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Don't Shoot the Dog!: The New Art of Teaching and Training Paperback – November 1, 2006
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"Whatever the task, whether keeping a four-year-old quiet in public, housebreaking a puppy, coaching a team, or memorizing a poem, it will go fast, and better, and be more fun, if you know how to use reinforcement."--Karen Pryor.
Now Karen Pryor clearly explains the underlying principles of behavioral training and through numerous fascinating examples reveals how this art can be applied to virtually any common situation. And best of all, she tells how to do it without yelling threats, force, punishment, guilt trips--or shooting the dog. 8 methods for putting an end to all kinds of undesirable behavior. The 10 laws of "shaping" behavior--for results without strain or pain through "affection training." How to combat your own addictions to alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, overheating or whatever, how to deal with such difficult problems as a moody spouse, an impossible teen, or an aged parent. Plus. . .House training the dog, improving your tennis game, keeping the cat off the table, and much more!
Top customer reviews
Karen Pryor created an easy to read book breaking down positive reinforcement training, as well as other types of training and how they can be applied not only to animals, but to the people around us, within our work and school environment and pretty much in our day to day life. She explains how positive reinforcement provides better results over alternative methods of training by making plenty of comparisons to punishment based training methods as well as negative reinforcement training methods. I loved the incorporation of her personal stories, and training sessions, in order to emphasis certain drawbacks to punishment, and specific benefits to positive reinforcement training.
There was plenty of material in this book that overlapped with the novice clicker training course that I had taken a month ago which it allowed me to breeze through some parts but enough new material to keep me engaged and actively reading till the end.
Overall, a worthwhile read for those interested in pursuing training of any kind (or are looking for healthier ways to improve the relationships in their lives).
Love it! It's not as explanatory as Donaldson's "The Culture Clash," but it's a great how-to novel. I read this book and am now clicker training my dog, my horse and my betta fish. All are doing fabulously.
The truth is it's about changing and shaping behaviour. Whether it be people; partners, children, students, yourself, or animals; dogs, cats, elephants, fish, dolphins, you name it, you can use the principles and techniques in this book to improve relationships and behaviours as well as to train specific skills.
Karen Pryor's work is based on the work of BF Skinner who was a Harvard Professor and largely credited as being the father of behavioural psychology. Pryor's book, however is not some dry theoretical textbook. It's lively, entertaining and with many and diverse examples to inspire you to try out these techniques. It pushes the boundaries of behavioural conditioning (anchoring in NLP terminology) and what you can do with it and applies it to just about any context you can think of; from the way international governments relate to each other, to getting your teenager to keep his room tidy, to teaching a seal to talk! (Yes, really)
Pryor explains the philosophy behind the techniques and answers any questions you might have about `why' positive reinforcement works better than punishment in the majority of situations. While it isn't a step-by-step manual, I gleaned enough to teach my parrot, Shaggy to go to a box, pick up a stick, run through a tube with it and then deliver it to my hand. You can see a video of him doing this here [...]as well as a couple of videos of my puppy, Ragz who is also being taught with these methods.
Pryor has created tables for the eight methods that can be used to get rid of a bunch of undesirable behaviours and explains the pros and cons of each one.
It might be tempting, reading this review to think that the book is about manipulating people or animals. People attempt to manipulate others' behaviour anyway, often unsuccessfully by yelling, punishing, negative reinforcement or ignoring the behaviour (and seething inside!) The information in this book provides you with methodologies that make sense and that you can use immediately to achieve rapid results.
I highly recommend you read it, put the principles and methodologies to use and notice how quickly the relationships improve with the people and pets you have in your life.