Excel-erated Learning

excel learning

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This is a very useful book for anyone wanting to be a trainer, or who wants to understand the rationale behind training methods based on operant and classical conditioning. You need a certain amount of commitment to read the book to the end, since Pamela Reid takes you through some complex ideas. Reid is, however, much easier to follow than Karen Pryor, if you want a full grasp of operant conditioning, and want to apply your knowledge to dogs. There are many illustrative and thought-provoking examples of operant conditioning in use. It's not a 'how to' book, rather it helps with understanding the theory well enough for you to develop your own exercises. Classical conditioning is also covered, as well as terms such as adaptation, desensitisation, counter-conditioning, generalisation, and reinforcers. There is also a discussion of clicker training, and electronic collars.

This book will help you learn the jargon, though it's no substitute for actually working with dogs! Would-be trainers can make best use of the book if they apprentice themselves to a trainer they respect, never mind if the trainer knows the jargon. Dog training is a craft, and skills, such as reading dogs can take years to develop. Many trainers obtain excellent results while using few technical terms, and the theories and explanations set out in this book make much more sense when you have some practical experience.