“The Science of Consequences” by Susan M. Schneider

Wag Audio book cover

Written by: Laura

Laura is founder of Easy Peasy Obedience, and works in positive methods based on teamwork and games, and with focus on minimising frustration in the training - for both dog and human.

Published: December 10, 2021

“…consequences are everywhere. Somme are immediate; others loom in the horizon to be anticipated or evaded. They’re good, they’re awful, they’re everything in between. They work for tigers and for turtles – and for us.”

Susan M. Schneider

Why did I read this book?

I entirely blame this on Lindsay Hawco and her enabling character for dropping this book into my basket. And I thank her for that from the bottom of my heart.

What does this book do?

Science! Ah yes, science-based training is what we all love and adore, and we may have read the likes of Pryor, Donaldson or McConnell, but this book; this book is the jazz. And here’s why:

What this book does is go into how our choices, and the choices of our animals, impacts our behaviour. It is 380 pages, but if you feel that 380 pages of science are daunting, know that about 120 of them are reserved for notes and bibliography. Yes, Susan went through all that source material so that we humble humans can get a better understanding of how the mechanics of consequences work, and she did a marvellous job doing so. I promise you that you will have more than one lightbulb moment throughout this book. This book can easily be the key component for you if you struggle to understand how a cookie can produce a reliable behaviour, or if you just want to geek out a bit.

The book is constructed with about a metric ton of references, both to the external source material and to past passages of the book. When reading the book, it pays off paying attention to these in book references. There are several of them, and following them back when mentioned will help boost your learning considerable. Unfortunately, this is slightly difficult to do with the audiobook. However, Gary J. Chambers does such a brilliant job narrating this title, that you can forgive the lack of practicality around the skipping back and forth for references.

What does this book not do?

Training. This is not a practical key to getting a 5-star obedient dog. In fact, most of the book has little to do with dogs at all. So if doggy literature is what you’re seeking, this is not it. But then yet again… it kinda is. Because this kind of science allows you to stack the deck in your favour, both in your dog-life and in your everyday life.

Where do I get this book?

Amazon is your friend. They carry both the audio version and the printed version. If you’re strictly into paper, your local book store may also be able to help you if you ask politely. I ordered mine from Saxo. It will set you back about $20 + shipping but it’s worth the price.

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