Demystifying Dog Behaviour for the Veterinarian  book cover
1st Edition

Demystifying Dog Behaviour for the Veterinarian

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after March 18, 2021
ISBN 9780367549916
March 18, 2021 Forthcoming by CRC Press
192 Pages 72 Color & 14 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This practical guide for busy veterinarians demystifies the apparently complex nature of canine behaviour while simultaneously emphasising its importance. Authored by acclaimed veterinary behaviour consultant Kendal Shepherd, the book provides practical knowledge of dog behaviour and an understanding of how to talk about it with clients. Shepherd shows how this can enhance the relationship between owner and pet and between dog and environment, including the vet surgery, as well as improve the vet’s own sense of fulfilment and enjoyment of practice.

From a discussion on the true nature of obedience to stressing the importance of behavioural indicators when assessing pain and mental welfare and finally by reminding vets of their obligations under Dangerous Dogs legislation, the emphasis is on the prevention of aggression throughout.

Packed with anecdotes drawn from real-life cases, easy to read and understand, the principles explained can be effortlessly assimilated into the average consultation without the need for lengthy report-writing.

Table of Contents



PART 1 - Dogs and vets

Chapter 1. What is a dog?

Chapter 2. Do’s and don’t’s of behaviourally aware general practice

Chapter 3. ‘Do as I do’

Chapter 4. What is obedience?

PART 2 – Dogs and owners

Chapter 5. The Ladder of Aggression

Chapter 6. How to ‘speak client’

Chapter 7. Avoiding conflict

i. Between dog and human

ii. Between humans

Chapter 8. The wisdom of children

Chapter 9. The educational value of analogy

Chapter 10. Walking a mile in a client’s moccasins

PART 3 – Dogs and the law

Chapter 11. Vets and the law

Chapter 12. Legal cases to illustrate behavioural principles

  1. Overdependence on physical control
  2. Misunderstanding of obedience
  3. Significance of veterinary history
  4. Bad human behaviour
  5. Redirected aggression
  6. Misdirected play
  7. Conflict with police

Chapter 13. The dilemma dogs face


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Dr. Kendal Shepherd, BVSc., MRCVS qualified as a veterinary surgeon from Bristol University in 1978 and is an experienced independent veterinary and behavioural consultant in matters relating to animal welfare and canine behaviour assessment and modification. Kendal accepts legal instructions in both dangerous dog and animal welfare cases.


Demystifying Dog Behaviour for the Veterinarian not only reflects on best veterinary handling of dogs, but makes owners consider how they can help their dogs too. It's refreshing for the author to use references, but also acknowledge how the veterinarian’s handling methods might change as their experience and understanding advances. Well worth a read!

-- Chelsie Bailey, BSc Animal Behaviour & Welfare Science