Search Results for: case study

Case Study: Excessive Vocalization in a Cat

Issues: Issue 27  |  Categories: Cat

Summary: A case of a cat who vocalized day and night in the presence of her preferred human companion, across a wide variety of contexts — including if her guardian tried to take a nap. Resolution was almost completely achieved through intentional extinction,...

by Kate Luse, CCBC

Case Study: Mimi and Leo — Sudden-onset Aggression in a Cat

Issues: Issue 25  |  Categories: Cat

Summary: After years of the two cats living together with no issues, Mimi suffered an acute medical event and started to behave aggressively towards Leo. The aggression continued even after her recovery from surgery, which prompted the intervention documented here....

by Monika Januszewska, CCBC

Case Study: Luna — Reactivity to Other Dogs Part 2

Issues: Issue 25  |  Categories: Dog

Summary: A case of dog-dog reactivity in an energetic older dog, is made more complicated by the client’s specific situation and set of needs, and then turns into human-directed aggression as their living situation becomes more stressful. Working within Luna’s...

by Jen Gumas, CDBC, CPDT-KA, CBATI

Case Study: Dancer — Isolation Distress in a Horse

Issues: Issue 25  |  Categories: Horse

Summary: An anxious mare’s behavior problems are made worse when she’s taken away from her herd. A history of physical punishment when alone, and frustration on the part of the client exacerbated her isolation distress further. A program of desensitization...

by Carol-Ann Doucet, CHBC

Case Study: Luna — Reactivity to Other Dogs Part 1

Issues: Issue 24  |  Categories: Dog

Summary: A case of dog-dog reactivity in an energetic older dog, is made more complicated by the client’s specific situation and set of needs, and then turns into human-directed aggression as their living situation becomes more stressful. Working within...

by Jen Gumas, CDBC, CPDT-KA, CBATI

Case Study: Bilbo – Aggression and Escape Behaviours in a Horse

Issues: Issue 24  |  Categories: Horse

Summary: A case study of how past trauma and inadequate current environment can interact to create and maintain problematic behaviors. Bilbo, a young mare with a significant history of aggression and causing injury is sold with the advice that she be euthanized for...

by Abigail Allen, CHBC

Case Study: Jumbo — Extreme Fearfulness in a Cat

Issues: Issue 24  |  Categories: Cat

Summary: What do you do when your newly-adopted cat refuses to stop hiding under the bed? 4-year-old Jumbo had a rough start in life, and now he was in danger of losing another home. When Certified Cat Behavior Consultant Hongfei Li was called, his caregiver was at...

by Hongfei Li CCBC

Case Study: Tommy, Fear of Clippers

Issues: Issue 21  |  Categories: Horse

Summary: How counter-conditioning and desensitization was successfully used to change a 21-year-old gelding’s fearful behavior towards clippers. Constructional Approach Training was used as the first part of the behavior modification intervention plan, followed...

by Trudi Dempsey, CHBC

Case Study: Human-directed Aggression in a Horse

Issues: Issue 20  |  Categories: Horse

Summary:  A horse who showed signs of aggression towards humans and other horses becomes worse when corrected with physical punishment and natural horsemanship techniques. As a result, he’s placed in a barren environment with minimal social contact....

by Trudi Dempsey, CHBC

Case Study: Barney — Human-directed Aggression in a Cat

Issues: Issue 20  |  Categories: Cat

Summary: As a kitten, Barney’s aggressive behavior was ignored by his family, hoping that Barney would grow out of it. A few years later, when Barney’s family bring home a new foster son, they find themselves unprepared to handle Barney’s behavior...

by Emily Carl, CCBC CPDT-KA

Case Study: “Remy” – Aversion to Towels

Issues: Issue 16  |  Categories: Dog

Case information: Name: Remy Age: Approximately 7 years old Breed: Texas heeler (Australian cattle dog/border collie/Australian shepherd mix) Sex: Female, spayed History Presenting complaint: Human-directed aggression while being toweled off. Acquired from and age at...

by Lauren Rubin

Pet Retention Programs in Play: A Case Study

Issues: Issue 8  |  Categories: Cat, Shelter

In July 2017, the Pet Retention Program at Contra Costa Animal Services (CCAS) got a request for the return of a young tabby cat adopted from the shelter a few months prior. When Stefani Buzzard, the pet retention coordinator at the time, responded with a request for...

by Dilara Göksel Parry, CCBC

Case Study: Cat Attacking Dog

Issues: Issue 3  |  Categories: Case Study, Dog, Cat

Case information Cat’s name: Smudge Breed: Siamese/ Domestic Shorthair mix Sex: Neutered male Age: 7 years Other animals in home: 13-year-old spayed female Pomeranian dog named Bee History Smudge was found by his owner in a box full of kittens of mixed ages, which had...

by Emily Strong

A Circle of Friends Makes the Difference for Chiquita: A Video Case Study

Issues: Issue 2  |  Categories: Dog, October 2016, Shelter

Chiquita was living with two other under-socialized dogs in the previous home. Their owner was starting cancer treatment, and could no longer care for all three dogs. We ended up getting Chiquita and Ramon both surrendered to us. All dogs were fearful when we met...

by the Humane Society of Silicon Valley

Case Study: Raisin

Issues: Issue 2  |  Categories: Shelter, Dog, Case Study, October 2016

Case Information Dog’s name: Raisin Sex: Spayed female Age: 1 year Breed: Terrier mix Other people involved: Cindy Lowrey, Megan Hewes, Sylvia Brink, Collin Stevens, and various volunteers. Location Animal shelters in Jacksonville, Florida. To help the community and...

by Amy Schindler

Case Study: Linda and Joe – Part Two

Issues: Issue 2  |  Categories: Case Study, Applied Behavior Consulting, Dog

Case information Client’s name: Linda Dog’s name: Joe Breed: Dutch Shepherd Age: 3 years Additional animals in household: Two dogs The first part of this case study, covering Joe’s initial presentation, background, and history was presented in the June 2016 issue of...

by Renee Hall

Case Study: Dog-directed Food Aggression

Issues: Issue 2  |  Categories: Case Study, Dog, October 2016

Dog’s Name: Benji Breed: Collie mix Sex: Neutered male Age: 3 years Other animals in the home: None Background A three-year-old neutered collie mix dog had recently aggressed to a level three bite onto two other dogs while in a home boarding facility. The family also...

