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Don't Shoot the Dog!: The New Art of Teaching and Training PDF, ePub eBook

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Don't Shoot the Dog!: The New Art of Teaching and Training PDF, ePub eBook Originally published entitled: Don't shoot the dog!: how to improve yourself and others through behavioral training, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1984.

30 review for Don't Shoot the Dog!: The New Art of Teaching and Training

  1. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    A fabulous and easy-to-understand book about how to best use behaviorism. What is behaviorism? Essentially, the study of human and animal behavior - so this book sheds light on the most effective principles to use if you want to better the way you act. You can apply these concepts to so many areas, ranging from bolstering your health to training your dog. One of the most important takeaways: use positive reinforcement, not punishment. While our society prefers punishment in many ways (e.g., the A fabulous and easy-to-understand book about how to best use behaviorism. What is behaviorism? Essentially, the study of human and animal behavior - so this book sheds light on the most effective principles to use if you want to better the way you act. You can apply these concepts to so many areas, ranging from bolstering your health to training your dog. One of the most important takeaways: use positive reinforcement, not punishment. While our society prefers punishment in many ways (e.g., the mass incarceration in the US, how we expel kids from schools, etc.), research has shown its ineffectiveness, because it often shames people and makes them less productive. Positive reinforcement, or praising people for performing the desired behavior, has been linked to many more favorable outcomes. Overall, recommended if you are interested in psychology or why humans act the way they do. Clear, concise, and in large part optimistic, Karen Pryor has written a wonderful book about behaviorism with Don't Shoot the Dog!.

  2. 5 out of 5

    MaritaBeth Caruthers

    On my recent, wonderful trip to Sacramento, I was fortunate in learning many new things and meeting many fabulous new people. One of those folks was a dear friend of Kyrana’s, named Laurel, who is an educator, currently working on a graduate degree in counseling. She is a delightful woman I am now proud to know, and I enjoyed many a thought-provoking conversation with her throughout the week, on a number of different subjects. One of the books she was reading (it turned out it was Kyrana’s copy o On my recent, wonderful trip to Sacramento, I was fortunate in learning many new things and meeting many fabulous new people. One of those folks was a dear friend of Kyrana’s, named Laurel, who is an educator, currently working on a graduate degree in counseling. She is a delightful woman I am now proud to know, and I enjoyed many a thought-provoking conversation with her throughout the week, on a number of different subjects. One of the books she was reading (it turned out it was Kyrana’s copy of the book, so both of them are huge fans of it), and not for the first time, was this book entitled, Don’t Shoot the Dog! The New Art of Teaching and Training. Kyrana had learned to love the book when working as a wild animal handler and trainer. Written by Karen Pryor, one of the trainers who put clicker training on the map, this is an amazingly intelligent, well-written study on behavior training and communication. It is a scholarly work in that it references psychology and concepts that the author assumes her reader already understands. But, it is still approachable and easy enough to read that it makes the techniques she is teaching, accessible and attainable for just about any reader. I was instantly attracted to the title, because I so strongly believe that there are really no bad dogs (or children, for that matter) just bad owners and parents. I am an avid disciple of Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer, and I have even given some thought to a new career as a dog (and owner) trainer. I believe that with the right communication, discipline, motivation and appreciation, dogs of all breeds can be loyal, well-behaved companions, and children can be prevented from running like wild animals through restaurants! I could write reams just on that latter subject! But, I digress. I was well and truly hooked, once I realized that the concepts of clicker training and positive reinforcement were being taught to teachers and school counselors! Finally! the pendulum of discipline and control swings back toward sanity! So, I began reading, and before the week was out, I had purchased my own copy and transferred my bookmark. In this classic bestseller, Pryor outlines and explains, giving easily understood and useful examples, the various types of behavior modification methods and when each one is or isn’t appropriate. She presents eight methods of ending undesirable behavior from furniture-clawing cats to sloppy roommates. The ten laws of “shaping” behavior are listed and fully explained—methods of creating the behavior you want without ever raising a voice or a hand. For me, the book casts the word “manipulation” in the benign, neutral light it deserves. After all, the primary meaning of the word is “to manage skillfully and effectively”—something I know I strive to do. It offers up interesting anecdotes not just about dog training, or children in classrooms, but about dolphins and elephants and cats and department managers. And, there is the undeniable aspect of all this, that we train ourselves on a daily basis, too. We train ourselves how to eat, exercise, sleep—how to spend our time. We train ourselves how to deal with people. And, in the words of another well-known psychologist, Dr. Phil—”we teach people how to treat us.” Why not get a better handle on what we’re teaching?! This book stands to benefit, not only dog owners and trainers … not only teachers and parents … but anyone who ever hopes to get other people (or themselves) to behave in a certain way—employees, co-workers, bosses, customers, contractors … restaurant servers and bartenders … the guys who pick up your trash — in short, it can benefit you. I have read the whole thing, and will likely read it again. I hope Kyle will read it. I have recommended it to others, as well. I can’t promise to remember everything I’ve learned, but I can promise I’ll know what book to reference when I come up against an interpersonal relationship that isn’t working, or a behavioral problem with my dogs. So, take a look at Don’t Shoot the Dog! Even if you aren’t into “self-help books.” ;-) Opening sentence: This book is about how to train anyone—human or animal, young or old, oneself or others—to do anything that can and should be done. ~MB

