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Comparison of two antibarking collars for treatment of nuisance barking

Authors:

Abstract

Two commercially available antibarking collars (i.e., a citronella spray collar and an electronic shock collar) were evaluated for efficacy and user satisfaction as reported by owners after a two-week trial period for each collar. While both collars were effective in decreasing barking (88.9% for the citronella spray collar and 44.4% for the electronic shock collar), most owners expressed a preference for the citronella spray collar. Owners perceived it as being more humane and indicated that they willingly would use it on a long-term basis to decrease their dogs' nuisance barking. While the citronella spray collar has some drawbacks, it is another tool for managing excessive barking.
Comparison
of
Two Antibarking Collars
for Treatment
of
Nuisance Barking
Two
commercially available antibarking collars (i.e., a citronella spray collar
and
an
electronic shock collar) were evaluated for efficacy
and
user satisfaction as reported by
owners after
a two-week trial period for each collar. While both collars were effective in
decreasing barking (88.9% for the citronella spray collar
and
44.4% for the electronic
shock collar), most owners expressed
a preference for the citronella spray collar.
Owners perceived it as being more humane
and
indicated that they willingly would use
it on a long-term basis to decrease their dogs' nuisance barking. While the citronella
spray collar has some drawbacks, it is another tool for managing excessive barking.
J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 1996;32:231-5.
Soraya V. Juarbe-Diaz, DVM
Katherine A. Houpt. VMD, PhD,
Diplomate ACVB
From the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Cornell University. Ithaca. New York 14853.
Introduction
Nuisance" inappropriate" or excessive harking previously has been re-
ported to comprise between
12.l)(i( to 35
lk
of complaints by owners
surveyed regarding their
dogs'
behavior problems.':' Although barking
represents a small percentage (i.e
...
less than 4
CH)
of cases presented to
referral behavior clinics
..
~
it may be brought to the attention
of
general
practitioners more often" perhaps as a casual comment rather than as a
request for advice per se. In some cases. nuisance barking
may be man-
ageable with behavior modification
..
but some owners may be unwilling
or unable to provide consistent and appropriate corrections. In other
cases
..
the misbehavior occurs in the absence of owners" which makes it
almost impossible to
deliver
corrections when needed.
The
various antibarking devices commercially available have
anecdotal rates
of
success. There is a compact unit- that emits a high-
frequency sound as punishment for barking: the unit
comes
in two
Illodels-one
which is hand-held and activated by the
dog's
handler.
and one with a built-in microphone which is bark-activated. Another
bark-activated collar
..
h also uses sound as punishment.
The
most suc-
cessful antibarking devices" electronic shock collars" stir controversy
over
their humaneness
..
degree
of
correct usc
..
and potential for abuse.I
Yet
..
for owners faced with multiple complaints
from
local enforce-
ment agencies. decaying neighbor relations
..
or threats
of
eviction
from
their landlords. the use
of
electronic shock collars may have been the
only option with which they felt comfortable, These collars deliver an
electronic shock
of
variable intensity (depending on the model) as a
correction
..
which may be administered automatically if the collar is
equipped with a sensor" or remotely by a hand-held transceiver.
In the spring
of
1995" a new type
of
antibarking collar became
available in the United Slates.
The
citronella spray
collar
...
· relies on a
microphone to pick up the sound
of
a
dog's
bark. A spray
of
citronel-
la
sBltHiBil
is
tlisclliU:getl
I"FaBl
it
Fe~t3Ft:BiF
lIUll
i~
rU~lEntd
ilFUUlllltllt:
dogs
neck by an adjustable" nylon
..
web collar.
In the authors" experience
..
anribarking
devices that usc sound as
J()tR:\:\L
of
the
American
Animal
Hospital
Association
.J()CI{NAL of the American Animal Hospital :\s"iul'iatiun
Figure 1A
Figures 1A. 1
B-
Two antibarking collars were used in this study. The CIt-
ronella spray collar (A) is a good alternative method for management of
nuisance barkers when compared to the electronic shock collar
(8).
punishment have low success rates in the treatment of
nuisance barking. Collars that rely on electronic shock
as a correction are more effective. but their appropri-
ateness is controversial. Many owners disapprove
of
their usc. and both authors refrain
from
recommend-
ing electronic shock collars except in cases where
other behavior modification methods have failed. The
authors
were
interested in assessing the
clfecti
vcness
of
the citronella spray collar. and a
comparison
with
all
electronic shock collar was
deemed
appropriate.
