Synopses & Reviews
Every weekend, tens of thousands of Americans pack up their SUVs and minivans with crates, dryers, treats, shampoos, and hairsprays and fan out for some of the two-thousand-plus dog shows held annually across the United States. More than two million pedigreed dogs, and exponentially more humans who care for them, will take part, and the world that has grown up to support them is massive and vibrant, and almost impossible to imagine unless you've seen it in person.
By spending a year alongside rising star Jack—a champion Australian shepherd—and his friends, Josh Dean yanks back the curtain on the dog show world. Along the way, Dean takes a close look at the eccentric and fascinating world of breeders and dog show fanciers, exploring the history and science of purebred dog breeding and the evolution of canine perfection via dog show culture. He provides not just a hilarious and often touching portrait of a colorful subculture only slightly exaggerated in the film Best in Show but also a revealing look at our love affair with the world's most doted-upon and tinkered-with animal species, examining the colossal array of dog types and the humans who love them.
Journalist Josh Dean tells the story of a loveable Australian Shepherd, Jack, on his novice tour through the exciting world of professional dog showing, following Jack from his first competitions in local school gymnasiums all the way to the great granddaddy of them all, the Westminster Dog Show. A veteran journalist, Dean shines a warm, steady light on the trials that Jack and his plucky, dedicated owners come to face, and uses their story to explore the larger histories of dog shows themselves; the fascinating and sometimes bizarre history of purebred dogs; and our complex, heartfelt relationships to the pets we grow to love. For dog lovers, readers of Marley & Me, Merles Door, and Oogy, and fans of Best in Show, Deans Show Dog is an irresistible instant classic.
About the Author
Josh Dean is a former deputy editor of Men's Journal and was one of the founding editors of PLAY, the New York Times sports magazine. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Outside, GQ, Popular Science, and many others. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son.