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by Karen Pryor (See other books by author)

Publisher: Bantam Books
1999 Paperback , 202 pages
ISBN: 0553380397
Item: DTB116

Summary: Despite its name, Don't Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor is not exclusively dog training book. In addition to being effective for training dogs, the behavioral training techniques, covered within can work on people and other animals as well. End undesirable behavior by learning the 10 laws of shaping behavior through affection training. One of our best selling teaching and training books!

Price: $17.00 Add this item to my cart.

Expanded Description:

A Dog World Top 12 Training and Behavior Book - 2010!

One of our best selling teaching and training books. Not exclusively a dog training book - author is famous as an early dolphin trainer. Outlines 8 methods for putting an end to all kinds of undesirable behavior without yelling, threats, force, punishment, guilt trips - or shooting the dog! The 10 laws of shaping behavior through affection training; how to combat your own addictions to alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, overeating or whatever; how to deal with such difficult problems as a moody spouse, an impossible teen, or an aged parent; PLUS housetraining the dog, improving your tennis game, keeping the cat off the table, and much, much more! This latest edition has an additional chapter, "Clicker Training, A New Technology." This covers the use of clickers in dog training, why it works, and how it has caught on. There is little or no practical application here, so we recommend Karen's Clicker Training Start-up Kit (DTB503) or Clicker Training for Dogs (DTB622). This book is the theory!

Whatever the task, whether keeping a four-year-old quiet in public, housebreaking a puppy, coaching a team, or memorizing a poem, it will go faster, better, and be more fun if you know how to use reinforcement. -- Karen Pryor

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Customer Reviews
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, March 27, 2003
Reviewer: Laura Rescoe
This book really opened up my eyes to the use of positive reinforcement. Not only did I completely switch to using only positve reinforcement with my own dogs, but at the time I had been working as a teacher at a daycare center and took a lot of what I had learned from Karen's book and applied it to the children. Wow! What a difference it made! This was 3 years ago. Since that time I have left childcare to become a dog Obedience instructor.
Awesome info, July 22, 2006
Reviewer: Nancy Hedberg
This is one of the best books for dog training that I have found! It helps open your eyes to the world around you and not only teaches you to train your dog, you can use this info for every relationship in your life
Everyone who trains should read this book, December 12, 2006
Reviewer: Sophia Stevenson
This book was one of the first books I read on dog training. Although I have delved into many texts on the same subject since then, this one still stands out in my mind as one of the best. It is packed with lots of practical information and takes a positive approach to problem solving and training. It does contain some behavioral terms that may be somewhat foreign for the everyday pet owner, but the book does a good job of clarifying them when they appear. A must read!
, February 1, 2007
Reviewer: Lindsay
This book is a classic! It's an excellent overview of operant conditioning. While this book is not a 'dog training' book, it is invaluable in explaining the OC theories that are put into practice every day as we train our dogs.
Not Just For Dog Trainers, April 25, 2007
Reviewer: Jenny Chun
Karen Pryor offers terrific insight into the human-canine relationship and then takes you beyond that. Learn to train a chicken, a cat, your mother, your father, your significant other... the list goes on. Now I understand my human-human relationships almost as much as I do my human-canine relationships...
Loved learning the theory, August 15, 2007
Reviewer: Marian
Having just gotten a Dogue de Bordeaux who is going to be 150 pounds, my husband and I felt we needed a formal training class. Our local trainer uses positive reinforcement only so her class was a clicker training class. I really enjoyed the concept but I'm the kind of person who wanted to know more about how/why it works. So I got this book.