The
electronic shock collar used in this study shuts
olf
the delivery
of
shock if the dog wearing it ignores the
correction and continues to bark: this was a decisive
feature in its selection for use in this study.
The purposes
of
this trial were to compare the cffi-
cacies of the citronella spray collar and the electronic
"hock
collar as barking deterrents. and to obtain
infor-
marion
from
owners regarding the usage of these
devices.
Materials
and
Methods
Owners
of
dogs
that bark
excessively
contacted
the
Auimal
Behavior
Clinic at
Cornell
University after
learning
about
the study
through
a local
newspaper
and radio news releases. Each
owner
was sent an 11-
page questionnaire in
order
to determine if the dog
wa-, cl
igible
for inclusion in the trial. Dogx with any
"igll~
of
aggression toward
owners
or strangers or with
multiple
(i.c
.. three or
more:
behavior
problems
were
not included. Nine
cases
started the
study.
and eight
(·nlllnl.,
••
,"
i. a
Ithnllnh
.·nn
.c : I.
_
1_
~
..
_tJ~.~
.
(.
..!-.-L
~:.?'
...
_'H"'"'1..~
·~~l;..-.
completed
it.
Although
most
or the
cases
could
be
diagnosed as nuisance harking.
t\VO
cases
showed
FIgure 18
signs
of
mild
separation
anxiety (i.e
...
howling
when
the
owner
left)
and
moderate
attention
seeking
(i.c
..
barking
when ignored)" respectively.
The
two
collars
used in the
study
were
a
citroncl-
la
spray
collar:
and
an
electronic
shock
collard
IFigures IA
..
I B
I.
Each
case
randomly
was
assigned
to
wear
one
of
the
collars
for two
weeks
..
followed by
seven
days
when no
antibarking
collar
was to he
used.
The
other
collar
then was to be
worn
for
two
weeks.
after
which
the trial
concluded.
Except for
providing
owners
with instructions on
how
to oper-
ate and fit the collars" no
other
behavior
modification
recommendations
were given: the
collars
were
to be
the
only
bark-deterring
tools. In S0l11C
cases
..
owners
may he reluctant to use
antibarking
devices
24 hours
a day: therefore"
each
owner
was told to
have
the
dog
wear
the
collar
whenever
the
problem
was
likely to
occur.
The
owners
were unaware that
other
behavior
modification
suggestions
would be
given
if both col-
lars failed to
decrease
the barking
after
the five-week
period was over. At the
end
of
each
two-week
peri-
od. an
evaluation
form
was given to
each
owner
to
rate the
efficacy
of
the
collar
used.
Owners
were
to report
changes
in frequency ti.e..
episodes/day).
intensity (i.c.. loudness). and
duration
(i.c.,
barks/
episode)
as
much
greater. greater.
about
the
SaI11C.
lcs
s, or
much
less than
before
use
of
the collar.
They
also were
to
note their respective
dog·s
response to
the
collars
correction
and any
other
changes
in
behavior.
General
comments
about
their
feelings
toward
the
collar
were
encouraged.
Results
r'\
..
~_
... 11
.n·:
. ..
Overall
efficacy
for
either
collar
was
deemed
satis-
factory if the
owner
reported the frequency
of
bark-
May /
June
1996.
Vol.
32 Nuisance Barking
2JJ
ing as being less or much less than before collar usc.
