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

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Originally published entitled: Don't shoot the dog!: how to improve yourself and others through behavioral training, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1984.


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Originally published entitled: Don't shoot the dog!: how to improve yourself and others through behavioral training, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1984.

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

  1. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    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 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 mass incarceration in the US, how we expel kids from schools, etc.), research has shown its ineffectiveness, because it often shames people and makes them less productive. Positive reinforcement, or praising people for performing the desired behavior, has been linked to many more favorable outcomes. Overall, recommended if you are interested in psychology or why humans act the way they do. Clear, concise, and in large part optimistic, Karen Pryor has written a wonderful book about behaviorism with Don't Shoot the Dog!.

  2. 5 out of 5

    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 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 of the book, so both of them are huge fans of it), and not for the first time, was this book entitled, Don’t Shoot the Dog! The New Art of Teaching and Training. Kyrana had learned to love the book when working as a wild animal handler and trainer. Written by Karen Pryor, one of the trainers who put clicker training on the map, this is an amazingly intelligent, well-written study on behavior training and communication. It is a scholarly work in that it references psychology and concepts that the author assumes her reader already understands. But, it is still approachable and easy enough to read that it makes the techniques she is teaching, accessible and attainable for just about any reader. I was instantly attracted to the title, because I so strongly believe that there are really no bad dogs (or children, for that matter) just bad owners and parents. I am an avid disciple of Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer, and I have even given some thought to a new career as a dog (and owner) trainer. I believe that with the right communication, discipline, motivation and appreciation, dogs of all breeds can be loyal, well-behaved companions, and children can be prevented from running like wild animals through restaurants! I could write reams just on that latter subject! But, I digress. I was well and truly hooked, once I realized that the concepts of clicker training and positive reinforcement were being taught to teachers and school counselors! Finally! the pendulum of discipline and control swings back toward sanity! So, I began reading, and before the week was out, I had purchased my own copy and transferred my bookmark. In this classic bestseller, Pryor outlines and explains, giving easily understood and useful examples, the various types of behavior modification methods and when each one is or isn’t appropriate. She presents eight methods of ending undesirable behavior from furniture-clawing cats to sloppy roommates. The ten laws of “shaping” behavior are listed and fully explained—methods of creating the behavior you want without ever raising a voice or a hand. For me, the book casts the word “manipulation” in the benign, neutral light it deserves. After all, the primary meaning of the word is “to manage skillfully and effectively”—something I know I strive to do. It offers up interesting anecdotes not just about dog training, or children in classrooms, but about dolphins and elephants and cats and department managers. And, there is the undeniable aspect of all this, that we train ourselves on a daily basis, too. We train ourselves how to eat, exercise, sleep—how to spend our time. We train ourselves how to deal with people. And, in the words of another well-known psychologist, Dr. Phil—”we teach people how to treat us.” Why not get a better handle on what we’re teaching?! This book stands to benefit, not only dog owners and trainers … not only teachers and parents … but anyone who ever hopes to get other people (or themselves) to behave in a certain way—employees, co-workers, bosses, customers, contractors … restaurant servers and bartenders … the guys who pick up your trash — in short, it can benefit you. I have read the whole thing, and will likely read it again. I hope Kyle will read it. I have recommended it to others, as well. I can’t promise to remember everything I’ve learned, but I can promise I’ll know what book to reference when I come up against an interpersonal relationship that isn’t working, or a behavioral problem with my dogs. So, take a look at Don’t Shoot the Dog! Even if you aren’t into “self-help books.” ;-) Opening sentence: 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. ~MB

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tally

    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 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 manipulating them.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jesi

