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Book Reviews

Leonberger Books I Don’t Recommend

On this blog I’ve reviewed several good Leonberger books including:

Note the books above are Leonberger books that I do recommend. I can add that the first book Leonberger by Caroline Bliss-Isberg is a masterpiece, but it is very expensive.

However, I’ve also read Leonberger books that have substantial issues and that I therefore cannot recommend. This blog is about them.

The problems with the books I am presenting below include that the author has never owned a Leonberger, the book is full of factual errors, it’s full of grammatical errors, spelling errors and other typos. In addition, two of the books were copy and paste operations. What I mean by that is that the author wrote a book about how to train a dog, any dog, for example a Pug, and then changed the word Pug to Leonberger (copy and replace) to create a Leonberger book. Of course, they needed to add a few Leonberger facts, that may or may not be correct. Repeat the process for 65 breeds, or 167 breeds. You can write hundreds of books in one day using this procedure. The last book was written by a Russian who obviously did not speak English and probably rammed Russian text through a mediocre translation app with comical results. Parts of the book was unreadable. None of the books had any photos or illustrations to make them more interesting.

They say that you should not slam the competition. It will come back and to haunt you. That’s true. However, I don’t think these authors are my competition because they are not “Leonberger people”, and they are unlikely to ever read this. Below I am presenting and reviewing three books which I have given three stars, two stars and one star respectively on Amazon.

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Photo of the front cover of the book: The Leonberger: A Complete and Comprehensive Owners Guide to: Buying, Owning, Health, Grooming, Training, Obedience, Understanding and Caring for Your Leonberger. By Michael Stone. Three stars.
The Leonberger: A Complete and Comprehensive Owners Guide to: Buying, Owning, Health, Grooming, Training, Obedience, Understanding and Caring for Your Leonberger. By Michael Stone. Three stars.

It was published July 4, 2019

The paperback ‏ is ‎ 112 pages

ISBN-13 ‏ is ‎ 978-1078136211

Weight ‏ is ‎ 6.2 ounces

The dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.28 x 9 inches

The price of the paperback is $8.00

Prcie of Kindle version is $2.99

Kindle unlimited is of course $0.00

Review below

A brief Dog Owner’s Manual with some Leonberger specific information, plus comical typos

This is a very basic book, about 14,000 words, no pictures or photos (other than the front page), and no diagrams or graphs, just text. However, considering that the printed version is eight dollars and the kindle version is free that is to be expected. The book should be judged accordingly. It is a simple and inexpensive book. The book description here on Amazon may not be entirely helpful. According to the “Final Thoughts” on the last page the author is planning to publish “multiple other dog care manuals …”. He is associated with the Dog Care Professionals organization. Based on the focus of the book and from what I can “read between the lines”, I am fairly certain the author has never owned a Leonberger and that he is not very familiar with the Leonberger breed or the community. For example, I don’t think he is part of the Leonberger Club of America. Maybe he can correct me if I am wrong.

However, where the author shines, is in his knowledge regarding the training of, and caring for dogs. I assume he is a professional dog trainer or a dog care professional. The book may not be a true Leonberger book, but it is useful for Leonberger owners none the less. We would have been helped by reading this book while training and caring for our Leonberger, or our German Shepherd, or our Pug, or our Labrador, or our Japanese Shin, or our Australian Shepherd, you get the picture. Therefore, the book is useful to Leonberger owners but may not be the best book for those specifically interested in the Leonberger breed.

I found the typos in the book a bit distracting. On page 74 he is giving a “Breif overview” and he is urging us to contact our local “Keenle Club” (my guess is that was supposed to be Kennel club), and “Heir on the side of safety” I can’t even guess what that means. That’s just one page. On page 15 he claims that the Leonberger will stand between 25 to 31 inches (? To ? cm) tall at the shoulder and weigh between 120 to 170 pounds (? to ? kg). He could have used a calculator or Wikipedia to complete page 15 without question marks. Better still, hire an editor. Question marks in the text looks sloppy. Also, the 25 to 31 inches refers to the withers, not the shoulders, it is close, but not the same thing.

From a training and caring for your dog perspective this is not a bad book. In fact, I found it to have a lot of useful information. The author is without doubt a skilled dog trainer professional. Hiring him to train our Leonberger would have been a good idea. Hiring him to spell our dog’s name, not so much (Le Bronco Von Der Löwenhöhle). Leonbergers have fancy names. Intimate understanding of Leonbergers seem to be missing in this book, and the editor is missing too. Therefore, I cannot give this book a five star rating.

The question is, should I give it three stars or four stars. I decided to give it three stars. It is an inexpensive book, that is an easy and quick read that is helpful to Leonberger owners, or prospective Leonberger owners from a general dog knowledge and training perspective. However, between the feeling you get of something missing in the Leonberger department and the comical typos, I don’t think it can be highly rated. An editor and a Leonberger (owned by the author) would have guaranteed a five star review from me.

Photo of the Back cover of the book Leonberger by Michael Stonewood
Back cover of the book Leonberger by Michael Stonewood

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Photo of the front cover of the book. Leonberger Training Book for Dogs & Puppies By BoneUP DOG Training, Dog Care, Dog Behavior, Hand Cues Too! Are You Ready to Bone Up? Easy Training * Fast Results, Leonberger. By Karen Douglas Kane two stars. Two stars.
Leonberger Training Book for Dogs & Puppies By BoneUP DOG Training, Dog Care, Dog Behavior, Hand Cues Too! Are You Ready to Bone Up? Easy Training * Fast Results, Leonberger. By Karen Douglas Kane two stars. Two stars.