For the citronella spray collar" seven (77
.8(Ji,) out
of
nine owners reported a decrease
(i.e.,
less or
much
less) in all the indices measured. In
one
(11.1 ek·)
case
..
the intensity
of
barking remained the
same,
although the frequency and duration were much less
than before collar use. Overall, eight
(88.9o/c)
of
the
owners reported satisfaction with the citronella spray
collar. All but one
owner
expressed a preference for
this collar over an electronic shock collar" even if
both were effective in curtailing barking
..
mainly
because the owners disliked the idea
of
using elec-
tronic shock for punishment and felt the citronella
spray did not hurt their dogs. They also could tell if
the collar was working, because they could see and
hear when a correction occurred.
The
citronella
spray was not bothersome to owners; one
owner
found the scent preferable
over
her
dog's
body odor.
For the electronic shock collar, two
(25%)
of
eight
owners reported a decrease (i.e., less or much less) in
all three indices measured. Four (50%)
of
eight own-
ers reported no change at all, and two
(25%) owners
reported a decrease in frequency with some or no
change in duration but unchanged intensity
of
the
barking episodes. Overall, four
(50%)
of
the
owners
reported satisfaction with the electronic shock collar.
For the failure cases, owners
commented
that the
dogs seemed to
"choose to put up with the shock and
bark anyway."
Some
dogs made a painful cry
..
then
continued barking; others did not react in any way
the owners could see.
The
manufacturer
provides a
testing device with each
collar
that enables the user
to check for its proper functioning according to spec-
ifications. Owners did not have a problem with the
operation
of
the electronic shock
collar
and did not
object to having to charge it overnight" every night.
The one case that did not complete the study (the
single citronella collar failure) was an older" spayed
fernale
..
mixed-breed dog that had been isolated out-
side the home for about one year after having been a
mostly indoor dog all
of
her
life. This dog was not
fitted with an electronic shock
collar
..
because such a
device was deemed inappropriate for her case by the
investigators. The Table
summarizes
the responses
owners provided on the questionnaires.
Discussion
it
IS
dlFFlcuit to change a
dog's
motivation
t~or
bark-
ing. Dogs bark most
commonly
in response to the
sound
of
other dogs barking
..
' but nuisance barkers
may bark because they tend to be highly territorial or
because
barking
is a learned"
attention-seeking
behavior.
Some
herding
breeds"
many
hunting
breeds
..
and
some
terriers have been selected prefer-
entially
for
their barking abilities. In the end" barking
must be qualified as a mostly normal behavior of
dogs that can become a problem in certain settings.
If bark inhibition is not taught correctly and effec-
tively to dogs as puppies or whenever they first join
a household, a problem may develop later when the
frequency and decibel level are more than human
ears can
tolerate."
Correction
of
nuisance barking can be a frustrat-
ing endeavor. Punishment is an option
..
but it must be
applied in a timely and consistent fashion and pro-
vide an adequate, aversive stimulus to discourage the
recurrence
of
the misbehavior. In many cases
of
nui-
sance barking, the owners either are absent or unable
to punish their dogs properly. Mechanical devices
which facilitate appropriate correction can be helpful
in
overcoming
this problem.
Although an electronic shock is deemed unpleas-
ant by most humans, it may not be adequate to deter
some
dogs from barking; their pain threshold may be
such that the
discomfort of a shock correction is
ignored. A citronella spray antibark collar gives a dif-
ferent option to owners who have been reluctant to use
electronic shock collars. Given the
dog's
sense
of
smell.
it
could
be that a strange
odor
may be less tol-
erated than a presumably painful stimulus
..
and more
effective than expected in discouraging dogs from
barking.
This
was the case with eight
of
the nine
dogs that participated in the study.
The most commonly reported problem with the cit-
ronella spray collar is an inappropriate discharge of
citronella in response to noises other than the
dog's
barking. This problem can be solved by decreasing the
sensitivity
of
the microphone, which the
owner
can
adjust at home. This is an important consideration"
because punishment for a misbehavior must not occur
at random or the dog will be unable to discriminate the
reason for punishment. The
microphone's sensitivity
could be a problem in
a multiple-dog household; even
if all
....
barkers' are fitted with the device
..
it is possible
that the collar will pick up a neighboring
dog's bark"
thus punishing the wearer even when it is quiet. The
electronic shock collar used in this study relies on a
vibration-sensitive
dlaphfagin
thtH
rests
Ug~iinsl
fhe
dogs
ventral cervical area
..
so extraneous noises do
not cause it to discharge.