by Sally Foote

Case Study: Linda and Joe

Issues: Issue 1  |  Categories: Case Study, Applied Behavior Consulting, Dog

Case Information Client name: Linda Dog’s name: Joe Breed: Dutch Shepherd Age: 3 years Additional animals in household: 2 dogs Background The client is a friend of mine, and the attack happened to me during a training session. There were no prior incidents of...

by Renee Hall, CDBC

Case Study: Blade

Issues: Issue 1  |  Categories: Cat, Case Study, Applied Behavior Consulting

Case Information: Cat’s Name: Blade Breed: Domestic Shorthair Sex: Neutered Male Age: 7 months Background: This kitten was presented at my practice for pouncing, biting, and scratching at both owners in the household. He was adopted through another veterinary clinic...

by Sally Foote

Claire: A Case Story

Issues: Issue 22  |  Categories: Shelter

Summary: A case study of a shelter dog that came from a serious hoarding situation in Southern California. This dog initially showed significant avoidance and fear-based behaviors around unknown people. However, she was highly affiliative with other dogs and whilst...

by Paige Kim BCC-KA, CSB-C

Case Studies: Creating the Cooperative Canine for Veterinary Care

Issues: Issue 12  |  Categories: Dog

As a licensed veterinary technician by trade, training cooperative veterinary care is a practice that is near and dear to my heart. I have worked in environments where animals have been restrained against their will, and admittedly have even participated in this...

by Jessica Fritschi

The Cognitive Revolution and Everyday Dog Training: The Case of “Look at That”

Issues: Issue 4  |  Categories: contents, Dog, contents

If you love dogs and haven’t yet heard about the canine “cognitive revolution,” you’ve been living in a bubble. Sara Shettleworth broadly defines cognition as “an array of mechanisms by which animals acquire, process, store, and act on input (information) from the...

by Laura Donaldson, PhD, CDBC, KPA-CTP

Cat Training Corner: Training a Kitten to “Go to Box”

Issues: Issue 7  |  Categories: Cat

Go-to-box training is a very useful tool. It enables you to not only relocate a cat, but more importantly to refocus him. It is an excellent tool for teaching impulse control. I find that target training is the best first step to teaching this. Below is a case study...

by Patience Fisher

Riggins and Wallace – A Tale of Two Pitties

Issues: Issue 6  |  Categories: Dog, Cover, Case Study, contents, Applied Behavior Consulting, contents

Background My intake form is pretty basic. I use it primarily for triage. Is the dog being an unruly adolescent in an adult-only home, or do we have a just-turned-adult snapping at toddlers? This intake rose to the top, not because there was imminent danger, but...

by Erika Lessa, CDBC, CPDT-KA

Building Client Networks and Maximising Your Resources

Issues: Issue 29  |  Categories: Dog

Welcome to “The Alumni”: Ireland’s Reactivity Cult Community matters. Since the pandemic, the need for belonging, purpose, and community has never been more evident, and we now know that being a part of a community can have a powerful effect on your sense of...

by Catherine Griffin CDBC

Issue 27 Table of Contents

Issues: Issue 27  |  Categories: contents, contents

CAT: Case Study — Excessive Vocalization in a Cat by Kate Luse, CCBC CAT: Environmental Considerations When Treating Feline Osteoarthritis by Morgan Redell HORSE: Recognising Signs of Pain in Horses: A Checklist for Horse Owners and Caregivers  by Sarah Johnson, BSc....

Issue 25 Table Of Contents

Issues: Issue 25  |  Categories: contents, contents

DOG: Case Study: Luna — Reactivity To Other Dogs Part 2 by Jen Gumas CDBC, CPDT-KA, CBATI DOG: Living and Learning with a Blind Dog by Micaela Frank, CDBC, CPDT-KA, KPA-CTP DOG: Using Innate Stress Coping Styles to Inform Behavior Management Strategies by Gavin Fraser...

A Novel Method for Rearing Orphaned Donkey Foals with Behaviour in Mind

Issues: Issue 24  |  Categories: Horse

Summary: The suckling behavior of donkey foals has rarely been explored, with most orphans being reared on protocols based on the assumption that their behavior and physiology do not differ from horses. An orphaned donkey foal at The Donkey Sanctuary was reared on an...

by Corinne McCafferty, MSc, CHBC

Issue 24 Table Of Contents

Issues: Issue 24  |  Categories: contents, contents

DOG: Who Keeps The Dog? Advice From A Pet Custody Expert by  Karis Bryen, CDBC, Accredited Family Mediator DOG: Case Study: Luna — Reactivity To Other Dogs Part 1 by Jen Gumas CDBC, CCPDT-KA, CBATI DOG: Working With Shy Dogs In A Class Setting  by Alicia L....

Issue 21 Table of Contents

Issues: Issue 21  |  Categories: contents, contents

SHELTER | DOG: Pet Parent Support Network: Creating a Successful Alternative to Surrender Through a Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive Approach by Beverly McKee ACDBC, CPDT-KA SHELTER | DOG: The Dead Dogs on My Phone by Paige Kim DOG: Pushing ALL My Buttons: Dogs...

Lessons from my Dogs: Reflections on Animal Rights and Dog Training

Issues: Issue 18  |  Categories: Dog

Summary: Critical self-reflection is an important part of being an ethical and effective animal behavior consultant. Animal rights is one framework for thinking about the practice of animal training and behavior modification, and noticing how what we do expresses what...

by Dr. Andrea V. Breen

Beyond the Gate

Issues: Issue 16  |  Categories: Cat

Have you done cat reintroductions for clients, where everything was going fine until they removed the gate? Perhaps a cat chased the other one once the gate was removed. Or a cat just turned and hid when there was no gate. Or one cat played in a manner that was too...

by Patience Fisher, ACCBC

Through Thick and Thin: Caring For and Training Companion Dogs with Disabilities

Issues: Issue 9  |  Categories: Dog

The relationship between companion dogs and their humans can be a deep and mutually supportive one. Our dogs give us so much: joy with their company, laughter at their antics, comfort by their presence. Yet sometimes we do not have the specialized knowledge and skills...

