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Book Review: A fantastic resource on the low stress handling of dogs and cats

Posted in Reviews: This is what I think... @ May 29th 2012 12:52pm - By Louise Kerr from Elite Pet Care & Education

Low Stress Handling, Restraint and Behaviour Modification of Dogs & Cats  By Dr Sophia Yin

Dr Sophia Yin, a highly educated, world expert animal behaviourist and veterinarian is extensively published and in high demand on the speaker circuit. She will be in Australia in October for the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) Conference.   For more information on Dr Yin please visit her website.

Rarely do leading veterinarians and animal behaviourists when reviewing academic textbooks use words such as fantastic, revolutionary, must have, ground breaking, the ultimate guide, but these statements litter the comments about this book. This excellent guide to gentle and humane techniques for handling dogs and cats will change the nature of your current practice and result in happier staff and clients, even if the animal in question was previously labelled dangerous or difficult.  

It is a visual guide developed from hundreds of hours of research, containing over 1,600 full colour photographs that demonstrate the right and wrong way to handle dogs and cats. In addition over three hours of video clips make it easy to understand why a pet is reacting the way it does. Book purchasers can access a password protected website that includes client handouts on behaviour (PDF’s) and chapters 1, 9, 11 and 15 in full. Client handouts include Training Dogs to Love Receiving Oral Medications, Training Dogs to Love Having Their Collar Grabbed and Training Dogs (and Cats) to Love Wearing a Muzzle or Having Their Ears Handled

The book is presented in five clear sections:

Section 1:  Shows you how to identify the early signs of fear and aggression in dogs and importantly how to prevent these from worsening in what is traditionally a stressful environment. Dr Yin also addresses the current debate on dominance in training.

Section 2:  An explanation of how animals learn and the basics of learning theory, including the use and misuse of behaviour modification methods.

Section 3: Step by step instructions on how to prepare a dog or cat for positive interactions in your clinic are presented in text and clear full colour photos.

Section 4: Low stress restraint methods that decrease an animal’s stress and reduce staff injuries, also presented in detailed text and photos.

Section 5: Preventing and Reversing Problems, provides protocols for many common counter-conditioning situations used in dogs and cats (e.g. nail trims, injections, grooming) plus steps to prevent behavioural problems in puppies and kittens.

The book is available in a number of formats:

  • Printed Book: $149 US + post and handling
  • Time Limited Online Access: 30 days for $25 US. Repurchase as often as you like to maintain access. Flash based therefore not suitable for iPads, devices that do not support Adobe Flash or slow internet connections.

More details can be found on Dr Yin's website.


Thanks to this week's reviewer: Louise Kerr 

BAppSc(Biomed), AssDip IT, MedRep(APMA), Certified Companion Animal Hygienist(WWPSA), Cert IV Companion Animal Services (Delta Society Australia TBC), Registered Dog Breeder




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