    This was absolutely FASCINATING and I would highly, highly recommend it to anyone and everyone I know. I picked it up based on the title, thinking it would be about dog training, but it's actually not about dogs at all -- it's a general interest book about how all living creatures (humans AND animals!) learn, form habits, and assign meaning to different patterns of behavior. If your job involves any kind of teaching, training, managing, or communication, I think you would find this book useful a This was absolutely FASCINATING and I would highly, highly recommend it to anyone and everyone I know. I picked it up based on the title, thinking it would be about dog training, but it's actually not about dogs at all -- it's a general interest book about how all living creatures (humans AND animals!) learn, form habits, and assign meaning to different patterns of behavior. If your job involves any kind of teaching, training, managing, or communication, I think you would find this book useful and thought-provoking. I have so many more thoughts about this and will probably write a longer review on Tumblr about a cluster of seemingly disparate things I've read or listened to recently (among them Don't Shoot the Dog, Bones Would Rain from the Sky, The Lost Art of Listening, Culture Clash, Living a Feminist Life, and the podcast S-Town) that are sparking so many exciting thoughts for me about teaching and writing. I am also definitely going to seek out more recent material on this subject (this was published in the 1980s). Pryor has a great section near the end of the book where she addresses some of the critiques of applied behaviorism, which seem to mostly revolve around the fear that focusing too much on observable behavior and "training" positive behaviors = Orwellian dystopia. I can kinda see where those fears come from, but I think they are based on a distortion or misinterpretation of the basic principles of this teaching method. This kind of teaching doesn't have to be at odds with humanism--in fact, I think that humanism and behaviorism have a lot to teach each other, and Pryor talks about how observable behavior is one "ring" in a series of interlocking rings: behavior is one; ethology or internal emotional states is the second, and the third level (which we do not yet fully understand) has to do with behavior like play, empathy, imaginativeness, and creativity. I found it so exciting to think about how methods like the one Pryor describes can be used to foster creativity, innovation, and generosity, and to see those qualities not as things that you either have or don't have, but as behaviors that can be nurtured in ways that eventually inspire the learner to initiate and deepen those behaviors of their own volition. This is surprisingly relevant to my own academic work, which involves thinking about how certain narrative structures/forms produce patterns of affective response, which in turn shapes the way readers interpret the material they're reading *and* the social worlds they inhabit. To use Pryor's rhetoric: I write about how literary forms (as well as the forms of interpretation we are taught in literature classrooms) help "shape" qualities like empathy, openness to new experiences, acceptance of self and others, etc. In other words, narrative forms can be pedagogical tools that teach us different ways of interpreting and responding to the world around us. It's not just "reading makes you a better person," although I think it often does. Rather, I'm thinking about how literary communities like fandoms encourage readers to see themselves as capable interpreters and potential content-creators in their own right -- in part by positively reinforcing certain behaviors and by making reading itself a form of community-building. I also LOVED the description of teaching as a two-way communication between teacher and learner, a dynamic relationship in which both subjects are actively learning from each other and shaping their ability to listen and communicate with each other. And I think that it's so, so true that when learning isn't happening, it's not because the learner is lazy, stupid, incapable, or defiant; it's a sign that the teacher needs to more closely examine the environment and also their own practices of communication, so that they can figure out what is "blocking" that channel of communication and develop new strategies for breaking complex tasks down into smaller tasks that students can achieve. This method of teaching requires teachers to be so much more attuned to their own practices and responsive to the needs of the students. It means approach the teaching situation from a place of understanding and empathy -- empathy towards the student but also towards yourself, as you reflect on where your frustration or anger is coming from and develop ways to move through those feelings. Lastly: I think this book has also helped me understand why academia is such a soul-crushing endeavor for many people, myself included. There is little positive reinforcement in your day to day life, and plenty of opportunities to accidentally develop and reinforce unhealthy behaviors like procrastination. You live with a crushing sense of guilt (a behavior that Pryor says is almost completely useless -- it teaches you nothing, and only serves to heighten responses like avoidance, resentment, and depression). The tasks are not broken up into manageable chunks; you are expected to flounder around, ideally while wallowing in despair and shame, until you happen to (usually accidentally) make a massive leap to the next stage. If you struggle with making this leap, as most people do, you are meant to feel that you are simply undisciplined, lazy, or not smart enough to hack it. You are often expected to regulate and assess your own progress with minimal feedback or support, even though you may have only a hazy idea of what progress looks like or what criteria you'll be measured by. IT'S A BROKEN SYSTEM!!! but it passes off responsibility for its structural problems in large part by making people feel like they are the ones who are broken.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Olga

