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HomeVeterinary Behavior ArticlesBehavior Resources

Veterinary Behavior Articles

Behavior Resources

There are a number of excellent books and training guides available that are intended to teach pet owners how to apply the basic principles of learning and training in a humane, effective, and logical manner. At the other extreme, many training books and manuals have been written by self-professed experts who advocate techniques that may be scientifically unsound, inappropriate, or inhumane. Following these techniques will seldom lead to improvement of the problem and might even aggravate some conditions.

The best way to select a book, video or training manual is to seek the guidance or recommendation of a veterinarian, behaviorist, or obedience trainer who you trust and respect. It can also be useful to assess the background, expertise and, in particular, the education of the author(s). Be certain that the book you choose covers the training techniques, products, and topics for which you are seeking assistance. In general the most recent publications will include the most recent advances in behavior, training, and products. However, some of the older texts are the best resources for obtaining a sound understanding of the psychology of learning and the basic behavior of dogs and cats. Although, inclusion in the reference list below is not intended to be an endorsement, the publications have been screened and are included based on the following criteria:

A. The author has a sound knowledge of basic canine and feline behavior.

B. Training techniques emphasize positive reinforcement, motivation, and shaping rather than punishment.

C. Correction techniques have been designed to train or encourage the pet to perform an appropriate behavior and set the pet up to succeed, rather than punishing the pet for inappropriate behavior.


1. Beaver BV (1992) Feline Behavior: A Guide for Veterinarians. W. B. Saunders: Philadelphia, PA.

2. Beaver BV (1999) Canine Behavior: A Guide for Veterinarians. W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia, PA

3. Bradshaw JWS. (1992) The behaviour of the domestic cat. C-A-B International. Oxon, UK.

4. Bradshaw JWS. The True Nature of the Cat. Boxtree, London, 1993

5. Coppinger R, Coppinger L. (2001). Dogs – a startling new understanding of the origin, behavior and evolution. Scribner, NY

6. Donaldson J. (1996) The Culture Clash, James and Kenneth Publishers. 2140 Shattuck Ave. #2406, Berkeley, CA 94704 (510) 658-8588,

7. Donaldson J. (1998) Dogs are from Neptune. Lasar Multimedia Productions, Montreal

8. Dunbar I. (1999) Dog Behavior. Howell Book House, NY

9. Fox M. Canine Behavior, Charles Thomas, Springfield. IL, 1965

10. Fox MW. The Dog: It’s Domestication and Behavior. New York, Garland STM Press, 1978

11. Houpt, K. (1998) Domestic Animal Behavior, 3rd edition. Iowa State University Press: Ames, IA.

12. Scott JP, Fuller JL. (1965) Dog Behavior. The Genetic Basis. University of Chicago Press, Chicago

13. Serpell, J; Barrett, P (Eds.) (1996) The Domestic Dog: Its Evolution, Behaviour and Interactions with People. Cambridge University Press, 268pp.

14. Thorne, C. (ed.) (1992). The Waltham Book of Dog and Cat Behaviour. Pergamon Press: Oxford, 159pp.

15. Turner DC, Bateson P (editors). (2000) The Domestic Cat, the biology of its behaviour, 2nd edition, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 244 pp


1. Ackerman, L., Landsberg, G. and Hunthausen, W. (eds) (1996). Cat Behaviour and Training: Veterinary Advice for Owners. TFH Publications: Neptune, NJ.

2. Ackerman, L., Landsberg, G. and Hunthausen, W. (eds) (1996). Dog Behavior and Training: Veterinary Advice for Owners. TFH Publications: Neptune, NJ.