Table
Owner Evaluation of Collar Effectiveness Grouped
by
Order in Which Collars Were Worn
Citronella Spray Collar Followed by Electronic Shock Collar
Age
Barking
Barking
*
Breed
(yrs)
Sex Frequency Intensity
Duration Comments
Frequency Intensity
Duration
Comments
Shetland
sheepdog
1.5 MC
Less
Less
Muchless
Calmed
downoverall
About
the
Aboutthe
About
the Didn'tphasehimatall
same
same
same
Beagle
1.5
F
Muchless
Much
less
Muchless
Wouldn't
usecollarduring
Less
Aboutthe
About
the
Choseto bark
through
hunting
season
same
same
shock
Bullmastiff
2 FS Muchless
Much
less Muchless
Collar
too
sensitive;
About
the
Aboutthe
About
the
Kepton
howling
and
hadto
adjust
sensitivity
same
same
same
barking
Shepherd
mix
13 FS Aboutthe
About
the Aboutthe
When
collar
sprayed,
dog
NAt
NA
NA NA
same
same
same
would
lick,but still
barked
Electronic
Shock
Collar Followed by Citronella Spray Collar
-
-
~
=:0
Z
;:..
-
Age
Barking
Barking
-
_________
r _ _
__
_ _ . _ _
Breed (yrs)
Sex Frequency Intensity Duration
Comments
Frequency Intensity
Duration
Comments
Cocker
spaniel
4.25
FS Muchless
Much
less Muchless
Startled
her;
stopped
her
Less Less Less
Muffled
her
barking;
more
barking
obedient
to
other
commands
Shepherd
mix
4.25
MC
Aboutthe
About
the Aboutthe Still
barks;
ownerdislikes
Less
Muchless
Much
less
Too
sensitive;
ownerlikes
same
same
same collar
collar
West
Highland
7
FS Aboutthe
About
the
Aboutthe
Yips
but
keeps
on
barking
Much
less
Muchless
Much
less
Happy
withcollar
white
terrier
same
same
same
Labrador
retriever
4
MC Muchless
About
the
Less Dogstill
barked
on
occasion
Much
less
Aboutthe
Much
less
Ownerprefersit; cansee
~
same
same
it work
.~
Doberman
pinscher
7
FS Muchless
Much
less
Muchless
Worked
well;
ownerliked
Much
less
Muchless
Much
less
Worked;
preferred
touse
c
:::
collar
electronic shock
collar
t"t
-e
-c
*
MG={;e§lrel@d
malg;
f=f@mal@;
F§;:§pay@d
f@ffial@
~
,.
t
NA=not
available;
dognot
fitted
withelectronic shock
collar
.-
I""
MayI.June 1996..Vol, .'2
Use
of
the citronella spray
collar
may be limited
in certain circumstances.
The
manufacturers
of
the
citronella spray collar
recommend that it not be sub-
merged in water: the electronic shock
collar
tested
did not carry such precautions.
One
owner
felt that
when the citronella spray
collar
was worn for pro-
longed periods
of
time
in bright sunlight" it tended to
discharge larger
amounts
of
the
citronella
solution,
but this could not he verified.
One
owner
disliked
having the citronella solution on furniture (the
dog
often was allowed on the couch). Additionally, at
least one practitioner has found that the
micro-
phone
's
rubber cover in S0l11C older rnodels was erod-
ed by the citronella solution in the reservoir
chamber
after about a year
..
and needed to be replaced.
The
col-
lars were sent back to the company, and the repair was
performed there. This
problem has not been reported
with the
1110del
currently available in the United
States. The battery may need changing, but according
to the
accompanying literature it should last for
"hundreds
of
barks
.....
Both collars
can
be worn by
dogs weighing
10 Ibs or
1110re:
electronic shock col-
lars also are
manufactured in a smaller size than the
one tested" so they
presumably
may
be more corn-
fortable for smaller dogs to wear.
