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

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  1,825 ratings  ·  195 reviews
Originally published entitled: Don't shoot the dog!: how to improve yourself and others through behavioral training, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1984.
Paperback, 202 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Ringpress Books (first published 1984)
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MaritaBeth Caruthers
On my recent, wonderful trip to Sacramento, I was fortunate in learning many new things and meeting many fabulous new people. One of those folks was a dear friend of Kyrana’s, named Laurel, who is an educator, currently working on a graduate degree in counseling. She is a delightful woman I am now proud to know, and I enjoyed many a thought-provoking conversation with her throughout the week, on a number of different subjects.

One of the books she was reading (it turned out it was Kyrana’s copy o
Забавная книга об искусных методах манипуляции окружающими, у которой есть три больших недостатка (начну с недостатков, а потом сконцентрируюсь на достоинствах): 1) ужасный перевод на русский 2) американский популизм, сквозь который на каждом шагу приходится прорываться 3) отсутствие защиты от дурака, который пойдёт и будет делать “по букварю” всё так, как в ней описано.
Наибольшую пользу от этой книги можно получить, если любить людей и исходить из всленского блага. Карен, увы, ничего не пишет н
Chung Chin
The book seems to mainly talk about training animals, but if you're willing to experiment, I believe it is a good guide on how you can use some of the principles listed to shape your relationship with others.

Now, you might think that's crazy. We shouldn't be "training" people like we are training animals. It's humiliating to the other party.
However, you need to keep in mind that what the author advocates is positive reinforcement. By using this principle as your guide, and using the methods li
This was the first book I read on clicker training and I read it in 2006, Bonnie (then a pup - now a Dog Scout) watched intently as I read pages and then tried things out "on her". One day I left the book on the coffee table and returned from a phone call only to find Bonnie with paws planted firmly on the book proudly sharing that she had ripped it in half. Needless to save "I did not shoot the dog (-o: " we continued with Karen's program and my timing improved, my knowledge grew and we have ha ...more
A good book if you are training animals. I would recommend it if you want to teach your dog or cat new tricks. However, she attempts to relate all of her training techniques to human relationships: how to train your kids, how to train your lovers, how to train your friends. I cannot say that I agree with this method at all, since we, as humans, have much better means of communicating and understanding, and when we start to "train" friends and family,I don´t see how that is any different than man ...more
Jun 06, 2011 Kerry rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody
Man, this book was AMAZING. Everyone should read it.

It's about using positive reinforcement and behavioral training, not just in the context of training a dog, but for use with . . . everyone. Roommates, co-workers, husbands, dolphins, you name it.

I want Chris to read this book because I want him to use it on me. I think that I respond very well to positive reinforcement!
Nichole Martin
I train dogs, completely positive reinforcement training. I owe a lot of what I do to Karen Pryor and people who worked to make positive reinforcement training what it is today.

The book is well written, easy to read despite Pryor's usage of scientific terms. Which I enjoy, because I think it makes the reader stronger in knowledge by the end of the book.

The most well-done aspect of the book is Chapter 5. It contains tables of various situations to represent each method of "training." This makes
Received a copy of this as a gift from a biologist friend to help me deal with my rabbit problems, but it's a great read. She believes in using positive reinforcement in every area of life, whether with a pet or a difficult roommate.
A year or two ago when surfing the net I found a conservative excoriation of an article in the New York Times in which the author used positive reinforcement to train her husband. These bloggers seemed to be afraid their wives would learn something. Really, it inv
This is a wicked-good book about positive reinforcement and shaping behavior. And not just for animal training. As I was reading it I thought how useful the book's methods would be in "training" (manipulating) people to do/behave how I want them to. How great is that? I will become unstoppable! Anyway, the organization of the book was nice and seemed to build on previous sections. The book's not long, but it took me a while because I found my mind wandering as I was reading it. It's not a super ...more
Saying I "read" this book is misleading. I learned my lesson from that awful Cesar Milan book and only Picked and chose the parts that seemed applicable to me and what I needed. This is NOT a dog book. This is a book on positive reinforcement that can help in any aspect of your life from friends who are perpetually late to a child who misbehaves to...yes, your annoying dog (but really it's favorite animal to highlight is dolphins and how many of us have pet dolphins?). Seemed like a decent book ...more

Подкрепление изменяет поведение только тогда, когда дается в правильно выбранный момент.

