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The Culture Clash: A Revolutionary New Way to Understanding the Relationship Between Humans and Domestic Dogs: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding ... Between Humans and Domestic Dogs Kindle Edition
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- ASIN : B00A2XQ17Q
- Publisher : The Academy for Dog Trainers; 2nd edition (October 1, 2012)
- Publication date : October 1, 2012
- Language : English
- File size : 1372 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Print length : 259 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #198,076 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Save your money and read the physical version of the book.
Three complaints I've seen in comments: the author's tone is "arrogant" and " patronizing, " her claims "aren't backed up by facts," and she uses " big words." 1 . I just don't see that. She is blunt. Boohoo. We are all adults here right? Surely we don't need information sugar coated for us. 2. While I am disappointed by the lack of a reference page at the end, pretty much everything she said is common knowledge to anyone in the psychology field. Pick up any intro to psych book and you will see. And 3. If you paid attention in school I really don't think you'll have a problem, but if not, well, that's what dictionaries are for.
Like I said, the average dog owner really needs to hear this message in a clear and straightforward way. And that is where the value of this book lies.
However, there are, IMO, some problems.
On one page, Donaldson says that we tend to have an easier time justifying mistreatment of animals if we think they aren't very smart. On another, she says that the reason we have an easier time justifying mistreatment of dogs is because we think they ARE smart. The way she sometimes contradicts herself is a little confusing. On a related note, the author basically says dogs aren't very smart and encourages us to think of them as "lemon brains" in an attempt convince the reader to abandon the idea that dogs are capable of having morals, "knowing" things are "right" and "wrong," and doing things like plotting revenge or thinking up some grand scheme to dominate us. I get that she is trying to make a point, but I think this is just too big of an oversimplification. I think we can appreciate dogs as the intelligent and emotional creatures they are (and that research has shown them to be) while at the same time understanding that they don't think the way we think and they don't have the capacity to understand our morality or make plans to "get back at us" for leaving them alone when we go to work. It seems like this book makes dogs out to be less intelligent and complex than they really are to get a point across, and that just feels dishonest to me. I think most people are capable of understanding a more nuanced explanation.
Another thing I disliked is that the actual training recommendations are heavy on extinction and negative punishment. While the techniques recommended are certainly far more humane than most training books, There are lots of skilled trainers these days who can show you how to do it better and without the need for nearly as much of those things. Some passages read a lot like NILIF to me, which, again, not the worst but there are better ways.
Like most popular training books, this one doesn't teach you anything beyond Skinner and Pavlov as far as behavior and learning theory, but that's kind of outside the scope of the book anyway.
Over all, I give this book 4 stars because I agree that a lot of pet owners need to lose the fantasy ideas about dogs that our culture teaches us, and this book does a good job of explaining why those ideas are wrong and how they impact our relationship with our dogs. Despite its flaws, there are definitely some pearls of wisdom here.
Culture Clash also offers specifics in training important skills. I have worked with so many under socialized dogs that if people would just read this book they'd get it why this is so vastly imperative to get on it before puppies are 12-16 weeks of age. You'll learn how prevention of unwanted behaviors can negate all kinds of training difficulties that happen when dogs are allowed to practice these behaviors. It will show you how and what to do instead of punishing, which has lots of pit falls or side effects.
I've heard that some people are put off by Jean's disdainful sounding judgment of people in general in how they are mistaken in their understanding and treatment of dogs. Don't let that put you off. It didn't put me off because she's RIGHT. If that offends you, let it go and keep reading. You will not be one of those people by the time you reach the end of the first chapter and you'll glean a good deal of education by the time you reach the end. Happy reading.
Top reviews from other countries
1. Dogs do not aim to dominate. They are motivated not by power but by how to get fed, affection, play, sex etc.
2. Aversive training (i.e. punishment for wrong behaviour) is cruel and often counter productive in the long term 3. Dogs are animals and therefore inherently unpredictable. This is something owners must always be aware of
4. The first 3-5 months of a puppy's life are critical to its well-being.
5. Dogs are amoral. There is no such thing as right and wrong, so don't expect them to understand that certain anti-social behaviours (in our eyes) are understandable in dog-world. A dog needs to be motivated away from such behaviours. Methods to achieve this are explained.
6. Dogs are social. Being alone for a dog is unnatural.
I liked this book's style. The reader is assumed to be intelligent and there is no dumbing down of terminology. You are told things only once, and left in no doubt about where the responsibility lies for the welfare of your dog, and other dogs and humans it comes into contact with; YOU.
I found this a useful and entertaining reminder about how to raise my dogs. Treat them with love and respect, but remember they are not humans and see the world in an entirely different way.
To put this into perspective, our dog has previously attended a dominance paradigm based training school, which definitely got results - HOWEVER - the results were short term only (one would not have lasting improvements in behaviour in spite of following all the rules, not unless one went back for some 'rough treatment' by the trainers regularly) and required punishment type training. What had me nervous from the start of that approach was the assertion that the dog's tail needs to be down, not up. Be that as it may, a proficient 'dominance theorist' dogtrainer will likely bring about an obedient and relatively well adjusted dog, however as an amateur this approach is both relatively difficult, as well as stressful on the animal - no matter that the dog always went through narrow spaces last, ate last and we adhered to every single aspect of dominance based theory, behaviour did not improve, it just slid further back into the pre-training mode.
Donaldson takes the opposing view of analysing a dog's learning process and then working with the results of behavioral science in direct / operant conditioning, using primarily reinforcement for behaviour shaping.
While we previously managed to get reliable responses to simple (and useless) commands such as sit and stay using the dominance approach, we only managed to get the more complex stuff such as reliable object retrieval and recall with an approach based on the techniques described in this book. It shows you how doing what naturally feels right (i.e. not treating the dog roughly to educate it) can produce results, without falling into the antropomorphic trap of treating dogs like other humans and attributing human emotions (revenge, obstinacy, guilt) to them.
On top of that the book is very well written, with the right dose of humour, easily readable and full of very practical advice on specific games to play and approaches to use to reinforce a certain wanted behaviour. I can recommend it very warmly, in my opinion this is definitely one of the must have books for dog owners and in a totally different quality league from something marketing (look at me) oriented such as Milan's Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems , where I struggled to find anything but the most basic advice on dog training and behaviour (but there is plenty on the childhood of Milan).
Jean clearly masters the subjects she covers (e.g. learning theory, etc.), and makes it a breeze for the masses to understand them. Her writing is at once funny, unpretentious and engaging. Once you pick it up, you will not be able to put it down.
The culture clash will make you look at your dog, and why he behaves in a certain way, from a completely new perspective. It gives you not only specific tips, but a new way of thinking which you can use for all your interactions with your dog.
The Culture Clash is now a classic in dog training literature, and deservedly so.
After I finished it, it spoke to me so profoundly that I started dreaming up a plan to become a dog trainer. 2 years down the line, I have achieved that goal, and, although I have since then read hundreds of books on the subject, the Culture Clash remains heads and shoulders above the rest.