Wolf against a blue sky


IAABC’s Position on Dominance  

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 behavior problems develop, these are rationalized as attempts by the animal to take control, or a failure of the human caregiver to command respect. READ MORE...

Cat Division

What are we going to do with these cats?! Case studies in difficult-to-home shelter cats.

By Cheryl Kolus, DVM

I finally had a moment to get some work done on my laptop, so I pulled a chair up to the desk and started typing away. Oomie joined me. The sleek black cat jumped on my lap and settled in comfortably, purring. After a minute or two, Oomie stretched his forepaws up on my chest, looked at me contentedly—and bit me in the face. “Oh, Oomie. What are we going to do with you?” I said to my worried reflection in the mirror as I wiped the blood from my cheek.

Dog Division

The Most Successful Case I Ever Lost

By Michael Baugh, CDBC

We are teacher and trainers. We are also learners. Our animal clients have lessons for us, it seems, each time we meet. When is it time to observe? When is it time to step back, adjust our plan? When do we push forward? We are familiar with these lessons, we trainers and behavior consultants.

Horse Division

What Does Maslow’s Pinnacle Mean for Horses?

By Catherine Bell, CHBC

How best to meet the behavioural and emotional needs of horses is the crux of a typical behavioural consultation. The job of the behaviour consultant is to tread the path of assessing and meeting the needs of the horse, whilst simultaneously managing the desires and expectations of the owner. So common is this tussle, and so often are equine needs poorly met, that we tend to devote most of our energies to ensuring that a horse simply has at least some chances to behave in some species-appropriate ways, some of the time.

Parrot Division

The Benefits of Teaching a Parrot Tricks

By Patricia K. Anderson, PhD

Living with an intelligent exotic animal like a parrot can be an absolute joy. It can also be quite challenging trying to meet the complex needs of these marvelous sentient beings. The most effective and humane, and least intrusive, way to interact with your bird is through operant conditioning and positive reinforcement, because it empowers your parrot, gives them choice or control, and helps establish and maintain a positive, trusting relationship.

Working Animals Division

Shaping Service Dogs to Overcome Fear of Unknown Surfaces

By Matthias Lenz

A central tenet of service dog training is fostering non-reactivity to various stimuli to ensure a resilient and reliable service dog for the client. Service dogs should remain relatively unfazed by dogs passing by, people talking to them, and other types of environmental stimuli.