  3. 4 out of 5

    Tally

    A good book if you are training animals. I would recommend it if you want to teach your dog or cat new tricks. However, she attempts to relate all of her training techniques to human relationships: how to train your kids, how to train your lovers, how to train your friends. I cannot say that I agree with this method at all, since we, as humans, have much better means of communicating and understanding, and when we start to "train" friends and family,I dont see how that is any different than mani A good book if you are training animals. I would recommend it if you want to teach your dog or cat new tricks. However, she attempts to relate all of her training techniques to human relationships: how to train your kids, how to train your lovers, how to train your friends. I cannot say that I agree with this method at all, since we, as humans, have much better means of communicating and understanding, and when we start to "train" friends and family,I don´t see how that is any different than manipulating them.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jesi

    This was absolutely FASCINATING and I would highly, highly recommend it to anyone and everyone I know. I picked it up based on the title, thinking it would be about dog training, but it's actually not about dogs at all -- it's a general interest book about how all living creatures (humans AND animals!) learn, form habits, and assign meaning to different patterns of behavior. If your job involves any kind of teaching, training, managing, or communication, I think you would find this book useful a This was absolutely FASCINATING and I would highly, highly recommend it to anyone and everyone I know. I picked it up based on the title, thinking it would be about dog training, but it's actually not about dogs at all -- it's a general interest book about how all living creatures (humans AND animals!) learn, form habits, and assign meaning to different patterns of behavior. If your job involves any kind of teaching, training, managing, or communication, I think you would find this book useful and thought-provoking. I have so many more thoughts about this and will probably write a longer review on Tumblr about a cluster of seemingly disparate things I've read or listened to recently (among them Don't Shoot the Dog, Bones Would Rain from the Sky, The Lost Art of Listening, Culture Clash, Living a Feminist Life, and the podcast S-Town) that are sparking so many exciting thoughts for me about teaching and writing. I am also definitely going to seek out more recent material on this subject (this was published in the 1980s). Pryor has a great section near the end of the book where she addresses some of the critiques of applied behaviorism, which seem to mostly revolve around the fear that focusing too much on observable behavior and "training" positive behaviors = Orwellian dystopia. I can kinda see where those fears come from, but I think they are based on a distortion or misinterpretation of the basic principles of this teaching method. This kind of teaching doesn't have to be at odds with humanism--in fact, I think that humanism and behaviorism have a lot to teach each other, and Pryor talks about how observable behavior is one "ring" in a series of interlocking rings: behavior is one; ethology or internal emotional states is the second, and the third level (which we do not yet fully understand) has to do with behavior like play, empathy, imaginativeness, and creativity. I found it so exciting to think about how methods like the one Pryor describes can be used to foster creativity, innovation, and generosity, and to see those qualities not as things that you either have or don't have, but as behaviors that can be nurtured in ways that eventually inspire the learner to initiate and deepen those behaviors of their own volition. This is surprisingly relevant to my own academic work, which involves thinking about how certain narrative structures/forms produce patterns of affective response, which in turn shapes the way readers interpret the material they're reading *and* the social worlds they inhabit. To use Pryor's rhetoric: I write about how literary forms (as well as the forms of interpretation we are taught in literature classrooms) help "shape" qualities like empathy, openness to new experiences, acceptance of self and others, etc. In other words, narrative forms can be pedagogical tools that teach us different ways of interpreting and responding to the world around us. It's not just "reading makes you a better person," although I think it often does. Rather, I'm thinking about how literary communities like fandoms encourage readers to see themselves as capable interpreters and potential content-creators in their own right -- in part by positively reinforcing certain behaviors and by making reading itself a form of community-building. I also LOVED the description of teaching as a two-way communication between teacher and learner, a dynamic relationship in which both subjects are actively learning from each other and shaping their ability to listen and communicate with each other. And I think that it's so, so true that when learning isn't happening, it's not because the learner is lazy, stupid, incapable, or defiant; it's a sign that the teacher needs to more closely examine the environment and also their own practices of communication, so that they can figure out what is "blocking" that channel of communication and develop new strategies for breaking complex tasks down into smaller tasks that students can achieve. This method of teaching requires teachers to be so much more attuned to their own practices and responsive to the needs of the students. It means approach the teaching situation from a place of understanding and empathy -- empathy towards the student but also towards yourself, as you reflect on where your frustration or anger is coming from and develop ways to move through those feelings. Lastly: I think this book has also helped me understand why academia is such a soul-crushing endeavor for many people, myself included. There is little positive reinforcement in your day to day life, and plenty of opportunities to accidentally develop and reinforce unhealthy behaviors like procrastination. You live with a crushing sense of guilt (a behavior that Pryor says is almost completely useless -- it teaches you nothing, and only serves to heighten responses like avoidance, resentment, and depression). The tasks are not broken up into manageable chunks; you are expected to flounder around, ideally while wallowing in despair and shame, until you happen to (usually accidentally) make a massive leap to the next stage. If you struggle with making this leap, as most people do, you are meant to feel that you are simply undisciplined, lazy, or not smart enough to hack it. You are often expected to regulate and assess your own progress with minimal feedback or support, even though you may have only a hazy idea of what progress looks like or what criteria you'll be measured by. IT'S A BROKEN SYSTEM!!! but it passes off responsibility for its structural problems in large part by making people feel like they are the ones who are broken.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nichole Martin

