The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog (3rd ed.)

And Other Stories from a Child Psychiatrist's Notebook--What Traumatized Children Can Teach Us About Loss, Love, and Healing

by Bruce D. Perry, Maia Szalavitz

In this instant classic of developmental psychology, a renowned psychiatrist examines the effect that trauma can have on a child, reveals how PTSD impacts the developing mind, and outlines the path to recovery.

What happens when a young brain is traumatized? How does terror, abuse, or disaster affect a child's mind -- and how can that mind recover? Child psychiatrist Dr. Bruce D. Perry has helped children faced with unimaginable horror: genocide survivors, murder witnesses, kidnapped teenagers, and victims of family violence.

In The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog, Dr. Perry tells their stories of trauma and transformation through the lens of science, revealing the brain's astonishing capacity for healing. Deftly combining unforgettable case histories with his own compassionate, insightful strategies for rehabilitation, Perry explains what exactly happens to the brain when a child is exposed to extreme stress -- and reveals the unexpected measures that can be taken to ease a child's pain and help him grow into a healthy adult.

As a senior fellow at the Child Trauma Academy, Dr. Perry and his clinical group worked with hundreds who endured severe childhood neglect and abuse with incredible resilience and strength. Through the stories of children who recover -- physically, mentally, and emotionally -- from the most devastating circumstances, Perry shows how simple things like surroundings, affection, language, and touch can deeply impact the developing brain, for better or for worse. In this deeply informed and moving book, Bruce Perry dramatically demonstrates that only when we understand the science of the mind can we hope to heal the spirit of even the most wounded child.

  • Basic Books; August 2017
  • ISBN: 9780465094462
  • Edition: 3
  • Read online, or download in secure ePub format
  • Title: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog
  • Author: Bruce D. Perry; Maia Szalavitz
  • Imprint: Basic Books

In The Press

"I have never encountered a child advocate with a better mind, a bigger heart, or a more generous spirit than Bruce Perry. This book captures the essence of his insights and the heroism of his actions on behalf of children who have encountered the dark side of human experience."—James Garbarino, PhD, author of Lost Boys: Why Our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them


About The Author

Bruce D. Perry, MD, PhD, is the senior fellow of the ChildTrauma Academy, a not-for-profit organization based in Houston, TX, and an adjust professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago.


Maia Szalavitz is an award-winning journalist who specializes in neuroscience. With Dr. Perry, she also cowrote Born for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential--and Endangered. Her other books include Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction and Help at Any Cost: How the Troubled-Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids. She lives in New York City with her husband and a Siamese shelter cat.