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Cat Training in 10 Minutes Paperback – September 1, 2003
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1. Comprehensiveness of Clicker Theory: 5/5 stars. The theory used in Cat Training in 10 Minutes is operant conditioning. Using a clicker followed by a reward, you can reinforce desired behavior in your cat. Verbal commands (come, sit) as well as specific hand signals are incorporated in this book. I find the hand signals to be just as essential as the verbal commands: upon seeing the signal, my cat immediately knows which action she is to perform and will begin to do it even before I give the verbal command.
2. Accessibility: 5/5 stars. Cat Training in 10 Minutes is written in easy-to-follow expository style, with occasional narrative anecdotes. It has color photos on every page depicting the specific command/action, how to signal with your hand, and how your cat will likely react. The instructions are clearly numbered and succinct.
3. Organization: 5/5 stars. The first chapter is an introduction that discusses the theory behind clicker training and the tools you'll need. Each following chapter covers one specific command/type of behavior, and the chapters are arranged from easy to hard. There are a few "bonus" chapters at the end of the book that discuss cats in our lives, correcting bad behavior, and professional/movie industry cat trainers. I was pleasantly surprised by this last chapter: it was an enjoyable read and informative to boot.
4. Correcting Undesirable Behavior: 2/5 stars. In this book's sole weak spot, the author discusses only furniture scratching, inconsistent litter box use, and walking on countertops. Despite this chapter's short length, I personally found it to be more helpful than its counterpart in Ms. Pryor's book. Why? Because Cat Training in 10 Minutes actually lists specific instructions for correcting bad behavior using a clicker. I've implemented some of these tactics, especially regarding furniture scratching, with my own cat and have had great success.
5. Helpful/Extra Features: 5/5 stars. First, the author's short anecdotes are contained in colorful call-out boxes along the side of the page, which lends a nice organizational layout to the text and keeps the instructional body uncluttered. Second, and perhaps more importantly, the book has several appendices (hand signals, adoption/rescue resources) and an alphabetical index.
In summary, I highly recommend Cat Training in 10 Minutes to anyone looking to clicker train their cat, as its quality and content are head-and-shoulders above Karen Pryor's book. Good luck, and here's to your cat learning some great new tricks!
It's so much easier than you can imagine...and rewarding. Your cat will actually understand what you want....and since my cat doesn't speak English, this form of communication actually elicits a bond he displays with affection after he gets over the fact that we're done with that lesson. He can go longer than me. He sulks when I put the clicker away, and then I get unsolicited kisses.
If you are even CONSIDERING clicker training, you should own this book. It makes the lesson plan very straight-forward, easy to achieve and you can go at your own pace. The great thing about clickers are that you teach when you want. You don't have to have a rigid schedule to achieve your goals. Go at your own pace, build on each session as you build your relationship, and most of all, have fun!