    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 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 ни о вселенском благе, да и вобще о высоком, а зачастую прямо сравнивает дрессировку обезьян с дрессировкой людей. Если читать внимательно, то можно понять, что на самом деле никакого сравнения нет, да и цели у неё весьма гуманные. Более того, становится весьма очевидно, что при использовании “позитивного подкрепления” (её термин), люди начинают творить великие чудеса, которые им самим и не снились. Особенная ценность книги в том, что автор доступно и ясно показывает, почему традиционные методы воспиятания детей неэффективны. Почему нужно хвалить, а ругать стоит очень редко и в конкретных случаях. Причём описаны разные инструменты методики и каждому сопустсвует объяснение, почему так, а не иначе. В общем при правильном настрое на то, что книга крайне практического толка, а местами даже несколько примитивная, от её прочтения можно полуить ощутимую пользу и получить пару инструментов на предмет того, как, например, не скандалить с мужем или не идти на поводу у назойливых родственников.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    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 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 (I know, sad) who cannot be harnessed or punished into any behavior except to stress them out, which will effectively stop them from doing anything. They literally sink to the bottom of the pool and freeze. Teenagers are kind of like dolphins, too slippery and big and sensitive to respond to force or punishment. I have a tween and a teen now with whom I needed help, which is what brought me back to Pryor's engaging and educational writing. I had read this book 15 years ago when I was a dog walker and found it fascinating but never really tried it out, not even with my own dogs. I guess you could say I was a passive believer. I also tried what Pryor refers to as pseudoscience: "alpha" training and had no success with that either and got bitten or growled at a couple of times in the process. So I just stopped training my dogs. Living with dogs in their natural, untrained state is a bit like being held hostage. They have to be limited to parts of the house you don't mind them peeing and pooping (but I actually do mind, I just tolerated it.) They annoy you with their noise and their out of control play. They steal your food. You can yell at them or even hit them to stop the behavior for a second but it doesn't work in the long run and hurts your bond. For me, the worst part was that they were an embarrassment, so we haven't had guests other than tolerant family for ages. This "natural" approach sets a terrible example to the kids of how to be a responsible dog owner. I remember my son asking why someone else's dog had to be let out. "Can't they just poop in the house?" Ay yi yi. Occasionally I have had "shoot the dog" fantasies of getting rid of the dogs altogether (which would completely extinguish the behavior!). But I do love them and don't believe in throwing pets away because they are inconvenient. I have never felt that way about the kids, but sure have wanted to hide from them at times. But I digress, sort of. I read this book wanting a refresher on operant conditioning for the kids--the dogs were at the back of my mind filed where I put resigned-to live-with stuff. I wanted to stop yelling at my kids. I wanted a more positive method of managing self and other destructive behaviors that are a natural part of teen life but need to be curtailed for survival and success as a human being. Abject force works with little kids who can't really fight back (a cruel reality for too many kids.) But you cannot force a teen to do anything. And if you try too hard to run their lives, they can simply walk out the door. As it turns out, just a few days after starting the book, by using Pryor's positive approach, I am getting fast results with both kids and dogs and the kids are loving the dog training we are doing so that part has become a family bonding project. It's a win for the dogs, a win for the kids, a win for the parents and a win for the family. There is no down side! Instead of waiting 15 years, I need to reread this book (and her others) yearly, as well as any behavior-centric books that rely not on punishment but reward, which by the way is different from bribery. Trust me, positive reinforcement is not really about bribery but you'll have to read Pryor's books to learn how, and then get on an internet forum of experienced users of these methods to fine tune, as I am now doing and getting super fast and very effective results.