by Nee Kang, PhD, Jeffrey Lee, PhD, & Nan Arthur, CDBC

Perspective: 2018 IAABC Boston Conference Business and Cat Tracks

Issues: Issue 9  |  Categories: Conference

Here are a few of my thoughts on what I learned and what I intend to implement from the business track on Friday and the cat track on Saturday at the 2018 IAABC Conference in Boston. Since learning theory applies to all species, I greatly enjoyed information from the...

by Victoria Blais

Caring for Dogs with Advanced Dementia

Issues: Issue 9  |  Categories: Dog

Canine cognitive dysfunction (CCD) is similar to Alzheimer’s disease in humans; it is a “progressive age-related neurodegenerative condition that affects cognitive function”. The disease, both in dogs and in humans, affects many parts of the way an individual thinks,...

by Melissa McMath Hatfield MS, CBCC-KA, CDBC & Sara Bartlett, MSW, LCSW, C-ASWCM

Successfully Handling Transitions in Shelters

Issues: Issue 6  |  Categories: Shelter

Animal shelters and rescues often struggle with resources. The ability to adapt to change is just as important as community and staff support. In April of 2007, the Jacksonville Humane Society suffered a great loss after a massive fire, which you can learn more about...

by Amy Schindler, CPDT-KA, SBA

A Perfect Human-Animal Bond Storm

Issues: Issue 6  |  Categories: Working Animals

Nothing is more sad than the death of an illusion. Arthur Koestler Although many items appear on my list of enjoyable activities, reading mysteries remains a lifelong favorite. This ongoing exploration of the who, what, where, when, how, and why of hundreds of plots...

by Myrna Milani, DVM

IAABC News for Summer 2017

Issues: Issue 5  |  Categories: News

Events and conferences IAABC Conference 2018 Our next conference is going to be bigger and better than ever, with a full three days of presentations, discussions and social events for all our Divisions. Join us on the 20th to the 22nd of April in Burlington,...

by IAABC Editing Team

Evaluating Research

Issues: Issue 4  |  Categories: Sciences

Every behavior consultant knows not to rely on a client’s description of a pet’s behavior—you have to see that behavior yourself. Trained eyes see differently. This is just as true for analyzing research studies. It is important to understand the underlying principles...

by Patience Fisher

Spotlight on Research: Parrot Enrichment

Issues: Issue 4  |  Categories: Parrot

This issue, we caught up with Joanna Berger, who recently graduated with Distinction from  the University of Edinburgh’s Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Medicine. As part of her Master’s project, Joanna traveled to Virginia to work with a parrot sanctuary called...

by Joanna Berger

Drama-free DRA for Barking

Issues: Issue 2  |  Categories: Applied Behavior Consulting, Dog

A dog barking and charging at the front door is by no means a new or unexplained phenomenon. Many of them do it with encouragement from their owners as “protectors,” and some breeds were specifically bred to be guard dogs. However, as a behavior consultant living in a...

by Adria Karlsson CDBC

The Ethics of Medicating Dogs with Behavior Issues in a Shelter Setting

Issues: Issue 2  |  Categories: Shelter, Dog, Case Study

Each year, millions of pets are surrendered to humane societies, county pounds, and private rescue groups. While a survey of the research shows broad variation nationally, it is fairly well accepted that somewhere between three and four million dogs per year are...

by Susan Cullinan

Pesky Pudgy Ponies: Equine Obesity and the Behavior Consultant

Issues: Issue 29  |  Categories: Horse

Summary: Obesity poses a significant threat to equine welfare, affecting approximately 40% of horses in the U.S. and U.K. Fortunately, it is one of the most preventable health issues in the horse.1 While obesity has historically been viewed as a strictly physical...

by Justice Everett Smith, MEd

Enrichment Involving Human Interaction Saves Lives

Issues: Issue 28  |  Categories: Shelter

Summary: The transition into an animal shelter is a stressful event for an animal, regardless of their previous life circumstances. Stress is linked to many difficulties, including failing to pass a shelter’s temperament test and potentially being euthanized....

by Regina Willen, MS, CDBC, ACAAB

Testing the Temperament of Dogs Housed in Animal Shelters

Issues: Issue 28  |  Categories: Shelter

Summary: An overview of available research on some of the temperament tests currently used as first-line intake evaluations for dogs in a shelter, why these tests are used at all, and some possible alternatives. Animal shelters and rescues have two essential...

by John Reilly, MS, CBCC-KA

The Effects of Saddle Fit on Horse Behaviour: Insights from Infrared Thermography

Issues: Issue 28  |  Categories: Horse

Summary: Infrared thermography is a relatively new technology that can be used alongside behavioral observation to determine whether a horse is likely to be experiencing pain. It it particularly well-suited to examining the effect of ill-fitting tack, as it allows the...

by Joanna Lepiarczyk

One Dog at a Time: Enriching the Emotional Lives of Shelter Dogs

Issues: Issue 28  |  Categories: Shelter

Summary: A description of the SPCA Singapore’s Dog Mentorship Program, which identified and trained volunteers to a high level of skill in enrichment, behavior management, and modification so that they could provide intensive support to dogs suffering from...

by Dr. Nee Kang, PhD, CDBC, Elisa Ang, and Jaipal Singh Gill

Recognising Signs of Pain in Horses: A Checklist for Horse Owners and Caregivers

Issues: Issue 27  |  Categories: Horse

Introduction The recent publication of comprehensive equine pain and discomfort ethograms, such as the Equine Discomfort Ethogram,1 have the potential to be used as a management tool to improve the rate of diagnosis of mild acute and chronic conditions by enabling...

by Sarah Johnson

Formal Assessment Tools for Dog Behavior Consultants

Issues: Issue 27  |  Categories: Dog

Summary: A review of formal and semiformal tools that have been developed to quantify and assess dog behaviors. Some have been validated by academic research, others have not been studied formally, but are in regular use in shelters. Pros and cons are listed for each...

by Elisheba Fay

Non-Recognition Aggression in Cats

Issues: Issue 26  |  Categories: Cat

Summary: When a cat is taken out of their home and then taken back, for example to the veterinarian, they can experience “non-recognition aggression.” Even cats who previously had a strong affiliative relationship can fail to recognize each other under...

by Allison Hunter-Frederick

A Framework for Behavior Modification and Training Plans to Help Build and Maintain Resilience: The Resilience Rainbow

Issues: Issue 26  |  Categories: Dog

Summary: Resilience is an individual’s ability to recover from and resist the negative effects of stress. Understanding the physiological and behavioral bases for higher levels of resilience can help animal trainers and behavior consultants develop interventions...