With the advent
of
the
citronella
spray collar"
there is an alternative
method
for
management
of
nuisance barkers that is at least as good" if not better"
than electronic shock collars. Citronella spray collars
have been used successfully for many years in
Europe and Australia
..
where the use
of
any electron-
ic shock device is
illegal."
The
citronella
spray
collar
was perceived by the
owners
as a
more
humane
and
acceptable way
of
stopping their
dogs'
barking. Dogs
quickly learn not to bark when they
wear
the
collar
and can learn
just
as
quickly
to bark when it is not
fastened around their necks. Because the motivation
for barking may not
change
..
it may be necessary to
have the dog always wear the
collar
or a
dummy
col-
lar whenever the
owner
wishes to reduce the barking.
Finally, no device should be
recommended
without
concomitant behavior modification. Desensitization
to the stimuli that elicit barking
..
collar
or head-halter
corrections
..
and consistently delivered verbal repri-
mands
(e.g., a sharp
....
No bark!
....
or
"Enough!")
when
the misbehavior occurs
..
along
with praise
whenever
the
dog
remains quiet in the presence
of
stimuli that
normally
elicit
burking
..
unnpri« II
1110rt
thorough
behavior-modification plan for the client. Last-resort
procedures like surgical
debarking
..
though objec-
Nuisance Barkinj;
tionable to
S0I11e
.. also should be mentioned in the list
of
options
if all treatments faiI and no
other
alterna-
tive
remains
than to dispose
of
or euthanize the dog.
Additionally
..
the citronella spray
collar
111ay
have
potential
in the treatment
of
stranger-directed
aggression" when a fear
component
can be identified
and when the aggressive behavior mostly is
com-
posed
of
barking
..
without
other
offensive
threats.'
a Harker Breaker. Super Harker
Br~:ah'r.
.uid ..
vutomatic
Harker Breaker:
Anuck
Signal
Corp
..
San
[)IL'gO.
C ..\
ThL' l-Iu"h! Puppy: Iligh
'1"1..'1."11
1\:1
Prtldll~:".
Ventura,
CA
l"
Aboistop
collar:
[)~
IW
VL'I.
Fruncc. drvtrrbutcd
h~
lnununo
Vet.
)4
IO-(j
Bracken-
fi~ld
Parkway,
Tampa,
H.
The
Bark
Diminishcr:
model
Bl>
II.
Tnlronic-.
Tuc-o».
AZ
c Sekscl K: pcrsonal
comuuuuc.uion.
I
~)t):,
References
I.
Beaver
BY.
Owner
complaint-,
~lh\lll'
c.uunc
behavior.
J
Am
Vel
Mcd
Assoc
1l)l)-l:204:
1l)5.~~5.
Campbell
WE. The prevalcncc
til"
"\.'Ila\
Itlr~t1
problems in American dog..;. Mod
Vel Pract IlJX():67:
:!X·,~
I.
,~.
Adams
GJ, Clurk WT. The prcv.rlcucc of bchav ioural problems in domestic
dogs: a
survey of 105 dog
0\\
ncr- Au" Vet Pract
19X1J:
19:
1.~5-7.
4. Anonymous. Electronic
,ht'l'~
,-,,,liar,
Ilk'
aftershock. Cornell Animal Health
Newsletter
Il)lJ5: 1.\(41: 1
-:!.
5,
Adams
GJ.
Johnson
K(j.
Bch.rv
loural
rc-pon-cs to
barking
and
othc
r auditory
stimuli
during
night-tunc
"k'~Plllg
and \\
a"'iug
ill the
domestic
dog
tCuuis
tamiliariss.
Appl
Anim
Ikh~l\
Sl'l 19
t
)4:.,9: 15
1-62.
6.
Alvord
LS.
Annuyaucc
I"~tClor,
I'
til'
common
neighborhood
stationury
noise.
J
Acoust
SOL' Am IlJXX:X4(
~
I: 7X(I-1.
