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Reaching the Animal Mind

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This new book by Karen Pryor was released last week and I have barely been able to put it down since my copy arrived in the mail from Amazon.


It's not a how-to book, it's not a beginning clicker book, it's not really a training book at all. Still, since I started reading it, a day hasn't gone by that I haven't gotten out my clicker and tried new things with my three trainees. Nuanced techniques that have delighted my dogs, and delighted me with the results!


Reaching the Animal Mind reads a lot like a conversation with Ms. Pryor. She scatters clicker gems into her anecdotes about her own experiences with different animals - dolphins, a wolf, horses, fish, and, of course, dogs. Somehow, without becoming techical, she takes us a step deeper into an understanding of the effect that clicker training has on the animal mind and how we, as clicker trainers, can use the clicker to train more efficiently.


I recommend this to anyone who has experience clicker training and would like to take that skill and understanding of that skill a step further. I recommend it to non-clicker trainers who want to understand more about why some of us choose to clicker train. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in clicker training but doesn't know where to start (this book is not the place to start, but after reading it, one would know where to go from there).


She addresses the questions of why the click is distinct from a marker word, why training with the click works so fast, why training with a clicker is not an unnatural thing that is done to the animal, etc.


Finally, I am not one who enjoys books about the training of animals besides dogs. I'm into dog training and that's it. In spite of that, I have thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Pryors accounts about her experiences with dolphins, the wolf, horses, and even the fish!!!!


Don't judge this book by Don't Shoot the Dog. I've read Don't Shoot the Dog and I consider it a great reference book on behavior theory. Don't Shoot the Dog reads like a reference book. This one is a real sit-down-and read it kind of book.


This one's a winner.

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I pre-ordered mine and it isn't here yet. :rolleyes: I can't wait to read it!


If you check out the videos on the website for Chapter Two, though, you'll see a familiar face... :D



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I haven't had a chance to watch the videos yet (another cool feature about the book), but when I do I'll look out for that!! Very cool!

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LOVED this book. I have recommended it to everyone I meet, Pryor is a gifted writer and the links on the website are very cool.


Even if you are only somewhat interested in the science behind operant conditioning you will enjoy it.


I'm thinking about doing a TAGteach seminar in March...clicker training for humans.

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Also couldn't put this one down. Makes me want to try taking my clicker (and hot dogs!) into my local shelter. (She describes the usual barking mania that occurs when anyone enters...and within a few minutes, has them all sitting quietly! I may not be THAT good....but it would be fun to try!)

I haven't watched the vids yet either - but it is a great reference, section by section, to be able to see it in action. Soon, soon!


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