“Contrived” vs. “Natural” Reinforcers – A Critical Look

   We recently saw an article on a blog about the use of negative reinforcement (www.EileenAndDogs.com –   http://eileenanddogs.com/2015/07/30/natural-vs-contrived-negative-reinforcement/).  One of the main points of the article seemed to be that “natural” negative reinforcement was acceptable, and didn’t cause harm or problems for dogs, while “contrived” reinforcement was to be avoided. The article started by quoting…

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Behavior Genetics, Breed Bans, and Getting the Facts Straight

We read an article in the Denver Post last winter, an Op-Ed piece by Krista Kafer, with a title of “End bans on specific dog breeds”.  In the article, she admonishes the town of Breckenridge, which was considering a breed ban at the time, to “keep a few facts in mind”.  She then goes on…

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Introducing CAAB Chats

Ever wished you could be a fly on the wall when behaviorists get together and talk shop? Wonder what they think of the latest research, the most current behavior modification or training protocol, or how they educate clients who’ve been exposed to too much behavior nonsense on the web and on TV? Have you been…

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What You Don’t Know About Pain in Animals Can Hurt

Consider the Following: An unpublished Banfield study revealed a large proportion of dog and cat owners surveyed (1000 each) aren’t aware that changes in elimination, exercise tolerance, or eating and drinking habits could be signs of disease (JAVMA 2013,  243 (7): 952). Pet owners don’t want their animals to suffer chronic pain, yet few recognize…

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Cortisol Vacations For Our Pets?

  We recently ran across a blog post by a trainer titled “The Cortisol Vacation.”  She was writing about the dangers of chronic stress in dogs and how best to handle it.  She pointed out that when dogs become distressed, an adrenal hormone, cortisol, is released.  To handle chronic stress, she says, we should first…

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