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Reaching the Animal Mind

Clicker Training and What It Teaches Us About All Animals

About The Book

From the founder of “clicker” training, the widely praised humane approach to shaping animal behavior, comes a fascinating book—part memoir, part insight into how animals and people think and behave.

A celebrated pioneer in the field of no-punishment animal training, Karen Pryor is responsible for developing clicker training—an all-positive, safe, effective way to modify and shape animal behavior—and she has changed the lives of millions of animals. Practical, engrossing, and full of fascinating stories about Pryor’s interactions with animals of all sorts, Reaching the Animal Mind presents the sum total of her life’s work. She explains the science behind clicker training, how and why it works, and offers step-by-step instructions on how you can clicker-train any animal in your life.

For bonus video clips, slide shows, articles, downloadable exercises, and links expanding on the contents of the book, go to

About The Author

Photo Credit: Peter Urban

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 (isolate wanted behaviors and ignore the unwanted) and the all-positive methods developed by marine mammal trainers. Pryor is the CEO of KCPT/Sunshine Books, Inc., a publishing, training product, and online company. In addition to her bestselling Don’t Shoot the Dog, Pryor wrote Nursing Your Baby (more than 2 million copies in print) along with several other books and many scientific papers and popular articles on learning and behavior. She has three grown children and lives in Boston with two clicker-trained dogs and a clicker-trained cat.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Scribner (June 16, 2009)
  • Length: 272 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781416546252

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Raves and Reviews

“Karen Pryor explains positive training methods in an easy-to-understand manner that can be quickly learned by all animal lovers.” –Temple Grandin, Ph.D., author of Animals in Translation and Animals Make Us Human

“Whenever people ask me how to train their dog (or bottlenose dolphin, or rhino, or hermit crab), I always give them the same advice: read Karen Pryor. I'm happy to see that Reaching the Animal Mind confirms the wisdom of my suggestion: every story in this book will convince you of the power of the simple "click" in focusing the animal's attention on what you want them to do. Now read this! (click)” –Alexandra Horowitz, author of Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know

“Karen Pryor has been at the forefront of humane and science-based training for decades, and this book shows us why. With compelling stories and accessible science, Reaching the Animal Mind is an inspiration for everyone who loves animals and wants to train them with compassion and respect. Whether you're an experienced clicker trainer or someone who just wants their dog to stop barking without having to yell, you really, truly want this book!” –Dr. Patricia McConnell, author of The Other End of the Leash: Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs

“Karen Pryor explores new discoveries in animal learning, looks at old concepts with a fresh perspective, and tells a masterful story throughout. I would put this on the required reading list for everyone who works with or cares about animals.” –Ken Ramirez, Shedd Aquarium, and author of Animal Training

“Karen Pryor shows how clicker training has solved problems that traditional training methods could not solve, or worse, that those methods caused. The more that people follow the principles in this book, the better off the world will be.” –Julie Vargas, author of Behavior Analysis for Effective Teaching

“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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