Clinical Behavioral MedicineI’d seen a lot of references to this book by Dr. Karen Overall -- but its high price tag (about $80) kept me from actually buying it. But I finally bit the bullet - and boy, am I glad I did! This book is incredible, a real gold mine of information and protocols for dealing with behavior problems in dogs and cats. It starts out discussing normal canine and feline behavior, and goes into increasing detail from there. There’s a chapter on taking a behavioral history, extensive information on aggression (both canine and feline), and discussions of management and behavioral modification techniques for a variety of problem behaviors.

The real gold mine is the Appendices, especially Appendix A: Client Questionnaires and Appendix B: Client Handouts. Dr. Overall provides detailed and extensive “protocols” involving counterconditioning and desensitization and operant conditioning to deal with aggression and other problem behaviors. There’s a Protocol for Deference, a Protocol for Relaxation, a Protocol for Relinquishing Objects, and much, much more.

This is a must-have resource for any veterinarian, behaviorist, and dog (or cat!) trainer. I’d also recommend it for dedicated owners who already have a background in learning theory, operant conditioning, and scientific terminology, but there’s a lot to digest here.

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