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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  ·  Rating details ·  3,184 Ratings  ·  294 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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Thomas
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
A fabulous and easy-to-understand book about how to best use behaviorism. What is behaviorism? Essentially, the study of human and animal behavior - so this book sheds light on the most effective principles to use if you want to better the way you act. You can apply these concepts to so many areas, ranging from bolstering your health to training your dog. One of the most important takeaways: use positive reinforcement, not punishment. While our society prefers punishment in many ways (e.g., the ...more
MaritaBeth Caruthers
Mar 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
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
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Sue
Sep 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
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Olga
Jan 21, 2012 rated it liked it
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
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Tally
May 17, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
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 dont see how that is any different than mani ...more
Kerry
May 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Jun 08, 2013 rated it liked it
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
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Joshua
May 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
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Chung Chin
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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Jodee
May 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dog-training
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
Mandy Tewell
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had to read this book as homework for an intensive DBT training and am so glad that I did! This is a wonderful book which clearly explains behavioral reinforcement. I use the concepts as a therapist, a wife, and a dog owner. The book is easy to understand and gives lots of relatable examples.
Natalie
Jan 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Ironically, this is required for my human behavior course.
Tranglein
Aug 04, 2017 rated it liked it
"Don't shoot the dog!" shows critical techniques to train animals, expanding to training or fixing some behaviours from your kids, roomates, partners or even oneselves...etc. It is a very cute and useful book when you have a pet.

Too bad I don't have a pet (though I really wish to have one, and will definitely look at this book again when I get one). I read this book in search for establishing healthy habits and self-controlling. Some ''shaping" methods the author suggested can be applied to huma
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Rachael
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I first read this book as a young pre-teen on the advice of one of my instructors, and I am forever indebted to him for he way this shaped my thinking and interactions with animals (and people) throughout my life. This book has held up to several rereads over the years, & it is a simple & easy to understand introduction to the world of behavior modification. Highly recommend this book.
Shaya
Jun 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
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Jessie Haas
Jun 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Emily
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jeff
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Jeff by: Question of the Day
QoD had a podcast that asked the question, what do you wish you knew before you had kids?, that referenced this book about positive feedback and affirmation, saying it's the ONLY way to train a chicken, and it's a good place to start with kids.

So I read the book (even though my kids are now 22, 19, and 16 and I figured there's almost no hope of retraining them!) and really enjoyed it. I do wish I had read it 23 years ago and would recommend it to anyone with children or pets. It was an enjoyable
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Rachel
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is an intensely interesting read that was recommended to me by my daughter, who thought I might find practical, people application from an animal training book that was among her psychology curriculum. I have. Quite insightful and fascinating, and one that I will want to read again frequently, just to refresh myself.

The animal training game is now a favorite in my family. And the animal training wisdom?...Invaluable character shaping tools for personal growth as well as relationship strengt
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Emily
Nov 22, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Anna
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: dogs
Good overview of positive training.

I found the parts distinguishing positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, and shaping to be extremely useful. I also appreciated the in-depth discussion of shaping, and the discussion of various ways to associate cues with behavior (makes sense to me to shape first and associate later, so that it's less likely that your cue just gets ignored).

I found the parts of the book talking about human interactions to be the least useful/informative.

This is defi
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Stephanie
The book that arguably started the entire clicker-training movement. A good book for understanding positive reinforcement-based training of all people and animals. I disagree with some of her starting points and conclusions, such as the evolutionary origin of behaviors, and the avoidance of all punishment with children, but overall it was an interesting and insightful book. A good book for anyone involved in training animals who wants to understand why positive reinforcement and clicker-training ...more
Nick Skelton
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book gripped me immediately and resonated in many seemingly unrelated fields: team leading and management, parenting, being a teacher, being a student, game development and of course, training a dog. I could not stop talking about it with anyone who would listen and will be buying it for anyone who is interested.
Nick
Jan 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Here are someone's notes: http://fiddlemath.net/?p=41
Vaas
Aug 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing

Подкрепление изменяет поведение только тогда, когда дается в правильно выбранный момент.
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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.
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нельзя разрешать заводить детей, прежде чем он не сумеет обучить цыпленка, подразумевая, что опыт достижен
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Muwaffaq
Sep 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Awesome and interesting. Not just about dogs.........
Faye Zheng
Jul 05, 2017 rated it liked it
I had heard this book was about training animals but could be extrapolated to "training" human behavior too, and I read it for the latter reason.

The book actually turned out to be about 80% animal-specific. Pryor had to do some stretching of content to apply it to humans, and even then it took some mental gymnastics on my part to imagine how the principles might apply in my own life.

Nevertheless I learned a few things about Skinner's style of behavioral training, and thought Pryor did a good (
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Patricia
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Much more general a book than I expected, but, as a result, much more useful. I expected a step-by-step dog training guide--hoping for a way to discourage our dog Jack from barking so much--but this takes on a wider subject: How to use positive reinforcement to encourage/train a behavior in almost any creature, including humans, and make the experience fun for both trainee and trainer. Interesting as well as useful. Book was recommended in an article about Western Michigan University's behaviora ...more
Harvey
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is concise and stuffed with information useful to anyone who interacts with people.

I'm a big fan of cross-application of skills. As a teacher, it was thrilling to read the advice of a dolphin trainer and learn how I can use the same principles in classrooms, and in my daily life.

This is a preemptive review for a fiercely practical book. I'm slowly exploring the ideas within, and I'm excited about where they'll lead.
Colin Marks
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Karen Pryor's Don't Shoot the Dog! is an interesting read for anyone, not just for dog owners, or dolphin owners, or the owners of children! Her background is in sea life training, and many of the anecdotes are based around those experiences, but a large part of the training philosophy also applies to human behaviour.
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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
More about Karen Pryor...
“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.” 5 likes
“Training is a loop, a two-way communication in which an event at one end of the loop changes events at the other, exactly like a cybernetic feedback system; yet many psychologists treat their work as something they do to a subject, not with the subject.” 0 likes
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