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Breaking Accidental Behavior Chains.

Description: Accidental behavior chains are a common problem in dog training. Many handlers inadvertently reinforce undesirable behaviors. The behavior analytic literature already contains articles describing methods of breaking chains; however, those methods either are not used in dog training for practical purposes or are ineffective in dog training. This experiment investigated two ways to break a behavior chain, including extending the chain and introducing a delay into the chain. The results of extending the chain showed that it is possible to decrease the target behavior using this method, but it was not eliminated in this study. Adding a delay into the behavior chain resulted in a quick elimination of the target behavior.
Date: May 2010
Creator: McKnight, Debra Gayle
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

A Constructional Approach to Establishing and Maintaining Calm Canine Behavior

Description: Very few behavior-change programs with canines produce effects that persist beyond the training condition. The present study is an experimental demonstration of a constructional program that established calm patterns of behavior as alternatives to hyperactive ones. Three dogs that exhibited hyperactive patterns were chosen as subjects. Seven conditions common to canine-caretaker relationships were used to determine which factors resulted in the hyperactive patterns. Then, sitting and lying down were taught as beginning points using touch as a reinforcer. The final behavior, maintained by naturally occurring reinforcers, was established errorlessly. The study used a control-analysis strategy of behavior change with a changing-criterion design. The intervention resulted in an immediate reduction in hyperactivity and an increase in sitting and lying down for all dogs.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Owens, Chase Jonathan
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

The Sheep-Killing Dog

Description: Report discussing the growing problem of dogs who attack and kill sheep. Different legislative and practical responses are recommended, such as dog licensing and better construction of fences.
Date: 1915
Creator: McWhorter, V. O.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
open access

A Constructional Canine Aggression Treatment: Using a Negative Reinforcement Shaping Procedure With Dogs in Home and Community Settings.

Description: Aggression in dogs is a significant public health concern with 7.2 mortality cases per 100 million inhabitants and approximately 4.7 million dog bites annually. Canine aggression is typically viewed as a genetic trait and treated as pathology through the use of medical or respondent behavioral procedures. In this study the effects of the differential negative reinforcement of safe, alternative behaviors to aggression using distancing as the reinforcer were evaluated. The results demonstrated that even when the aggression was in evidence throughout most of the dog's lifetime, it responded quickly to changes in reinforcement contingencies.
Date: December 2007
Creator: Snider, Kellie Sisson
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Induced Water Drinking during a Discrete Trial Procedure Using a Variable-Ratio Schedule of Reinforcement with a Canine

Description: Falk's pivotal 1961 study showed that rats would drink excessive amounts of water when exposed to a time based schedule of reinforcement. Since then, schedule-induced drinking or polydipsia, has been demonstrated with several species and with a variety of different behaviors. Rats, the most commonly used animal, have been shown to drink excessive amounts of water under a variety of different time based schedules of reinforcement; exclusively during a free operant procedure. The current study shows that water drinking can be induced during a discrete trial procedure, and instead of using a time-based schedule of reinforcement, this study used a variable-ratio schedule of reinforcement. The results showed that excessive water drinking was induced under these conditions with a canine.
Date: December 2018
Creator: Frier, Tracy
Partner: UNT Libraries
open access

Natural concepts in the domestic dog.

Description: The current study investigated concept formation in domestic dogs, specifically that of a toy concept. The dog's differential responding (retrieval vs. non-retrieval) to two sets of stimuli suggested a toy concept. Differential responding occurred from the very first trial, indicating that the concept had been formed in the natural environment, not during the experiment. It was hypothesized that a common response may be responsible for the emergence of the class in the natural environment. The results demonstrated that it was possible to expand the class by adding previously non-retrieved objects to the toy class through a common response. It was also shown that the toy concept passed the more stringent criterion (transfer of function test) required validating it as a concept.
Date: December 2009
Creator: Feuerbacher, Erica Nan
Partner: UNT Libraries
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