This book is full of nice color photos which I find appealing. The type is annoyingly large as if it is a child's book. The writing style is too informal -- as if it was an internet post rather than a lasting publication. The author feels that he is discovering things that to others are probably well known, and while not a breeder wants to rename breeds for the American market. The Pressa section, for example, could use way more depth and perhaps should have been written by the guy he visited in the Canary Islands. I still find it a worthwhile book -- as the photos are good as is some of the information. Much of the text could be pruned -- but then he would have to find stuff to fill space with. It is not as dense/rich, for example, as an Edward Tufte book. It gives a nice starting point for more in-depth internet reading.
I have an American Bulldog named Gator X. He has the potential to bring down a big man, and it was not hard to make this choice of dog with the help of the man, Dr. Carl. If you are in the market for a good mastiff doggue, please read this book. These dogs may be big and scary, but they have also been bred for 2 thousand years to stick to their humans. This book shows this in all honesty. Yes, there are fighting pics, but I see small dogs do the same thing owned by bad owners. Dr. Semencic is the penultimate expert on what a dog can do, and where they came from, and that THEY ARE GREAT DOGS TO LOVE, NOT ONLY FEAR. Please read this book if you are a big dog enthusiast. If you want a book that delivers great insight as to why so many of these breeds are misunderstood, buy it. If you want amazing pictures, buy it. I can not imagine taking anyone else's word as to the dog world considering the mastiff breeds than Dr. Semencic's. History should ensure mistakes are not made again. Here is a book that shows you why these dogs are here, and why you should respect them or go small. I have a military life, and my hubby may be gone, but because of this book, and his preceeding, and because of Laurakennels, I am safe, secure, and enriched. May you all read this and realize that dogs are big investments with great history and great rewards. This book is the decisive measure for those on the line. Go bullies go.
Semencic as usual, delivers insights into the world of the fighting dog, but most of the pictures are horrendous. In many cases, the face of the dog is not even discernible. Might have been better off with maybe only one decent photo per breed discussed.