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Handling high-maintenance pets (Proceedings)
We will review the meaning and principles or reinforcement and punishment, using the 'Law of Effect".
As I sit down to write this abstract, the mail arrives in the mailbox inside the front door. My dog - predictably - barks and I tell him to be 'quiet'. Better yet, my three year old daughter is quick to eagerly repeat my words. I scored: I reinforced my dog's most annoying behavior and taught my child a 'valuable' lesson in applied animal behavior.
I like to think that we're all at times guilty of mistakes like this. Knowing that it's human to react to an undesired behavior with what we perceive as punitive helps me be more patient with clients who sit in the waiting room where their dog jumps on their lap – leading them to pet the dog while they say anxiously 'it's okay!".
In this session, we will review the meaning and principles or reinforcement and punishment, using the 'Law of Effect".
Based on the principles of operant and classical counter conditioning, we will review case examples and methods to effectively prevent problems, teach clients to effectively practice with their pets techniques, and to alter existing problem behaviors in practice that are based on fear and reinforced by clients and staff in different ways.
We will jointly develop protocols that you can individualize for each patient-client duo to eradicate problems like resistance to clip nails, unwillingness to have ears cleaned, and other issues that you may experience day-to-day.