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... Another way to influence dog behavior is to alter the consequences for barking. Several studies have reported that devices that deliver punishers remotely, such as citronella sprayed onto the muzzle or shock delivered to the neck, reduce nuisance barking (Juarbe-Díaz & Houpt, 1996;Moffat, Landsberg, & Beaudet, 2003;Sargisson, Butler, & Elliffe, 2011;Steiss, Schaffer, Ahmad, & Voith, 2007;Wells, 2001). Milder punishers such as citronella collars, even if considered more humane by owners (Juarbe-Díaz & Houpt, 1996), may not be as effective as more powerful punishers in every case. ...
... Several studies have reported that devices that deliver punishers remotely, such as citronella sprayed onto the muzzle or shock delivered to the neck, reduce nuisance barking (Juarbe-Díaz & Houpt, 1996;Moffat, Landsberg, & Beaudet, 2003;Sargisson, Butler, & Elliffe, 2011;Steiss, Schaffer, Ahmad, & Voith, 2007;Wells, 2001). Milder punishers such as citronella collars, even if considered more humane by owners (Juarbe-Díaz & Houpt, 1996), may not be as effective as more powerful punishers in every case. Juarbe-Díaz and Houpt (1996) reported a greater decrease in barking when electric shock was delivered contingently compared to the contingent delivery of the citronella spray. ...
... Milder punishers such as citronella collars, even if considered more humane by owners (Juarbe-Díaz & Houpt, 1996), may not be as effective as more powerful punishers in every case. Juarbe-Díaz and Houpt (1996) reported a greater decrease in barking when electric shock was delivered contingently compared to the contingent delivery of the citronella spray. ...
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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.
... In our questionnaire survey, real behavior modifications with the possibility to remove the collar after training were respec- tively 25.5% (38/149) for BAC, 37.5% (21/56) for EBF, and 51.1% (91/178) for RCC. This is far from the results observed in several previous experimental studies that show an efficacy between 80 and 100% (Juarbe- Diaz et al., 1996;Christiansen et al., 2001;Schalke et al., 2007;Steiss et al., 2007;Cooper et al., 2014). Similarly, in our survey, 42% (139/330) of the respondents were not satisfied after trying the EC on their dog, when experimental studies reported a satisfaction rate as high as 90% ( Blackwell et al., 2012;Cooper and Mills, 2014). ...
Article
Training with electronic collars/e-collars (e-stim, shock) is controversial, and regulations concerning electric collars vary from absence to bans across European countries. The main goal of this study was to characterize the everyday use of e-collars by dog owners, in France where there are currently no regulations on their use. A sample (n = 1,251) of dog owners were recruited using an online questionnaire. Data were collected using Google Forms. Factors associated with the use of e-collars were determined using a Chi-squared test. Twenty-six percent (n = 330) of the owners enrolled in this survey did use such devices; 11.9% (n = 149) of the owners reported the use of bark-activated collars, 4.5% (n = 56) reported the use of electronic boundary fence collars, and 14.2% (n = 178) reported the use of remote-controlled collars. E-collar use was found to be significantly associated with 3 factors: dogs weighing over 40 kg, non-neutered status, and dogs used for hunting or security activities. In addition, the data collected showed that e-collars were mainly used on young dogs (<2 years). The vast majority of e-collar users (71.8%) used the collar without professional advice, and 75% of e-collar users tried 2 or fewer other solutions before using the collar. Seven percent of the dogs on which the collar was used presented with physical wounds (n = 23). The efficacy reported was lower than that in many previous studies where conditions of use as specified were designed to be ideal as part of the experimental design (qualified trainer, perfect timing). All collar types were not equal: bark-activated collars appeared to be the least efficient and the most injurious type, whereas remote-controlled collars were mainly used for owner's convenience. In conclusion, this survey highlights a high ratio of e-collar use in a country without regulations. It also shows that real-life conditions are far from the idealized conditions in which experimental studies were undertaken, thereby putting dog welfare at higher risk than what is presented in scientific literature. In addition, this study reveals differences between collar types in terms of efficacy and effects on welfare. These factors should be taken into account to determine a precise regulation. Furthermore, this study shows the urgency to regulate this tool in Europe because dangers of use, which were already known, are proven to be aggravated in real-life situations.
