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The Cautious Canine
List Price: $6.95

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Product Description

So much aggression in dogs results from fear, but fear-based problems can become worse if treated incorrectly. This booklet provides a step-by step explanation of desensitizing and counter classical conditioning. It can help you solve minor behavioral problems and prevent serious ones, whether your dog fears include the vacuum cleaner, people with hats, or the stranger at the door. The oh-so-important details related to identifying exactly what triggers your dog, creating a step-by-step treatment plan, monitoring your progress, and why you need to treat the fear and not just your dog's reaction to the fear are covered. This book is on the top ten of the Dogwise book catalog and has helped thousands of dogs and their owners around the country.

Customer Reviews:

  • informative but slightly impractical
    I love all of Patricia's books but this one didn't really help us. She gives a lot of information but ultimately says you can't fix the separation anxiety unless you have several weeks, even months, that you can stay home with your dog and work on this training. ...more info
  • Good Book for working with "Fearfull" Dogs!
    Great book, has really helped us deal with a fearful rescue basenji whose worse habit was going on the attack....more info
  • Practical, Workable Advice--it doesn't get better than this!
    This is one of the finest little gems in the dog behavior world--a practical, step-by-step guide to help desensitize and modify unwanted responses, while building confidence in your dog. This book's advice is the very same approach I used to take my juvenile delinquent dog from a problem child to the National Service Dog of the Year. I buy copies of this book and give them out constantly. If your dog has reactivity problems--for whatever reason, this is a book that will change your dog's life....more info
  • Use this book and create your own conditioning program
    This book is built around a case study of a dog that is afraid of strangers at the door, but its useful as a toolset so that you can develop a program to counter-condition practically any unwanted behavior. If you happen to have a dog that has fear-based on-leash aggression towards other dogs, I recommend McConnell's other booklet, Feisty Fido. At this price, buy both....more info
  • Deals with people fear, not dog fear...
    I bought this book because my puppy is wary of other dogs. While the instructions given in this book can be applied to any fear the author focuses on fear of people. The book is still useful, but I would have liked a little help with my specific problem. I also purchased Help for your shy dog and that's a little more comprehensive on the various fears dogs have (inanimate objects, people, dogs, touching etc). It also made me feel better about having a shy dog and that she can be helped!! If you only get one book get Help for your shy dog. But, if people fear is your only problem then get Cautious Canine...more info
  • A fearless dog
    This book provides step by step advice on how to help your dog overcome her fears. Following this approach, my dog is doing so much better in thunder storms after just a couple of "training sessions." While there's still work to be done, by the end of the summer, I am confident that my dog will be fearlessly begging for treats when the next storm rolls in. ...more info
  • Got more than I bargained for!
    This slim publication is packed with a wealth of excellent information! If you are looking for a "quick fix", this is not the read for you. This book demands total commitment of the owner to help the dog become confident (and safe and reliable to have around, in the process) Nobody ever said owning a Dog would be easy, but if you follow the thoughtful directions in this book, you and your fearful dog have a good chance to become comfortable partners. I found this publication to be very helpful. Current Foster Owner...more info
  • Elevenpeaks Kennels Recommends this BOOK
    If you have a probelm with your pet I would strongly suggest you purchase this book.
    It written for the average person to read and understand what is expected of you as the owner and what should be expected of a well socialized pet....more info
  • nice little booklet
    This isn't really a "book" per se, but more of a booklet. It IS filled to the very last page with great information for owners of shy or aggressive dogs. My puppy was a bit shy (not a biter, though, thank goodness), and I used some of the tips in this little book and, lo and behold, I now have a much more confident, happy dog. He still won't walk up to a complete stranger for petting, but he's a lot more tolerant of them coming a little closer without cowering behind my legs. I absolutely recommend this!...more info
  • Very helpful
    This little book has been very helpful in helping us with our fearful pet. We have had group training, worked with a private trainer, a vet behaviorist, and have used Cesar Milan's techniques to establish leadership, but nothing was really making a noticeable permanent difference in our dog's fear aggression towards humans. This book really didn't reveal a ton we didn't already know, but the way it was put together was very clear and direct and aimed specifically at our dog's problem. We actually have our pooch on doggie Prozac and this, combined with the postive reinforcement laid out in the book, is really making a difference in her behavior. (Tip: I don't think McConnell tells us to do this but it is working: I wanted my dog to know exactly what she was being rewarded for and to be aware of the stimulus early on becasue the "surprise" factor is huge for her, so I paired the stimulus - a strange human- with a word before I treated her lack of negative response by saying "people" in a cheerful way. After a couple of days, our dog figured out the connection and was looking to me for a treat if SHE saw a human before I did or if I even said the word "people." This helps because I didn't want her to think the desired behavior only occurs outside on our walks. Now I can say "people" when we are inside our apartment and our dog hears the noises of humans walking up and down the hallway and she knows what that means.) For the first time in 2 years we have hope that we can eventually go on walks without our girl barking and lunging at every human she sees and even someday (crosses fingers) invite strangers into our home without having to lock our dog in a room by herself while she barks her little head off in distress. Again, don't expect anything groundbreaking if you have been at this for awhile, but we have had a lot of information in this area and this book really "clicked" for us (including my lackadaisical husband). It is presented in an extremely useful and cohesive style. It is relatively easy to employ (except maybe finding willing strangers and friends who are willing to be test subjects) and I really appreciated the way the author used examples from her own life and was realistic about what you can expect. She really covers all scenarios and gives you concrete, practical tips on what you how you should handle the situation. Now, I carry treats with me at all times in order to reinforce the behavior I do want. The only negative I would say is that McConnell doesn't really tell us how to transition from "treats" (whether food or toys) to no "treats," but we can figure that part out and so far I can say this book has been a lifesaver!...more info
  • Exactly solves the problem. No fancy pictures, just help.
    If you have any of the problems described in the summary for this book, and you are willing to read carefully, then this little book will help you and your dog.
    If you are looking for easy one-liners, glossy photos, or snappy humor, it's not for you.
    It's a serious dog training book and solved our problems completely in exactly the amount of time the introduction said it would. We were dedicated and followed the steps perfectly....more info
  • So you have a dog who is scared?
    This book is for you if you have a dog that is very cautious because he is scared, this is the book for you. This book will give you step by step instructions on how to change your furocious dog into a cuddly puppy....more info
  • Not what was advertised
    This should not be advertised as a book since it is just a small booklet 5" by 8" with only 28 pages. There was very little useful information found in this little pamplet. Buying books sight unseen is risky business. Book stores are your best bet....more info
  • Well written & easy to understand ...
    Fortunately, there are very few overtly aggressive dogs, most dogs act aggressively because they are fearful ...

