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Cat Division

Parrot Division

Companion Bird Awareness Month – Promoting Companion Bird Education

by Sheila Blanchette

Before I was a Certified Parrot Behavior Consultant, I started promoting companion bird education while volunteering at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) at Nevins Farm in Methuen, Mass.. When I began volunteering back in 2010, I was told that January was Bird Adoption Month. I was so enthusiastic about promoting companion birds that I knew I wanted to get involved as soon as possible! In January 2011, I started my first education table at the MSPCA Nevins Farm. Each weekend in that month, I assisted with questions and answers from the public.

The Business of Behavior

Testifying in Court

by Melissa McMath Hatfield

As professionals in the field of applied animal behavior, we are well-placed to understand the antecedents that cause an animal to act in a certain way.

Dog Division

Three Leash Reactive Dog Cases

by Adria Karlsson

The way a behavior consultant approaches a case is dependent on their education and background. As an applied behavior analyst, I approach my work as a behavior consultant with a bias toward that science. I want to understand the antecedent-behavior-consequence sequence at work. I want to understand what the behavior means to the animal. To unpack what this looks like, I’m going to present you with three case studies. 

Shelter Division

Playgroups the LIMA Way

Emily Strong Playgroups are undoubtedly a beneficial practice in shelters and rescue groups, and...


Spotlight on Research

This issue, we talked to Lauren Robinson, recent PhD graduate from the University of Edinburgh. Lauren’s work focuses on how we measure personality and welfare, and how these two areas interact. She has worked with many different species, from puppies to penguins, but has focused on understanding the welfare of captive primates.

Horse Division

Why Train Voluntary Cooperation in Horses?

by Robin Foster, PhD

The basic goal of animal training is to control another individual’s behavior. Cooperation is the ideal outcome, but when aversive training methods are used the animal’s cooperation is compulsory, not voluntary.  Worse yet, aversive control can evoke unwanted resistance and oppositional responses. As a horse behaviorist, the severe behavior problems I’m called in to see surprise me less than how readily horses give in to aversive control.

Working Animals Division

Service Dog Temperament Versus Behaviour: What to Measure and When

by Helen Vaterlaws-Whiteside

The unique dog-human relationship has led to the dog’s integral place within our society. As well as being our companions, dogs’ adaptation to our lifestyle has resulted in their exceptional ability to work in a wide variety of roles, such as military dogs, police dogs, assistance dogs, and emotional support dogs. Regardless of career, all service dog agencies face the challenge of maximising the effectiveness of their dogs within a continuously changing environment. In addition to optimising training, agencies must source or breed healthy dogs with a temperament suited to their careers.

Other Topics

Ask the Ethics Committee

Concerns about litigation can potentially limit dialogue about issues such as fear aggression. For example, if my dog is uneasy near strangers, I may be counseled not to talk openly about the dog's bite risk or put a "Do Not Pet" sign on the dog's harness, because to do so might increase my liability should my dog bite someone.

Karen Pryor Academy


The Modern Dog Trainer