The book explained the concepts behind operant conditioning in a very easy-to-understand manner. I liked how the author compared and contrasted the different methods one could deploy to train a dog (or handle other relationship situations). Her use of a chart with several scenarios and how each method would be used to handle the scenario was both clever and clarifying. It also convinced me that I like the idea of clicker training better than punishment/correction. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to gain an understanding of the theory behind training methods.
Disagree; only for pet trainers, September 28, 2007
Reviewer: RUTH
I disagree. I think that this book is only for pet trainers because it is not in layman's terms for your average pet parent. It is more scientific in explanations and terms. I do agree that it's contents can be used for relationships and not just pet training, but as I always say if it's not for a child any age, then it's mostly going to be for someone more 'surrounded' and 'engulfed' in dogs and training.
Best training book I've ever read, August 9, 2008
Reviewer: Crystal Saling
This is the most amazing book on behavior that anyone could read. I often recommend it to people who don't understand the power of positive reinforcement or don't want to try non-punishment-based training methods. Very easy to read and understand, extremely well-written and just as applicable today as it was the day it was published. If you read nothing else, read this book.
, September 27, 2008
Reviewer: Virginia D.
This book was not my first or last book I've read about clicker training/positive reinforcement/operant conditioning, but it built a nice foundation for me. Having learned the theory that is eloquently expressed in this book I was better able to understand other more advanced books on the subject. It's a good read and highly recommended.
Best book on training theory!, January 7, 2009
Reviewer: Erin
This book is full of scientific information relating to training/learing theories. If you don't quite believe that positive reinforcement works- read this book. It gives a fair explaining of multiple training theories and goes into depth in how they can be used. Don't Shoot The Dog is not just a book on dog training, its information can be used on any species, whether human, whale, hamster, cat, or parakeet.
It's slightly harder to read if you want to read it all at once. But it's great to pick up and read any time you have a chance. I HIGHLY recommend this book- especially to any wannabe trainers.
Best Training Book EVER!, January 22, 2009
Reviewer: Sarah Walker
I loved this book so much. Although I already used positive methods, this book really opened my eyes to exactly why they are so effective. This book is not just for dog trainers or owners, either. If you live with or interact with any other living being, you need to read this book. It explains how we learn things, and why we act the way we do in certain situations. I find endless ways to apply this knowledge every day.
, November 19, 2009
Reviewer: Michelle Grimes
I read this book at the beginning of my 'dog career' 6 years ago and just recently re-read it. What a great refresher, even for a seasoned Trainer. With so many things to remember as a Trainer, there are times the smaller things escape your memory. Generally the most simple of things. What a great tool to have on hand, a quick read and a great way to wake up the little things in the back of your mind that you know are there, but you've maybe put up on the shelf because you don't use them as often.
Great Book, June 7, 2010
Reviewer: Simone Clark
This is a great book on theory and learning but I wouldn't suggest it as a first read for someone new to positive reinforcement or clicker training. For anyone wanting to go beyond the basics of practical training though it is a must read!
Classic!, October 21, 2010
Reviewer: DogCatcher
Before undertaking any training project, this book should be required reading. It's a quick overview of everything about operant conditioning and it really opens the door to understanding without overwhelming the reader with terms that can be scary. You don't need to understand terms like 'positive punishment' and 'no reward marker' to understand everything about how they work. Besides, you can train your granny and husband just be reading this book.
training simplified, January 4, 2011
Reviewer: ChristinaB
I LOVE this book. I've been involved in dog training for a couple of years but have often gotten bogged down by terminology - reinforcers, cues, markers, etc. Susan Pryor makes all these things seem simple and teaches the reader how to not only train their dog, but also improve themselves and those around them through positive reinforcement. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to get involved in dog training.
Worth your time!, March 26, 2011
Reviewer: helps
This book is a-must-read. It's easy to understand and it takes you into the depth of clicker training and operant conditioning. I know I've learnt a lot from this one.
, July 14, 2011
Reviewer: Serena
I didn't think this book would be that interesting to me, but my library had a copy so I gave it a try... I bought it that same day, and I haven't stopped talking about it yet.

This book really opened my eyes on operant conditioning and positive training, for my pets and for my family as well! It's an invaluable resource, a great book for everyone, pet lovers or not (Well, if you are a pet lover it's a MUST read). Now I know the same things that work on my cat work with my family, neighbors and friends - well, of course the cat learns better ;-)
Good Book ever, January 30, 2012
Reviewer: Mark Jason
The fourth chapter “Untraining: Using reinforcement to get rid of behavior you don’t want” was one of my favorites when I first read Don’t Shoot the Dog and is still one of my favorites. Karen Pryor explains 8 totally different methods for getting rid of unwanted behaviors, everything from punishment and shooting the animal to more humane methods, such as changing the animal’s motivation or training an incompatible behavior.

Sticker Printing
It's just okay, February 22, 2012
Reviewer: Jody Freeland
I had a tough time reading this book. It jumps around and was very confusing in places. Not one of my favorites.
good stuff, March 20, 2012
Reviewer: khuf lessey
Found it to be quite engaging and informative. airplane games. Could have been just a little more specific on certain issues though.
A great intro to the science of positive reinforce, February 26, 2013
Reviewer: Don Hanson
SUGGESTED AUDIENCE: Individuals wanting to have better and happier relationships with all around them, including people, and who want to learn the principles of operant conditioning from a practical viewpoint.

First published in 1984, this book is not so much a 'dog training' book, but a book on changing the behavior of people and animals around you, through the science of positive reinforcement. Whether training your dog to sit or getting your spouse to pick up dirty laundry off the floor, this book explains why you will be more successful rewarding desirable behavior than in punishing unwanted behavior.

The author of this book, Karen Pryor, is an experienced dolphin trainer and has been one of the people leading dog trainers and zoo keepers into the modern world of clicker training.

FAVORITE QUOTE: 'Any creature-a dog, a horse, a polar bear, even a fish-that you shape with positive reinforcers and a marker signal becomes playful, intelligent, curious and interested in you.'

If you want a better understanding of terms like positive reinforcement, and negative punishment, then this is the book for you. However, and more importantly, if you want to get along better with your friends, family and pets you need to read this book!

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