The Secret History of Kindness MOBI Ä Secret History

The Secret History of Kindness ❴Reading❵ ➷ The Secret History of Kindness Author Melissa Holbrook Pierson – Years back Melissa Holbrook Pierson brought home a border collie named Mercy without a clue of how to get her to behave Stunned after hiring a trainer whose immediate rapport with Mercy seemed magical Years back History of eBook ☆ Melissa Holbrook Pierson brought home a border collie named Mercy without a clue of how to get her to behave Stunned after hiring a trainer whose immediate rapport with Mercy seemed magical Pierson began delving into the techniues of positive reinforcement She made her way to B F Skinner the behavioral psychologist who started it all the man who could train a pigeon to dance in minutes and whose research on how behavior is acuired has ramifications for military The Secret PDF/EPUB or dolphin trainers athletes dancers and as he originally conceived society at largeTo learn Pierson met with a host of fascinating animal behaviorists going behind the scenes to witness the relationships between trainers and animals at the National Zoo in Washington DC and to the in depth seminars at a Clicker Expo where all the dogs but hers seemed to be learning new tricks The often startling story of what became of a pathbreaking scientist’s work is interwoven with a personal tale of Secret History of PDF ´ how to understand the foreign species with whom we are privileged to livePierson draws surprising connections in her exploration of how kindness works to motivate all animals including the human one.

About the Author: Melissa Holbrook Pierson

Melissa Holbrook History of eBook ☆ Pierson is the author of the acclaimed Dark Horses and Black Beauties The Perfect Vehicle The Place You Love Is Gone and her newest book The Man Who Would Stop At Nothing was published in the fall of .

10 thoughts on “The Secret History of Kindness

  1. Antigone Antigone says:

    Melissa Holbrook Pierson insists the information she is trying to share has been available for decades Valiant attempts at dissemination have been made Folks simply weren't interested The closest any effort came to success was Karen Pryor's book Don't Shoot the Dog of which Pierson declares She could not have been clear or encouraging about the possibilities If it weren't for the misleading title the book brilliant as it is may not have had any readers at all even dog trainers In choosing the tongue in cheek and inflammatory title the publisher sought to do two things sell books and avoid any scent of taboo emanating from the true subject which is actually one of the biggest taboos there is training peopleIt seems obvious Pierson has taken a lesson here Her work titled The Secret History of Kindness Learning from How Dogs Learn is in fact a long and disjointed treatise on animal cruelty The history she refers to is psychologist BF Skinner's work in operant conditioning which she feels uite strongly has been under attended If only we as a society would abandon punishment altogether and embrace training solely through reward the world would be a much better place and we much healthier people Now you can shoehorn kindness in there somewhere I'm sure but the book isn't focused on it And in the spirit of kindness I will warn that focus is also something a reader might find herself looking forWhat receives the bulk of Pierson's attention and therefore ours is canine clicker training While the procedure is dauntingly over intellectualized you can just about make out the author's young pup Nelly being discreetly clicked into patterns of productive behavior Both owner and pet find themselves reveling in the process; each lesson a reward and reward a lesson Correlations are drawn in no time flat to human psychology and the manner in which people learn most effectively Though she never uite crosses the line to claim a clicker as the missing Rosetta Stone in childhood development it seemed awfully clear to me that this was her intent Yet try as I might through chapter after chapter of referenced sourcework the only road I could locate for human clicker training was the one heading toward a successful plea of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity It was all click click click with her and in public if you can believe The jury members nod sympatheticallyThough the title is woefully misleading and the content a struggle to absorb it should be noted that Pierson's passion is largely and perhaps solely to blame Some revelations take a bit of time to settle in the mind and cannot be expressed or acted upon until they havewhich might make her second entry into this arena far intriguing than this first