    I train dogs, completely positive reinforcement training. I owe a lot of what I do to Karen Pryor and people who worked to make positive reinforcement training what it is today. The book is well written, easy to read despite Pryor's usage of scientific terms. Which I enjoy, because I think it makes the reader stronger in knowledge by the end of the book. The most well-done aspect of the book is Chapter 5. It contains tables of various situations to represent each method of "training." This makes I train dogs, completely positive reinforcement training. I owe a lot of what I do to Karen Pryor and people who worked to make positive reinforcement training what it is today. The book is well written, easy to read despite Pryor's usage of scientific terms. Which I enjoy, because I think it makes the reader stronger in knowledge by the end of the book. The most well-done aspect of the book is Chapter 5. It contains tables of various situations to represent each method of "training." This makes it easy to follow how one would use each technique, and makes it easier to extrapolate to real-world situations. I will say, though, that this book was tainted by a few passages that grated. One especially where Pryor discusses a cat she had that peed on the stove burners every night. If the burners were covered, the cat peed on the covers. Pryor claims she never caught the cat in the act and could therefore not manage the behavior. Now, she might not have wanted to go into all the details of this issue, but when the issue is resolved by euthanizing the cat, I think it deserves more than a gloss. A professional behaviorist euthanized a cat for a non-aggressive, annoying behavior! I was appalled and a little disgusted. I had a troublesome urinator, too, and I went through a lot to solve that problem. Even if I might have thought of finding her a new home, I never would have put her down because I couldn't figure out her motivation. She also discusses repeatedly how ineffective aversives are, especially to cats, but she does mention that spraying cats in the face is extremely effective at managing behavior. DO NOT SPRAY YOUR CAT IN THE FACE! Not with water, and not with wine, like the author did. Discover the motivation and alter the behavior. Yeesh. It may be unfair to pick on a book so highly regarded in the training world because of a few instances. But the fact is many amateurs in training and behavior will pick up this book and not know where the author is outdated, or wrong, or just incomplete. I think it's important just for that reason to highlight the aspects of a book that are questionable. Overall, good material on positive reinforcement and training methods. This will not be the book that tells you how to teach your dog to sit, but it will explain the background about why trainers do it a certain way and why it works.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Life changing, quite possibly the ultimate self-help book. Karen Pryor was basically the inventor of clicker training. Going deeper, she brought BF Skinner's experiments in operant conditioning of lab animals to popular culture, particularly with dogs but adaptable to any species, including humans. Her method isn't pure Skinner, he was also into negative reinforcement which Pryor uses very gently and sparingly. Pryor started in the 1970's with the training of some freshly captured wild dolphins Life changing, quite possibly the ultimate self-help book. Karen Pryor was basically the inventor of clicker training. Going deeper, she brought BF Skinner's experiments in operant conditioning of lab animals to popular culture, particularly with dogs but adaptable to any species, including humans. Her method isn't pure Skinner, he was also into negative reinforcement which Pryor uses very gently and sparingly. Pryor started in the 1970's with the training of some freshly captured wild dolphins (I know, sad) who cannot be harnessed or punished into any behavior except to stress them out, which will effectively stop them from doing anything. They literally sink to the bottom of the pool and freeze. Teenagers are kind of like dolphins, too slippery and big and sensitive to respond to force or punishment. I have a tween and a teen now with whom I needed help, which is what brought me back to Pryor's engaging and educational writing. I had read this book 15 years ago when I was a dog walker and found it fascinating but never really tried it out, not even with my own dogs. I guess you could say I was a passive believer. I also tried what Pryor refers to as pseudoscience: "alpha" training and had no success with that either and got bitten or growled at a couple of times in the process. So I just stopped training my dogs. Living with dogs in their natural, untrained state is a bit like being held hostage. They have to be limited to parts of the house you don't mind them peeing and pooping (but I actually do mind, I just tolerated it.) They annoy you with their noise and their out of control play. They steal your food. You can yell at them or even hit them to stop the behavior for a second but it doesn't work in the long run and hurts your bond. For me, the worst part was that they were an embarrassment, so we haven't had guests other than tolerant family for ages. This "natural" approach sets a terrible example to the kids of how to be a responsible dog owner. I remember my son asking why someone else's dog had to be let out. "Can't they just poop in the house?" Ay yi yi. Occasionally I have had "shoot the dog" fantasies of getting rid of the dogs altogether (which would completely extinguish the behavior!). But I do love them and don't believe in throwing pets away because they are inconvenient. I have never felt that way about the kids, but sure have wanted to hide from them at times. But I digress, sort of. I read this book wanting a refresher on operant conditioning for the kids--the dogs were at the back of my mind filed where I put resigned-to live-with stuff. I wanted to stop yelling at my kids. I wanted a more positive method of managing self and other destructive behaviors that are a natural part of teen life but need to be curtailed for survival and success as a human being. Abject force works with little kids who can't really fight back (a cruel reality for too many kids.) But you cannot force a teen to do anything. And if you try too hard to run their lives, they can simply walk out the door. As it turns out, just a few days after starting the book, by using Pryor's positive approach, I am getting fast results with both kids and dogs and the kids are loving the dog training we are doing so that part has become a family bonding project. It's a win for the dogs, a win for the kids, a win for the parents and a win for the family. There is no down side! Instead of waiting 15 years, I need to reread this book (and her others) yearly, as well as any behavior-centric books that rely not on punishment but reward, which by the way is different from bribery. Trust me, positive reinforcement is not really about bribery but you'll have to read Pryor's books to learn how, and then get on an internet forum of experienced users of these methods to fine tune, as I am now doing and getting super fast and very effective results.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