by Bobbie Bhambree, CDBC, CPDT-KA, and Dr. Kathy Murphy, BVetMed, DPhil, CVA, CLAS, MRCVS

A Review of the Round Pen Technique for Training Horses

Issues: Issue 26  |  Categories: Horse

Summary: The round-pen training technique, popular among proponents of “natural horsemanship” is said to be effective and ethical because it uses equine ethology to induce desired behaviors. This review looks at what we know about ethology and illustrates...

by Chloe Campbell, BSc

Fearful Dogs in Shelters Can Have A Brighter Future With Evidence-based Interventions

Issues: Issue 26  |  Categories: Shelter

Summary: An interview with two of the authors of the ASPCA’s latest research paper, “Behavioral rehabilitation of extremely fearful dogs: Report on the efficacy of a treatment protocol.” With a combination of sufficient practical resources and a...

by Kristen Collins, MS, ACAAB, Emily Patterson-Kane, PhD, and the IAABC Foundation Editing Team

Dogs Who Witness Trauma

Issues: Issue 25  |  Categories: Dog

Summary: Experiencing trauma is known to be a cause of stress and associated behavior problems in dogs, but what about witnessing the trauma of others? This article reviews what we know about behavioral responses to witnessing trauma in other animals, and discusses...

by Dr. Teresa Tyler PhD

Living and Learning with a Blind Dog

Issues: Issue 25  |  Categories: Dog

Summary: Blind dogs can live full and happy lives, but they need some special attention to their training and behavior. Whether they were born without sight or lost their vision later in life, blind dogs can respond well to behavior modification protocols that were...

by Micaela Frank, CDBC, CPDT-KA, KPA-CTP

Bang! Boom! Developing Training Plans for Dogs with Noise Aversion

Issues: Issue 25  |  Categories: Dog

Summary: Developing an effective training plan for dogs suffering from noise aversion is complicated by the co-morbidity of other behavior challenges, the inherent unpredictability of the stimulus, and the tendency of clients to minimize their dog’s distress....

by Rachel Lane, CPDT-KA

A Review of Detection Distance for Search Dogs Based on Environment and Target Odor

Issues: Issue 25  |  Categories: Working Animals

Summary: Working dogs are expected to perform well in a huge variety of environments. Understanding what the research tells us about the effects of different environmental factors, as well as target odor, could help handlers modify their search strategy and...

by Kayla Fratt, CDBC, Rachel Hamre, and Heather Nootbaar

Is a Busy Parrot Really a Happy Parrot?  

Issues: Issue 25  |  Categories: Parrot

Summary: As bird owners, we are quickly taught that toys are super-important for parrots. We need to keep them busy to avoid boredom and stereotypical behavior, and to keep them healthy. Keeping parrots occupied is indeed an important part of bringing them in to our...

by Stephanie Edlund, CPBC

Sex in the Psittacine

Issues: Issue 24  |  Categories: Parrot

Summary: The dedication most parrot caregivers have to their avian companion’s wellbeing, combined with their air-conditioned, artificially-lighted indoor lifestyles, means they are in perfect shape to want to reproduce. If they’re not careful, caregivers...

by Kashmir Csaky, CPBC Emeritus

Enrichment for Snakes (And Other Reptiles)

Issues: Issue 24  |  Categories: Reptile

Summary: An enriched environment for reptiles under captive management isn’t just a tank with some extra objects in it. To really enrich the lives of our reptiles, we need to be creative and introduce some novelty into their lives. This article introduces...

by Lori Torrini

The Sustainable Cat: Making Better Choices for the Environment

Issues: Issue 23  |  Categories: Cat

Summary: Plastic toys, strip-mined litter, and greenhouse gas intensive food – our pets are a surprisingly large contributor to the climate crisis. A look at the research can give us the numbers, but how can we make more sustainable choices for us and our pets? This...

by Tiro Miller, PhD

Potential Neural Consequences for Snakes Under Captive Management

Issues: Issue 23  |  Categories: Reptile

Summary: Are snakes not thought to be intelligent because they’re really dumb, or are we making it impossible for them to reach their brainpower potential by forcing them to live in depressing, boring, stressful environments?  Very little research exists about how...

by Lori Torrini

COVID-sniffing Dogs One Year Later: New Studies Show Promise

Issues: Issue 23  |  Categories: Working Animals, Working Animal

Summary: The canine nose is the most sophisticated tool we have for detecting odors in real-life environments. As soon as the pandemic hit, researchers started looking at whether dogs could be trained to detect if a person is infected with the COVID-19 virus. One year...

by Kayla Fratt, CDBC

An Interview with Dr. Lauren Finka

Issues: Issue 22  |  Categories: Shelter

Dr. Lauren Finka is a postdoctoral researcher in animal welfare at the University of Nottingham Trent in the U.K. Her specialization is in feline behavior, particularly in sheltered cats. Dr. Finka recently co-authored a research paper entitled “Providing Humans With...

by IAABC Editing Team

A Guide to Socializing Older (Fractious) Kittens

Issues: Issue 22  |  Categories: Cat

Summary: Fosters are often called on to help increase affiliative behaviors, and decrease distance-increasing behaviors in older kittens that are showing signs of being undersocialized. This article explains what this process looks like for kittens who are outside...

by Emily Carl, CCBC CPDT-KA, FFCP

Beyond the Cat Tree: Feline Enrichment for the New Behavior Consultant

Issues: Issue 21  |  Categories: Cat

Summary: This guide for new feline behavior consultants looks at the value of different types of enrichment, and offers advice on how to increase clients’ willingness to add enrichment to their cats’ lives. It focuses on helping clients visualize potential...

by Amanda Caron

When Cute Is Not Enough: What Behavior Consultants Should Know About Exotic Animal Pets

Issues: Issue 21  |  Categories: Exotics, General

Summary: Behavior consultants are well-placed to offer advice to clients if they see signs of poor welfare in any of the pets in their home, not just the ones they have been called in to help. This article outlines the scale of exotic pet-keeping in the United States,...

by Camille King, EdD, CDBC,

Deaf dogs: A Unique Communication

Issues: Issue 20  |  Categories: Dog

Summary: Training deaf dogs can be accomplished with the use of gestures and some creativity. Hand signals as well as facial gestures can be successfully used to train a deaf dog. This article showcases a variety of cued behaviors displayed by a deaf Dalmatian, using...

by Carolina Jardim

Why a Multidisciplinary Approach to Animal Behavior Research Is Critical

Issues: Issue 20  |  Categories: General

Summary:  Using the knowledge and expertise of a multitude of disciplines makes animal behavior consultants better at what we do. Mixed methods are adaptable to many research designs with numerous method pairings that elucidate more information than can be obtained...


