The Culture Clash

The Culture Clash

Paperback - 2005
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Jean Donaldson Offers an Exciting New Perspective on the age-old relationship between mankind and dogs. Her work with her own dogs and those of her clients, combined with her research and her study with other canine behaviorists has led her to the realisation that, in all likelihood, dogs learn exclusively through operant and classical conditioning. Donaldson demonstrates that the all-too-common anthropomorphic misconceptions about dogs and dog behavior are not limited to exaggerations concerning canine intelligence. Many people feel a deep disappointment when they discover the need for heavy artillery -- i.e., food and other primary reinforcers -- to train their dogs. Donaldson counters this with her eloquent conviction that it's time for us to rid ourselves of the belief that dogs are capable of experiencing a desire to please. Generations of completely and utterly normal dogs have been branded as canine misfits simply because they require actual motivation. Aggressive Behavior in Domestic Dogs is a vital issue that has long needed to be brought out into the open. Donaldson's work with the rehabilitation of aggressive domestic dogs has brought her to the understanding that there are not two kinds of dogs: nice dogs who would never bite and vicious dogs who do. Instead, she contends that biting is natural, normal dog behavior. Aggressive behavior within a community of dogs does not fracture relationships; it's all taken very much in stride, much as we humans accept the occasional exchange of heated words. Problems arise when dog rules and standards conflict with human values. The upshot is that biting dogs, instead of being rehabilitated to fit into human culture, are summarily put to death. That's quite the culture clash. Book jacket.
Publisher: Berkeley, Calif. : James & Kenneth Publishers, 2005
Edition: New second edition
ISBN: 9781888047059
Characteristics: 203 pages :,illustrations ;,22 cm.


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Apr 26, 2018

This book is so good, buy your own copy; just make sure it's the latest edition. Best explanation of cue/reinforce/response/reward process I've read anywhere. Other great takeaway: dogs don't do what you want because they want to please you; they do what you want because they want the positive reward. Period. A bonus - the last chapter is about teaching your dog basic commands, and if you and your dog want to progress beyond 'elementary' Donaldson offers thorough explanations.

Feb 17, 2011

As a dog trainer, this is the ONE book I recommend for every dog owner, lover or trainer. It is not a book on how "to help rehabilitate aggressive behaviour in dogs" (as posted on this page) but rather a general dog book which discusses how dogs think and learn, ways to train dogs so they will consistently perform those behaviours in the future, and dispels - with explanations - many common myths about dogs. Highly, highly recommended, not just by me, but by many other dog trainers as well. It's free to borrow from the library, but I'd recommend purchasing this book so you can write notes in it and always have it to refer to.

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