    Unfortunately though, the bite from an aggressive dog and one from a nervous dog are equally painful, and often attract the same dire consequences ...

    This is a great booklet that teaches us how to manage a nervous or cautious canine ...

    First, the author shows us how to identify our dog's fear ... and then the author teaches us (step-by-step) how classical re-conditioning can help to reduce such fear ... in a gentle and effective manner.

    Often the biggest barrier to effective training, is our own lack of clarity as to what is required of us as trainers ...

    But the short chapters and the step-by-step format used by the author makes everything so very clear and easy to understand ... And just as helpful, the author also provides suggesttions, when a particular step does not achieve that intended ...

    All in all, a useful booklet ......more info

  • Some good advice, but not applicable to me
    I agree with other reviewers who say this little booklet is *way* overpriced for its size! $6.95? You can buy plenty of mutli-hundred page paperbacks for that price! Something like $2.99 seems like a more realistic price for something that is a small pamphlet at best.

    However it is well organized, and not overwhelming. I recently adopted an extremely shy (though not the teeniest bit aggressive) rescue dog, and someone recommended this booklet to me.

    But really it is not applicable to me. You are first told to figure out what your dog is fearful of. Not much help when the answer is "everything".

    And then there are the desensitizing steps to help your dog overcome its fears. But in the case one of the things the new dog is most fearful of is *me*. This booklet starts out with the assumption that the owner is one thing that the dog trusts and accepts - so gives me no clues at all on how to win the trust of a new and shy dog who is fearful of its new owner more than anything! ...more info
  • Great suggestions!
    Get the help you need fast in this little book. I really didn't want a course in dog psychology, I just wanted some practical tips and tricks to help the dog. This book will give you that information so you can help your dog TODAY!...more info
  • Practical Solutions
    This book follows Jean Donaldson's tradition of practial solutions. It's not too cumbersome to get through and you end up with some great techniques for helping your fearful dog become more confident....more info
  • The Cautious Canine changed my dog From Cujo to Cuddles
    The Cautious Canine, How to Help Dogs Conquer Their Fears, by Patricia B. McConnell, Ph.D.,
    probably saved my fear aggressive Sheltie's life. At the very least, it secured his place in my heart and my home forever. When my sweet, cute, cuddly ball of fur, Pierce, started acting like "Cujo" at 3-4 months of age, it was very distressing to say the least. Trying to take him for a walk was a traumatic experience, every time. He would lunge, growl and bark at anything and everything that moved - cars, children, adults, bicycles, dogs and cats (and many that did not, such as fire hydrants and mailboxes). Less than 20 pounds, he was strong enough to pull me off my feet, causing me to slip on ice and hurt my back.

    I had been training dogs in obedience and doing pet assisted therapy for 10 years, so I was not a clueless, first-time pet owner who didn't know which end of the leash was up. I had worked in classes with other people's dogs with aggression problems, but this was the first one to live in my home. I had Pierce neutered, stepped up his obedience training and socialization and enrolled him in agility class to build his confidence. I consulted with 7 different trainers, many of whom said I should rehome him or worse... Although at times I was afraid of him and often frustrated to the point of tears, I wasn't prepared or willing to go down that road. I made a commitment to Pierce and I was determined to find a way.

