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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.
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Critic Reviews

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

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Ashley Carrillo on 05-26-18

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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5 out of 5 stars
By Lisa on 08-13-17

Incredibly Enlightening!!

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

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