Uniting Pet Professionals to Improve Animal Welfare
Over the past 30 years, we have seen great strides in the care and understanding of dogs. The Hierarchy of Dog Needs shown below is a comprehensive summary of the current understanding of our dog’s needs. Pet professionals are tasked with helping us achieve the best possible care for our pets. Every professional whether they are a store clerk, manufacturer of dog products, veterinarian, trainer, or groomer will have either a positive or detrimental impact on our dogs’ lives. One of the primary goals of Force Free Oregon is to provide a directory of trustworthy pet professionals who adhere to Force Free methodology and seek continued learning and professional development. We aim to provide one central place to find Force Free trainers, dog walkers, daycares, veterinarians, and groomers that reside in Oregon.
In this 2017 paper, the use of punishment-based training was one of the risk factors for euthanasia or rehoming of dogs contradictory to prevailing dog myths. Stanley Coren, Ph.D., discusses the science of using punishment to change dog behavior in this blog. Dr. Zazie Todd’s list of research papers and research related blogs on dog training can be found here. We have provided a shortlist of research papers at the end of this blog.
Why are Biological, Social, and Emotional Needs prioritized Before Training?
Many behavioral problems are a result of unmet biological, social, and emotional needs. We need to address the dog holistically instead of covering up underlying problems with training. When dogs’ social needs are met, demand barking and other attention seeking behaviors decrease. The function of the aggressive displays is to keep scary things away. When we help dogs feel safe, most aggressive displays disappear. Proper nutrition, sleep, and exercise can also go a long way in addressing behavioral problems. Pet stores, groomers, veterinarians, dog walkers, daycares play very important roles in these layers of the pyramid.
But my profession isn't involved in dog training, how does Force Free relate to us?
Unfortunately, many trainers using scientifically backed methods have sent their clients to a veterinarian to rule out medical problems, only to find some veterinarians recommending aversive methods such as shock collars, prong collars, and alpha roles. One of the goals of the directory to help trainers direct their clients to veterinary clinics who will only give scientifically sound behavioral advice and to help veterinarians easily refer their clients to trainers who follow the same Do No Harm ethics. Together we can reduce the number of dogs euthanized for behavioral issues and network together to bring more patients and clients to each practice.
A basic understanding of dog body language and behavior facilitates safer and less stressful veterinary visits for all involved. A fundamental understanding of Force Free methods helps veterinary clinics provide Fear Free veterinary care by learning to prevent fear from developing when possible, to recognize fear, and understand how to address it, and. Small changes can make a big difference.
Force Free Oregon endorses veterinary clinics who have taken time out of their busy schedule to learn how to make veterinary visits less stressful through the Fear Free program or Sophia Yin’s Low Stress Handling. Dr. Karen Overall, DVM, wrote a succinct summary of behavior related research applicable to veterinary clinics in this paper. AAHA behavior management guidelines are another great resource geared toward veterinary clinics. Applying what you learn in these programs can increase your revenue and client retention rate!
Every pet professional has the opportunity to help pets live happy and fulfilling lives.
We hope you will join us as we work towards a society where pets are cared for with
scientifically endorsed humane care.
American Animal Hospital Association Behavior Management Guidelines
The late Dr. Sophia Yin compiled a complete collection of educational resources for veterinarians, groomers, trainers, and owners. She created the premier resource for handling and restraint in the veterinary setting with as little stress as possible to the animals. https://lowstresshandling.com
Fear Free ® is an educational program that is continually growing and offering new online classes. It is a valuable resource for all pet professionals. https://fearfreepets.com
Dog Decoder is a fun app for learning body language and was produced by Jill Breitner https://www.dogdecoder.com/
Body Language Seminar https://www.dogwise.com/the-language-of-dogs-understanding-canine-body-language-and-other-communication-signals-dvd-set/
Canine Play Behavior
Patricia McConnell on Daycares.