3. Bailey, G. (1995). The Perfect Puppy: How to Raise a Problem Free Dog, Hamlyn, London.

4. Bohnenkamp G. (1990). Manners for the modern dog. James and Kenneth Publishers, Berkeley, CA.

5. Bohnenkamp G. (1991). From the Cat's Point of View, Perfect Paws, Inc., Belmont, CA.

6. Bohnenkamp G. (1994). Help! My Dog Has An Attitude, Perfect Paws, Inc., Belmont, CA.

7. Campbell, W (1999). Behavour Problems in Dogs. 3rd edition. BehaviorRx systems. Grants Pass, OR.

8. Campbell W. (1995). Owners Guide to Better Behavior in Dogs. Alpine Publications, Loveland, CO.

9. Davidson D, Manning P. (1997). Canadian Dog Owner’s Manual., Toronto, MacMillan Canada.

10. Dodman, N. (1996). The Dog Who Loved too Much. Bantam, NY.

11. Dodman, N. (1997). The Cat Who Cried for Help. Bantam, NY.

12. Dodman N. (1999). Dogs Behaving Badly. An A-to-Z Guide to Understanding and Curing Behavioral Problems in Dogs. Bantam, NY.

13. Dunbar, I. (1987). Sirius Puppy Training. (Video). James & Kenneth Publishers, Berkeley, CA.

14. Dunbar, I. (1998). Dog Behavior: An Owner's Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet (Owner's Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet) Hungry Minds, Inc.

15. Fisher, J. (ed) (1993). The Behaviour of Dogs and Cats. Stanley Paul: London.

16. Fogle, B. (1990). The Dog's Mind. Viking Penguin Inc.: New York.

17. Fogle, B. (1992). The Cat's Mind. Howell Book House: New York.

18. Fogle, B. (1994). ASPCA Complete Dog Training Manual. Dorling Kindersley: London, 128pp.

19. Fox MW. (1996). Superdog. Raising the perfect canine companion. Howell Book House, NY.

20. Heath S. (1993). Why does my cat…? Souvenir Press, London.

21. Horwtiz D, Landsberg G. Lifelearn CD of client behavior handouts (62 titles), Lifelearn, Guelph, ON, 800-375-7994.

22. Hunthausen W, Landsberg G. AAHA client behavior handouts (10 titles), AAHA press, Denver, CO.

23. Kilcommons, B. and Wilson, S. (1994). Child-Proofing Your Dog. Warner Books: New York.

24. Marder, A. (1994). Your Healthy Pet: A Practical Guide to Choosing and Raising Happier, Healthier Dogs and Cats. Rodale Press: Emmaus, PA, 216pp.

25. Neville P. (1991). Do Cats Need Shrinks? Contemporary Books, Chicago.

26. Neville P. (1992). Do Dogs Need Shrinks? Citadel Press, NY.

27. Pryor, K. (1999). Don't Shoot the Dog: The New Art of Teaching and Training, Bantam Doubleday Dell, 202 pp.

28. Reid P. (1996). Excel-erated Learning, James and Kenneth, Berkley.

29. Schwartz S. (1996). No more myths. Howell Book House, NY.

30. Scidmore, Brenda and McConnell, Patricia. (1996). Puppy Primer, Order from Dog's Best Friend, Ltd., PO Box 447, Black Earth, WI 53515, 608-767-2435.

31. Rafe, S. (1990). Your New Baby and Bowser. Denlinger Publications: Fairfax, VA.

32. Ryan, T. (1990). Puppy Primer. Legacy: Pullman, WA.

33. Ryan, T. (1994). The Toolbox for Remodeling Problem Dogs. Legacy: Pullman, WA, 26pp.

34. Volhard J. (1994 ). Canine Good Citizen, Howell Book House.

35. Weston D, Ross ER. (1992). Dog problems: the gentle modern cure. Howell Book House, NY.

36. Weston D. (1990). Dog training. Howell Schwartz S. No More Myths. Howell Book House, New York, 1990Book House, NY.

37. Wright JC, Lashnits JW. (1994). Is your Cat Crazy? MacMillan, NY.


1. Askew HR. (1996). Treatment of behavior problems in dogs and cats. A guide for small animal veterinarians. Blackwell Science, Oxford, 350 pp.

2. Beaver, B. V. (1994). The Veterinarian's Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior. Iowa State University Press: Ames, IA.