Для тех, кто воспитан в гуманистических традициях, воздействие на поведение человека при помощи своего рода осознанной техники кажется непоправимо безнравственным, несмотря на тот очевидный факт, что все мы пытаемся влиять на поведение друг друга любыми попавшимися под руку средствами.

нельзя разрешать заводить детей, прежде чем он не сумеет обучить цыпленка, подразумевая, что опыт достижен
Life changing, quite possibly the ultimate self-help book.

Karen Pryor was basically the inventor of clicker training. Going deeper, she brought BF Skinner's experiments in operant conditioning of lab animals to popular culture, particularly with dogs but adaptable to any species, including humans. Her method isn't pure Skinner, he was also into negative reinforcement which Pryor uses very gently and sparingly.

Pryor started in the 1970's with the training of some freshly captured wild dolphins
Jes Jones
A previous coworker recommended this book, among many others, when I was coming into my interest in canine behavior and training and it's definitely a worthwhile read, or reference book, for those interested in training anything, or anyone.

Karen Pryor created an easy to read book breaking down positive reinforcement training, as well as other types of training and how they can be applied not only to animals, but to the people around us, within our work and school environment and pretty much in
I really enjoyed this book. Its short, well written and contains clear and practical examples of the principles underlying clicker training and how to implement them. Its also super interesting giving examples taken from psychology not just of dogs but also of humans and other animals. This book is essential for dog trainers as well as other professionals who work with dogs. Id also recommend to dog owners as it can give great insight in why your dog behaves the way it does, what your role is in ...more
Ironically, this is required for my human behavior course.
Jessie Haas
Jun 21, 2009 Jessie Haas rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who likes animals
I love Karen's cool, observant mind, and her clear, clean, evocative writing. What she did for me is show a new way to communicate with animals, taking out both the frustration and the mumbo-jumbo. Karen Pryor is the pioneer of clicker training, and with clicker training there are very few limits as to what you can teach a fellow-being, up and down the food chain. Basically, you watch for behavior you like, or the smallest beginnings of that behavior, give an acoustic signal, and then give a del ...more
(1984 edition--I want to look at the 2002 edition; it seems a bit different) I read that this is a good book to help change one's own behavior. I don't remember where I read that, but I did not find that to be the case in this book, which was just OK, 2.5 stars, in my opinion.

It has many helpful ideas for training anyone or anything alive, but nothing step-by-step. I appreciate that the author is/was an excellent trainer, and her ideas are worth trying, but some are not too helpful. For example:
Iso Cambia
Feb 09, 2014 Iso Cambia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Psychologists, therapists, dog owners, parents,
Recommended to Iso by: My psychologist!
"One psychologist jokes that the longest schedule of unreinforced behavior in human existence is graduate school." (25)

I gave this to my mom to read before I was able to finish it :( ... but she'll love it. If she ever reads it, that is ...


Terminology you will become familiar with when reading this book includes:

Reinforcer (positive reinforcer; negative reinforcer; reinforcement timing, size, jackpots, and scheduling)
Punishment - and why you shouldn't use this approach if you want to see resu
So I picked this up after going to Clicker Expo, Karen Pryor's clicking training seminar thinking I really should read this. I've read other books about shaping and have been clicker training for a while. I thought it might be a bit sciency and dry but the information would be well worth it. I was so wrong!

The book was amazingly informative, interesting and it is filled with little anecdotes and practical applications that make it really fun to read. This might be one of the fastest nonfiction
Tiffany DeBarr
I picked up this book on a recommendation. And I can't say I regret it!

I've taken psychology classes before in college, so I've come across the ideas of B.F. Skinner. However, never have I truly thought about how deep his concepts of reinforcement goes. The most fascinating thing about this book was the fact that the term 'reinforcement' was taken out of the labs and placed directly in the context of the real world. Sure, Pryor loves talking about her experiences with training animals—it's quite
Jul 14, 2011 RC rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: cpdt
I have a well worn copy from the 80s, and my understanding is that there is a newer edition. I am not sure if there is any difference, but I enjoyed this a lot. What I really found interesting is that very little of the book has to do directly with "dog training". It is more about using positive reinforcement and shaping to get the behaviors you want out of any living and thinking organism. I tried this with my daughter. Some of Karen's examples come from having children.