  2. Nolan Nolan says:

    This book details the author’s journey into the wondrous land of dog training through positive reinforcement I’m already such a convert to the concept of clicker training that I probably didn’t need to read this I thought the early chapters were rather academically dense—almost as if the author somehow felt a need to establish some kind of scholarly street creds Then there’s a rather worshipful section on B F Skinner and eventually you get a good look at her experiences learning to train positivelyIf you’re a guide dog handler and if you’re already converted to the concept of positive reinforcement this book won’t do much for you It’s well enough written but you can get better pertinent information about how to work your dog from any of the dog schools or the two consumer organizations But in her defense she didn’t write this book to a guide dog handling audienceI don’t mean to be perverse with this review because I’m sure she has a lot to say that will wow and dazzle the typical dog owner and convince him or her to abandon the yank and yell approach of yesteryear But among the best parts of this for me was her trash slash and burn approach to Cesar Millan If you don’t read the entire book at least scope out that chapter It is well well worth your time—brilliantly written and well reasoned Of course if you’re a Millan fan maybe you just avoid this book As for me I’m blown away by the difference a good treat pouch and well used clicker can make But I realize lots of folks will have divergent perspectives and if yours works good for youPart of my problem with the book is my expectations I’ve been burned by a Gregory Burns book recently for the same reason no pun intended I go into this thinking I’ll learn some new or interesting ideas regarding clicker training and treats and I get books that are rather different from my expectations That doesn’t make the book unworthy; it just means my expectations going in were out of line and that kind of dissonance always makes for a less than optimal reading experience But the fault is mine not the author’s

  3. Danielle Danielle says:

    Too disconnected and rambling There were only a few good insights into dogs but basically they came down to looking at things from the dog's perspective and accepting their innate nature For example Dogs like steaks better than dry dog food because steaks are better than dry dog food and smell like something wolves would eat so of course the dog wants your steak and doesn't inherently understand that it's not his Shocker no? I'll check out some of the actual dog behavior books that don't also try to include the history of human psychology

  4. Sassafras Lowrey Sassafras Lowrey says:

    oooph this book is a mess i'm not even sure where to start because i wanted to love it because we share a belief in dog trainign rooted in kindness mutual respect and relationship building between dogs and people however the book is at best disjointed and spirals out on all kinds of tangents including some very long winded theory heavy chapters that feel like a academic paper and not really connected to the bookMy main complaints this is a book about kindness but it starts with being unexamined judgmentalunkind towards people experiencing homelessness in prospect park brooklyn near where i used to live the book reads like an infomercial for Karen Pryor and her ClickerExpo i'm a fan of clicker training and Karen Proyrs work I'm even going to ClickerExpo next yearbut the way it is written about in this book was so offputting and infomercial like I found myself tuning out and instead of being inspired I felt like I was reading the pitch from a fast talking salesman Worst of all to me this author brags about being neglectful of her own dog in some attempt at giving her a wolf like natural experience She allows her dog offleash on prospect park trails where dogs aren't allowed offleash including a young puppy with no recall I know dogs aren't allowed off leash there because when we lived near the park dogs like the authors would terrorize my leashed dogs in violation of clearly posted leash law signs I found this section especially irritating because the author actually in the same breath as breaking leash law had audacity to complain about people who are homeless and camping on those trails Then towards the end of the book she spoke of hiking in Mohonk National Park in the Hudson Valley where we also would go to hike with our dogs when we lived in NYC and allowing her dog offleash which is illegal because it is dangerous for other park goers and wildlife Not only that but for hours she proudly writes she has NO IDEA WHERE HER DOG IS and bragged that her dog got to be free NOPE not only have you severely endangered your dog you've endangered anyone else and their dogs hiking in that national park not to mention the wildlife your dog is disrupting and injurying while running through the underbrush off trail as she regularly bragged about near cliffs etc this is not someone whose perspective helps any of us who are clicker training or positive reinforcement training dogs and encouraging others to do the same If i could give this book less than 1 star I would

