Getting A Grip On Aggression Cases - Practical Considerations for Dog Trainers

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Nicole Wilde
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Phantom Publishing
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AABP 2008 Multi-Media Awards for Excellence - Winner of Best Professional Dog Behavior Book

There is a lot more to working with aggression cases than mastering methods and techniques. In her practical, down-to-earth, and often humorous style, Nicole Wilde presents all the other information trainers need to know in order to work effectively, safely, and successfully with aggressive dogs.

* Types and Levels of Aggression
* Legal Considerations
* Crucial Questions for Phone Screening
* Advance Questionnaires
* What You Must Know to Stay Safe
* Reacting to Reactive Behavior
* History-Taking and Topics to Discuss
* Skills to Teach and Session Structure
* Written Assessments for Veterinarians
* What to do if you are Bitten at a Session
* How to Break Up a Dog Fight
* Discussing Rehoming and Euthanasia with Clients
* Ten Tips for Reactive Dogs in Class and much more!

What reviewers are saying...

"This book is literally overflowing with invaluable, realistic how-to information about safely working with aggressive dogs. After spending much of her career working with wolves and hybrids, dog aggression must seem like a walk in the park for Nicole. We are lucky to benefit from her expertise." Dr. Ian Dunbar

"Nicole has done it again -- written a clear, helpful and comprehensive book on a type of behavior problem that is all too common, and all too difficult to address. An excellent resource for trainers." Trish King

"Working with aggression is dangerous. Nicole's thoughtful, detailed and encouraging guide bravely lays out for the trainer what is required. The dog training world should welcome it." Sue Sternberg

(Reviewer's Note: The author of this review is quoted in the book on page 184 regarding a description of board and train services. The quote was for informational purposes only.) Nicole Wilde is an internationally recognized author and lecturer. Additionally Nicole is an Instructor and on the Advisory Board for the Companion Animal Sciences Institute (the educational branch for the International Institute for Applied Companion Animal Behavior) as well as a popular speaker at national and international conferences. Nicole also operates her own training/behavior business, Gentle Guidance Dog Training, in Southern California. This is Nicole's seventh book and as Trish King writes on the cover, Nicole has done it again (this is) an excellent resource for trainers. The book is a glossy, slightly over-sized paperback with an eye-catching photo on the cover of a German Shepherd snarling at the end of a leash. Just the sight every dog trainer longs to encounter as they enter the home of a prospective client! The text inside is clearly written and enhanced by shaded areas which stress specific points. Chapter headings aptly describe the subject matter within (e.g., What to Wear, What to Bring; What Do I Do If I Am Bitten During A Session? ). Just looking at the table of contents gives the reader a clear outline of what to expect, as it is delineated in bold type, shaded headings and italic subheadings. There are also occasional black and white photographs scattered throughout the book. This book is an excellent resource for trainers who want to begin working with aggression cases, but who are unsure about many of the aspects they will have to face. Beginning with Chapter 1, What is Aggression, the author starts out by making it clear how careful one must be when labeling a dog as aggressive. For example, a dog who lunges at a person ... and sinks his teeth repeatedly into the person's leg is most certainly displaying aggression ... A dog who knocks children over during play, jumps on visitors, nips when excited ... is surely in need of training but the behavior is not actually aggressive. Nicole goes on to describe levels of aggression and types of aggression (dog/dog, aggression towards people, resource guarding; territorial, predatory, handling issues, redirected aggression, and medically-related aggression). Chapter 4, Case Selection & Education is especially important as it emphasizes the fact that new trainers should recognize their own abilities before accepting a case involving aggression. Which cases you accept should be based on your knowledge and comfort level in handling the specific type of aggression, and the intensity of the behavior Referring a client to another professional is not an admission of failure! This chapter goes on to specify *how* to gain experience, and what facets of learning will be helpful to become more knowledgeable. I wish I would have had access to a book such as this when I first began training! The book contains overviews of topics such as: legal considerations, sample questionnaires, how to avoid burn-out, and much more. It also includes detailed discussions of What to Wear, What to Bring and What to Do if I Have an Aggressive Dog in My Group Class? and more. Nicole includes in detail those subjects that new trainers really want to know, such as how to make an entrance into the home of an aggressive dog: (use) non-threatening body language; crouching, bending down or sitting at the dog's level is unwise when working with a dog who might potentially bite; use your peripheral vision; to treat or not to treat?; where should the dog be when you enter the home, etc. Throughout the book the author cautions not to take on more than you can handle; that your work may end up as a life or death decision for this dog and owner. And best of all, Nicole writes with such a truly funny twist at times. One of my favorites: That's when I saw the whites of Thor's eyes and heard that growl that conveyed in no uncertain terms, That's mine. ... this type of behavior falls into a category I like to call Things that Could Have been Mentioned. The book contains a list of resources in the back, and Nicole ends the text with her Three Wishes for those who have read the book. I found these Wishes very insightful, and important. However, you'll have to read the book to find out what they are! I would recommend this book for all who are learning to train dogs and who have an interest in working with aggression as well as for those who are already working with aggressive cases just to make sure they are covering all of the bases. Valerie Pollard

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  • 5
    Nicole Wilde's "Getting A Grip On Aggression Cases"

    Posted by Kate R. on 16th Nov 2019

    Excellent book chocked with great info on how to work safely and effectively with dogs that display aggression!

  • 4
    Getting a Grip on Aggression Cases

    Posted by Unknown on 23rd Sep 2019

    As this book only arrived in my mailbox a few days ago I haven't had an opportunity to examine it in depth, but I like what I have seen so far.