The New Art of Teaching and Training
by Karen Pryor
This is not really a dog-training book. It's about training any other living being in your ken to do what you want, just by being nice to them about it (to put it in a nutshell). I was curious when I saw it, because I'd read Pryor's book about her work training dolphins, Lads Before the Wind (more on that another day). Don't Shoot the Dog! explains exactly what's behind her methods of positive reinforcement. Whether you're trying to train your dog, teach the cat to stay off the counter, encourage a child to have good behavior, get your husband to be less grumpy etc, Pryor has a method laid out that involves mainly praising the behavior you like, and ignoring the behavior you want to get rid of. (It reminded me a lot of another book I read years ago about being proactive -which I'm sure you've heard of -The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People). Anyway, when it comes to training animals, her methods sound good to me- but when it comes to applying it to other people, I felt it would be a little bit- manipulative? and take a whole lot of patience to carry out. The book itself is easy to read, well-organized, and even amusing in parts. It's full of little examples and suggestions. I'm trying to put some of it into practice (especially with my four-year-old) without the feeling-like-I'm-being-manipulative part.
Rating: 3/5 ........ 187 pages, 1984
More opinions at: