Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


33rd Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2007

Event Details

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Symposium #349
Schedule Manipulation in Response Reduction in Dogs
Monday, May 28, 2007
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
Edward D
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Megan E. Meginley (West Virginia University)
Discussant: Jennifer L. Sobie (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Applied animal behavior (AAB) consultation is a new field that has seen exponential growth in the last decade. Within the Association for Behavior Analysis itself, related presentation numbers have grown from 4 in 1993, the year of inception of the Trainers’ Forum SIG, to 36 in 2006. However, although extensive literature in applied behavior change with humans supports that schedule manipulation is an effective approach to response reduction, a recent review of all published AAB literature in peer-reviewed journals (Sobie, 2002) indicated that the most widely used treatment across all behavioral interventions in AAB was and is punishment. Advocating a different approach to the treatment of behavior excesses in animals, this symposium unites a series of presentations evaluating the use and efficacy of differential schedules of reinforcement in dog behavior reduction.
An Examination of Differential-Reinforcement-of-Other-Behavior (DRO) Schedules with Pet Dogs.
MEGAN E. MEGINLEY (West Virginia University), Kennon A. Lattal (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Many pet behavior problems require reduction in rate, yet empirical demonstrations of the relative efficacy of various response deceleration procedures with pets are rare. Two such procedures, demonstrated to be effective with humans and laboratory animals, are extinction and DRO schedules. In a series of studies in our laboratory, the buoy-touching of canine subjects in home environments has been examined under various conditions of reinforcement using steady-state, within-subject designs. In one experiment, extinction and a DRO 10-s schedule were compared in a multiple-schedule design using three dogs. In a second experiment, extinction and an escalating DRO schedule were compared in a reversal design. In addition to presenting data collected in these studies, I will discuss advantages and disadvantages of this general method for examining canine behavior and applying findings thus obtained to pet behavior problem reduction.
Evaluation of Differential Positive Reinforcement Techniques as Adjunct Treatments in Decreasing On-Lead Lunging in Dogs.
NAMIKO OTA-NOVESKEY (Humane Society of Kent County), Jennifer L. Sobie (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: This study evaluated four positive reinforcement techniques adjunct to negative reinforcement facilitated by use of a Gentle®Leader collar for decreasing on-lead lunging and lunge precursor behavior in dogs. Evaluated were differential reinforcement of incompatible behavior (DRI), differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA), differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO), non-contingent reinforcement (NCR) and no adjunct reinforcement. Subjects included dogs referred for problem lunging behavior by area (West Michigan) obedience instructors as well as dogs from area animal shelters exhibiting lunging problems while being exercised by staff. Data were collected regarding efficacy in lunge and lunge precursor response reduction as well as participant compliance in execution of the different techniques.
Differential Reinforcement of Alternative Behavior (DRA) in Reducing Behavior Excesses in Dogs.
LAUREN ZVERINA (Western Michigan University), Jennifer L. Sobie (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Dogs that are surrendered or rescued to a shelter environment often come with existing behavior excesses and deficits. The shelter setting itself—a novel stimuli-intense environment that may increase fear responding and interfere with expression of existing learned responses—also contributes to the overall manic behavior of many dogs vying for adoption in a shelter environment. This study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA), i.e., attention to handler, on reducing inappropriate behavior including jumping, vocalization, leash pulling and other responses that might generally interfere with the dog’s overall adoptability. Discussion of results will include the implications explicit in the findings as well as suggestions regarding reasonable extrapolation of findings to other environments such as the home.



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