Companion Animal Psychology Book Club October 2017

"What if the secret to great dog training is to be an expert 'feeder' rather than a strong leader?" The book for October is Plenty in Life is Free by Kathy Sdao.

Pomeranian reading outdoors in Autumn because the book club choice is Plenty in Life is Free


By Zazie Todd, PhD

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The  Companion Animal Psychology Book Club choice for October 2017 is Plenty in Life Is Free: Reflections on Dogs, Training and Finding Grace by Kathy Sdao.

From the back cover,
"What if the secret to great dog training is to be an expert 'feeder' rather than a strong leader? A skilled reinforcer rather than a strict enforcer? 
"Over the past two decades, countless dog trainers across the world have embraced the liberal use of positive reinforcement. Often accompanying this trend, however, is an underlying emphasis, inherited from more coercive models of dog training, that each human in the family must be the dog's leader. Adopting the role of leader through the use of "Nothing in Life is Free" training protocols, however, can result in stifling rules that constrain people's ability to share affection with their dogs, Strict reward-rationing regimens also tend to put the burden on dogs to "earn" all their privileges instead of placing the primary responsibility on the humans to be generous, precise, creative "feeders" (i.e., reinforcers)."

Why not join us in reading the book? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

You can also follow Kathy Sdao on twitter.

Zazie Todd, PhD, is the author of Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy. She is the founder of the popular blog Companion Animal Psychology, where she writes about everything from training methods to the human-canine relationship. She also writes a column for Psychology Today and has received the prestigious Captain Haggerty Award for Best Training Article in 2017. Todd lives in Maple Ridge, BC, with her husband and two cats.

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