Creating a Just and Joyful World for Dogs

Issues: Issue 19  |  Categories: Dog

Summary: Framing debates about how we should relate to companion animals as “rights vs welfare” is misleading and potentially harmful. Far from being the sole territory of abolitionists, many working behavior consultants today are using concepts that come...

by Tiro Miller PhD

COVID Sniffing Dogs: Where are we at with the Research and Implementation?

Issues: Issue 19  |  Categories: Working Animals

Summary: Within weeks of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 first being detected, preliminary studies on detection rates by working dogs were available. This review article examines two of the most promising early studies and discusses their methodology, potential...

by Kayla Fratt

Dangerous Puppies: A Heartbreaking Choice

Issues: Issue 19  |  Categories: Shelter

Summary: A deeply personal case history of a litter of puppies from a stressed, abandoned Catahoula. Signs of significant, unusual aggression were present from very soon after birth in all the puppies, despite their mother being social and affiliative. After several...

by Chelsea Edwards

Cat Reintroductions via Online Consultations

Issues: Issue 17  |  Categories: Cat

I did more virtual cat behavior consultations in March, April, and May of 2020 than I had done in my previous four years of consulting. I feel that I’ve really improved regarding being efficient at getting and giving information! In this article, I will share some...

by Patience Fisher ACCBC

Pandemic Poultry Purchasing

Issues: Issue 17  |  Categories: Parrot

Poultry purchasing during the pandemic has brought attention to the need for animal behaviour consultants to have a basic level of understanding of chicken behaviour. Many new chicken owners would benefit from reputable behavioural expertise and resources during this...

by Maisie Wake

A Different and Artistic Angle on the Intellect of Dogs

Issues: Issue 17  |  Categories: Dog

However well you navigate the endless rabbit hole of social media, you’ll no doubt notice that pet photography in all its forms has blossomed there. Pet selfies, pet portraits, funny moments, model pup poses, and all the loving candid moments in between — our pets...

by Maya Friedberg, VSA-CDT

Separation-Related Problems in Cats

Issues: Issue 17  |  Categories: Cat

Cats often suffer from the perception that they are the easier option, the “set it and forget it” pet that requires less attention and is less impacted by our absence. In reality, they are complex individuals who are capable of forming deep social attachments and are...

by Denise Johnson, DVM

Why Animals Need Trainers Who Adhere to the Least Intrusive Principle: Improving Animal Welfare and Honing Trainers’ Skills

Issues: Issue 17  |  Categories: contents, contents, Dog, General

A typical debate about negative reinforcement is something like a train wreck — you don’t want to stare but you can’t look away. Some trainers argue negative reinforcement has a place in animal training; others say it does not. With some recent interest in the animal...

by Susan G. Friedman, Ph. D.

Target Training for Horses: Hit or Miss?

Issues: Issue 17  |  Categories: Horse

In the beginning Most equestrians have heard of clicker training, and many now practise it, but compared to traditional horsemanship it is still the new kid on the block. In the 1940s Keller and Marion Breland (and later with Bob Bailey) trained many different animals...

by Trudi Dempsey CHBC

Research Report: Dog-Dog Aggression in the Household

Issues: Issue 17  |  Categories: Dog

Canine housemate aggression is a serious behavior problem in many dog households. Accurate reporting of the incidence of housemate aggression is challenging. Few owners report fights between housemates to the veterinarian. Presentation for bite wound care is often the...

by Sally Foote, DVM

Separation-Related Problems: Anxiety Is Not the Only Cause

Issues: Issue 17  |  Categories: General, Dog, Cat

Separation anxiety (SA) is the term commonly used to describe the collection of behaviors exhibited by a dog who is significantly distressed when left alone. It is one of the most well-studied behavioral disorders in dogs, and yet there is still no consensus of...

by Sharon Carroll CDBC, CHBC

Chronic Pain, the Brain, and Behavior

Issues: Issue 16  |  Categories: General

What is pain? Pain, simply defined, is an aversive sensory experience. In general, it can be broadly categorized as either nociceptive or neuropathic. Nociceptive pain is caused by a noxious stimulus, associated with actual, or in response to potential, tissue damage,...

by Nicole Ribeiro

Should Play Be Part of a Puppy Kindergarten Class?

Issues: Issue 16  |  Categories: Dog

Early puppy socialization classes can have the most beneficial effect on the future success of a dog’s life. Good classes teach owners how to better understand their puppy, while introducing the puppy during their most critical learning period to all the things they...

by Shelley Doan

A Behavior Consultant’s Tips for Training Yourself Not To Touch Your Face

Issues: Issue 15  |  Categories: General

“It took a coronavirus outbreak to remind us that we touch our faces way too many times. And cutting down on that will help stop the spread of the virus, health officials say. In 2015, a Sydney university observed medical students on video and recorded how many times...

by Adria Karlsson

Scratch This, Not That!

Issues: Issue 15  |  Categories: Cat

Cats scratch for many reasons such as nail care, exercise, tension relief, and communication that includes both physical and chemical messages (DePorter, 2019). Scratching behavior is so innate that even cats who have undergone partial digital amputation, also known...

by Denise Johnson DVM

One Dog at a Time: Enriching the Emotional Lives of Shelter Dogs

Issues: Issue 15  |  Categories: contents, Shelter, contents

The animal sheltering world is an emotional one for all stakeholders: the animals who live with the stress of an imperfect and unpredictable environment; a shelter organization that is constantly addressing challenges with funding, staffing, and rehoming animals;...

by Dr. Nee Kang, PhD, CDBC, Elisa Ang, and Jaipal Singh Gill

Using Rotation to Reduce Stress in Multi-Cat Situations

Issues: Issue 14  |  Categories: Cat

Multi-cat homes where all the cats live indoors are growing more and more common in today’s feline world, as shelters, breeders, and behavior consultants recognize the benefits of bringing more than one cat home. In fact, most people who have cats have two or...

