NONFICTION : DOG TRAINING BY BASH by Bashkim Dibra with Elizabeth Randolph (E. P. Dutton: $18.95; 320 pp.) .

I have had dogs since I was 8, and, as soon as the baby is out of diapers--one housebreaking at a time, thanks--will surely have one again. My husband and I watch the entire six-hour telecast of the annual Westminster Dog Show at Madison Square Garden, even if we do sneer at all the toy breeds. So be forewarned: My saying that this is a pretty great book has to be taken in context. But it is great, at least as far as practical advice goes. Bashkim Dibra is on a wavelength with canines, probably more so than with their biped owners. The section on how to choose a dog is worth the price of admission all by itself--particularly given the number of pets who end up abandoned, or impounded, because their owners picked an inappropriate breed. There's also an answer for almost any behavioral problem you might encounter with your pet.

If some of the real behavioral idiosyncrasies are the dogs' owners'--Dibra isn't kidding when he identifies himself as the "dog trainer to the stars"--it's fun to see how oddly the other 2% lives. Want to find out which actress had to retrain a perfectly housebroken dog when her growing family made it impossible for her to walk the little darling? Curious about which songstress had "bathroom stations" set up in her apartment for a couple of canines? It's all here: Petstyles of the rich and famous.

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