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Behavior Resources

behavior_resources_1There 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, there are many training books and manuals written by self-professed experts who advocate techniques that may be scientifically unsound, inappropriate, or inhumane. Following these latter techniques will seldom lead to improvement of the problem, and might even aggravate some conditions.

"Assess the background, expertise and, in particular,
the education of the author(s)."

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 whom 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 mentioned have been screened and are included based on the following criteria:

  • The author has a sound knowledge of basic canine and feline behavior.
  • Training techniques emphasize positive reinforcement, motivation, and shaping rather than punishment.
  • Training is designed to promote desirable behavior rather than to correct or punish undesirable.


Note that while many of the books and DVD's are available from bookstores and online book distributors, that some titles are most easily acquired from www.Dogwise.com.



Beaver BV. (2003) Feline Behavior: A Guide for Veterinarians. 2nd edition.  W. B. Saunders: ST. Louis, MO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Houpt, K. (2004). Domestic Animal Behavior for Veterinarians and Animal Scientists, 4th edition.  Blackwell Publishing: Ames, IA.

Jensen P (ed).  (2007) The behavioral biology of dogs.  CABI Publications

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

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

Thorne, C. (ed.) (1992). The Waltham Book of Dog and Cat Behavior. Pergamon Press: Oxford

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


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

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

American Association of Feline Practitioners (2004). Feline Behavior Guidelines, www.aafponline.org

Burch MR, Bailey JS.  (1999) How Dogs Learn.  Howelll Book House.

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

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

            Other titles and resources from Gwen Bohnenkamp also recommended

Delzio S, Ribarich C. (1999) Felinestein.  Pampering the Genius in Your Cat.  Harper Perennial, NY

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

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

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

Donaldson J, (1996) The Culture Clash. James and Kenneth Publishers, Berkley, CA

Other books and DVD's by Jean Donaldson also recommended

Dunbar, I. (2004). Before and After Getting Your Puppy, New World Library

Other books and DVD's by Ian Dunbar also recommended

Estep D, Hetts S.  Help! I'm barking and I can't be quiet: a pet parenting guide.  Other books and resource material authored by Daniel Estep or Suzanne Hetts also recommended www.animalbehaviorassociates.com

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

Horwitz D, Landsberg G.  Lifelearn CD of client behavior handouts, 2008 edition. Lifelearn, Guelph, ON, 800-375-7994. www.lifelearn.com,

Hunthausen W, Landsberg G.  AAHA client behavior handouts, AAHA press, Denver, CO.

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

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

McConnell PB, Moore AM.  Family Friendly Dog Training, 2006 Dog's Best Friend Limited, www.dogsbestfriendtraining.com, other titles by Patricia McConnell also recommended

Miller P.  (2001)Power of Positive Dog Training.  Howell Book House. 

Miller P. (2004)  Positive Perspectives. Love Your Dog, Train Your Dog, Dogwise Publishing, Wenatchee, Washington.

Moore A.  (2006). The Dog Behavior Answer Book.  Storey Publishing.

Parsons E.  Click to Calm.  Healing the Aggressive Dog.  Karen Pryor's Clicker Training.

Pryor, K. (2002). Don't Shoot the Dog; The new art of teaching and dog training. Ringpress Books, Gloucestershire, UK.

Pryor K (2002)  Clicker training for dogs.  Ringpress Books, Surrey, UK

Pryor K (2002)  Clicker training for cats.  Ringpress Books, Surrey, UK

Ryan, T, Mortensen K. (2004) Outwitting Dogs   Lyons Press, Guilford, CT

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

Rutherford C, Neil D.  (2005) How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With.  4th ed. Alpine Publications.

Rugras T (2006) Calming Signals: What Your Dog Tells you, DVD, Dogwise

Rugras T, (2005) My dog pulls, what do I do.  Dogwise Publishing.

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

Schwartz S (2002) Dr. Cookie's Guide to Living Happily with your Cat.  St. Martins Griffin, NY

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.

Seksel K.  (2001) Training your cat.  Hyland House Publishing, Brunswick, Victoria, Australia 

Sternberg S.  (2003) Successful Dog Adoption. Howell Book House, Indianapolis, IN 

Thornton KC. (2006) Simple Solutions: Leash Training, Bow Tie Press, Irvine, CA, (also other books by Kim Campbell Thornton in the Simple Solutions Series including Aggression, Barking, Chewing, Clicker Training, Digging, Housetraining, Socialization etc. www.bowtiepress.com)

Urban Puppy or Ultimate Puppy Tool Kit.  www.urbanpuppy.com or www.premier.com

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

Yin S.  (2004) How to behave so your dog behaves. TFH Publications



See our handout on pet selection



Askew HR. (2003). Treatment of behavior problems in dogs and cats.  A guide for the small animal veterinarians.  2nd ed. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, UK.