3. Dodman NH, Shuster L. (1997). Psychopharmacology of Animal Behavior Disorders. Blackwell Science Inc., Malden, MA. 332 pp.

4. Hart BL, Hart LA. (1985). Canine and Feline Behavioral Therapy, Lea & Febiger, Philadelphia.

5. Hetts SA. (1999). Pet Behavior Protocols. What to Say, What to Do, When to Refer. AAHA Press, Denver.

6. Horwitz H, Heath S, Mills D. BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Behavioural Medicine. In press, BSAVA.

7. Houpt KA (editor). (1997). Progress in Companion Animal Behavior. Veterinary Clinics of North America Small Animal Practice, 27 (3), 427-697.

8. Jackson J, Anderson RK, Line S (2001). Early learning for Puppies to Socialize and Promote Good Behavior. A Program Guide for Veterinary Clinics, Canine Trainers and Humane Societies. Premier Pet Products, Richmond, VA.

9. Keltner NL, Folks DG. (2001). Psychotropic Drugs, 3nd edition, Mosby, St. Louis.

10. Landsberg G, Hunthausen W, Ackerman L (1997). Handbook of Behaviour Problems of the Dog and Cat, Butterworth-Heinemann, Jordan Hill, Oxford, England. 1-800-366-2665 (US), in Canada,

11. available from Lifelearn at 1-800-375-7994

12. Lindsay, S. R. (2000). Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior and Training, Vol. 1: Adaptation and Learning. Iowa State University Press, 410pp.

13. Lindsay, S. R. (2001). Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior and Training, Volume Two: Etiology and Assessment. Iowa State University Press, 304pp.

14. Mills DS, Heath SE, Harrington LJ. (1997). Proceedings of the first international conference on veterinary behavioural medicine. Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, Herts, UK.

15. Overall K, Mills DS, Heath SE, Horwitz D.(editors). (2001). Proceedings of the third international congress on veterinary behavioural medicine. Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, Herts, UK.

16. Overall, K. (1997). Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Small Animals. Mosby, St. Louis.

17. Reid PJ. (1996). Excelerated Learning. James and Kenneth Publishers, Oakland, CA.

18. Schwartz, S. (1997). Instructions for Veterinary Clients: Canine and Feline Behavior Problems. 2nd edition, Mosby, St. Louis.

19. Voith VL, Borchelt PL. (editors) (1996). Readings in Companion Animal Behavior, Trenton, NJ, Veterinary Learning Systems, 236 pp.


1. American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, executive director, Dr. Bonnie Beaver, Dept. of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, 4474 TAMU, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX, 77843-4474, www.veterinarybehaviorists.org

2. American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, www.avsab.org/avsab

3. Animal Behavior Society. www.animalbehavior.org/

4. Association of Pet Dog Trainers, www.apdt.com

5. Association of Pet Behavior Counsellors www.apbc.or.uk

6. Companion Animal Behaviour Therapy Study Group. www.cabtsg.org

7. European Society for Veterinary Clinical Ethology. www.esvce.org

8. International Society for Animal Ethology: www.sh.plym.ac.uk/isae/home.htm

9. The Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians www.svbt.org/

10. National Association of Dog Obedience Instructors, www.nadoi.org


1. American Animal Hospital Association: Behavior Pamphlets for Dog and Cat Owners (10 titles), AAHA, Denver, CO.

2. Clicker training: www.clickertraining.com, www.clickandtreat.com

3. Dunbar Ian, Sirius Puppy Training. Video. James & Kenneth Publishers. Berkeley, CA, 1987.

4. Hunthausen W. Learning to be safe with animals. Dogs, Cats, and Kids (Video). Pet Love. Partnership, LP P.O. Box 11331, Chicago, IL, 60611-0331, 800-784-0979.

This client information sheet is based on material written by Debra Horwitz, DVM, DACVB and Gary Landsberg, DVM, DACVB. © Copyright 2002 Lifelearn Inc. Used with permission under license. January 26, 2018.

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