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.
- animal welfare
- differential reinforcement of other behavior
- dog training
- problem behavior