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How Dogs Learn (Howell reference books) Hardcover – May 1, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0876053713 ISBN-10: 0876053711 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Howell reference books
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: *Howell Book House; 1 edition (May 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0876053711
  • ISBN-13: 978-0876053713
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.3 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #233,625 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

How Dogs Learn explains the fascinating science of operant conditioning. The authors, recognized experts in this field, are also experienced dog trainers, and they explain each operant conditioning principle using dog training examples. For the first time, behavioral procedures that are used with humans, such as Behavioral Diagnostics and Functional Analysis, have been translated for applications with dogs. How Dogs Learn will help all dog owners solve canine behavior problems and improve their proficiency as trainers.

From the Back Cover

"...this book should be on every animal trainer's bookshelf for future reference. How Dogs Learn covers the content of an undergraduate course in learning and behavior, but the examples are taken from dog training?it is practical and very useful without sacrificing scientific and technical accuracy." —Jack Michael, PhD, Department of Psychology, Western Michigan University

How Dogs Learn explore the fascinating science of operant conditioning, where science and dog training meet. How Dogs Learn explains the basic principles of behavior and how they can be used to teach your dog new skills, diagnose problems and eliminate unwanted behaviors. It's for anyone who wants to better understand the learning process in dogs. Every concept is laid out clearly and precisely, and its relevance to your dog and how you train is explained.
A Howell Dog Book of Distinction


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Customer Reviews

A very good book for the more technical reader.
Scott Robinson
Once you read this book you will not only understand how a dog learns but also how various training methods function.
John C.
If you are serious about dogs and training, you should read this book!
Steve Lindsay (slindsay@ix.netcom.com)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Steve Lindsay (slindsay@ix.netcom.com) on July 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Drs. Burch and Bailey have brought together their considerable talents to produce an important book for both dog owners and professional trainers. Dog owners will find the book to be a valuable resource for understanding how dogs learn, making their training efforts more positive and rewarding--both for themselves and for their dogs. The professional trainer will find the book to be an informative introduction to basic learning concepts and techniques; they will also appreciate the authors' balanced approach to explaining operant technology. Overall, the authors have done an excellent job of introducing operant methods (such as clicker training) and explaining how they can be used to improve the dog's behavior. Finally, the book is written in a lucid and accessible style, but be forewarned, there is not much in the way of entertaining fluff here, although the book is nicely illustrated with many wonderful anecdotes and examples that both the novice and expert will appreciate. Dr. Burch is a highly respected Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, whose efforts to improve dog training and to develop humane methods for treating behavior problems are well-known within the dog world. Dr. Bailey is a Professor of Psychology at Florida State University. Among his impressive credentials, he is past editor of the Journal for Applied Behavior Analysis. If you are serious about dogs and training, you should read this book!
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Nicely1952@aol.com on July 4, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As a professional police dog trainer this book is the only dog training book that I have read that addresses the heart of in my field training. Late in life I decided to learn about the science behind training and now a student of behavior science. This book should be a must read for every trainer. Information here goes directly to applied behavior modification something every trainer should have at very least a working understanding of.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Scott Robinson on May 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
A very good book for the more technical reader. Ever since Pavlov got dogs to salivate when he rang a bell, man has studied dogs and associated their behavior with ours. This book uses all that great dog data (60-100 years)to tell us more about dogs instead of humans. Novel idea. I liked it. A little dry. I read most books and hope to get something good I can use. This book more than met my expectations. "Behavior Problems In Dogs" I think Bill Cambell was as good or better. Both must reads for the serious trainer.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 3, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was a little simple for me, since I have and experimental psychology background. However, I did discuss it with a few friends with dogs, and found that they had no idea that they were actually reinforcing bad behaviors in their dogs. There are very good suggestions for gradually encouraging wanted behaviors and discouraging the unwanted behaviors. I highly recommend this to anyone who has not previously trained a dog. It is also a good checkup for experienced dog people, like me, to make sure we remember all the mistakes we could make.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By L. Ficks on May 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
A very quick read, this book covers the science of behaviorism very accurately. While I personally didn't learn anything new here (but have read many books on the subject) this was the most concise book on the subject yet. It explains the important concepts without getting too technical but still telling you what you need to know.

This book covered most of what I learned in my undergrad Learning And Behavior psych course.

I reccomend this book to people not just interested in how to train, but interested in why these training methods work. I would also reccomend Pryor's Don't Shoot The Dog which covers the same concepts but relates it to humans as well.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dawn on April 1, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Coming back into the world of dog training after a few years, I grabbed several of my previously owned books to review and redigest. I have only started to read "How Dogs Learn", and found the first chapter fascinating. It outlines, with just enough information without "too much" detail, the history of behavior and training from the scientists' and the trainers' perspective. I found it so helpful to have both histories and to be able to visually see how the two are now forming bridges to one another's vast databases of knowledge.
I also note that the author is very fair in her assesment of those "training forefathers", who though we as positive trainers might disagree with, truly made great investments in the dog training industry, and who deserve to be recognized for their contributions.
I recognized so many of the people involved, as well as the books, which are also mentioned (which is great- If I want to get into more detail, I know what to look for).
I still have much to read, but I am very excited about reviewing the principles of operant conditioning, and seeing more illustrations of how two worlds have begun to forge a united base of knowledge, which is sure to clarify and enlighten all of us trainers in the end.
Dawn D.
"NJHeart2Heart"
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jane on March 11, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This book goes over timing, consistency and motivation, with these you can teach any dog any thing! Everything you need to know on how to train a dog is in this book! I am a professional dog trainer and every now and then I reread this book just for a refresher, there are a lot of new terms in it that might get a little bothersome at first, but after you learn them everthything starts to make sense... Almost like common sense, and you wonder why you didn't think of it in the first place
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