IAABC’s Position on Dominance

Written by The IAABC Editing Team (effective July 13, 2021) Dominance is a concept we frequently encounter in discussions of companion animal behavior. Many pet owners believe that the most important thing they can do to ensure their animal behaves appropriately is to establish themselves as “dominant,” “the alpha mare,” or “the flock leader.” When …

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Solving the problem of genetic disorders in dogs

By Carol Beuchat PhD "Intense selection, high levels of inbreeding, the extensive use of a limited number of sires, and genetic isolation are all hallmarks of modern breeds of domestic dog. It is widely agreed that part of the collateral damage from these practices is that purebred dogs have a greater risk of suffering from genetically simple inherited disorders than their …

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Position Statement on Regulation in Animal Training and Behavior

The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) strives to standardize and support the practice of animal training and behavior consulting and maximize the effective use of reinforcers to modify animal behavior. Scientific research has clearly established that best practices in animal training and behavior require positive reinforcement-based strategies, competent evaluation of effectiveness, and the ability to communicate effectively with both human and animal clients. Further, these strategies must be founded on established principles of learning and assessment.

What is a Dog? by Deb Jones

What is a Dog? This is an honest question! After 25 years of working with all sorts of dogs I am still mystified by them. They are so common and familiar, yet they are still so unexpected and amazing. I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot lately. My guess is that different people have vastly different answers to this question. Why does it matter? I think that’s what I’m even more interested in exploring! It matters because our vision of dogs shapes our treatment of them. And our treatment of them is vital to their mental and physical health.

Why can’t cats resist thinking inside the box?

The cats-in-boxes issue was put to the test by Dutch researchers who gave shelter cats boxes as retreats. According to the study, cats with boxes adapted to their new environment more quickly compared to a control group without boxes: The conclusion was that the cats with boxes were less stressed because they had a cardboard hidey-hole to hunker down in. Let this be a lesson to all cat people – cats need boxes or other vessels for environmental enrichment purposes. Hidey-holes in elevated locations are even better: Being high up provides security and a birds’s-eye view of the world, so to speak.