    Received a copy of this as a gift from a biologist friend to help me deal with my rabbit problems, but it's a great read. She believes in using positive reinforcement in every area of life, whether with a pet or a difficult roommate. A year or two ago when surfing the net I found a conservative excoriation of an article in the New York Times in which the author used positive reinforcement to train her husband. These bloggers seemed to be afraid their wives would learn something. Really, it inv Received a copy of this as a gift from a biologist friend to help me deal with my rabbit problems, but it's a great read. She believes in using positive reinforcement in every area of life, whether with a pet or a difficult roommate. A year or two ago when surfing the net I found a conservative excoriation of an article in the New York Times in which the author used positive reinforcement to train her husband. These bloggers seemed to be afraid their wives would learn something. Really, it involves training oneself as much as the dog or the other person. Here's the NY Times article: What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage Actually, turns out that this book isn't mentioned anywhere in the article. Still, I love this behavioral stuff. Whenever I add a book to my shelf here at Goodreads, it says "You've now got three books!" or something like that. Nice positive reinforcement. I noticed I tend to want to post here, when I'm allergic to posting nearly anywhere else.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

    Man, this book was AMAZING. Everyone should read it. It's about using positive reinforcement and behavioral training, not just in the context of training a dog, but for use with . . . everyone. Roommates, co-workers, husbands, dolphins, you name it. I want Chris to read this book because I want him to use it on me. I think that I respond very well to positive reinforcement!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chung Chin