  7. 5 out of 5

    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 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 it easy to follow how one would use each technique, and makes it easier to extrapolate to real-world situations. I will say, though, that this book was tainted by a few passages that grated. One especially where Pryor discusses a cat she had that peed on the stove burners every night. If the burners were covered, the cat peed on the covers. Pryor claims she never caught the cat in the act and could therefore not manage the behavior. Now, she might not have wanted to go into all the details of this issue, but when the issue is resolved by euthanizing the cat, I think it deserves more than a gloss. A professional behaviorist euthanized a cat for a non-aggressive, annoying behavior! I was appalled and a little disgusted. I had a troublesome urinator, too, and I went through a lot to solve that problem. Even if I might have thought of finding her a new home, I never would have put her down because I couldn't figure out her motivation. She also discusses repeatedly how ineffective aversives are, especially to cats, but she does mention that spraying cats in the face is extremely effective at managing behavior. DO NOT SPRAY YOUR CAT IN THE FACE! Not with water, and not with wine, like the author did. Discover the motivation and alter the behavior. Yeesh. It may be unfair to pick on a book so highly regarded in the training world because of a few instances. But the fact is many amateurs in training and behavior will pick up this book and not know where the author is outdated, or wrong, or just incomplete. I think it's important just for that reason to highlight the aspects of a book that are questionable. Overall, good material on positive reinforcement and training methods. This will not be the book that tells you how to teach your dog to sit, but it will explain the background about why trainers do it a certain way and why it works.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

    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 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 involves training oneself as much as the dog or the other person. Here's the NY Times article: What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage Actually, turns out that this book isn't mentioned anywhere in the article. Still, I love this behavioral stuff. Whenever I add a book to my shelf here at Goodreads, it says "You've now got three books!" or something like that. Nice positive reinforcement. I noticed I tend to want to post here, when I'm allergic to posting nearly anywhere else.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

    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!

  10. 4 out of 5

    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 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 listed in the book, you'll see that it's not at all a humiliating practice. For example, the author talks about how she "trained" her mother to have a pleasant conversation with her every time she calls, rather than ending with tears and accusations which only makes her avoid the calls. By positively responding to some of the topics that brings joy to both of them, Karen Pryor reinforced her mother to be more positive in their conversations. Win-win? You bet!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jodee

    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 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 had fun ever since.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Interesting historical artifact. Pryor is a “behavioral biologist” who worked with B. F. Skinner in Hawaii’s Sea Life Park. She’s used operant conditioning to train everything from fish to orcas, cats to elephants, children to co-workers. She was one of the early proponents of clicker training. An accessible review on dog training with some interesting suggestions for adapting it to in-law management and tennis practice. I can’t say that I loved the book. It was more than usually self-aggrandizi Interesting historical artifact. Pryor is a “behavioral biologist” who worked with B. F. Skinner in Hawaii’s Sea Life Park. She’s used operant conditioning to train everything from fish to orcas, cats to elephants, children to co-workers. She was one of the early proponents of clicker training. An accessible review on dog training with some interesting suggestions for adapting it to in-law management and tennis practice. I can’t say that I loved the book. It was more than usually self-aggrandizing, which would have been easier to accept if she hadn’t had a cat put to sleep because she couldn’t figure out how to train it out of an unpleasant behavior (peeing on the burners). I don’t know why she included that particular story, other than perhaps show she’s not a woo-woo sentimentalist. Also I don’t care about tennis. But it gave me some new ideas for trying to teach my young lab not to bark at the neighbors quite as much.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mandy Tewell

    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.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    Ironically, this is required for my human behavior course.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    This is a great book. but it actually plays fast and loose with negative reinforcement and punishment at times, which I find maddening. Still, it's is a good read when trying to figure out solid, research-based approaches to pet and human behavior issues.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Rachael

    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.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Shaya

