Book Review: Don't Shoot The Dog by Karen Pryor

Don't Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor describes big ideas in training everything from rodents to people. Pryor, an expert in animal training and behavior, writes about many of her own experiences with the subject.

Pryor talks about multiple concepts used in training. She discusses the merits of various methods such as punishment, positive and negative reinforcement, letting a bad behavior die out, and much more. Her biggest focus, however, is positive reinforcement and the different ways to utilize it. She gives many examples of good and bad training in the form of stories, which are engaging and often funny. The examples are from her personal experiences or experiences of people she knows. Pryor clearly explains when to use different methods of training with pets, kids, bosses and teachers. She goes as far as teaching people how to improve their own behavior.

I really enjoyed reading Don't Shoot the Dog because of how informative yet entertaining it was. I learned a lot from the book and I will try to use the good training methods it taught me in my everyday life.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn how to properly do anything from training their pet hamster to dealing with their parents. It is a reasonably quick read that would be helpful to both kids and adults. The book could be used as a parenting guide, a puppy behavior tool, a how-to for getting your boss under control, or all three. Pryor's universal and understandable description of training would allow anyone to find a good use for her book.