Me: "Meredith can you pl
Justin Podur
Karen Pryor's book is a true manual of positive dog training methods, using behaviourism. The simple rule is, reward what you like, ignore what you don't like. Pryor developed these methods as a trainer at Sea World, where the animals (dolphins) she was training could swim away if they weren't impressed, so positive methods (feeding them fish) was the only option.

As an alternative to aversive-based, punishment methods, positive training is a total no-brainer. I still have some philosophical pro
Our dog trainer recommended this, and I've been picking at it for the last couple of days. I think that this year is going to be at least partly about learning more about dogs, for me. This isn't specifically a dog training book, but more of a psychology book. I should try to read more, but reading anything for too long has been so hard for me lately. I've got a whole stack of dog books (from 2 different libraries) that Steve and I are both looking through, in honor of the rescue dog that we've ...more
"This book is about how to train anyone--human or animal, young or old, oneself or others--to do anything that can and should be done" (IX). That's the very first line of the book (in the Foreword) and it sums Don't Shoot the Dog! up pretty perfectly. I had to read this for school, but I enjoyed every single page of it--it's not hard to understand why, considering Pryor is a master of reinforcement. She describes clicker training as simple, fun, and effective, and that's exactly the feeling of t ...more
This is a great training book. It teaches you how to go about training your animals (and possibly your significant others and children!). The main focus is positive reinforcement. All trainers should use positive reinforcement. This book was a great read even if you are not fully ready to tackle training an animal yet. It had some laughs and other humor in it. But overall, Karen is a great author and very knowledgeable and respected in the animal training world.
Molly Jean
An excellent book with loads of information, it gives me hope that I can train my dog in a humane and productive manner. However, the terminology comes at the reader fast and furious, so fast, in fact, that I had a hard time keeping it all straight. For example, in a relatively short passage, the following terms were used:

marker signal
learned signal
primary reinforcer
negative reinforcer
discriminative stimulus
unconditioned stimulus
primary stimulus
aversive stimulus
conditioned stimul
Crete Public Library District
Review by Tiffany (Adult/Teen Services)

If you are interested in training your dog OR the people in your life, check this out. It's fascinating from a psychological perspective, and practical too. Pryor is the guru of clicker training for dogs, and I read it as a foundation from which to start some clicker training with my horse. Should be fun!
Rachael Zeller
I really like this book so far. It is an everyday persons guide to understanding and using the tried and true techniques of some of the most successful animal trainers (%100 positive reinforcement) in everyday situations (whether with your dog, children, colleagues or even that annoying aunt) . First the author takes time to boil all the techniques that are available with dealing with a problem behavior (including shoot the dog, hence the name of the book), as well as the perks and the problems ...more
Don’t shoot the dog in the first read started out incomprehensible. I understood the words and the word meaning but it did not translate into something doable. I did not care how marine trainers trained bottlenose dolphins and could not get the psychology, clicker trainer connection until I stop myself and demanded a reread. Then even the cover brought forth an epiphany. The collection of books by Ken Blanchard; Whale Done, Raving Fans, and Gung Ho. All books that use the positive reinforce to b ...more
Ali Mandala
Definitely a very interesting read. It's a psychology book, but not heavy on psychology terminology so it should be accessible to most people. It goes into the art of teaching and training using diverse examples. I liked the multiple examples because it makes the more technical aspects of training easier to understand. It gave me some great ideas to apply to my life as a teacher.
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Karen Pryor is the CEO of Karen Pryor Clicker Training and Karen Pryor Academy.

Karen is an active, leading spokesperson and teacher for effective force-free training across the globe. Her work with dolphins in the 1960s revolutionized animal training by pioneering and popularizing force-free training methods based on operant conditioning and the conditioned reinforcer.

Karen’s 40-year career workin
More about Karen Pryor...
Reaching the Animal Mind: Clicker Training and What It Teaches Us About All Animals Getting Started: Clicker Training for Dogs Clicker Training for Cats Nursing Your Baby: Revised Karen Pryor on Behavior: Essays & Research

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“One reason punishment doesn't usually work is that it does not coincide with the undesirable behavior; it occurs afterward, and sometimes, as in courts of law, long afterward. The subject therefore may not connect the punishment to his or her previous deeds; animals never do, and people often fail to. If a finger fell off every time someone stole something, or if cars burst into flames when they were parked illegally, I expect stolen property and parking tickets would be nearly nonexistent.” 1 likes
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