    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 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 books I've read. Or it seemed that way. I liked the anecdote about her parents only using negative reinforcers on her twice in the form of scolding when she stole something and skipped school. It was effective in part because of the novelty of the reinforcer. One of the main messages of the book is that punishment is not a very effective or reliable way to change behavior. It is rewarding for the punisher and is our first response but that's not because it's successful. One problem is that punishment escelates, a choke collar doesn't work what about a shock collar? It often doesn't work because punishment doesn't happen at the same time of the behavior. I think this point is well discussed in dog training circles. Coming home and yelling at the dog for peeing on the rug has no effect on their peeing on the rug. Punishment also doesn't teach anyone anything. Karen Pryor lays out ten rules for shaping (clicker training/operantly conditioning) behavior and eight rules for changing behavior you don't want. I really liked this book and would recommend it to anyone who's interested in behavior in any species or trains humans or animals.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jessie Haas

    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 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 delicious treat. By successive approximations you shape the behavior; joyously, the animal shapes your behavior, finding more and more precise ways to get you to click and treat. It's an amazingly positive training method, and has the benefit of teaching the trainer to look for things she likes, about her animal and eventually, the broader world. Karen Pryor writes so clearly, and as a children's book writer I appreciate that. She also teaches through stories, and I love that. There's much to enjoy here even if you're stranded on a desert island with only coconuts for company. If, like most of us, you live with fellow sentient beings, you'll not only enjoy the book, but learn skills that will make everyone's life more pleasant. Also read Karen's new book, Reaching the Animal Mind.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    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 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 boring book, it just occasionally has a bunch of psychology jargon that requires my full attention, so I found myself having to reread paragraphs. It can be a little textbooky, but Pryor's personal accounts and stories are a lot of fun and serve as great examples for the methods she's describing. So, although I found parts of it a little tough to get through, the information is well worth the struggle.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

    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 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 read that I hope I can use on a regular basis, both in my family and personal life, as well as at work. Originally written in 1984, with an update added in 1999, it is as applicable today as it was then.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    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 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 strengthening for parents, spouses, friends, acquaintances...and even the occasional adversary. I especially like the focus on kindness. Oh, and I imagine the techniques would work excellently for training animals as well. =)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    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 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 but not at all what I was looking for and -it seemed to me-the least helpful for dog behaviors, much more applicable for humans.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    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 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 definitely more a book on theory than on concrete steps, but it's good background for the other Puppy reading I'm doing and gives the 'why' behind those methods .

  24. 4 out of 5

    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 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 work.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nick Skelton

    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.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    Here are someone's notes: http://fiddlemath.net/?p=41

