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Excel-Erated Learning: Explaining in Plain English How Dogs Learn and How Best to Teach Them Paperback – February, 1996

3.9 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Reid earned her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, where she specialized in animal learning, behaviour, and cognition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 172 pages
  • Publisher: James and Kenneth Publishers; 1st edition (February 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1888047070
  • ISBN-13: 978-1888047073
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Very well written with good, specific examples. Presents a very well-rounded historical perspective about animal behavior in both scientific and practical examples. I have already read it a couple of times to allow all of the info to sink in. There is a LOT here!! It has very useful information whether you are a professional trainer or just fascinated by animal behavior. Buy this book and be nice to your dog.
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Format: Paperback
Dr. Reid's book is the next step to take after you think you understand what operant conditioning is all about. You'll find that you didn't know it all! She explains complex concepts in an accessible manner, with many excellent examples. It's a book to keep handy for those times when you just can't remember what negative punishment is!
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This book is a very thorough presentation of learning theory. Yet, by referring to experiments and to dog training, the author makes a difficult subject very approachable. I had a number of "ah-ha!" moments and will re-read to get more out of it.
I was concerned about all the abbreviations I saw when browsing the book, but they are not used to such excess that you get lost/confused.
As I said, the book is thorough, so it does present the negative end of the scale -- aversives and punishment. I understand why the author had to include this information, but it is still difficult reading for those of us who consider our dogs our friends -- and who applies electric shock to their friend? I only wish she had placed the caveats of using these methods at the beginning, rather than at the end, of their respective sections.
If you are looking for more depth and science than found it dog training books or "Don't Shoot the Dog," in a book that won't bore you to tears, get a copy of Excel-erated Learning, well worth it's reasonable price.
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Format: Paperback
This is a terrific book for students wishing to fully understand learning theory. My only reservation in recommending this book to clients comes in its inclusion of practical applications (and endorsement?) of punishment. The dog training world has evolved beyond punishment-based methods. I hope to see a new edition of this book soon -- without the aversive bent.
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I got a lot of helpfull information from this book. Not always easy to understand and retain if you don't give it your full concentration, and it would be easy to become obsessed with training details, also I hate to think of the author using electric collars, NOT pc these days. Well worth buying just the same
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General dog owners:
If you are looking for a manual that explains how to train your dog to do obedience tasks in a step-by-step style, this isn't it. Pam actually writes in her forward that while she hopes the book is accessible to everyone, it is primarily written for those who teach dogs. It is about how dogs learn and the why behind it, covering all the different training techniques and how learning occurs through those techniques. For the average reader, it can get a little heavy going with the jargon and theory at times, but I think Pam uses good illustrative examples at the right moments to help you through. Don't be too put off, you will definitely take a lot away from this book.

Dog trainers:
This book was good reinforcement of the concepts I have learnt in my dog training & behaviour course (the book was recommended by the facilitator). If you already have the qualifications, it's probably too basic for you. If you are starting out or lack the "science behind it all", it will be a good one to read and refer back to.
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Simply excellent. It explained in clear terms how and why many techniques work and where they might go wrong. As someone who competes in obedience regularly I would highly recommend giving this book a read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I didn't like the way this book was written almost immediately but I grit my teeth & kept reading. By page 51, I Had to stop. Reading should not be this painful! This book is not in Plain English. It is Full of technical/scientific terms, too many acronyms, then she Tried to explain what they meant in plain English, kind of, but it didn't work well. Many of the definitions for words seem to contradict what it means/how it's used in everyday life. She also, by page 51, stated that a few of her examples weren't great. It seemed like there were several times that she contradicted herself. I would not recommend this to Anyone.
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