2015 APDT Annual Educational Conference & Trade Show

FR02 - Behavior Analytic Techniques for Improving Your Training Decisions

Oct 16, 2015 9:00am ‐ Oct 16, 2015 12:15pm

Standard: $20.00


In this session, we will discuss the basic tenets of behavior analysis including the functional relations of reinforcement, extinction, and punishment. Included in our discussion of behavior analysis, we will also address different views of behavior and different ways we talk about behavior, both of which impact how and what we train. Our society tends to give labels to individuals (dominant, lazy, stubborn) and use them as explanations for behavior we observe. These explanatory fictions typically carry with them a suggestion that these are unchangeable traits. We will evaluate how these terms can interfere with training decisions and how a behavior analytic allows us to more effectively assess what variables control behavior and how we can most effectively change it. Several technique commonly used in human domains to determine how to most effectively identify the environmental variables affecting behavior will be We will also discuss the optimistic and compassionate view that a behavior analytic view gives us regarding dog behavior, owner behavior, and even our own behavior.

Learning Objectives:

  • Assess a selectionist perspective and how it entails what we do as dog trainers
  • Identify summary labels and explanatory fictions about the causes of behavior
  • Assess how a selectionist/behavior analytic perspective allows us to take effective action for behavior change compared to other perspectives and this gives us compassion and optimism


  • Erica Feuerbacher, PhD, BCBA, CPDT-KA, Assistant Professor of Anthrozoology, Carroll College, Helena, MT.

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