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Beyond Flight or Fight: A Compassionate Guide for Working with Fearful Dogs Paperback – November 11, 2015
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From the Back Cover
--Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation and Animals Make Us Human
-- Faith Maloney, Co-founder, Best Friends Animal Society, Utah
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Paperback : 210 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0996661212
- ISBN-13 : 978-0996661218
- Product Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.53 x 8.5 inches
- Publisher : Pups and Purrs Press (November 11, 2015)
- Language: : English
- Customer Reviews:
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I adopted a 45 # shepherd/lab dog who was homeless for weeks - no one could catch her including animal shelter and others. She was beaten, very abused and came from miles away from homeless people. She hates men -- lunges and teeth showing. I took her in after a rescue woman bated her with food. I had trainers who were helpful and in addition ordered many books for this purpose. Beyond Flight or Fight was the best book ever - anyone who has the patience and understanding along with this book will be rewarded 100%. No Blue blood dog could match up to these dogs - they are keen, street smart and full of love. It took me a year - she is now 65 lbs and no dog could compare to her. Quiet, calm, love and understanding and remember - you didn't rescue her - she rescued you.
However, I have to pushback hard on a claim and an attitude that is evident here that seems to be a common fault with the +R-only dog training chauvinists. There is a saying that goes something like, "It is not enough that I should succeed, my friends must fail also."
The tendency to denigrate all other training tools and methods as "old school" and abusive seems to a temptation that is just too much to resist by those that first of all are mostly ignorant at best and mindlessly biased at worst generally about dog behavior and training. Specifically, the unsupprted and false claim that "Karen Pryor revolutionized the old “pop & jerk” dog training methods" encountered near the beginning of the book is a typical cheap-shot generalization and relies on a fallacy based on the use of pejorative words like "old" and "pop & jerk" that the truly naive and uninformed may tend to believe without question. Karen Pryor rightly deserves credit for bringing to the attention of the public the fact that some trainers and their training techniques were too harsh and if not abusive then were close to being abusive, as well as the important role that positive reinforcement procedures as one type of operant conditioning method can play in the applied behavor environments of dog obedience.
But dogs are not killer whales, and Karen Pryor is not a dog behaviorist or a behavior scientist in spite of claims to the contrary. The idea that all corrections are abuse and are not effective in any case is ridiculous. That does not mean that a dense schedule of postive reinforcement as one type of operant conditioning procedure for increasing the likelihood of wanted behavior is not important and significant - it is. But positive reinforcement can be used to train a dog to bite anyone that enters a house - not exactly a "positive" behavior generally speaking.
So, sorry to say, the +R-only dog training methodology has not revolutionized anything. Dogs, even fearful and shy dogs, need to be corrected. But as is always the case with dogs, the tools and methods used for corrections must consider the dog, and require much more skill, experience and knowledge that many that presume to call themselves "dog trainers" or "behaviorists" intentionally fail to acquire. The main reasons for that failure apart from outright prejudice are the time and effort required to master the skills involved.
So this is a book that I am certain I will put to good use and will help me better understand fearful dogs and help them with the behavior that stands in the way of a better life for them. But please spare me from the stereotypes and propaganda that directly or indirectly denigrates all other training tools and methods as "abusive" and "ineffective' because this is simply false. Some tools and methods may not be effective or necessary for fearful and shy dogs, but that fact is no excuse for making sweeping claims that are generalizations that are not supported by facts.