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Publisher's Summary

While observing exotic animal trainers for her acclaimed book Kicked, Bitten, and Scratched, journalist Amy Sutherland had an epiphany: What if she used these training techniques with the human animals in her own life?

The next time her husband stomped through the house in search of his mislaid car keys, she asked herself, "What would a dolphin trainer do?" The answer was: nothing. Trainers reward the behavior they want and, just as important, ignore the behavior they don't. As she put more training principles into action, she noticed that she became more optimistic and less judgmental, and that their marriage improved.

What started as a goofy experiment had such good results that Sutherland began using these training techniques with all the people in her life, with great results.

©2008 Amy Sutherland (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"This engaging, often humorous, insightful book belongs in all public and academic libraries' self-help, psychology, and animal behavior collections." ( Library Journal)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good read!

This book was an extra credit assignment for my psychology 211 learning class and I can say I enjoyed reading this book. It was extremely informational and insightful about comparing the human species to exotic animal behaviors. The author Amy Sutherland uses her family and friends, especially her husband as examples to compare how positive reinforcement works similarly to trainers working with exotic animals. She uses her husband as examples by praising his good behaviors and ignoring the bad behavior. I feel like I should try using that technique on my boyfriend when he does a behavior I like. She uses examples from Skinner using positive reinforcement with his work on pigeons. She continues to share her experience on what she learned from observing the trainers with the different exotic animals, from dolphins to hyenas to different birds. Use positive reinforcement when you want to keep them motivated to do certain behaviors, and also to give it immediately. Do not lead with punishment on unwanted behaviors because that could lead to hatred from the animals and from people. An example she uses that stuck with me was comparing a cranky, hungry animal and observe their behavior as aggressive, but is also similar when any person is hungry and cranky. Another example of her praising her husband when he would pick up his soiled biking attire just by saying thank you later led him to continuously pick it up. She gives examples how we can praise and give positive reinforcement to receive good wanted behaviors. I recommend this read. I will for sure implement these ideas in my own life with family, friends, and those around me.

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Incredibly Enlightening!!

Absolutely amazing book!! Can revolutionize your perception of things and how you interact with others.

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Easy and helpful

Very enjoyable book. Easy to get through quickly and to pick up some helpful tips that you can use right away. Oh, and you'll also learn some fascinating things about exotic animal behavior.
The author has a great sense of humor and I felt that on more than a few occasions this wasn't captured by the way the narrator read at all. Still worth the listen though.

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Every human should read this book!

I wonderful way to learn how to better live in this world with a little more joy spread through progressive training

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Quick and witty

I enjoyed this quick and witty book about animal training in comparison to humans. Amy's knowledge and experience helped to reflect upon my own life. Along with positive and negative reinforcements being very effective in communicating with animals and humans. Also helping us to habituate those meticulous pet peeves.

I would recommend reading this book. The only reason I read it was for extra credit and actually learned some food for thought.

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Great read

A good book was led to it primarily by the New York Times article but thoroughly enjoyed the read lots of takeaways that apply to life in general did not care particularly for the narrator on this audible I thought she had a very deadpan delivery style that I did not care for at times but thoroughly enjoyed the book

0 of 1 people found this review helpful