Karen Pryor

Karen Pryor is a behavioral biologist with an international reputation in two fields, marine mammal biology and behavioral phsychology. She is a founder and leading proponent of "clicker training," a training system based on operant conditioning (isolate wanted behaviors and igrnore the unwanted) and the all-positive methods developed by marine mammal trainers. Clicker training is not in use world wide with dogs, cats, horses, birds, zoo animals, and increasingly with humans, in the teaching of sports and athletic performances and developing behaviors in autistics.

Pryor is the CEO of KCPT/Sunshine Books, Inc., a publishing, training product and Internet company. In addition to her bestselling Don't Shoot the Dog, Pryor wrote the catagory killer Nursing Your Baby (Simon & Schuster, more than 2 million copies in print) along with several other books and many scientific papers and pupular articles on learning and behavior. (see www.clickertaining.com)

Karen has three grown children and lives in Boston with two clicker-trained dogs and a clicker-trained cat.

Books by this Author

Reaching the Animal Mind

My Life in 8 Words

Author Revealed

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. Imua, which is Hawaiian for 'forward!'

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. President Obama, at this moment.

Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

A. Manhattan.

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?

A. The worry habit.

Q. What’s your fantasy profession?

A. Symphony conductor.

Author Voices

November 25, 2009

Can a punisher also be a reinforcer? A clicker trainer asked me: can a punisher also be a reinforcer? For example, Shutzhund working dogs take stick hits and come back fighting for more. It seems that they do not see it as punishment. Some world class trainers describe these dogs as adrenalin addicts. The short answer is, don’t equate an aversive stimulus with a punishment. A punishment, technically, is anything that shortens or stops a behavior. In these cases, you or I might do less of whatever we did that triggered an adversary to strike at us; a fighter might do more. An aversive stimulus is not necessarily punishing; it depends on the... see more

September 29, 2009

Book touring. I have developed a deep abiding love for my laptop. Speech at the St. Louis Zoo last night, first in 10 yrs without KPCT help and guidance at my elbow. OMG will the videos work? Will the stuff show up on the screen? Will I accidentally erase my powerpoint? Zoo has supermodern auditorium, yay. Here's your connections, yes you have sound. Gave my New talk re the experience of reaching animal minds, sharing with audience what THEY can do. New vids, new pics I took WITH my own new camera. All ran smoothly, ended on time, many laughs, v. popular, andLaptop came through like a great working dog. Sure, I can do that, watch me! Good laptop!!

September 24, 2009

Misha and I are on our usual walk. We live on a busy block emptying to a very heavy traffic street. A pretty little mini Schnauzer comes up to us. Who are you? And WHAT are you doing running around loose? This is my neighbor Lois'es dog, I bet. Never off a leash in her six years of life. Uhoh. Slightest hint of reaching for her, and she ducks away. I fear if I really try to catch her she'll bolt into traffic. But she's flirting with my Misha. He's charmed, too. Tails wag. I walk him up the block. The Schnauzer comes too. They play bow. Her driveway. She knows where she is, runs confidently ahead to her back gate--which is slightly open. That explains... see more

September 20, 2009

I'm getting ready for a ten-day trip to St. Louis and Denver, to teach and talk about modern operant training in the zoos and the major shelters in each city. I'll be hoping to blog every day about my experiences as I meet, talk with, and coach shelter trainers, zoo trainers, horse trainers, and people-teachers. Since Simon & Schuster's author pages are vetted before posting, they are sometimes delayed. For daily posts visit http://karenpryorblogspot.com or www.clickertraining.com. I'll summarize here too, though! KP

Karen Pryor on the Web