Website for Education for Dog Walkers
Hierarchy of Dog Needs
Kennel Club UK
Pet Professional Guild Position Statements
Open Letter to Veterinarians on Referrals to Training and Behavior Professionals
The Use of Shock in Animal Training
Dominance Theory in Animal Training
The Use of Choke and Prong Collars
Blogs Discussing the Dog Training Research
Bandura, A. (1965). Vicarious Processes: A Case of No-Trial Learning. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 2, 1–55. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0065-2601(08)60102-1
Bosch, G., Beerda, B., Hendriks, W. H., van der Poel, A. F. B., & Verstegen, M. W. A. (2007). Impact of nutrition on canine behaviour: current status and possible mechanisms. Nutrition Research Reviews, 20(2), 180–194. https://doi.org/10.1017/s095442240781331x
Burrows, K. E., Adams, C. L., & Millman, S. T. (2008). Factors Affecting Behavior and Welfare of Service Dogs for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 11(1), 42–62. https://doi.org/10.1080/10888700701555550
Dodman, N. H., Brown, D. C., & Serpell, J. A. (2018). Associations between owner personality and psychological status and the prevalence of canine behavior problems. PLOS ONE, 13(2), e0192846. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0192846
Dreschel, N. A. (2010). The effects of fear and anxiety on health and lifespan in pet dogs. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 125(3–4), 157–162. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2010.04.003
Gazzano, A., Mariti, C., Alvares, S., Cozzi, A., Tognetti, R., & Sighieri, C. (2008). The prevention of undesirable behaviors in dogs: effectiveness of veterinary behaviorists’ advice given to puppy owners. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 3(3), 125–133. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2008.04.004
Guilherme Fernandes, J., Olsson, I. A. S., & Vieira de Castro, A. C. (2017). Do aversive-based training methods actually compromise dog welfare?: A literature review. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 196, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2017.07.001
Hartley, C. A., & Phelps, E. A. (2009). Changing Fear: The Neurocircuitry of Emotion Regulation. Neuropsychopharmacology, 35(1), 136–146. https://doi.org/10.1038/npp.2009.121
Haug, L. I. (2008). Canine Aggression Toward Unfamiliar People and Dogs. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, 38(5), 1023–1041. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cvsm.2008.04.005
Herron, M. E., Shofer, F. S., & Reisner, I. R. (2009). Survey of the use and outcome of confrontational and non-confrontational training methods in client-owned dogs showing undesired behaviors. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 117(1–2), 47–54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2008.12.011
Jagoe, A., & Serpell, J. (1996). Owner characteristics and interactions and the prevalence of canine behaviour problems. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 47(1–2), 31–42. https://doi.org/10.1016/0168-1591(95)01008-4
Jenkins, E. K., DeChant, M. T., & Perry, E. B. (2018). When the Nose Doesn’t Know: Canine Olfactory Function Associated With Health, Management, and Potential Links to Microbiota. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 5. https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2018.00056
Kang, S., Vervliet, B., Engelhard, I. M., van Dis, E. A. M., & Hagenaars, M. A. (2018). Reduced return of threat expectancy after counterconditioning versus extinction. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 108, 78–84. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2018.06.009
Luescher, A. U., & Reisner, I. R. (2008). Canine Aggression Toward Familiar People: A New Look at an Old Problem. Veterinary Clinics of North America: Small Animal Practice, 38(5), 1107–1130. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cvsm.2008.04.008
Overall, K. L. (2019). Evidence-based paradigm shifts in veterinary behavioral medicine. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 254(7), 798–807. https://doi.org/10.2460/javma.254.7.798
Pires, G. N., Tufik, S., & Andersen, M. L. (2012). Relationship between sleep deprivation and anxiety: experimental research perspective. Einstein (São Paulo), 10(4), 519–523. https://doi.org/10.1590/s1679-45082012000400022
Plaud, J. J. (2003). Pavlov and the Foundation of Behavior Therapy. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 6(2), 147–154. https://doi.org/10.1017/s1138741600005291
Polo, G., Calderón, N., Clothier, S., & Garcia, R. de C. M. (2015). Understanding dog aggression: Epidemiologic aspects. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 10(6), 525–534. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2015.09.003
Premack, D. (1965). Reinforcement theory. In D. Levine (Ed.), Nebraska Symposium on Motivation. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 13, 189–282.
Premack, David. (1959). Toward empirical behavior laws: I. Positive reinforcement. Psychological Review, 66(4), 219–233. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0040891
Scarlett, J. M., Salman, M. D., New, J. G., & Kass, P. H. (2002). The role of veterinary practitioners in reducing dog and cat relinquishments and euthanasias. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 220(3), 306–311. https://doi.org/10.2460/javma.2002.220.306
Schulkey, R., & DePorter, T. (2017). Evaluation of the association between attendance at veterinary hospital-based puppy socialisation classes and long-term retention in the home. Retrieved November 22, 2019, from Cabi.org website: https://platform.cabi.org/animalscience/ebook/20173266089
Siracusa, C., Provoost, L., & Reisner, I. R. (2017). Dog- and owner-related risk factors for consideration of euthanasia or rehoming before a referral behavioral consultation and for euthanizing or rehoming the dog after the consultation. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 22, 46–56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2017.09.007
Taylor, K., & Mills, D. (2007). The effect of the kennel environment on canine welfare: a critical review of experimental studies - The Lincoln Repository. Lincoln.Ac.Uk, 16. https://doi.org/http://eprints.lincoln.ac.uk/9056/1/kennel%20environment%20paper.pdf
Ziv, G. (2017). The effects of using aversive training methods in dogs—A review. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 19, 50–60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2017.02.004