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.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #372
Reversing Brewing Behavior Problems in Dogs and Cats
Monday, May 31, 2010
10:00 AM–10:50 AM
Ballroom A (CC)
Area: AAB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Kennon A. Lattal (West Virginia University)
SOPHIA YIN (San Francisco Veterinary Specialists)
Dr. Sophia Yin, a 1993 graduate of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, is the award-winning pet columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and the author of The Small Animal Veterinary Nerdbook®, and How to Behave So Your Dog Behaves. She earned her Master's in Animal Science in 2001 from UC Davis where she studied vocal communication in dogs and worked with behavior modification in horses, giraffes, ostriches, and chickens. She currently teaches three upper division undergraduate courses in domestic animal behavior in the UC Davis Animal Science Department and supervises students in various animal training and behavior research projects. She and the Sharper Image are co-developers of the first remote-controlled, automated food reward device ever and professional dog training system marketed on a large scale.
Abstract: Veterinarians, shelter staff, and other pet handlers see unmanageable and aggressive companion animals daily. Such professionals do what they can to provide the best services, but the unfortunate fact is that if fear and unruly behaviors aren’t recognized and addressed within the context in which they are exhibited, pets may exit with worse behavior than when they entered. In addition, although early intervention might ameliorate a problem, ignoring the signs may lead to inability to handle the animal in the future and could even result in euthanasia as the animal becomes increasingly difficult to manage and even dangerous on repeated visits. While the common assumption is that such problems are beyond the scope of general practice, a few simple modifications in how animals are handled in clinical environments, plus the use of a basic counter-conditioning technique can dramatically improve the pet’s behavior and experience. Brewing behavioral issues in dogs and cats are best treated before they develop into recognizable problems. This presentation will highlight how body language and action affect the behavior of resident companion animals, and how behavior analysis teamed with an understanding of ethology can be used to prevent or treat a myriad of behavior problems.



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