    The book seems to mainly talk about training animals, but if you're willing to experiment, I believe it is a good guide on how you can use some of the principles listed to shape your relationship with others. Now, you might think that's crazy. We shouldn't be "training" people like we are training animals. It's humiliating to the other party. However, you need to keep in mind that what the author advocates is positive reinforcement. By using this principle as your guide, and using the methods li The book seems to mainly talk about training animals, but if you're willing to experiment, I believe it is a good guide on how you can use some of the principles listed to shape your relationship with others. Now, you might think that's crazy. We shouldn't be "training" people like we are training animals. It's humiliating to the other party. However, you need to keep in mind that what the author advocates is positive reinforcement. By using this principle as your guide, and using the methods listed in the book, you'll see that it's not at all a humiliating practice. For example, the author talks about how she "trained" her mother to have a pleasant conversation with her every time she calls, rather than ending with tears and accusations which only makes her avoid the calls. By positively responding to some of the topics that brings joy to both of them, Karen Pryor reinforced her mother to be more positive in their conversations. Win-win? You bet!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jodee

    This was the first book I read on clicker training and I read it in 2006, Bonnie (then a pup - now a Dog Scout) watched intently as I read pages and then tried things out "on her". One day I left the book on the coffee table and returned from a phone call only to find Bonnie with paws planted firmly on the book proudly sharing that she had ripped it in half. Needless to save "I did not shoot the dog (-o: " we continued with Karen's program and my timing improved, my knowledge grew and we have ha This was the first book I read on clicker training and I read it in 2006, Bonnie (then a pup - now a Dog Scout) watched intently as I read pages and then tried things out "on her". One day I left the book on the coffee table and returned from a phone call only to find Bonnie with paws planted firmly on the book proudly sharing that she had ripped it in half. Needless to save "I did not shoot the dog (-o: " we continued with Karen's program and my timing improved, my knowledge grew and we have had fun ever since.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Interesting historical artifact. Pryor is a “behavioral biologist” who worked with B. F. Skinner in Hawaii’s Sea Life Park. She’s used operant conditioning to train everything from fish to orcas, cats to elephants, children to co-workers. She was one of the early proponents of clicker training. An accessible review on dog training with some interesting suggestions for adapting it to in-law management and tennis practice. I can’t say that I loved the book. It was more than usually self-aggrandizi Interesting historical artifact. Pryor is a “behavioral biologist” who worked with B. F. Skinner in Hawaii’s Sea Life Park. She’s used operant conditioning to train everything from fish to orcas, cats to elephants, children to co-workers. She was one of the early proponents of clicker training. An accessible review on dog training with some interesting suggestions for adapting it to in-law management and tennis practice. I can’t say that I loved the book. It was more than usually self-aggrandizing, which would have been easier to accept if she hadn’t had a cat put to sleep because she couldn’t figure out how to train it out of an unpleasant behavior (peeing on the burners). I don’t know why she included that particular story, other than perhaps show she’s not a woo-woo sentimentalist. Also I don’t care about tennis. But it gave me some new ideas for trying to teach my young lab not to bark at the neighbors quite as much.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mandy Tewell

    I had to read this book as homework for an intensive DBT training and am so glad that I did! This is a wonderful book which clearly explains behavioral reinforcement. I use the concepts as a therapist, a wife, and a dog owner. The book is easy to understand and gives lots of relatable examples.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    Ironically, this is required for my human behavior course.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    This is a great book. but it actually plays fast and loose with negative reinforcement and punishment at times, which I find maddening. Still, it's is a good read when trying to figure out solid, research-based approaches to pet and human behavior issues.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rachael

    I first read this book as a young pre-teen on the advice of one of my instructors, and I am forever indebted to him for he way this shaped my thinking and interactions with animals (and people) throughout my life. This book has held up to several rereads over the years, & it is a simple & easy to understand introduction to the world of behavior modification. Highly recommend this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Shaya

