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Reaching the Animal Mind


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About the Author

Karen Pryor is a behavioral biologist with an international reputation in marine mammal biology and behavioral psychology. She is a founder and leading proponent of "clicker training," a training system based on operant conditioning and the all-positive methods developed by marine mammal trainers. In addition to her bestselling Don't Shoot the Dog!, Pryor is the author of Nursing Your Baby, as well as several other books and many sci- entific papers and articles on learning and behavior. Karen has three grown children and lives in Boston with two clicker-trained dogs and a clicker- trained cat.


In the 1960s, Pryor worked with her husband to build an oceanarium and research facility on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. Drawing on newly emerging behavioral concepts, most notably by B.F. Skinner, she was given a golden opportunity to use his conditioning principles to develop a one-of-a-kind dolphin-training facility, with public performances that went beyond anything anyone had done before. Pryor later wrote the groundbreaking Don't Shoot the Dog! (1985), in which she introduced the concept of positive reinforcement training, first developed for marine mammals, and applied it to canines. Here, Pryor presents anecdotes and observations collected over her 40-plus years researching and practicing these techniques, most notably "clicker" training. Her 12 chapters cover such concepts as shaping, creativity, attachment, fear, and emotions. The beauty of Pryor's writing is that it is clear and understandable even to novice and would-be animal trainers. The techniques she has pioneered and promoted work on an amazingly wide variety of animals, including humans. Verdict Backed by the author's impressive credentials and readable style, this is highly recommended for both pet lovers looking for training advice and students of animal behavior.-Edell M. Schaefer, Brookfield P.L., WI Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

"A wonderful book that is approachable and user-friendly. A definite must-read for behaviorists, trainers and the general populace."
--Marilyn Krieger, Certified Cat Behavior Consultant, The Cat Coach, LLC
"Karen has dedicated her life's work to humane and scientifically based animal training and this book provides insights that she is uniquely positioned to supply. Karen's courage, willingness to share, talents as a writer and communicator (and let's face it - downright stubbornness) has changed the lives of millions of animals and hundreds of thousands of humans for the better. This book is a unique gift to the world, with its balance of accessible science and intriguing story telling."
--Joan Orr, President of Doggone Safe

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