The Effect of Positive Reinforcement Training on an Adult Female Western Lowland Gorilla’s (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) Rate of Abnormal and Aggressive Behavior

Positive reinforcement training (PRT) has become a widely used tool in improving the ease with which husbandry and veterinary procedures are performed for animals under human care. PRT provides positive social interaction, cognitive stimulation, and choice, in addition to desensitization towards potentially stressful situations. As a result, PRT has been used as enrichment to decrease […]

Positive reinforcement training moderates only high levels of abnormal behavior in singly housed rhesus macaques

This study evaluated the application of positive reinforcement training (PRT) as an intervention for abnormal behaviors in singly housed laboratory rhesus macaques at 2 large primate facilities. Training involved basic control behaviors and body-part presentation. The study compared baseline behavioral data on 30 adult males and 33 adult females compared with 3 treatment phases presented […]

Enhancing Nonhuman Primate Care and Welfare Through the Use of Positive Reinforcement Training

Nonhuman primates are excellent subjects for the enhancement of care and welfare through training. The broad range of species offers tremendous behavioral diversity, and individual primates show varying abilities to cope with the stressors of captivity, which differ depending on the venue. Biomedical facilities include small single cages, pair housing, and breeding corrals with large […]

The Use of Positive Reinforcement Training Techniques to Enhance the Care, Management, and Welfare of Primates in the Laboratory

Handled frequently and subjected to a wide range of medical procedures that may be particularly invasive, nonhuman animals in a laboratory setting have unique needs. To produce the most reliable research results and to protect and enhance the well-being of the animals, it is desirable to perform these procedures with as little stress for the […]

Training Common Marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) to Cooperate During Routine Laboratory Procedures: Ease of Training and Time Investment

The first author trained 12 laboratory-housed common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) in pairs to assess the practicality of positive reinforcement training as a technique in the management of these nonhuman animals. Behaviors taught were (a) target training to allow in homecage weighing and (b) providing urine samples. Between 2 to 13, 10-minute training sessions established desired […]

Positive reinforcement training as a technique to alter nonhuman primate behavior: Quantitative assessments of effectiveness

Many suggest that operant conditioning techniques can be applied successfully to improve the behavioral management of nonhuman primates in research settings. However, relatively little empirical data exist to support this claim. This article is a review of several studies that discussed applied positive reinforcement training techniques (PRT) on breeding/research colonies of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) […]

Proceedings of The Fifth Annual Symposium on Zoo Research


Animal Welfare Forum: The Welfare of Zoo Animals


Positive reinforcement training to elicit voluntary movement of two giant pandas throughout their enclosure

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.10103.abs There is a great deal of interest in applying positive reinforcement training to improve the care and management of captive animals. The purpose of the present study was to test the usefulness of positive reinforcement training in managing the “shifting” behavior of two, young giant pandas. This report describes the steps in the […]

Positive reinforcement training as enrichment for singly housed rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta)

Positive reinforcement training is one component of behavioural management employed to improve psychological well-being. There has been regulatory promotion to compensate for restricted social housing in part by providing human interaction to singly caged primates, implying an efficacy standard for evaluating human interaction. The effect of positive reinforcement training on the behaviour of 61 singly […]