    So I picked this up after going to Clicker Expo, Karen Pryor's clicking training seminar thinking I really should read this. I've read other books about shaping and have been clicker training for a while. I thought it might be a bit sciency and dry but the information would be well worth it. I was so wrong! The book was amazingly informative, interesting and it is filled with little anecdotes and practical applications that make it really fun to read. This might be one of the fastest nonfiction So I picked this up after going to Clicker Expo, Karen Pryor's clicking training seminar thinking I really should read this. I've read other books about shaping and have been clicker training for a while. I thought it might be a bit sciency and dry but the information would be well worth it. I was so wrong! The book was amazingly informative, interesting and it is filled with little anecdotes and practical applications that make it really fun to read. This might be one of the fastest nonfiction books I've read. Or it seemed that way. I liked the anecdote about her parents only using negative reinforcers on her twice in the form of scolding when she stole something and skipped school. It was effective in part because of the novelty of the reinforcer. One of the main messages of the book is that punishment is not a very effective or reliable way to change behavior. It is rewarding for the punisher and is our first response but that's not because it's successful. One problem is that punishment escelates, a choke collar doesn't work what about a shock collar? It often doesn't work because punishment doesn't happen at the same time of the behavior. I think this point is well discussed in dog training circles. Coming home and yelling at the dog for peeing on the rug has no effect on their peeing on the rug. Punishment also doesn't teach anyone anything. Karen Pryor lays out ten rules for shaping (clicker training/operantly conditioning) behavior and eight rules for changing behavior you don't want. I really liked this book and would recommend it to anyone who's interested in behavior in any species or trains humans or animals.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jessie Haas

    I love Karen's cool, observant mind, and her clear, clean, evocative writing. What she did for me is show a new way to communicate with animals, taking out both the frustration and the mumbo-jumbo. Karen Pryor is the pioneer of clicker training, and with clicker training there are very few limits as to what you can teach a fellow-being, up and down the food chain. Basically, you watch for behavior you like, or the smallest beginnings of that behavior, give an acoustic signal, and then give a del I love Karen's cool, observant mind, and her clear, clean, evocative writing. What she did for me is show a new way to communicate with animals, taking out both the frustration and the mumbo-jumbo. Karen Pryor is the pioneer of clicker training, and with clicker training there are very few limits as to what you can teach a fellow-being, up and down the food chain. Basically, you watch for behavior you like, or the smallest beginnings of that behavior, give an acoustic signal, and then give a delicious treat. By successive approximations you shape the behavior; joyously, the animal shapes your behavior, finding more and more precise ways to get you to click and treat. It's an amazingly positive training method, and has the benefit of teaching the trainer to look for things she likes, about her animal and eventually, the broader world. Karen Pryor writes so clearly, and as a children's book writer I appreciate that. She also teaches through stories, and I love that. There's much to enjoy here even if you're stranded on a desert island with only coconuts for company. If, like most of us, you live with fellow sentient beings, you'll not only enjoy the book, but learn skills that will make everyone's life more pleasant. Also read Karen's new book, Reaching the Animal Mind.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This is a wicked-good book about positive reinforcement and shaping behavior. And not just for animal training. As I was reading it I thought how useful the book's methods would be in "training" (manipulating) people to do/behave how I want them to. How great is that? I will become unstoppable! Anyway, the organization of the book was nice and seemed to build on previous sections. The book's not long, but it took me a while because I found my mind wandering as I was reading it. It's not a super This is a wicked-good book about positive reinforcement and shaping behavior. And not just for animal training. As I was reading it I thought how useful the book's methods would be in "training" (manipulating) people to do/behave how I want them to. How great is that? I will become unstoppable! Anyway, the organization of the book was nice and seemed to build on previous sections. The book's not long, but it took me a while because I found my mind wandering as I was reading it. It's not a super boring book, it just occasionally has a bunch of psychology jargon that requires my full attention, so I found myself having to reread paragraphs. It can be a little textbooky, but Pryor's personal accounts and stories are a lot of fun and serve as great examples for the methods she's describing. So, although I found parts of it a little tough to get through, the information is well worth the struggle.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    QoD had a podcast that asked the question, what do you wish you knew before you had kids?, that referenced this book about positive feedback and affirmation, saying it's the ONLY way to train a chicken, and it's a good place to start with kids. So I read the book (even though my kids are now 22, 19, and 16 and I figured there's almost no hope of retraining them!) and really enjoyed it. I do wish I had read it 23 years ago and would recommend it to anyone with children or pets. It was an enjoyable QoD had a podcast that asked the question, what do you wish you knew before you had kids?, that referenced this book about positive feedback and affirmation, saying it's the ONLY way to train a chicken, and it's a good place to start with kids. So I read the book (even though my kids are now 22, 19, and 16 and I figured there's almost no hope of retraining them!) and really enjoyed it. I do wish I had read it 23 years ago and would recommend it to anyone with children or pets. It was an enjoyable read that I hope I can use on a regular basis, both in my family and personal life, as well as at work. Originally written in 1984, with an update added in 1999, it is as applicable today as it was then.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    This is an intensely interesting read that was recommended to me by my daughter, who thought I might find practical, people application from an animal training book that was among her psychology curriculum. I have. Quite insightful and fascinating, and one that I will want to read again frequently, just to refresh myself. The animal training game is now a favorite in my family. And the animal training wisdom?...Invaluable character shaping tools for personal growth as well as relationship strengt This is an intensely interesting read that was recommended to me by my daughter, who thought I might find practical, people application from an animal training book that was among her psychology curriculum. I have. Quite insightful and fascinating, and one that I will want to read again frequently, just to refresh myself. The animal training game is now a favorite in my family. And the animal training wisdom?...Invaluable character shaping tools for personal growth as well as relationship strengthening for parents, spouses, friends, acquaintances...and even the occasional adversary. I especially like the focus on kindness. Oh, and I imagine the techniques would work excellently for training animals as well. =)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    Good overview of positive training. I found the parts distinguishing positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, and shaping to be extremely useful. I also appreciated the in-depth discussion of shaping, and the discussion of various ways to associate cues with behavior (makes sense to me to shape first and associate later, so that it's less likely that your cue just gets ignored). I found the parts of the book talking about human interactions to be the least useful/informative. This is defi Good overview of positive training. I found the parts distinguishing positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, and shaping to be extremely useful. I also appreciated the in-depth discussion of shaping, and the discussion of various ways to associate cues with behavior (makes sense to me to shape first and associate later, so that it's less likely that your cue just gets ignored). I found the parts of the book talking about human interactions to be the least useful/informative. This is definitely more a book on theory than on concrete steps, but it's good background for the other Puppy reading I'm doing and gives the 'why' behind those methods .