... All empirical assessments of citronella collars found related to attempts to suppress barking in domestic dogs, with mixed, but largely beneficial results in this regard (Juarbe-Diaz and Houpt 1996;Wells 2001;Moffat et al. 2003;Sargisson et al. 2012). Sargisson et al. (2012) did note that some dogs grew indifferent to the citronella stimulus, which they considered to indicate that it was only a mildly aversive stimulus. ...
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K'gari (Fraser Island) offers a rare opportunity for people to observe and encounter wild dingoes. Occasionally, however, such encounters can entail dingoes acting in a threatening or aggressive manner towards people, resulting in human injury and, in one tragic case, death.Asuite of approaches aimed at minimising the risk to human safety posed by dingoes have been implemented on the island, including fencing, island-wide warning signage, and regulations against feeding. Despite such measures, negative encounters continue, and in cases where dingoes are deemed to pose an unacceptable risk, they are usually destroyed. In searching for non-lethal management alternatives, attempts have been made to modify undesirable dingo behaviour through aversive conditioning, but results to date have either been mixed or largely disappointing. Here we review a wide array of research that has utilised aversive stimuli in an effort to modify and manage the behaviour of wild animals, with a particular focus on related predators such as coyotes and wolves. We identified eight major categories of experimental research: conditioned taste aversion/avoidance (CTA), electric fencing, fladry, chemical repellents, fear-evoking stimuli, physical repellents, aversive collars/devices and hard release procedures. We then outline each of these categories in more detail, complete with pertinent examples of successes and failures as well as advantages and disadvantages. We conclude that some approaches offer promise within three main areas of incident mitigation experimentation: dingo exclusion (e.g. electric fencing), personal protection (mild chemical irritant sprays, sturdy umbrellas) and remedial aversive conditioning (e.g. shock collars). Other approaches, such as CTA and sublethal projectiles are not recommended. Like any approach, aversive conditioning is not a panacea, but it does offer promise in filling gaps in current management and as an alternative to lethal control.
... Punishment via electric-shock is perceived as aversive in a wide range of taxa (Glotzbach et al., 2012;Iwata & LeDoux, 1988;Vergoz et al., 2007) and has seen many applications in behavior modification. Uses range widely from keeping sharks away from swimmers (Huveneers et al., 2013), restricting livestock to particular spatial confines (Fay et al., 1989), and controlling barking in dogs (Juarbe-Diaz & Houpt, 1996). Impacts on human psychological phenomena have included effects on learned helplessness (Overmier & Seligman, 1967), obedience (Milgram, 1963), and the control of fetishes (Bond & Evans, 1967), self-injurious behavior in autistic children a b Fig. 2 Probability of quadrant and substrate use in treatment (a) and yoked controls (b). ...
Article
Research in crustaceans offers a valuable perspective for studying the neural implementation of conserved behavioral phenomena, including motivation, escape, aggression, and drug-sensitive reward. The present work adds to this literature by demonstrating that crayfish successfully learn to respond to spatially contingent cues. An integrated video-tracking system automatically delivered a mild electric shock when a test animal entered or remained on a substrate paired with punishment. Following a few instances of shock delivery, crayfish quickly learned to avoid these areas. Comparable changes in substrate preference were not exhibited by yoked controls, but locomotion differed significantly from both pre-conditioning levels and from those of their masters receiving shock in a contingent fashion. The results of this work provide valuable insights into the principles governing avoidance learning in an invertebrate system and provide a behavioral template for exploring the neural changes during associative learning. Serving as a case study, this project introduces a new computer framework for the automated control of learning paradigms. Based on routines contained within the JavaGrinders library (free download at iEthology.com), it integrates real-time video tracking with robotic interfaces, and provides a suitable framework for implementing automated learning paradigms.