  27. 5 out of 5

    Vaas

    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 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 достижения результатов в обучении существа, к которому невозможно применить силу, должен показать вам, что для воспитания ребенка вы так же не нуждаетесь в применении силы. ========== Положительное подкрепление — это событие, совпадающее с каким-либо действием и ведущее к увеличению вероятности повторного совершения этого действия. ========== Поведение, которое уже встречается вне зависимости от того, насколько оно спорадично, всегда можно усилить с помощью положительного подкрепления. ========== Самое главное в обучении с подкреплением то, что вы не можете подкрепить поведение, которое не встречается. ========== В качестве подкрепления надо выбирать нечто желаемое субъектом. ========== Оно лежит в основе искусства делать подарки точно угадать, что будет иметь подкрепляющее действие (правильный выбор является подкреплением и для делающего подарок). ========== В нашем мире человек, выработавший в себе наблюдательность в отношении положительного подкрепления, имеет большие преимущества перед другими. ========== Допустим, сидя в гостиной у тетушки, я случайно положила ноги на кофейный столик. Тетушка неодобрительно поднимает брови. Я ставлю ноги на пол. Ее лицо мягчеет. Я чувствую облегчение. И поскольку я смогла остановить сигнал нерасположенности, совершившееся поведение было подкреплено. ========== лошадь учится поворачивать налево, когда тянут за левый повод, потому что поворот прекращает неприятное давление; ========== Если у вас возникают трудности в дрессировке, первый вопрос, который надо себе задать, не запаздывает ли ваше подкрепление. ========== Если отрицательное подкрепление не прекращается в момент достижения желаемых результатов, то оно не является подкреплением и не несет информации. Оно становится как буквально, так и в терминах теории информации шумом. ========== Величина подкрепления Начинающие тренеры, использующие пищевое подкрепление при работе с животными, часто не знают, какова должна быть величина каждого подкрепления. Ответ таков чем меньше, тем лучше. ========== куша. Это награда, которая во много, иногда в 10 раз больше обыкновенного подкрепления и являющаяся сюрпризом для субъекта. ========== куш полной свободы, который часто, по-видимому, может привести к образованию новой линии поведения. Как ни странно, получение всего одного куша может так же улучшить ответы непокорного, испуганного или сопротивляющегося субъекта, который вообще не проявлял нужного поведения. ========== она стала неактивной, и в конце концов в течение одного занятия за двадцать минут не дала ни одного ответа. Наконец, тренер кинул ей пару рыбок ни за что. Явно ошарашенная такой щедростью, Хоу снова стала активной и вскоре выполнила движение, которое можно было подкрепить, что привело к несомненному прогрессу на последующих занятиях. ========== Условное подкрепление представляет собой какой-либо изначально ничего незначащий сигнал — звук, свет, движение, — который умышленно связывают с подачей подкрепления. ========== Хорошая лошадка! только когда хотели подкрепить поведение. Если им просто хотелось выразить свою привязанность, они могли болтать с пони, как угодно, не употребляя этих слов. Однажды девочка, которая только что присоединилась к их компании, начала гладить пони, приговаривая Ты хорошая лошадка!. Трое остальных тотчас же ополчились на нее Ты за что ему это говоришь Он же ничего не сделал! ========== Если давать дельфину рыбку за каждый прыжок, то скоро прыжки станут невысокими, небрежными, лишь бы отделаться. Если теперь перестать давать рыбу, дельфин тут же перестает прыгать. Но, если после того как животное научилось прыгать за рыбку, начать подкреплять первый прыжок, затем третий и так далее наугад, поведение будет поддерживаться на более высоком уровне не получив подкрепления, животное станет прыгать чаще, стараясь угадать счастливый номер, и прыжки могут даже усилиться. ========== И парадоксально с точки зрения здравого смысла, но закономерно с точки зрения теории обучения, что чем реже и непредсказуемей становятся такие моменты, тем сильнее становится их подкрепляющий эффект, и тем дольше ваша линия поведения будет сохраняться. ========== я могу держать ее (его) в безоговорочном подчинении, так, Чтобы она (он) делала все, что я захочу, ради моего удобства и спокойствия, до тех пор пока я даю ей (ему) все, что она (он) хочет... изредка. ========== Немногие имеют столь низкие критерии, что по ним легко жить. ========== Неважно, сколь сложно и трудно то окончательное поведение, которое вы хотите выработать, вы всегда можете, установить ряд последовательных целей, найти какое-либо поведение, которое осуществляется уже сейчас, и использовать его как первый шаг. ========== Допустим, что я обучаю дельфина делать фонтан брызг, и один раз не дам ему подкрепление, потому что фонтан недостаточно велик, а другой раз — потому что он направлен не в ту сторону, в итоге у животного не будет ключа к расшифровке того, что я хочу от него. Одно подкрепление не может содержать двух типов информации я должна сначала довести высоту фонтана до удовлетворяющей меня отметки, а затем формировать его направление вне зависимости от высоты, до тех пор, пока оно тоже не будет заучено; только когда оба критерия установлены, я могу-требовать соблюдения обоих. ========== Если ты мгновенно понял, о чем толкует учитель математики, твоей наградой может стать мучение от скуки в течение часов или даже недель, пока все остальные мало-помалу постигнут это. Поэтому нет ничего удивительного в том, что улица более привлекательна как для наиболее быстрых, так и для медленных. ========== что если что-то идет не так, то это зависит от процесса обучения, а не от того, кого обучают. ========== Молодые особи всех видов учатся большинству из того, что они должны знать, наблюдая, а затем копируя поведение старших. В то время как психологи часто считают обучение при помощи наблюдения признаком разумности животного — у приматов оно хорошо выражено, у некоторых других животных плохо, — я думаю, что наличие или отсутствие этой способности у того или иного вида зависит от его экологии, т. е. ее роли в естественных