  22. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Saying I "read" this book is misleading. I learned my lesson from that awful Cesar Milan book and only Picked and chose the parts that seemed applicable to me and what I needed. This is NOT a dog book. This is a book on positive reinforcement that can help in any aspect of your life from friends who are perpetually late to a child who misbehaves to...yes, your annoying dog (but really it's favorite animal to highlight is dolphins and how many of us have pet dolphins?). Seemed like a decent book Saying I "read" this book is misleading. I learned my lesson from that awful Cesar Milan book and only Picked and chose the parts that seemed applicable to me and what I needed. This is NOT a dog book. This is a book on positive reinforcement that can help in any aspect of your life from friends who are perpetually late to a child who misbehaves to...yes, your annoying dog (but really it's favorite animal to highlight is dolphins and how many of us have pet dolphins?). Seemed like a decent book but not at all what I was looking for and -it seemed to me-the least helpful for dog behaviors, much more applicable for humans.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    The book that arguably started the entire clicker-training movement. A good book for understanding positive reinforcement-based training of all people and animals. I disagree with some of her starting points and conclusions, such as the evolutionary origin of behaviors, and the avoidance of all punishment with children, but overall it was an interesting and insightful book. A good book for anyone involved in training animals who wants to understand why positive reinforcement and clicker-training The book that arguably started the entire clicker-training movement. A good book for understanding positive reinforcement-based training of all people and animals. I disagree with some of her starting points and conclusions, such as the evolutionary origin of behaviors, and the avoidance of all punishment with children, but overall it was an interesting and insightful book. A good book for anyone involved in training animals who wants to understand why positive reinforcement and clicker-training work.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Nick Skelton

    This book gripped me immediately and resonated in many seemingly unrelated fields: team leading and management, parenting, being a teacher, being a student, game development and of course, training a dog. I could not stop talking about it with anyone who would listen and will be buying it for anyone who is interested.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Karen Chung

    Learn about the power of positive reinforcement from a highly successful dolphin trainer. Everybody should read this before having a child, getting a pet, or taking a teaching position.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    Here are someone's notes: http://fiddlemath.net/?p=41

  27. 4 out of 5

    Muwaffaq

    Awesome and interesting. Not just about dogs.........

