Turning Fierce Dogs Friendly: Using Constructional Aggression Treatment to Rehabilitate Aggressive and Reactive Dogs


by Kellie Snider, MS

SKU: 9781621871750 Categories: , ,


Turning Fierce Dogs Friendly: Using Constructional Aggression Treatment to Rehabilitate Aggressive and Reactive Dogs

by Kellie Snider, MS

ISBN: 9781621871750

Publisher: CompanionHouse Books

Publication Year:  2017

Format:  Trade Paperback

Pages:  224

From the back cover:

Learn how to harness the power of reward-based reinforcement to build safe, friendly behavior in your aggressive or reactive dog. The Constructional Aggression Treatment (CAT) technique, as described in Turning Fierce Dogs Friendly, has proven successful for pet owners and trainers around the world, offering a humane alternative to harsh training methods and giving hope to owners of aggressive and reactive dogs. Author Kellie Snider, with two degrees in behavior analysis, a master’s thesis and extensive hands-on research in the CAT process, and more than ten years of practical experience in directing behavior programs for large animal shelters, share her expertise in detailed chapters on the science, principles, and process behind CAT. Snider explains CAT through detailed steps as well as anecdotes of her work with real humans and canine clients. Also highlighted are the importance of consistency in training, how to recognize your dog’s individual chain of aggressive behaviours, and how to implement management techniques and safety precautions with your dog and the people and other animals in his life.

Inside Turning Fierce Dogs Friendly:

  • Step-by-step instructions for performing CAT training with aggressive dogs
  • Understanding normal versus aggressive behaviors of all dogs, of specific breeds, and of your own individual dog
  • Developing an awareness of your own behavior in relation to your dog
  • Discovering how to reinforce safe, friendly behaviours to replace the aggressive behaviors
  • The importance of developing good observation skills and staying on task
  • The issues that can make or break successful aggression treatment, including consistency, safety, and follow-through
  • Equipment, handling procedures, and the helpers on your training team
  • When and how to find and enlist the help of a behavior professional

“Ms Snider exhibits all the right skills to help people resolve problematic behaviours. She knows the science and verbalizes it effectively. [Her] book is accessible yet scientifically sound and will help a great many people…Dare I say, it will all save a great many lives.”  James O’Heare, behaviorologist and professor of behaviorology, The International Behaviorology Institute and Companion Animal Sciences Institute

“At the start of the…program, there was a simple plan: bring more science to the field of applied animal behavior. CAT was the epitome of such a goal, with Kellie developing an entire data-based procedure to address aggression in dogs and making it the focus of her thesis work. CAT brings the core principles of behavior analysis to the field of animal training and thus is a necessary tool for any person, trainer and scientist alike, wishing to use science to manage the behavior of any animal.” – Eduardo J. Fernandez, PhD

About the Author:

Kellie Snider, MS, has BS and MS degrees in behavior analysis from the University of North Texas. Her graduate thesis, A Constructional Canine Aggression Treatment, was conducted under the direction of Dr. Jesús Rosales-Ruiz and resulted in several years of traveling across the United States, Canada, and England to present the rehabilitation procedure for aggressive dogs to trainers and behaviourists in seminar settings. Kellie has presented topics on a variety of animal behavior-related subjects in university symposia, colloquia, seminars, webinars, radio programs, and conferences.

In 2007, Kellie won awards for humane dog-dog aggression rehabilitation and human dog-human aggression rehabilitation from the International Positive Dog Training Association. Kellie’s work in shelter behavior has presented ongoing opportunities to observe and provide behavior modification for shelter dogs and cats with a variety of behavior challenges. She was hired by the SPCA of Texas in 2008 to develop an animal-behavior program and remained there for nearly ten years. She then tool the position of Shelter Manager III with Dallas Animal Services, where she oversees all aspects of animal intake and outcomes for the city of Dallas. From 2012 to 2016, she served as the behavior consultant for PetSmart Charities Rescue Waggin’ dog-transport program, for which she designed a behavior assessment and trained employees at fifty-six shelters in transporting animals to other shelters, where they were more likely to be adopted, thus helping reduce euthanasia of shelter animals across the country. She is a task force member of Fear Free Pets (www.fearfreepets.com) and a licensed Family Paws Pets Educator. She is also Vice President of the National Association of Animal Behaviorists.

Kellie lives in the Dallas, Texas area. She is married and has two adult sons, three cats, and two dogs. When not working with animals, she creates art (watercolour, colored pencil, and wool hooked rugs) and writes.

Additional information

Weight .6 kg
Dimensions 22.9 × 17.9 × 1.7 cm

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