условиях жизни, а не разума как такового. ========== Как только стимул становится условным сигналом, происходит интересная вещь он превращается в подкрепление. ========== Отсюда следует, что цепное поведение следует всегда вырабатывать с конца. Начинайте с последнего действия в цепи, удостоверьтесь, что оно усвоено и сигнал к его выполнению хорошо узнается, лишь потом переходите к разучиванию предпоследнего действия и т. д. ========== Когда делают пирог, — то глазурью его украшают в последнюю очередь, но если вы хотите обучить ребенка получать удовольствие от приготовления пирога, начните с того, что попросите помочь украсить его глазурью. ========== Вы сформировали поведение и теперь пытаетесь сделать его управляемым с помощью стимулов. Но когда вам кажется, что субъект уже проявляет способность отвечать на стимулы, он внезапно перестает отвечать не только на стимулы, но и вообще давать нужные реакции. Он ведет себя так, будто никогда и не слышал о действиях, которые вы сформировали. ========== На мой взгляд, происходит вот что сначала субъект выучивает сигнал, не осознавая этого, дрессировщик видит только обнадеживающую тенденцию медленного нарастания правильного выполнения команд. Но затем субъект замечает (!) сигнал и осознает, что на него надо как-то отвечать, чтобы получить подкрепление. В этот период он уделяет большее внимание сигналу, чем проявляемому поведению. ========== С этого момента он знает, что означает сигнал, и отвечает на него правильно и уверенно. ========== Когда же, по случайному стечению обстоятельств, или в результате упорства тренера, субъект однажды осуществит реакцию при наличии сигнала и получит подкрепление, у него возникнет картина. ========== Однако при дрессировке животных иногда так оно и есть, что уровень правильных ответов постепенно нарастает, хотя внешне ничего существенного не происходит; трудно сказать, с какого момента, если таковой вообще существует, животное начинает осмысленно отдавать себе отчет в том, что делает. Но наличие провала преднаучения, по моему мнению, является отражением осознания, вне зависимости от того, какие процессы в это вовлекаются. ========== Мне кажется, что вспышки раздражения возникают потому, что субъект, считавший себя всегда правым, вдруг обнаруживает, что он ошибается (раз за разом), а причина этого неясна... пока. ========== У людей вспышки раздражения в период преднаучения, по-видимому, часто происходят в моменты, когда бросается вызов привычным представлениям, которых длительно придерживались, а где-то в глубине души субъект знает (!), что в новой информации кроется некая правда. ========== Я часто подозреваю, что гневные слова являются симптомом преднаучения. ========== Однако я пришла к убеждению, что вспышки раздражения в период преднаучения являются четким индикатором того, что вот-вот произойдет истинное обучение. ========== эте происходит оттого, что стимулы становятся подкреплениями, как в поведенческой цепи, так что, когда овладеваешь всеми типами поведения и сигналами, осуществление ответов имеет сильное подкрепляющее действие. ========== Существует восемь способов избавиться от нежелательного вида поведения. ========== Метод 1. Убить зверя. Это безусловно подействует. Вам никогда больше не придется снова иметь дело с данным поведением у данного субъекта. Метод 2. Наказание. (Предпочитаемо всеми, хотя оно почти никогда не приносит действительной пользы.) Метод 3. Отрицательное подкрепление. Метод 4. Угашение поведению предоставляется возможность исчезнуть самому по себе. Метод 5. Выработка несовместимого поведения. (Этот метод имеет особую значимость для спортсменов и владельцев домашних животных.) Метод 6. Добиться, чтобы данное поведение совершалось по сигналу. (В последующем вы перестанете давать этот сигнал. Это наиболее изощренный метод, применяемый тренерами дельфинов для того, чтобы избавиться от нежелательного поведения.) Метод7. Формирование отсутствия подкрепляется все что угодно, кроме нежелательного поведения. (Вежливый способ превратить неприятных родственников в приятных.) Метод 8. Смена мотивации. (Это основной и самый лучший способ.) ========== Научиться изменять будущее поведение, чтобы в будущем избежать его последствий — выше понимания большинства животных. ========== Наказание часто используется как своего рода реванш. ========== Наказывающему может и не быть дела до того, изменится или нет поведение жертвы, он или она лишь берут реванш, и иногда даже не над самим наказуемым, а над обществом в целом. ========== Наказание является подкреплением для наказывающего, так как оно демонстрирует и способствует сохранению доминирующего положения. ========== наказывающий может быть прежде всего заинтересован не в определенном поведении, но в получении доказательств своего главенствующего положения. ========== Отрицательным подкреплением является любое неприятное событие или стимул, пусть даже весьма слабый, действие которого можно прекратить или избежать, изменив поведение. ========== Отличие отрицательного подкрепления от наказания заключается в том, что отрицательное подкрепление, подобно положительному, происходит во время поведения, а не после него, и может быть включено изменением поведения. ========== Слишком частое применение отрицательного подкрепления, не скомпенсированное возможностью положительного подкрепления, может привести к появлению нежелательных черт личности, не обязательно страха и ярости, создаваемых наказанием, но робости, неуверенности в себе, тревожности. ========== Сочетание положительного и отрицательного подкреплений гораздо более эффективно. ========== Если вы совершенно уверены в том, что субъект знает, что должно быть сделано, а делает вместо этого что-либо другое, чтоб, скажем, просто посмотреть, что из этого выйдет, тогда знак вашего неодобрения — нахмуренный лоб, замечание, натяжение поводка или вожжи, прекращение занятий, выговор — должны последовать незамедлительно и быть четкими. ========== Даже животные знают, когда они пытаются вывести вас из себя, и получают удовлетворение от того, что им дают понять, что это нельзя. ========== Если ребенок нарочно преступает эти пределы, то отрицательное подкрепление дает ему нужную информацию о положении границ дозволенного. ==========