    Thankfully, I found "Cautious Canine". It became my bible. Dr. McConnell's book is written in very easy to understand language, with a great sense of humor and a genuine love for dogs. It offers a common sense approach to solving problem behaviors. The methods are always fair to the dog and easy to understand and apply. Yes, you have to do the work, but the tools are all there for you, and I can say from personal experience, they work.

    I am eternally grateful to Dr. McConnell for writing the book. "Cautious Canine helped me to turn "Cujo" into "Cuddles". Not only am I now able to walk Pierce around the block, the training helped strengthen our bond. We now enjoy competing in agility, obedience and rally obedience. To date, Pierce has earned 7 agility titles, his APDT Rally Obedience Level 1 Title, Magna Cum Laude, a leg in novice obedience, is an accomplished Therapy Dog with over 150 visits and has recently taken a few herding lessons.

    I highly recommend this book for every dog owner, but it is a MUST HAVE, if you own a dog who is the least bit "socially challenged......more info

  • Cautious Canine
    This booklet rescued both me and my new puppy. I followed all the author's advice, and now have a completely well adjusted dog. This booklet is a must if you have a shy dog....more info
  • Good info
    Just be aware that this is a small booklet, and not an actual book. It surprised me when it arrived in the mail since I was expecting a soft bound book. The information is helpful, but I could certainly benefit from a larger compilation of examples and tips....more info
  • More of a pamphlet than a book
    There was no information in this pamphlet that I could not have gotten for free online. I thought I was buying a book, not a pamphlet for $10. I wouldn't bother. You can get similar info at the pet store....more info
  • fine, but I wanted more!
    I was disappointed in the fact that for the price of the book and shipping this was just a booklet. There could have been more detail and more examples to work out for the author--more situations or examples. I just wanted more information to help as we deal with our great pyrenese--one well raised since coming home at 8 weeks and one just rescued from a shelter at 10 months and having some fear issues; some crate issues and some mental baggage. Both dogs have a great personality dog #2 just needs to find it again....the book was helpful, I just wanted MORE!...more info
  • Great beginner's guide
    This is a great guide for learning the basics of how to counter-condition your anxious or fearful dog. It's short but concise, with clearly defined steps that are easy to follow. However, if you're looking for a really in-depth guide, or are already familiar with basic counter-conditioning, you would probably be better off with a more intensive guide. Still, for a quick refresher course or a foundation for future work, this booklet is great, and I do recommend it. (Plus it's cheap - what have you got to lose?)...more info
  • Excellent Info & Concise
    Excellent little booklet that will give owners with fearful dogs important guidelines to help their dog get more comfortable and reliable in general....more info
  • concise, practical, informative, and very helpful
    I knew there would be a lot of baggage involved when I adopted a young greyhound who had been neglected, starved, and beaten prior to rescue. Although his fear did not make him agressive it did pose problems with daily activities: loud sounds, anyone walking behind him on the street, men, angry voices on TV, the clicking sounds from soda cans, cameras, or ball-point pens, anything remotely shaped like a stick...the list of things that completely paralized him went on and on.

    My sister, who is active in Aussie rescue, suggested this booklet (she was coping with a rescued fear-biter at the time). The suggestions in this book enabled us both to help our very different animals blossom into the confident, well-mannered, loving, envy-inspiring dogs they are today.

    Of special help to me was understanding that 'comforting' behaviour on my part just gave my dog the certainty that there really was something to worry about. As soon as I changed that he began to act less anxious. When rescued he was never supposed to be allowed to be an only dog because of his nervous anxiety and self-destructive coping methods. So when my elder grey passed some months back we worried about regression. Thanks to this booklet he is more happy, playful, and calm than ever before. He even lies tummy-up on the grass a few feet away as my husband swings his golf clubs and works on his game. His utter indifference to a big stick was something I never imagined possible and would never have happened without the wisdom in this little booklet.

    Thank you, Ms. McConnell!...more info

  • Cautious Canines by McConnell
    This book is a must for any trainer of dogs, especially if you have a fearful dog yourself. It clearly explains what makes up a fearful dog and what you can and cannot do about it. McConnell is one of the best positive dog trainer in the business and highly recommended by the Humane Societies around the country....more info
  • Extremely Helpful with our fearful canine
    Though this may be a shorter book/pamphlet, it is very useful and helpful in giving you positive tools for classic conditioning with a fearful dog. Our Shiba Inu was over a year old and terrified of most things when we adopted him, we tried melatonin, DAP plugs, clicker training, almost everything we could think of... the steps used in this pamphlet truly helped us make positive advances towards a less cautious canine! ...more info