It was published December 13, 2020

The paperback ‏ is ‎ 102 pages

ISBN-13 ‏ is ‎ 979-8580681658

Weight ‏ is ‎ 5.3 ounces

The dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.23 x 9 inches

The price of the paperback is $11.97

Prcie of Kindle version is $5.19

Kindle unlimited is of course $0.00

Review below

A good dog training manual, but it is not a Leonberger book

This book contains a lot of good dog care and dog training advice. The author describes how and when to feed dogs, brushing, cleaning teeth, health related issues, raising and training dogs, how to train your dog to obey commands, clicker training, hand signals, etc. It is fairly complete and written with some lighthearted humor. I noticed a few typos but not many. As a dog training manual, this is a good book.

On page 5 it says, “Thanks to a British Politician Heinrich Essig the Leonberger was created”. The author got the most basic Leonberger fact wrong. Heinrich Essig was a German businessman, dog breeder, horse breeder, and occasional councilman of the town of Leonberg in the Kingdom of Würtenberg (now Germany). “Heinrich Essig” doesn’t even sound British. The rest of the extremely short two paragraph Leonberger history section was pretty misleading as well and did not do Leonbergers justice.

On page 21 and 22 the author presents a guideline for feeding dogs that starts at 5lbs and ends at 100lbs. The book says; “But keep in mind that the average Leonberger is about thirty-five to sixty five pounds fully grown…”. It is difficult to find an adult Leonberger under 100lbs, unless he starved to death. On another page in the book she says (more correctly) that adult Leonbergers weigh between 90 to 170lbs, thus contradicting herself. A lot of interesting and useful Leonberger information is missing. There’s nothing about their love for swimming, webbed paws, breed characteristics, natural drafting/pulling skills, and the explanations of how and if to get a Leonberger left a lot to be desired. The most important American Leonberger kennel club; the Leonberger Club of America was never mentioned. By the way, they have a ton of useful Leonberger information on their website.

It is obvious that the author has never owned a Leonberger and that she does not know much about them. Considering that her website (or their website) is mentioned several times in the book and the fact that she has written 65 identical looking books on different dog breeds it seems like this book is a quick “search and replace” operation of a dog training manual created for advertising purposes. To me the book looked exactly like she did a search for “your dog” and replaced it with “your Leonberger” (in a few hundred places), and then added a little bit about the specific breed (using google) but without much care for getting it right. You can write 65 books very quickly that way. By the way, she is not the only dog trainer doing this. It is a clever advertising trick. However, as a Leonberger enthusiast this rubbed me the wrong way. She should have written one generic dog training book or taken the time to research the breed better if she wanted to make it Leonberger specific. Therefore, despite the overall good dog training and dog care advice in the book I can only give it two stars.

Photo of the back cover of the book Leonberger by Karen Douglas Kane
Back cover of the book Leonberger by Karen Douglas Kane

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Front cover of the book: Leonberger Dog: Complete Guide Book and Everything You Need To Know in Selecting, Raising, Health Care, Grooming, Crate Training, Feeding, Choosing the best dog food, and Loving Your Cute Puppy. By Nelson Dawson. One star.
Leonberger Dog: Complete Guide Book and Everything You Need To Know in Selecting, Raising, Health Care, Grooming, Crate Training, Feeding, Choosing the best dog food, and Loving Your Cute Puppy. By Nelson Dawson. One star.

The paperback ‏ is ‎ 145 pages

ISBN-13 ‏ is ‎ 979-8834953302

Note, the book was deleted from Amazon before I had a chance to write a review so the review below was never published. In fact, all of Nelson Dawson’s dog books disappeared from Amazon. He had written hundreds of books on hundreds of breeds. I suspect Amazon deleted them.

Priceless translation errors

This book has a lot of quality issues. First of all, it contains a lot of incorrect facts. For example, it states that the Leonberger was created in the 1930 and 1940’s (it was 1830’s and 1840’s), that the breeder tried to match the appearance of a mountain lion (it was a lion), that the first Leonberger arrived in Russia 1989 (no they existed in Russia in the 1800’s), etc. The book also contains a lot of grammatical errors, strange sentences, and incorrectly used words. For example, puppies are sometimes referred to as “children”, dogs are sometimes called “cattle”, and crates are called boxes. The word “order” is used instead of “command”, as in: Simple orders include ”Next”, “Fu”, “Give a paw”, and “Tumble”. By the way can anyone guess what the commands “Next” and “Fu” are supposed to be? I think “Tumble” is “Roll over”.

The book also features many bizarre sentences that I could not figure out what they meant. On page 28 the book states: “It is not advisable to bring two Leonberger puppies into the house at the same time. Representatives of this type are gregarious men who easily make friends with their tribesmen.” Yes, the Leonberger puppies are called “gregarious men”, which is hilarious. On page 30 the book states in regard to teaching the Leonberger a trick: “Leonbergers are true virtuosos who may stomp on the neck of their own song in order to gratify the owner. These individuals are the ones who compete in agility events.” On page 46 the book states: “When you return to work, have someone check on your dog, let him out, play with him, and reshape him with a yummy kong.” In regard to crate training the author states out of the blue: “if your home has battens, you may wish to select wood”. I have no idea what that means.

Since the prices mentioned in the book are in rubles and the intended audience seems to be Russian my guess is that the book was created by running a Russian book through a mediocre language translation application. I don’t think it could have been Google Translate because it is not that bad, not anymore. I believe the author may have taken a large stash of Russian books for different breeds and just rammed them through a translator and then uploaded it Amazon without anyone checking if the English made sense.

In any case, this book has a lot of problems, and I cannot recommend it. One star.

Photos of the back cover of the book Leonberger Dog by Nelson Dawson
Back cover of the book Leonberger Dog by Nelson Dawson

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Finally, if you would like to learn about my book and find out where to get it, click here.