Think Dog! by John Fisher (one to avoid)

Discussion in 'Books' started by snowbunny, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. snowbunny

    snowbunny Registered Users

    Aug 27, 2014
    Andorra and Spain
    I remember my Mum buying this book many years ago. Now she's fostering Chi, she has resurrected it, so I thought I would have a read to make sure it was OK. I downloaded the latest update, which has been edited by Pam Mackinnon (of Talking Dogs Scentworks fame) in 2012.

    I have only read 31% so far and will struggle through the rest, but I am disappointed at some major flaws in it. I shuddered at a reference to "negative reinforcement" used incorrectly in the earlier pages, but have now reached a whole chapter on it, where he is describing punishment, mostly positive punishment, not reinforcement at all. It astounds me that a founder member of the APBC could make such a fundamental error in both terminology and also understanding of what constitutes punishment - this wasn't new at the time of writing, as BF Skinner described the terms in 1938.

    Well, I could go on listing reasons not to read this book - introducing a cue before your dog knows what behaviour is expected, advocating raising your voice, using the book as a promotional tool for the noise discs he developed (and calling them "negative reinforcement" - because reinforcement is good, right? :facepalm: )...

    No. Just, no.

    I will finish it just to see what other gems it contains, and then tell Mum why she should put it away - or burn it - and suggest something more appropriate.
    Naya, Emily_BabbelHund and drjs@5 like this.
  2. Emily_BabbelHund

    Emily_BabbelHund Longest on the Forum without an actual dog

    Jul 31, 2016
    Regensburg, Germany (Bavaria)
    Is he one of the proponents of throwing noisy stuff at your dog's head when he does something you don't want? I love that almost has much as the "squirt them with a spray bottle" method. :confused:
  3. Stacia

    Stacia Registered Users

    May 25, 2011
    Malvern UK
    Many years ago I went for a weekend with John Fisher, Robin Walker and a handsome bloke who I cannot remember his name now and cannot remember anything about the course!
    kateincornwall and selina27 like this.

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