Evaluating a humane alternative to the bark collar: Automated differential reinforcement of not barking in a home-alone setting

Alexandra Protopopova, Dmitri Kisten, Clive Wynne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The aim of this study was to develop a humane alternative to the traditional remote devices that deliver punishers contingent on home-alone dog barking. Specifically, we evaluated the use of remote delivery of food contingent on intervals of not barking during the pet owner's absence. In Experiment 1, 5 dogs with a history of home-alone nuisance barking were recruited. Using an ABAB reversal design, we demonstrated that contingent remote delivery of food decreased home-alone barking for 3 of the dogs. In Experiment 2, we demonstrated that it is possible to thin the differential-reinforcement-of-other-behavior (DRO) schedule gradually, resulting in a potentially more acceptable treatment. Our results benefit the dog training community by providing a humane tool to combat nuisance barking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-744
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Behavior Analysis
Volume49
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Keywords

  • animal welfare
  • differential reinforcement of other behavior
  • dog training
  • problem behavior

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