  28. 5 out of 5

    TOM HORECKI

    The book is ready to use instruction for pet lovers who want to train their animals. Unsurprisingly, most techniques are also useful in terms of human interactions. Although the book is written a bit too academically for me I have taken some valuable notes for myself: BULLET POINTS: - As humans, we are prone to criticize, when the criteria haven’t been met, much more than giving positive reinforcement in the scenario when they were met. - Positive reinforcement is way stronger than negative. It conc The book is ready to use instruction for pet lovers who want to train their animals. Unsurprisingly, most techniques are also useful in terms of human interactions. Although the book is written a bit too academically for me I have taken some valuable notes for myself: BULLET POINTS: - As humans, we are prone to criticize, when the criteria haven’t been met, much more than giving positive reinforcement in the scenario when they were met. - Positive reinforcement is way stronger than negative. It concerns pet training, kids upbringing as well as motivating teams. Before we penalize it's good to think if we really want to change someone's behavior. If so then why not use a more effective way of positive reinforcement. It can be applied just after the misbehavior finishes. - Same situation when you blame yourself, not effective and in addition pushing oneself into the hole. - Reinforcement can be introduced already at the beginning, just after the action was taken. TECHNIQUES: - Training as a game (Shows that responsibility for results is always on the trainer) - Unearned jackpot - an alternative technique: "Dear kid I am so tired with you misbehavior that I will reward it with .(eg. extra cinema tickets). - When learning by heart, divide into parts and start with the last, to achieve the best results. - Regarding whining and teasing, the best method is to ignore such behavior and it will fade away. - "Excluding behaviour", is very effective to tackle self-pity and loneliness: Eg. dancing class, sports. - Changing of motivation is the most effective technique. SOLUTIONS: for addictions: Weight Watchers, Smoke Enders Autohipnosis when the feeling comes: ‘I do not want to smoke/..., I do not want to smoke/..., I do not want to smoke/…, … Diary with progress. EXAMPLE of communication in a ‘hopeless’ situation: Karen Pryor: "Could you please take your wet stuff from the couch and put it into the dryer?" Guest: "Just a moment" K.P: (Approaches silently the guest and stays in front of him) Guest: "What is it all about?" K.P.: "Could you please take your wet stuff from the couch and put it into the dryer?" Avoid adding "now, "right away" or "I'm serious" because we are trying to shape the object's ability to react instantly for the signals given once. Thus, we need to avoid escalating the form of the signal by stronger voice, threatening etc.) Guest: "Oh my God are we in a hurry?!. If it bothers you then put it into the dryer yourself" K.P.: (Kind smile, no verbal action, we wait for an opportunity to reinforce desirable behavior. A quarrel is not what we look for, so we ignore the rude answer. Guest: "I'm going now, he takes his wet suit and puts it into the washing machine" K.P.: "To the dryer" Guest: (Irritated, takes stuff from the washing machine and puts it into the dryer) K.P: (Wide sincere smile without any sarcasm) "Thank you"

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    This is one of those formative texts of modern positive dog (or any animal) training, such that while there are times that everything it has to say feels obvious, it's important to remember that it was first published in 1984. This means it is not a book that assumes most pet owners know about positive reinforcement, or that puppy classes will regularly introduce you to the concept of clicker training. So yes, a lot of it might feel obvious now--but it's still a valuable book. Truthfully, if you This is one of those formative texts of modern positive dog (or any animal) training, such that while there are times that everything it has to say feels obvious, it's important to remember that it was first published in 1984. This means it is not a book that assumes most pet owners know about positive reinforcement, or that puppy classes will regularly introduce you to the concept of clicker training. So yes, a lot of it might feel obvious now--but it's still a valuable book. Truthfully, if you have a good grasp of Karen Pryor's methods and the concepts that are the foundation to this type of training, you probably don't need to read this unless you choose to do so because it is a formative text. But if you want a refresher, or if you aren't particularly familiar with the ideas--give it a try. This is not a dog training book. It will not give you a "how to." But it does help guide you toward applications of the training concepts to a variety of situations and a variety of species.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Clive Freeman

    I cannot find fault with this book as an overview of the use of conditioning in training. Karen Pryor's experiences with training aquatic mammals in the 1960s lead her to a deep understanding of the nuances of what works. She found that positive reinforcement not only works well, but it works much, much better than anything else: it is faster, longer-lasting, and can elicit a greater range of behaviours. And, not insignificantly, it deepens the bond between trainer and trainee. So if you want to I cannot find fault with this book as an overview of the use of conditioning in training. Karen Pryor's experiences with training aquatic mammals in the 1960s lead her to a deep understanding of the nuances of what works. She found that positive reinforcement not only works well, but it works much, much better than anything else: it is faster, longer-lasting, and can elicit a greater range of behaviours. And, not insignificantly, it deepens the bond between trainer and trainee. So if you want to reinforce (or extinguish) particular behaviours from your dog, your horse, your pet porpoise, or even your housemate, this book will show you how. There is a chapter at the end specifically about clicker training, which is now very widely used for dogs, but read the rest, too, as it explains how all this works, and how it works best.

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