Chapter
Domestic dogs are members of the class Mammalia, order Carnivora, and family Canidae. Although within the order Carnivora, dogs have evolved to eat an omnivorous diet. Their nutritional requirements include specific amino acids, glucose precursors, fatty acids, and dietary fibre are important dietary elements. Dogs are generally social animals. Most well‐socialised dogs are strongly motivated to establish contact and interact with other dogs, for example on a walk. Human contact has beneficial effects for many dogs. Importantly, a dog's need for, and reaction to, human company is affected by its temperament and early experiences. Rabies is an important disease internationally, affecting millions of dogs yearly, and extrapolating from human experiences, may cause respiratory distress and pain prior to death. The behavioural responses of an individual dog are influenced by its breed, type, rearing, and current environment. Dogs' responses to rewards and training may also indicate their mood or overall welfare.
Article
Animal welfare is a complex and often emotive subject, but one that many veterinary professionals care deeply about. However, sometimes we ourselves can actually be barriers to optimising patient welfare. This article looks at some common practices that occur within veterinary clinics and evaluates the potential impacts of our own human behaviour and biases on delivering good patient welfare within the veterinary clinic. It explores how the language we use, the way we perceive the world and the way we interact with our patients may inadvertently influence their behaviour and in turn impact upon their welfare.
Article
Nuisance barking is a frequent problem in dogs, with up to one third of dog owners possessing at least one dog exhibiting unwanted vocalisation. Whilst non-invasive methods are generally advocated as a solution to this problem, surgical de-vocalisation has been employed for many years. Two basic surgical approaches may be employed - either per os or via a ventral laryngotomy. This study analyses the results of 25 de-vocalisations via ventral laryngotomy, involving bilateral excision of the vocal and vestibular folds and dissection of the mucosa of the laryngeal ventricle. Short, medium and long term complications were considered and a telephone owner questionnaire was conducted. This outlined reasons for pursuing debarking, trigger factors, owners' opinions of the procedure and change in bark quality over time. Based on these results, de-vocalisation by this method is an effective, low morbidity procedure with high levels of owner satisfaction.
Chapter
Part 1: Compulsive Behavior DisordersPart 2: Hyperactivity and Hyperkinesis
Article
Most existing information on annoyance to environmental noise comes from aircraft or traffic noise studies [Kryter, T h e E f f e c t s o f N o i s e o n M a n (Academic, New York, 1970)]. Annoyance factors for nontraffic neighborhood sounds were analyzed by survey of 63 adults in Salt Lake City. Situational factors such as time of occurrence, frequency of occurrence, and meaning were found to occupy positions of greater importance for this category of noise. The most commonly mentioned annoying noise source, dogs barking, typifies the sporadic aspects of neighborhood noise as well as the difficulties encountered in enforcement. These aspects, as well as the importance of situational factors, raise the possibility of development of source‐specific criteria.
Article
Urban dogs have previously been shown to have approximately 3 sleep/wake cycles per hour during the night. In this study the sensitivity of dogs to night-time stimuli at different stages of these sleep/wake cycles was tested. Twelve dogs were filmed at night in their usual urban habitats, whilst alert, in quiet sleep and in active sleep. In each state they were given six pre-recorded auditory stimuli of the same intensity, namely two barking stimuli (a single bark and repeated barking), two stimuli of concern to owners (rowdy young people discussing burglurizing, and breaking glass) and two other stimuli of common urban sounds (a motor cycle and a bus). When responses during quiet and active sleep were treated as a single group, dogs were found to be significantly more responsive to auditory stimuli when alert than when asleep, which was to be expected (χ2, P<0.005). However, there were no significant differences between the responses when the dogs were in quiet and in active sleep. This is unlike the situation in humans who are more responsive to auditory stimuli during rapid eye movement than during non-rapid eye movement sleep.Dogs barked on 29% of occasions in response to the 180 auditory stimuli. Dogs were more likely to bark or become more alert in response to barking than to other auditory stimuli (P<0.001). Individual dogs which lived in groups were more likely to bark than were single dogs (P<0.001). Within such groups, one particular dog barked consistently more than its companion(s) (P<0.001).Dogs apparently perceived the significance of auditory stimuli, even in active sleep, because in that state they responded more to alarm-barking than to the stimuli of concern to owners. They did not bark at all stimuli and responded most to the sounds of other dogs.
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