  28. 5 out of 5

    Muwaffaq

    Awesome and interesting. Not just about dogs.........

  29. 5 out of 5

    Akeepaki

    Всю свою жизнь я пытался привести оную к уровню постоянного плавного возвышения. Вечный кайф, каждый день праздник и благоденствие. Нет необходимости в наградах и наказаниях, потому что все достижимо и все доступно. Но окружающий мир пока к этому еще не готов, а без жизни в обществе мы теряем больше, чем приобретаем, приходится действовать старым добрым кнутом и пряником. Книга "Не рычите на собаку" идеальна для понимания законов кнута, и в особенности пряника, что как нельзя кстати в современном Всю свою жизнь я пытался привести оную к уровню постоянного плавного возвышения. Вечный кайф, каждый день праздник и благоденствие. Нет необходимости в наградах и наказаниях, потому что все достижимо и все доступно. Но окружающий мир пока к этому еще не готов, а без жизни в обществе мы теряем больше, чем приобретаем, приходится действовать старым добрым кнутом и пряником. Книга "Не рычите на собаку" идеальна для понимания законов кнута, и в особенности пряника, что как нельзя кстати в современном методе воспитания детей, когда у тебя есть только ведро рыбы и доброе слово, без пистолета; а на работе и в жизни процветают только практики вин-вин отношений. Книжица немного устарела в плане того, что вы не найдете там описание про поощрения лайками, репостами и звонками в виртуальные колокольчики, но это все вы уже можете додумать сами, мои умницы-читатели. Основы преподаны отлично, методики великолепно работают тем лучше, чем приземленнее существо, т.е живет менее осознанной жизнью, что автоматически помещает книгу в библиотеку зожовика. Рекомендую к прочтению минимум раз в год.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Faye Zheng

    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 ( 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 (if sometimes erudite) job of demonstrating through lots of examples how to apply it effectively in a variety of different contexts. I suspect I'll start seeing example applications soon in the world around me, I just don't know it yet.

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