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

Bowen J, Heath S. (2005) Behavior Problems in Small Animals - Practical Advice for the Veterinary Team, Elsevier.

Crowell-Davis SL, Murray T. (2006) Veterinary Psychopharmacology, Blackwell Publishing

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

Hart BL, Hart LA, Bain M (2006) Canine and Feline Behavior Therapy 2nd edition, Blackwell

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

Horwitz H, Heath S, Mills D. (2003), BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Behavioral Medicine. British Small Animal Veterinary Association, Gloucester, UK.

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

Houpt K, Virga V.  (2003)  Update on Clinical Veterinary Behavior.  Veterinary Clinics of North America Small Animal Practice, 33 (2), 185-453. 

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.

Journal of Applied Animal Behavior Science - Elsevier-l

Journal of Veterinary Behavior; Clinical Applications and Research - Elsevier

Horwitz D, Neilson J. (2007).  Blackwell's Five Minute Veterinary Consult Clinical Companion,

Canine and Feline Behavior with CD, Blackwell Publishing

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

Landsberg GM, Mills D (eds)  Proceedings of the 6th International Veterinary Behavior Meeting and ECVBM-CA, Fondazione Iniziative Zooprofilattiche E Zootcniche, Brescia, IT, 2007

Landsberg G, Hunthausen W, Ackerman L (2003). Handbook of Behavior Problems of the Dog and Cat, 2nd edition, Saunders, Edinburgh, UK

Landsberg G, Araujo JA.  Behavior Problems in Geriatric Pets.  Vet Clin N Am Sm Anim Pract, 675-698

Mills D, Levine E, Landsberg G et al (eds).  2005.  Current Issues and Research in Veterinary Behavioral Medicine, Purdue University Press

Landsberg GM, Head E.  (2004) Aging and effects on behavior.  Geriatrics and Gerontology of the Dog and Cat, 2nd ed.  Hoskins JD (ed), Saunders, St. Louis, 29-42

Landsberg GM, Horwitz D. (2003) Behavior of Dogs and Cats, Lifelearn, Guelph, www.lifelearn.com

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

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

Lindsay S Handbook of Applied Dog Behavior and Training, Volume Three, Procedures and Protocols, (2005), Blackwell Publishing, 816 pp

Mills DM, Landsberg GM (guest editors).  Special Issue: Veterinary Behavioral Medicine.  Selected papers from the 5th International IVBM, Appl Anim Behav Sci, 105 (4), 2007

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

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

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

Reid PJ.  (1996). Excel-erated Learning.  James and Kenneth Publishers, Oakland, CA.

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

Seksel K et al (eds).  2003 Proceedings of the 4th International Veterinary Behavior Meeting, Caloundra, Australia, Post Graduate Foundation in Veterinary Science, University of Sydney.  

Tilley LP, Smith FWK, (editors) (2004) The 5-Minute Veterinary Consult Canine and Feline 3rd Edition, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Baltimore, MD

Veterinary Clinics of North America (2008, in press) - Practical Aspects and New Perspectives in Animal Behavior 

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



American Animal Hospital Association - www.healthypet.com

American Association of Pet Dog Trainers - www.apdt.org

American College of Veterinary Behaviorists - www.dacvb.org

American Humane Society - www.americanhumane.org

American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior - www.avsabonline.org

Animal Behavior Society - www.animalbehavior.org/

Applied Ethology - www.usask.ca/wcvm/herdmed/applied-ethology

American Association of Feline Practitioners, 2004, Feline Behavior Guidelines, www.aafponline.org

Association of Pet Behavior Counsellors - www.apbc.org.uk

Association of Pet Dog Trainers, www.apdt.com

Association for the Study of Animal Behavior - www.asab.org

Canadian Association of Pet Dog Trainers - www.cappdt.ca

Canadian Veterinary Medical Association -  www.animalhealthcare.ca

Companion Animal Behavior Therapy Study Group - www.cabtsg.org

European College of Veterinary Behavioral Medicine Companion Animals- www.ecvbm.org

