Dog's Best Friend

Journey to the Roots of an Ancient Partnership

Dog's Best Friend

Explores the nature of the oldest human-animal relationship in cultures around the world.

• Over 100 stunning color photographs of rare breeds of dogs in their native environments.

• Gives dog lovers a new appreciation of the important role dogs have always played in human lives.

No other animal has influenced human development in as long-lasting or important ways as the dog. “He is the sanctuary of the tired, model of faithfulness, mirror-image of attention, peak of understanding and memory, the motto and mascot of wise men,” historian Christian Franz Pollini wrote of the dog almost 300 years ago. This statement still holds true today, for the dog has long been man's partner in work and in play, and the roots of their spiritual connection extend into the very foundation of our culture.

In exploring the origins of this oldest human-animal relationship the authors traveled to Borneo, Patagonia, Greenland, Namibia, and Nepal, where they found races of dogs that are largely unknown, dogs of pure beauty and unique character such as the azawakhs, basenjis, kelpies, and sloug his, dogs that even today are an essential part of their human community. Dog's Best Friend follows the close partnership between man and dog in indigenous cultures and reveals how without our canine friends the cultural history of humankind would be vastly different. Whether as sled, shepherd, or hunting dogs, whether in the desert, jungle, or eternal ice, dogs have been the faithful companions of humans for thousands of years, and this union has proved one of the most enduring and fruitful in history.
  • Park Street Press | 
  • 144 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780892818297 | 
  • June 1999
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About the Authors

Ursula Birr

Ursula Birr is a journalist and editor and the author of numerous books about dogs.


Gerald Krakauer

Gerald Krakauer is a veterinarian and journalist. He was the director of the German documentary miniseries Adventure Dog.


Daniela Osiander

Daniela Osiander is a communications researcher and author.