  5. Jen Hirt Jen Hirt says:

    Like a lot of books that track the history of something related to dogs this one has its origins in the author's attempts to train and respect her first dog Mercy As she navigates the trials and errors of living with Mercy via clicker training Pierson takes us in to heavily researched chapters on all the nuances of BF Skinner's operant conditioning through the ages rats trained to defuse landmines; dogs trained for all sorts of things especially Hollywood and war; dolphins in the military and in entertainment; zoo animals trained to tolerate vet checks; and even chickens used in a conference devoted entirely to clicker training you get two live chickens when you arrive and by the end of the conference Bob Bailey has demonstrated how to train your chickens This book doesn't lack in fascinating info but it does lack in organization There's no table of contents and the ten chapters are not subtitled the result is that the book feels haphazard at times There are extensive exclamatory footnotes as if Pierson wanted to write creative nonfiction but was being pulled in the direction of expository history so she uses the footnotes as a way to reflect on tangents Somewhere along the narrative Mercy dies unexpectedly and Pierson acuires a new dog Nelly who was rescued from a hoarder I thought the final two chapters 9 and 10 were the strongest because Pierson delves into cultural commentary on punishment reward kindness shelters rescues and humane societies She makes a really cool observation on page 276 Dog training can be done and possible done best in the near complete absence of spoken languageDisengage the mouth and vision suddenly clears timing improves; witnessing occurs You can't call things what they aren't any by way of projection or dissimulation or false hope Suppress speech and you are left before only what is there

  6. Penny Penny says:

    I was intrigued by the title because kindness is probably my most cherished value I was surprised that the book doesn't mention kindness to any great degree By implication however it provides a compelling prescription for kindness to our dogs to other animals to other human beings and ourselves in short to all sentient beings The early chapters are deep into the research conducted most compellingly by B F Skinner into operant conditioning and positive reinforcement as applied to animals and ultimately to human beings and Pierson makes the point that Skinner has been misunderstood and wrongly maligned The rest of the book provides examples of how Skinner's methods are gaining ground and finding success and acceptance in the world of animal training and especially the clicker training often used now with dogs Be prepared for a lot of footnotes But know that you are in skilled hands exploring the philosophical and ethical underpinnings of what is increasingly the preferred method of interacting with animals to achieve the results that humans want This isn't a step by stop how to but it made me eager to engage in these strategies with my dog In fact I already have my clicker And if you are a fan of Cesar Millan as I was at one time be prepared to recognize that his approach is the antithesis of kindness and no dog should be subjected to it Highly recommended if you love animals and want to better understand their true natures

  7. Janine Janine says:

    This book helped me to remember what I already know basically that positive reinforcement works And that it is backed up by science time and time again Why we refuse to use this to our advantage is still a mystery though I guess old habits are hard to break as well as old beliefs about what works I find this knowledge applicable not only to dog training but also to parenting and teaching I did skimskip some sections of the book that I found a little too dry but overall I felt it was an informative read

  8. Katherine Marshall-Eastman Katherine Marshall-Eastman says:

    Are you a female and love dogs?? READ NOW

  9. Sabra Kurth Sabra Kurth says:

    Could have been been edited a bit closely

  10. Steph Steph says:

    I liked this book but the title was misleading Towards the end of the book the author adds a uote that's something to the effect The book you set out to write isn't the one you end up writing Or You end up writing the book you need This was a harbinger for the drastic turn the book was about to take It seemed the editor went on holiday at some point It started out with an amazing story of how clicker training can help autistic children An interesting history of behaviorism BF Skinner and the founding of the Animal Behavior Enterprises followed I enjoyed these parts and learned uite a bit Hint it takes a lot of patience and consistency to teach a pigeon to bowl and it takes time to get a gorilla to easily accept a needle injectionbut you can do it Pierson then veered into subjectivity and away from pure non fiction When she mentioned Karen Pryor as if she was as famous as Skinner I wondered about the editor I suppose I should have known who Pryor was since I read so many dog training books but I didn't And after that I sort of lost the thread of the book A story of the heart wrenching grief of losing a special dog and trying to fill the void was a relateable story Pierson humorously illustrates the tendency to idolize our departed pets and how long it takes us to accept our current pets as eually special despite their foibles However that segment and the negative segments that followed did not mesh with the rest of the book I understand disagreeing with other training techniues but demonizing the trainers is not the answer If Pierson had stayed in her original tone she would have explained what or why the other methods work and why they are not beneficial Although I didn't like the tone of the later chapters and felt they were too rambling I do think those were the parts Pierson needed to write She needed that catharsis so that's good but they were counter productive for me The rest of the book is definitely worth reading and I'm glad I did The positive methods of behaviorism really do work

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