European Society of Veterinary Clinical Ethology - www.esvce.org

Indoor Cat Initiative - Ohio State University - www.vet.osu.edu/indoorcat

International Positive Dog Training Association - www.ipdta.org

International Society for Applied Ethology - www.applied-ethology.org/

International Society for Anthrozoology - www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/CCAB/isaz.htm

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

Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians - www.svbt.org

UC Davis Veterinary Behavior Program- www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/CCAB/main.htm

Veterinary Information Network - www.vin.com

Veterinary Partner - http://www.veterinarypartner.com


Other Resources and Websites (may include commercial content)

American Animal Hospital Association:  Client Behavior Pamphlets co-authored by Gary Landsberg and Wayne Hunthausen, AAHA, Denver, CO.

AAHA Senior Care Guidelines -http://www.aahanet.org/About_aaha/About_Guidelines_senior.html

Bailey B.  2006 DVD.  The fundamentals of animal training, Dog Sports Video

Child Safety - www.thebluedog.org

Clicker training - www.clickertraining.com - Clicker training DVD's and products by Karen Pryor

Click and treat - http://www.clickandtreat.com/

Clicker training USA - http://www.clickertrainusa.com/

Clicker Magic DVD - Karen Pryor, 2007, Sunshine books

Clicker puppy DVD, Doggone Crazy, 2005 (DVD),

Doggone safe - www.doggonesafe.com (safety with children and clicker training resources)

Canine cognitive dysfunction - www.cdsindogs.com

Donaldson J.  (2007) Perfect Paws in 5 days featuring Jean Donaldson's Modern Training Methods DVD.  Perfect Paws Productions

Donaldson J, Dunbar I.  (2007) Fighting dominance in a dog whispering world DVD.  Dogtec

Dunbar I.  (2006).  Sirius Dog Training DVD.   James and Kenneth Publishers

Other books and DVD's by Jean Donaldson and / or Ian Dunbar also recommended. 

Gentle Leader Head Halter training - www.abrionline.org

Hetts S, Estep DQ, Grant D.  Canine Behavior: Observing and Interpreting Canine Body Postures.  (DVD or VHS format) Produced by Animal Care Training, Inc., www.animalbehaviorassociates.com

Kilcommons B, Wilson S (2006).  My Smart Puppy - www.mysmartpuppy.com

North Toronto Animal Clinic (Dr. G. Landsberg) - www.northtorontovets.com, behavior links, behavior questionnaires

PetCare Television - Welcome Home Your New Friend - www.petcaretv.com

Pets Incredible - Training Your Adopted Dog - www.petsincredible.com, HSUS

Pets Incredible - Your Adopted Cat - www.petsincredible.com

Pet Safety DVD - bowwowow.com

Pet Safety Video: Hunthausen W. Learning to be safe with animals.  Dogs, Cats, and Kids (Video).  www.westwoodanimalhospital.com

Pet safety: www.deltasocietyaustralia.com.au/

Pet safety: www.meetingmilo.com

Pet safety: www.growingupwithpets.ca, www.growingupwithpets.com

Puppy Smarts - DVD - Train Your Pet with Love and Respect, www.puppysmarts.com

The Gentle Leader Way - Premier Pet Products - Gentle Leader training DVD


Human Animal Bond and Pet Loss

Association for Pet Loss & Bereavement - www.aplb.org

Center for the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior - www.indiana.edu/~animal/index.html

Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society - http://www2.vet.upenn.edu/research/centers/cias/

CENSHARE - Center to Study Human Animal Relationships and Environment (University of Minnesota) - www.censhare.umn.edu/

Delta Society - www.deltasociety.org

Pet Loss Support Hotlines - www.avma.org/careforanimals/animatedjourneys/goodbyefriend/plhotlines.asp

Pet Loss Support - Ontario Veterinary College - www.ovc.uoguelph.ca/petloss/

Pet Loss Support - Purdue - http://www.vet.purdue.edu/chab/loss.htm

Pet Loss Support - University of Florida - http://neuro.vetmed.ufl.edu/alt_med/petgrief/petloss.htm

Pet Loss Support - Washington State University - http://www.vetmed.wsu.edu/PLHL/home/index.asp

Purdue Center for the Human Animal Bond - www.vet.purdue.edu/depts/vad/cae/

UC Davis Center for Animals in Society - www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/Animals_in_Society/main.htm


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