Editor's note: Karen Pryor first learned about training with positive reinforcement
almost 50 years ago, in 1963, when she began her animal training career as head dolphin trainer at Sea Life Park in Hawaii. She became fascinated by all that could be communicated between humans and animals using positive training. Karen applied what she had learned training dolphins to other animals (and humans!) and began teaching others the same pioneering techniques. In 1984, Karen captured the world's attention with the release of her first book about operant conditioning, Don't Shoot the Dog
. Close to thirty years later, readers have learned more than we could imagine about the minds of animals, and about the possibilities for communicating and interacting with them, from her most recent book, Reaching the Animal Mind
. On the book's third anniversary, and just past Karen's own 80th
birthday, we talked with Karen to find out what is new in the world of animal training, and what she is up to now.