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Clicking Tough Kids

More and more parents are beginning to use the clicker system, and sometimes the actual clicker, to shape behavior and skills in their children (click here for an example from Don't Shoot the Dog!) People in professional circles, however, are sometimes still nervous about the idea. Here's a report from a teacher faced with an emergency situation who put the clicker to work in a truly imaginative way.

A Research Round Up on Animals in Our Lives

In a study of 50 dog owners and 50 people who don't own dogs, test subjects interact with dogs they own, dogs belonging to others, and a robot dog manufactured by Sony. Researchers take blood pressure readings and blood samples from the people and the dogs. Preliminary findings show the best results from interaction between people and the dogs they own. Both the dogs and humans have experienced lower blood pressure, better levels of good hormones and decreased levels of hormones related to stress.

The Coming Revolution in Youth Sport Coaching

The coaching of kids is due for a revolution. Cultural and economic forces are driving youth sports toward increasingly competitive training and commitment at earlier ages. The result is stressed-out kids, parents, and coaches, high levels of burnout, lowered levels of long-term athletic participation, and missed development opportunities.

The solution lies is in changing the way we teach athletics. Youth coaching today is still rooted in traditional theories for shaping behavior, which results in two limited approaches: coach kids to perform their best, or coach kids to encourage continued participation, i.e., to have fun. There is, however, a new approach to shaping behavior that offers a new paradigm: peak performance while having fun.

Clicking for Oil: The Tale of the Fuel Storage Tank Inspector

How Bob the UST [Underground Storage Tank] Inspector had to choose what was more important: compliance or enforcement

So You Want to Be a Dolphin Trainer!

Hi Karen, I am in the 9th grade and live in California. I just finished reading your book, Lads before the Wind. We had just been to Sea Life Park this summer, so the book was a double treat to read. I am doing an essay for my Honors Language Arts class on the ideal job for me. I know you are busy but wanted to ask you some questions.