by Kathryn Weil

Cueing our Learners: Giving Feedback in Dog Training Classes

Issues: Issue 14  |  Categories: Dog

Dog trainers and behavior consultants tend to spend a lot of time helping our learners – the clients, not their dogs – develop new skills to help manage their canines. Yet early in my career I had observed that the majority of our professional development tends to be...

by Helen Prinold, M.Sc, CDBC

Every Tale Tells a Story

Issues: Issue 14  |  Categories: Dog

Winner of the 2019 Rebecca Park Scholarship It is my slogan to help people understand animals mindfully and sympathise with their needs and feelings based on scientific knowledge. Our companion animals have their own needs and feelings. All animals are unique and...

by June Kim

What Dog Behavior Doesn’t Teach You About Sheep

Issues: Issue 14  |  Categories: contents, Working Animals, contents

Anna and I were standing at the back of a queue of woolly bottoms. Anna is my German shepherd dog, and the woolly bottoms belong to my 200 Poll Dorset sheep. We all work together on a small farm in Dorset, U.K., where we study traditional herding techniques,...

by Pat Tagg, M.Sc, CABC

Using Cannabis and Cannabidiol (CBD Oil) in Dog Training and Behavior Work

Issues: Issue 13  |  Categories: contents, contents

The continuing legalization of cannabis has led to a growing number of CBD oil products available for sale in the pet market, where sales have quadrupled since 2017. Dog owners are increasingly using these products for their dogs, and may be seeking advice on their...

by Helen Prinold

Overcoming Fear in a Traumatized Horse: Magnum’s story

Issues: Issue 12  |  Categories: Horse, contents, contents

Magnum—a paint Clydesdale/Stockhorse cross gelding—came to live with us at the end of 2004. We had recently moved to a large property, and my plan was to get two horses to go on quiet trail rides through the forest. I’d had a lifelong love of horses, but my...

by Heather Binns

Marketing your dog behavior consulting business without myths

Issues: Issue 12  |  Categories: Business of Behavior

“You can’t train a lion with force, so why would you do it with a dog?” I see this claim weekly on the Facebook pages of my dog training friends. It’s usually accompanied by a lovely photo or video of a lion, tiger, orca, or elephant calmly engaging in...

by Kayla Fratt

From Skinner Box to Show Biz and Beyond

Issues: Issue 12  |  Categories: Business of Behavior, General

When Marian Kruse entered the University of Minnesota in 1938, her ambition was to major in Latin and minor in Greek. Marian later wrote of “harboring the strange notion of becoming a Latin teacher in Alaska.” Before matriculating and heading to Alaska, however, even...

by William Van Nostran

Training Snakes to Voluntarily Relocate

Issues: Issue 12  |  Categories: Reptile

The following is an overview of two methods I have used to train snakes to voluntarily shift from their normal enclosure/living space into a temporary holding area or transport container. These methods have worked successfully for carpet pythons (Morelia spilota) and...

by Lori A. Torrini

What Does Maslow’s Pinnacle Mean for Horses?

Issues: Issue 11  |  Categories: Horse

How best to meet the behavioural and emotional needs of horses is the crux of a typical behavioural consultation. The job of the behaviour consultant is to tread the path of assessing and meeting the needs of the horse, whilst simultaneously managing the desires and...

by Catherine Bell, CHBC

Breed Differences in Canine Behavior Are Heritable. Why the Fuss?

Issues: Issue 11  |  Categories: Dog

On January 1, a research article titled “Highly Heritable and Functionally Relevant Breed Differences in Dog Behavior” became publicly available as a preprint. The authors were Evan MacLean (University of Arizona), Noah Snyder-Mackler (University of Washington),...

by Robin L. Foster, PhD

Environmental Enrichment for the Horse: The Need for Companionship

Issues: Issue 11  |  Categories: Horse

As highlighted in the previous article Environmental Enrichment for the Horse: the Need to Forage, environmental enrichment can be defined as the additions and/or alterations made to a domesticated animal’s environment with the goal of improving welfare.1 There are...

by Louise Nicholls

There’s No Scientific Reason to Believe Littermate Syndrome Exists

Issues: Issue 11  |  Categories: Dog

Searching Google Scholar for “littermate syndrome” + “canines” yields no relevant results. If the scientific community is silent on the issue of “littermate syndrome,” why do behavior consultants keep preaching about it? I started to think more critically about...

by Kayla Fratt, CDBC

Helping Dogs in High-Rise Living Situations: Beyond Skills Training

Issues: Issue 10  |  Categories: Dog

For the past decade, I have been training dogs in Chicago’s busy South Loop and the surrounding neighborhoods. Year after year, it seems like the city is growing—new construction, a larger population, and more dogs—all of which makes life increasingly tough for dogs...

by Judit Arroyo

What We Need to Learn About Missing Dogs

Issues: Issue 10  |  Categories: Dog

The Missing Animal Response Network is an international network of lost-pet recovery specialists (volunteers and professionals) who are interested in learning as much as we can about the behavioral patterns of lost pets. The foundation for our missing animal response...

by Kat Albrecht & IAABC Editing Team

What Went Wrong With The Humane Hierarchy is Still Wrong With The Proposed Revisions

Issues: Issue 9  |  Categories: contents, Editorial, contents

Although the title of this editorial is a wink at Tim Steele’s recent blog for the Academy for Dog Trainers, I applaud his discussion of the Humane Hierarchy. I admire anyone who believes there is an opportunity for improvement and takes meaningful action. Similarly,...

by Susan G. Friedman, PhD

Interview with Dr. Alexandra Protopopova

Issues: Issue 9  |  Categories: Archives

“I was actually planning to be a veterinarian.” And so were declared the earliest professional aspirations of Alexandra (Sasha) Protopopova, PhD, a scientist whose work is finding a varied and eager audience in the animal welfare world these days. With a doctorate in...

by Barbara Davis, CDBC

Glucocorticoids, Stress, and Behavior Consulting

Issues: Issue 9  |  Categories: Dog

As behavior consultants, we often focus on classical conditioning and the four quadrants of operant learning, but there’s so much more to consider. We don’t necessarily think about what’s happening internally—especially beyond an animal’s immediate...

