can order “The Red Book” on the parent club website at: www.gsdca.org/

My rating: The Red Book: (4)

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