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  1. Training methods and owner–dog interactions: Links with dog behaviour and learning ability

    Contributor(s):: Rooney, Nicola Jane, Cowan, Sarah

    The methods by which owners train their pet dogs range widely, with some exclusively using rewards, and others using a combination, or only punishment-based methods. This paper examines links between the way in which owners reported to have trained their dogs and observations of the dogs’...

  2. How Smart is Your Dog? An Experimental Analysis of Canine Learning Abilities

    Contributor(s):: Katherine Martucci

    This report centers around the designing of an experimental protocol appropriate for, and the subsequent testing of, domestic dogs on two types of learning tasks: conditional discriminations (i.e., “if...then” statements) and stimulus equivalence (i.e., inferential learning). To date,...

  3. Assessment of severity and progression of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome using the CAnine DEmentia Scale (CADES)

    Contributor(s):: Madari, A., Farbakova, J., Katina, S., Smolek, T., Novak, P., Weissova, T., Novak, M., Zilka, N.

    Cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) represents a group of symptoms related to the aging of the canine brain. These changes ultimately lead to a decline of memory function and learning abilities, alteration of social interaction, impairment of normal housetraining, changes in sleep-wake cycle and...

  4. Development of a standard test to assess negative reinforcement learning in horses

    Contributor(s):: Ahrendt, L. P., Labouriau, R., Malmkvist, J., Nicol, C. J., Christensen, J. W.

    Most horses are trained by negative reinforcement. Currently, however, no standardised test for evaluating horses' negative reinforcement learning ability is available. The aim of this study was to develop an objective test to investigate negative reinforcement learning in horses. Twenty-four...

  5. Does temperament affect learning in calves?

    Contributor(s):: Webb, L. E., Reenen, C. G. van, Jensen, M. B., Schmitt, O., Bokkers, E. A. M.

    The aim of the study was to investigate how temperament affects learning ability in calves. Nine two-month-old Holstein-Friesian bull calves were subjected to four challenge tests: novel object (NOT), novel environment (NET), social isolation (SIT), and social isolation with a novel environmental...

  6. Variations in the timing of reinforcement as a training technique for foals ( Equus caballus )

    Contributor(s):: Warren-Smith, A. K., McLean, A. N., Nicol, H. I., McGreevy, P. D.

    Horses are used worldwide for a range of activities. Their usefulness and welfare in these pursuits are strongly influenced by their trainability, which may in turn be influenced by learning ability. Handling and riding horses can expose both handler and horse to a considerable risk of injury....

  7. Comment on van Kerkhove's "wolf-pack theory"

    Contributor(s):: Wright, J. C.

    van Kerkhove (2004/this issue) attempts to address an applied animal behavior problem. A cacophony of issues, however, points to the difficulty of understanding and integrating the scientific literature on principles of animal behavior and conditioning (learning theory). The author's primary...

  8. Conditioning shelter dogs to sit

    Contributor(s):: Thorn, J. M., Templeton, J. J., Winkle, K. M. M. van, Castillo, R. R.

    Human contact in the shelter may lessen effects of change in environment and smooth transition into a home. Training can increase a dog's interaction with people in a shelter environment. Experiments were conducted to determine how rapidly shelter dogs learn to sit, if the dogs can retain sitting...

  9. Investigating fear in rainbow trout ( Oncorhynchus mykiss ) using the conditioned-suppression paradigm

    Contributor(s):: Yue, S., Duncan, I. J. H., Moccia, R. D.

    Trout learned the operant task of pendulum-pressing for a food-reward in a mean of 4.3 sessions lasting 1 hr. In a separate phase, fish also learned - through classical conditioning - to associate a neutral light cue with an aversive stimulus. When again allowed to pendulum-press for food, after...

  10. Selecting shelter dogs for service dog training

    Contributor(s):: Weiss, E.

    Service dogs are an essential aid to persons with disabilities, providing independence, mobility and improved self-esteem. Because of these proven benefits, the growing use of service dogs is creating a demand and supply crisis. One major cause is the 50% average dropout rate for dogs selected...

  11. Status quo of the personality trait evaluation in horse breeding: judges' assessment of the situation and strategies for improvement

    Contributor(s):: Borstel, U. K. von, Pasing, S., Gauly, M., Christmann, L.

    Recently, concerns about the validity of the evaluation of personality traits in horse breeding have been raised. For that reason, the aim of the present study was to assess the current status of personality trait evaluation in horse breeding. A survey was conducted among all station performance...

  12. Vocal recognition of owners by domestic cats ( Felis catus)

    Contributor(s):: Saito, A., Shinozuka, K.

    Domestic cats have had a 10,000-year history of cohabitation with humans and seem to have the ability to communicate with humans. However, this has not been widely examined. We studied 20 domestic cats to investigate whether they could recognize their owners by using voices that called out the...

  13. Can cows discriminate people by their faces?

    Contributor(s):: Rybarczyk, P., Koba, Y., Rushen, J., Tanida, H., Passille, A. M. de

    This experiment examines the cues used by cattle to discriminate between people, particularly the role played by facial cues. We trained and tested eight Holstein cows 5 days each week for 2 months. For each cow, we used two people, a rewarder and a non-rewarder, of different size and dressed in...

  14. Overcoming food neophobia in domestic ruminants through addition of a familiar flavor and repeated exposure to novel foods

    Contributor(s):: Launchbaugh, K. L., Provenza, F. D., Werkmeister, M. J.

    Food neophobia, observed as a decreased intake of novel foods, can cause significant livestock production losses. In the transition from rangeland to feedlot, livestock are usually offered novel diets that they sample cautiously, gradually increasing intake. This familiarization period can slow...

  15. Performing under pressure: stress and cognitive function

    Contributor(s):: Mendl, M.

  16. The efficacy of the model-rival method when compared with operant conditioning for training domestic dogs to perform a retrieval-selection task

    Contributor(s):: McKinley, S., Young, R. J.

  17. Cattle discriminate between individual familiar herd members in a learning experiment

    Contributor(s):: Hagen, K., Broom, D. M.

    We tested the ability of cattle to discriminate between socially familiar conspecifics in a Y-maze discrimination experiment. The discriminative stimuli were herd members tethered in the Y-maze side arms (stimulus heifers); approach to one of these was rewarded with food and approach to the other...

  18. Cattle use visual cues to track food locations

    Contributor(s):: Howery, L. D., Bailey, D. W., Ruyle, G. B., Renken, W. J.

    This study tested the hypothesis that cattle aided by visual cues would be more efficient than uncued animals in locating and consuming foods placed in either fixed or variable locations within a 0.64-ha experimental pasture. Eight yearling steers were randomly selected and trained to associate...

  19. Discrimination learning based on relative size concepts in horses ( Equus caballus )

    Contributor(s):: Hanggi, E. B.

    This study explored whether or not horses (Equus caballus) could respond to stimuli using a concept based on relative size. In Experiment 1, after learning to respond to the larger of the two stimuli for six sets of two-dimensional (2D) training exemplars, one horse was tested for size...

  20. Effect of a supplement rich in linolenic acid, added to the diet of gestating and lactating goats, on the sensitivity to stress and learning ability of their offspring

    Contributor(s):: Duvaux-Ponter, C., Rigalma, K., Roussel-Huchette, S., Schawlb, Y., Ponter, A. A.

    The requirements for polyunsaturated fatty acids during brain development are high and in certain situations supply may be inadequate. Numerous studies in rodents have shown that a diet rich in linolenic acid improves learning ability and modifies emotional reactivity of offspring. Thirty-two...