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Don't Shoot the Dog!: The New Art of Teaching and Training Paperback – Mar 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Ringpress Books Ltd; 3rd Revised edition edition (Mar 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860542387
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860542381
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.5 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Synopsis

The principles of the revolutionary "clicker training" method. Eight methods of ending undesirable habits - from furniture-clawing cats to sloppy room-mates. The ten laws of "shaping" behaviour - for results without strain or pain through "affection training". Tips for house-training the dog, improving your tennis game, or dealing with an impossible teenager. Explorations of exciting new uses for reinforcement training.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

94 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Dr. M. Breach on 20 Aug 2006
Format: Paperback
I came to this book in a roundabout way, having bought Amy Sutherland's book 'Kicked, bitten and scratched', about the work of exotic animal trainers. This was cited as a source, and I thought that it would be interesting to find out more about the subject of animal training, and perhaps it's application to humans! I must admit that I was put off by some of the more negative or dismissive reviews posted. However this proved to be a wonderful, extraordinary book. First thing to get straight, despite the title, it is NOT just about dogs. This book is about training techniques that apply generally, whether the subject is a dog, cat, mouse, bird, dolphin, elephant, teenager, spouse or colleague. I am not a pet owner, nor an exotic animal trainer, yet I am now applying the techniques described at work (as a family doctor and GP educator), and at home. The book describes techniques of positive (and negative) reinforcement in training new behaviour, or ending unwanted behaviour. It makes the point very clear that punishment is a fruitless way of trying to shape behaviour. 'Don't shoot the dog' is written in a style that is clear, concise and intelligent; and for good measure it is peppered with animal-training anecdoes that made me laugh out loud. As a measure of effectiveness, my teenage son responded (after positive reinforcement of some good behaviour) "Dad, after 14 years, your rating as a father has just gone off the scale!". Enough said.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 3 Jun 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was recommended to me by the psychologist who we consult regarding our son with autism. This is indeed the book that best equips us with dealing with our sons behaviours. I read the whole thing not with dogs but with my son in mind and it completely sums up the best way to teach him. I would be happy if all special needs schools read this book with an open mind. It would change a LOT of things.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Barrett on 28 Nov 2007
Format: Paperback
I first read this book a couple of years ago and since then have recommended it to anyone who would listen. I've also bought four copies and given them as gifts.

I decided recently that I should reread it to reinforce the ideas and to see if it was as good as I remembered. It is.

When I first read this book I can remember being literally horrified at the methods I had been using to try to modify other peoples' behaviour (family, girlfriend, colleagues, etc.). Any time you attempt to change the behaviour of any person or animal you are - whether you realise it or not - attempting to train them.

It turns out that the methods most people use (usually unconsciously or because they do not know better) are both ineffective and unpleasant - especially punishment. It is rare in life that you can change to a different method of doing something vitally important that is both much more pleasant for all of those involved and produces better results. This book demonstrates one of these happy occasions.

All of our attempts to change the behaviour of other creatures can be broken down into three categories: punishment, negative reinforcement and positive reinforcement. Punishment is an aversive applied after the event (such as grounding your kids or putting a criminal in jail). Negative reinforcement is an aversive (punisher) applied when an unwanted behaviour is occurring which is then stopped when the unwanted behaviour stops (such as the use of a choke chain on a dog). Positive reinforcement involves rewarding desired behaviour (for example using praise or food).

Karen Pryor's methods originate with the findings of American psychologist B F Skinner and her work as a dolphin trainer.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By flytiki on 22 Nov 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fantastic book not just for dog training but for motivating anyone (husbands, kids, cats and so on) it really explains why positive reinforcement is the only way to train. I have re-read it a number of times and recommend it more than any other book I've ever read. Every bookshelf should have a copy!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By HJ on 9 Aug 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think the author is obviously intelligent and knowledgeable and I think what I have read will help reduce one of my JRT's barking (the other one doesn't have a barking problem, so I know that my methods thus far weren't entirely useless just not suited for the barker). Signs after one day of praising him periodically when he is quiet seems to be working, I never thought of doing that, only praising him for stopping barking. One thing shocked me though, the author wrote about a cat she'd had that kept peeing on the cooker hobs every night. The cat had access to the house and garden, presumably via a cat flap, yet the author stated she never caught the cat in the act and after nothing successfully stopped it happening she took the cat to be put to sleep. This put me off and so I didn't read any more of the book than I needed to after that. I found it surprising someone would openly admit they had a healthy animal put to sleep, as though it is an acceptable thing to do, instead of finding some way around the problem and also what struck me very quickly was that since she never caught her cat doing it then surely it was possible another cat was entering the cat flap and doing it. I found this appalling, so while she might know what she's talking about regarding training and discipline (excluding peeing cats) I find the situation with the cat very questionable.
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