"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 fast, and better, and be more fun, if you know how to use reinforcement." -- Karen Pryor.
Now Karen Pryor clearly explains the underlying principles of behavioral training and through numerous fascinating examples reveals how this art can be applied to virtually any common situation. And best of all, she tells how to do it without yelling threats, force, punishment, guilt trips--or shooting the dog. Eight methods for putting an end to all kinds of undesirable behavior. The 10 laws of "shaping" behavior--for results without strain or pain 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. . . House training the dog, improving your tennis game, keeping the cat off the table, and much more!
"In the course of becoming a renowned dolphin trainer, Karen Pryor learned that positive reinforcement (the only kind useable with dolphins, who can't be reached with leashes, bridles, fists, or yells) is even more potent that prior scientific work had suggested. . .This new book looks like the very best on the subject--a full-scale mind-changer." -- Stewart Brand, The Coevolution Quarterly.
"Every animal owner needs to read this book. This is my favorite training book (and isn't just about dog training- it's about operant conditioning for the average Joe). It humorously and thoroughly explains how to influence and shape behavior using well-timed reinforcement. This book will be especially helpful to people trying to train animals to do unusual behaviors (such as disabled people who are self-training their own assistance dog). When you're done reading this, you'll understand how to break literally any behavior down into small manageable pieces that you can train for. But don't assume it's just for animal trainers. I know an excellent manager who read this book when he was first promoted to management. It's a quick-read, it's fun, and the info is very valuable. Certainly a 'must read'." -- Diane Bassett
"Pryor at her wisest and wittiest...always in print. This collection brings together Karen Pryor's dolphin research articles, some fascinating writing on dogs, animal training, and behavior, and the pick of her popular essays from New York, Psychology Today, and other magazines. Pryor's a wonderful writer as well as a gifted scientist. Great reading." -- the publisher
Not sure what dolphins have to do with dogs? Well you will, after reading how operant conditioning can be successfully used to train many different species... whether it be dog, dolphin, or human. This fascinating account of Pryor's early work with dolphins is an educational and entertaining review of the development of operant conditioning as an effective training tool.