by Kayla Fratt and Jackie Maffucci

Weekend Getaways: A Lifesaving Short-Term Foster Care Program

Issues: Issue 9  |  Categories: Shelter

Shelter dogs can vacation too! Participants in our animal shelter’s Weekend Getaway program are provided with a much-needed break from the kennel, fresh scenery, and new friends to meet — both furry and non-furry. Weekend Getaways have increased foster volunteer...

by Heather Gibbs, CPDT-KA, SBA

Impressions from the IAABC Conference Boston 2018

Issues: Issue 9  |  Categories: Conference

Last April, as part of the team of the new IAABC Español Division, we traveled from Chile to our first annual conference of the IAABC. We are Uli Grodeke, trainer and behavior consultant, Wen Bautista, dog lover, and Carmen Arroyo, veterinarian and dog trainer....

by IAABC División Español

Choice, Control, and Training for Ectotherms

Issues: Issue 8  |  Categories: contents, contents

Research into the ethological needs and cognitive abilities of companion animals like dogs has increased exponentially in recent years, leading to a greater understanding of what they need to have good welfare and how we can meet those needs. There is still a great...

by Carrie Kish

Interview with Brennen McKenzie, the Skeptvet

Issues: Issue 8  |  Categories: From the Archives

Complementary and alternative veterinary medicine is a multimillion-dollar industry that encompasses everything from reiki to nutritional supplements, and offers treatments for a full range of medical and behavioral complaints. From the five-dollar “calming treats” we...

by by the IAABC Editing Staff

Literature Review: Canine Cognitive Dysfunction

Issues: Issue 8  |  Categories: Dog

Just like their human caretakers, pet dogs are reaping the benefits of medical advancements and are living longer than ever before (Katina et al., 2016; McGreevy & Bennett, 2010). While a longer lifespan is viewed as a positive by most owners, a dog’s golden years...

by Sarah Fraser CDBC, KPA-CTP, CPDT-KA

Career Paths: Barbara Davis

Issues: Issue 8  |  Categories: Business of Behavior

When did you decide to pursue behavior as a profession? There were really two times this came up for me. In the early days of my training career (in the 1970 and ’80s, so really prehistoric!), I worked with a lot of mentors and was fascinated by the way they worked...

by IAABC Editing Staff

Literature Review: Behavior Modification for Canine Separation Anxiety

Issues: Issue 7  |  Categories: Dog

Separation anxiety (SA) and separation-related behavior (SRB) are significant welfare concerns for companion dogs (Cannas et al., 2014; Lund & Jorgensen, 1999). SA has been shown to be associated with negative affective states (Scaglia et al., 2013), raise...

by Brian J. Burton

Behavior Theory and Stallion Management

Issues: Issue 7  |  Categories: Horse

Introduction Stallions can be used in different disciplines and they may stand at stud either as retirement or alongside their “career” (Burger et al., 2012). Traditionally they are managed with little regard to their natural behaviour (McDonnell, 2016b); they may be...

by Emily Talbot

Embracing Anthropomorphism

Issues: Issue 7  |  Categories: Dog

As any animal behavior consultant can attest, one of the greatest challenges we face is dissuading owners from anthropomorphizing their pet’s behavior. In many respects, anthropomorphism is the proverbial gorilla in the room: It’s taboo, highly controversial, and most...

by Karen Fazio, CDBC

Career Paths: Stephanie Edlund

Issues: Issue 6  |  Categories: Business of Behavior, Interviews

Animal behavior consultants come from all walks of life. One of the most common questions IAABC gets is about how to get started working with pets and their people. The truth is, there’s no set career path, and no single qualification that prepares you for this...

by IAABC Editing Team

Behavior Consulting for Reptiles

Issues: Issue 6  |  Categories: Reptile, Interviews

We talk to Danielle Beck, ABTC registered clinical animal behaviourist, and the United Kingdom’s only reptile behavior consultant working with pet lizards, about the unique challenges of working with these fascinating and often misunderstood animals. How did you get...

by IAABC Editing Team

Playgroups the LIMA Way

Issues: Issue 5  |  Categories: Shelter

Playgroups are undoubtedly a beneficial practice in shelters and rescue groups, and over the past few years they have increased in popularity. As with most tools, though, playgroups can be implemented with varying degrees of skill, or misapplied altogether. While my...

by Emily Strong, CPBC, CPBT-KA

Spotlight on Research: Lauren Robinson

Issues: Issue 5  |  Categories: Sciences

This issue, we talked to Lauren Robinson, recent PhD graduate from the University of Edinburgh. Lauren’s work focuses on how we measure personality and welfare, and how these two areas interact. She has worked with many different species, from puppies to penguins, but...

by IAABC Editing Team

Why Train Voluntary Cooperation in Horses?

Issues: Issue 5  |  Categories: Horse

 “But restraint is the only one sort of control, and absence of restraint isn’t freedom. It’s not control that’s lacking when one feels ‘free’, but the objectionable control of force.”  B.F. Skinner, Walden Two Traditional training and...

by Robin Foster, PhD

Enrichment Involving Human Interaction Saves Lives

Issues: Issue 4  |  Categories: Shelter

As I walked through the intake room of a large county animal shelter in Dayton, Ohio, evaluating dogs to enroll in the Behavior Modification and Enrichment Program (BMP), I stopped in front of a kennel and looked down at a young pit bull–type puppy, with a turned-up...

by Regina Willen

Cat Social Lives: Current Knowledge and Future Directions

Issues: Issue 4  |  Categories: Cat

Although cats are stereotypically thought to be aloof and unsocial, domestic cats display great flexibility in their social behavior.  Cats have the ability to live solitarily, to live in extremely gregarious colonies, and to live socially in homes with humans and...

by Kristyn Vitale Shreve, MEn

Why Is My Dog This Way, Does It Matter If We Know, and What Can We Do?

Issues: Issue 4  |  Categories: Dog

As we all know, clients almost always want to know why their dogs are having problems. Many hasten to blame themselves (often citing certain TV shows and their failure to be good pack leaders). Many have focused on a single event from which they are sure the problem...

by Greta Kaplan

The Clinical Animal Behavioral Gold Standard

Issues: Issue 3  |  Categories: Cat, Sciences

In the 1940s E. R. Guthrie and G. P. Horton designed an experiment to test feline problem-solving ability using a test box and cats that met the scientific standard. In the experiment, they placed individual cats inside a test box, outside of which they placed a food...

by Myrna Milani, DVM

Stats Trek III: What is Normal, Anyway?

