- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Scribner; 1 edition (June 16, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743297768
- ISBN-13: 978-0743297769
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #871,570 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Reaching the Animal Mind: Clicker Training and What It Teaches Us About All Animals Hardcover – June 16, 2009
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About the Author
Karen Pryor is a behavioral biologist with an international reputation in marine mammal biology and behavioral psychology. She is a founder and leading proponent of “clicker training,” a training system based on operant conditioning and the all-positive methods developed by marine mammal trainers. In addition to her bestselling Don’t Shoot the Dog!, Pryor is the author of Nursing Your Baby, as well as several other books and many sci- entific papers and articles on learning and behavior. Karen has three grown children and lives in Boston with two clicker-trained dogs and a clicker- trained cat.
" Karen Pryor explains positive training methods in an easy-to-understand manner that can be quickly learned by all animal lovers." -- TEMPLE GRANDIN, Ph.D., author of Animals in Translation and Animals Make Us Human
"Karen Pryor has been at the forefront of humane and science-based training for decades, and this book shows us why. With compelling stories and accessible science, Reaching the Animal Mind is an inspiration for everyone who loves animals and wants to train them with compassion and respect. Whether you're an experienced clicker trainer or someone who just wants their dog to stop barking without having to yell, you really, truly want this book!" -- DR. PATRICIA McCONNELL, author of The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs
"Karen Pryor explores new discoveries in animal learning, looks at old concepts with a fresh perspective, and tells a masterful story throughout. I would put this on the required reading list for everyone who works with or cares about animals." -- KEN RAMIREZ, Shedd Aquarium, and author of Animal Training
"Karen Pryor shows how clicker training has solved problems that traditional training methods could not solve, or worse, that those methods caused. The more that people follow the principles in this book, the better off the world will be." -- JULIE VARGAS, author of Behavior Analysis for Effective Teaching
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Top Customer Reviews
Yes, there are dogs who are not "foodaholics," and I have had a couple. But I can see just the sound of the clicker being helpful in telling a dog that it is doing the right thing. When introducing the clicker, if you click, give a treat and praise, then that pleasant experience should carry over each time the dog hears the clicker, whether they are wild about food or not.
Don't Shoot the Dog is also by Karen Pryor and is better than this one. Both of them should be required reading before ever touching a dog.
I would like to see a book from this author with nothing but training examples -- "How-To's" so to speak. But it needs to go beyond just "Sit" and "Down." Pryor gives tidbits in both of her books, but surely there are many more canine-oriented training tips she could share.
On a scientific level, this book does not hold up. Anthropomorphic accounts of animal behaviour are used liberally, which is a major "don't" in the study of animal behaviour. She cites her two major scientific influences as being BF Skinner and Konrad Lorenz--again, I am not in disagreement, these two should be required reading for any dog trainer. But what about Pavlov? Pryor's method centers around clicker training, and a clicker is a conditioned reinforcer...a concept that is Pavlovian to the core. To not spend more time discussing Pavlov and his "drooling dogs" as she refers to them briefly, is an oversight in research.
Finally, Pryor discourages the use of food lures (she says that they don't work...but there is no research to support this) and encourages the use of jackpot food rewards (and there is research demonstrating that jackpots are not only ineffective, but can actually inhibit desired behaviours). Overall I enjoyed the book and definitely recommend it as a training guide, but if Ms. Pryor insists upon positioning herself as a scientist, she needs to walk the talk a bit better.