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  1. 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....

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. Performing under pressure: stress and cognitive function

    Contributor(s):: Mendl, M.

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. Effect of an unfamiliar location on the consumption of novel and familiar foods by sheep

    Contributor(s):: Burritt, E. A., Provenza, F. D.

    The effect of moving lambs to an unfamiliar environment on their intake of novel and familiar feeds, was investigated. In the first experiment, half the lambs (n=14) were conditioned to avoid a novel feed (wheat) by pairing its ingestion with lithium chloride (LiCl); the other half (n=14)...

  15. Relational discrimination learning in horses

    Contributor(s):: Flannery, B.

    Three horses were trained to touch individually presented stimuli with their muzzles, and then to make 2 responses to 2 matching cards from an array of 3. A modified version of the identity matching-to-sample procedure was used to present stimuli in a variety of configural arrangements on a barn...

  16. Interaction between individual experience and social learning in dogs

    Contributor(s):: Pongracz, P., Miklosi, A., Kubinyi, E., Topal, J., Csanyi, V.

    We investigated the interaction between individual experience and social learning in domestic dogs, Canis familiaris. We conducted two experiments using detour tests, where an object or food was placed behind a transparent, V-shaped wire-mesh fence, such that the dogs could get the reward by...

  17. Cattle generalise visual cues from the pen to the field to select initial feeding patches

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

    Free-grazing ruminants forage in environments containing multiple levels of complexity; the forage selection process operates at the landscape scale, when selecting feeding sites, and at the plant part level when selecting actual bites. Pen trials have shown that livestock associate visual cues...

  18. Conditioned taste aversions: how sick must a ruminant get before it learns about toxicity in foods?

    Contributor(s):: Toit, J. T. du, Provenza, F. D., Nastis, A.

    To determine if the food-avoidance learning abilities of large herbivores are as poorly developed as has previously been assumed, the relationship was investigated between the acquisition of a conditioned taste aversion (CTA) by sheep and the dose of gastrointestinal poison (LiCl) administered...

  19. Dietary habits and social interactions affect choice of feeding location by sheep

    Contributor(s):: Scott, C. B., Provenza, F. D., Banner, R. E.

    12 lambs that had been reared together were separated into 2 groups of 6 lambs; groups were conditioned to prefer sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) or wheat (Triticum aestivum) grains by feeding for 14 days. Lambs were conditioned to avoid the other grain by administering a mild dose of lithium chloride...

  20. Food hiding and enrichment in captive Asian elephants

    Contributor(s):: Wiedenmayer, C.

    Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) kept in zoos usually spend less time foraging than their wild conspecifics. In order to increase foraging in a group of 5 captive Asian elephants, peanuts were hidden above a distinctive outdoor enclosure structure, the stone border. It was expected that the...