Issues: Issue 3  |  Categories: Sciences

This is the third installment of our Stats Trek series, where we talk about all things data! In the current series, we systematically dissect a paper from the scientific literature and discuss some of the things that we should consider when reading primary literature...

by Jessica Fry

Attachment Scales as a Tool for Behavior Consultants

Issues: Issue 3  |  Categories: Applied Behavior Consulting, Dog

Human-dog interactions have many of the same components of human-human interactions: They amount to a relationship based on trust with mutual physical, psychological, and social benefits. The history-taking part of a consultation isn’t just about finding out what the...

by Melissa McMath Hatfield

An Interview with Sarah Ellis, Author of “The Trainable Cat”

Issues: Issue 3  |  Categories: Cat, Interviews

Patience Fisher discusses Dr. Ellis’ research and new book with her, uncovering additional details and insights on how to train a cat. Sarah Ellis’ life of research, consulting, and educating people about cats has been focused on undoing the decades-long acceptance of...

Obesity in Dogs

Issues: Issue 3  |  Categories: Husbandry, Dog

Oh, how I dread the sight of an obese dog. I feel bad for the dog and have the usual quick scroll of all the medical complications run through my head, but I also wince in anticipation of the upcoming discussion with the client about their dog’s weight. The range of...

by Jess Elliott

The Human-Avian Bond

Issues: Issue 21, Issue 2  |  Categories: Parrot

According to the 2015-2016 American Pet Products Association survey, 6.1 million American households own an estimated 14.3 million birds, making birds the fourth most common pet following dogs, cats, and fish. Despite the popularity of birds as pets, there have been...

by Patricia K. Anderson, PhD

Interview With Dr. Alexandra Protopopova

Issues: Issue 2  |  Categories: Sciences, Interviews, Shelter

“I was actually planning to be a veterinarian.” And so were declared the earliest professional aspirations of Alexandra (Sasha) Protopopova, PhD, a scientist whose work is finding a varied and eager audience in the animal welfare world these days. With a doctorate in...

by Barbara Davis CDBC

Interview with Brennen McKenzie, the SkeptVet

Issues: Issue 2  |  Categories: Other Topics, Interviews, Sciences

Complementary and alternative veterinary medicine is a multimillion-dollar industry that encompasses everything from reiki to nutritional supplements, and offers treatments for a full range of medical and behavioral complaints. From the five-dollar “calming treats” we...

by the IAABC Editing Staff

The Science of Finding Lost Pets

Issues: Issue 2  |  Categories: Cat, Sciences, October 2016

If you were to ask me to spend the day searching a remote, wilderness area like the Cascade Mountains for a missing person, but you gave me no details about why they were out there, I would have a very difficult time knowing just what tools to use and where I should...

by Kat Albrecht

How Do You Spell Behavior? At Darwin’s Dogs, We Use Gs, Cs, Ts, and As.

Issues: Issue 2  |  Categories: Sciences, Other Topics, October 2016

There are approximately 3 billion bases—represented by the letters G, C, T, or A—in a dog genome. A majority of these are the same across all dogs—these are the bits of DNA that make your dog a dog. But what makes your dog an individual? What makes your dog different...

by Jesse McClure

Why Do We Train Sit? Should We Reconsider Its Relevance?

Issues: Issue 2  |  Categories: Dog

As far as I can tell, training a dog to sit originated in regulations formed for competition obedience around the 1920s. Before then, dogs were primarily used for sporting and herding, or were shown in conformation trials, and a sit was not often trained. Unlike our...

by Kama Brown

Pet Rabbits: Further Research Warranted on Behavior and Husbandry

Issues: Issue 2  |  Categories: Other Topics, Small Animals, Rabbits

The domestic rabbit is a popular choice among keepers of small and exotic companion animals. Their appeal to the pet-owning public includes the potential to be spayed or neutered and litterbox trained, and that they stay a relatively small size yet possess big...

by Jessica Fritschi

IAABC News for October 2016

Issues: Issue 2  |  Categories: Other Topics, News

IAABC works to promote evidence-based best practice in behavior consulting for all species of companion animals, in homes or shelters. We provide certification and education for consultants all over the world, with the goal of helping clients prevent, manage and...

Stats Trek II: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

Issues: Issue 2  |  Categories: October 2016, Sciences, Other Topics

Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.” – Mark...

by Jess Fry

What Do Trainers Know About How Horses Learn?

Issues: Issue 2  |  Categories: Horse

When the June 2016 issue of the IAABC Foundation Journal ran an article on eliminating the use of aversives in equestrian training, I felt inspired to offer a summary of my study on the current use of these methods in equestrian training. The notion that positive...

by Gina Garey

Compliance and Manipulation in the Dog Training World

Issues: Issue 2  |  Categories: Dog

As behavior consultants, we know that it’s important that our clients get on board with the plans we make, and follow through with what we’re trying to teach them. Usually, we can’t teach their dog everything we’d like him to learn ourselves, so our job is to make...

by Nan Arthur

Behavior Consulting and Declawed Cats

Issues: Issue 1  |  Categories: Cat

If you work with cats in the United States or Canada, you will face a few conundrums related to phalangectomy procedures (onychectomy/declawing).1 The topic is considered controversial by many people, including some of your clients and their vets. This means that you...

by Jacqueline Munera, CCBC

Side-Eye: A Critical Look at Dog Science in the Media

Issues: Issue 1  |  Categories: Sciences

Recently, there has been some hubbub over whether or not you should hug your dog. The Psychology Today blog post that reignited the debate, by Dr. Stanley Coren of the University of British Columbia, titled “The Data Say ‘Don’t Hug the Dog!’” claimed to answer this...

by Lindsay Waldrop

IAABC News – June 2016

Issues: Issue 1  |  Categories: Other Topics, News

A Message from the President Greetings and welcome to the IAABC’s Journal. The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants is a worldwide organization whose members share an interest in the study and application of animal training and behavior consulting....

I Got a Kick Out of You…

Issues: Issue 1  |  Categories: Sciences

Pavlov was scooped, but nobody noticed. Most people have heard of Ivan Pavlov and his dogs, and many are aware of the specifics of his discovery. He accidentally conditioned dogs to salivate at the sound of a buzzer, and then realized what he had done and some of the...

by Eileen Anderson