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 Reaching the Animal Mind by Karen Pryor

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Steven_L
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PostSubject: Reaching the Animal Mind by Karen Pryor   Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:55 pm

I can honestly say that this has been one of the best books about training that I've read for a while! For those of you that don't know, Karen Pryor is the leading advocate for clicker training and completely focuses on aversive-free training.

In this book she talks about her experiences as a trainer and explains a bit about the terminolgy that surrounds operant training techniques. The book if filled with examples of various animals (not only dogs) of how one can shape the behavior of an animal to do amazing things. She explains why punishment and "traditional" training methods don't work as well as operant conditioning and aversive free methods do. More towards the end of the book there is a chapter about why clicker training is so effective, fast, long lasting and fun. With the help of some scientists and researches she explains how using the clicker as a secondary reinforcer works in the brain to get the results it does.

For those that are skeptical about clicker training or have some questions about it, there's a whole chapter dedicated to answering some of the most common questions that people have about it.

Now don't be surprised though, even though the front cover has a dog the book isn't solely about dogs. There are shaping experiences in here involving horses, dolphins, fishes, dogs, cats, hermit crabs, and even people (with people its not called clicker training its called TAGteaching).

If terms such as primary reinforcer, secondary reinforcer, discrimantory stimulus, conditioned stimulus, operant condition, poisoned cue, or conditioned fear stimulus fly over your head and absolutely confuse you, no worries. Not only are the explanations in the book simple and easy to understand but there is a glossary you can refer to in the back. Wink

Drawbacks: These are just my opinions, even though I honestly think that the book was great the one thing that bugged me was that the author wasn't too open minded when it came to other training methods such as luring, desensitization, habituation, etc.

P.S. This is a new book by the way, the one I read at least was published only last year (09)!

Here's a link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Reaching-Animal-Mind-Clicker-Training/dp/0743297768

A Picture:



And a luckily found a place where you guys can read parts from the book: http://books.google.com/books?id=FSN_VDlw79wC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Reaching+the+animal+mind&source=bl&ots=_X6n9EpPSj&sig=ThAvtnEaO-TGzSc2cEkfLtqOrbs&hl=en&ei=tZmRS87VEY2IswPSjaj8Aw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBkQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=&f=false

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Last edited by Steven_L on Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:29 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Reaching the Animal Mind by Karen Pryor   Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:59 pm

Btw, I think I've found my newest favorite quote from this book. Somewhere towards the middle she's dealing with someone that insists that these methods don't work with her dog (only tradition do) and so here's what she wrote:

"I deal with this resistance by nodding, smiling, and talking to someone else. These people will come around or they won't. I'll save my strength for the people who are ready to learn."

Love it! I think I'm going to use it as my sig Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Reaching the Animal Mind by Karen Pryor   Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:52 pm

thats a great technique to have Steven..... you would be surprised at the amount of people out there who spend good money to go to classes and then argue with the trainer that they know best. i saw it for myself in class with lucy. the owner of a wayward, unsocialised staffy was arguing that the staffy was only playing when he was sitting on top of the german shepherd who was in a submissive position with his ears back and tongue licking his nose! he had no concept of dominance, aggression or otherwise and couldnt understand why the trainer wanted to remove him from class and offer him one to one sessions instead. no doubt i will come across this sort of denial all in my own good time when i get the classes up and running.
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PostSubject: Re: Reaching the Animal Mind by Karen Pryor   Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:00 pm

lucysnewmum wrote:
thats a great technique to have Steven..... you would be surprised at the amount of people out there who spend good money to go to classes and then argue with the trainer that they know best. i saw it for myself in class with lucy. the owner of a wayward, unsocialised staffy was arguing that the staffy was only playing when he was sitting on top of the german shepherd who was in a submissive position with his ears back and tongue licking his nose! he had no concept of dominance, aggression or otherwise and couldnt understand why the trainer wanted to remove him from class and offer him one to one sessions instead. no doubt i will come across this sort of denial all in my own good time when i get the classes up and running.

Yes unfortunately there will always be that one person that thinks he knows better because he or she watches some 'dog trainer' on tv. Frustrated

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PostSubject: Re: Reaching the Animal Mind by Karen Pryor   Tue Mar 09, 2010 6:56 pm

i gonna grow my hair into a long pony tail and wear high heeled boots in class! dya think they will listen then? rofl
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PostSubject: Re: Reaching the Animal Mind by Karen Pryor   Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:28 pm

lucysnewmum wrote:
i gonna grow my hair into a long pony tail and wear high heeled boots in class! dya think they will listen then? rofl

LOL, maybe! ROFL If they don't, just go by what Pryor says about people that don't listen. Cool

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