Book review

Don’t Shoot the Dog!: The New Art of Teaching and Training

Don't Shoot the Dog! by Karen Pryor
Read date: Jan 2019

5 stars!

I cannot find fault with this book as an overview of the use of conditioning in training. Karen Pryor’s experiences with training aquatic mammals in the 1960s lead her to a deep understanding of the nuances of what works. She found that positive reinforcement not only works well, but it works much, much better than anything else: it is faster, longer-lasting, and can elicit a greater range of behaviours. And, not insignificantly, it deepens the bond between trainer and trainee.

So if you want to reinforce (or extinguish) particular behaviours from your dog, your horse, your pet porpoise, or even your housemate, this book will show you how. There is a chapter at the end specifically about clicker training, which is now very widely used for dogs, but read the rest, too, as it explains how all this works, and how it works best.

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