Function matters: a review of terminological differences in applied and basic clicker training research

Short Synopsis: “Animal trainers often assume clicker training is a “science-based” way to train animals. But, the few studies that have compared clicker training to a control have not provided evidence that adding a clicker is beneficial to training. This may be because research on clicker training has studied only one of several potential functions of the clicker stimulus that have …

What are we measuring? Novices agree amongst themselves (but not always with experts) in their assessment of dog behaviour

Short Synopsis: Researchers asked novices and working dog experts to evaluate 38 border patrol dogs in a standardized behavioral evaluation. Lots of past dog behavior research is based on owners assessing their OWN dog’s behavior (novices assessing dogs). These studies, at times, disagree with evaluations published where experts evaluated the dogs. The researchers found that novices tend to agree with each …

Predictive models of assistance dog training outcomes using the Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire and a standardized temperament evaluation

Short Synopsis: Researchers compared C-BARQ, IFT, and combination scores from the two tests to see which test helped predict which dogs would succeed at assistance dog training. All versions of testing identified a dog’s likelihood of success better than chance. All 3 versions of testing were most accurate for flagging the dogs that were most likely to fail (85%-92% accurate for …

Fearful Fido: Investigating dog experience in the veterinary context in an effort to reduce distress Author links open overlay panel

Short Synopsis: Lots of dogs get scared at the vet. Many commonsense recommendations seem obvious, but don’t have research behind them. The study points out that there’s insufficient evidence behind DAP as an effective fear reducer overall. Some studies suggest that chemical restraint may be less stressful for dogs than physical restraint. Though training dogs to enjoy car rides and wearing …

The effect of a pressure wrap (ThunderShirt®) on heart rate and behavior in canines diagnosed with anxiety disorder

Short Synopsis: 90 dogs with diagnosed anxiety disorders were split into 3 groups: proper Thundershirt wrap, loose wrap, and no wrap. Thundershirts, when properly applied, helped lower heart rate and reduce visible calming signals in a group of dogs diagnosed with anxiety disorders, but didn’t show an improvement in overall behavioral outcomes. Authors:Camille King, Laurie Buffington, Thomas J.Smith, TempleGrandin Publication: Journal …