Implications of human-animal interactions on mother-calf interactions in a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) dyad

Most research on human-animal interactions (HAls) in zoos focuses on the influence of unfamiliar humans (visitors) on the animals. Limited research focusses on the influence of familiar (keepers/trainers) HAI and there has been no research investigating the impact of familiar HAls on mother-offspring interactions. The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) has been bred and trained in […]

Evaluating the Addition of Positive Reinforcement for Learning a Frightening Task: A Pilot Study With Horses

Horse training often relies upon negative reinforcement (NR). This study tested the hypothesis that adding positive reinforcement (PR) to NR would enhance learning in horses (n = 34) being taught to walk over a tarp (novel/typically frightening task). Subjects were Arabians, and the same person handled all of them. This person handled half “traditionally” (NR […]

The positive aspects of correct negative reinforcement

In the scheme of contemporary animal training, horse training is virtually unique because it relies on negative reinforcement (NR) rather than positive reinforcement (PR). Furthermore, horse trainers are largely unaware that they are using NR in training. Instead, they believe in the benevolent nature of the horse and see their task in training as one […]

Effects of training on stress-related behavior of the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) in relation to coping with routine husbandry procedures

Using positive reinforcement, J. McKinley trained 12 common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) to provide urine samples on request. The study then exposed the marmosets to mildly stressful, routine husbandry procedures (i.e., capture and weighing). The nonhuman animals spent less time inactive poststressor as opposed to prestressor. L. Bassett collected matched behavioral data from 12 nontrained marmosets […]

Training Nonhuman Primates Using Positive Reinforcement Techniques


The use of classical and operant conditioning in training aldabra tortoises (Geochelone gigantea) for venipuncture and other husbandry issues

A variety of nonhuman animals in zoo and research settings have been the subjects of classical and operant conditioning techniques. Much of the published work has focused on mammals, husbandry training, and veterinary issues. However, several zoos are training reptiles and birds for similar procedures, but there has been little of this work published. Using […]

Training to reliably obtain blood and urine samples from a diabetic chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes)

Abstract 10.1002/(SICI)1098-2361(1996)15:63.3.CO;2-P Positive reinforcement training techniques were used to gain the cooperation of a socially housed, 3-year-old, insulin-dependent diabetic chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) in obtaining blood and urine samples for monitoring of glucose levels. A urine collection device, adaptable to many types of caging, allowed collection of urine from the diabetic subject as well as other […]

Using training to moderate chimpanzee aggression during feeding

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1430130605.abs The effects of human and nonhuman primate interactions on the well-being of captive nonhuman primates have been studied less rigorously than other forms of environmental improvement. Human intervention might be used to moderate severe aggression of socially housed animals at feeding times, one of the most common behavioral management problems. In this study, […]

Human-directed contra-aggression training using positive reinforcement with single and multiple trainers for indoor-housed rhesus macaques

The objective of this study was to improve human-animal management relationships by testing the effects of positive reinforcement training (PRT) on reducing human-directed aggression in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). Contra-aggression uses a combination of positive reinforcement training techniques designed to actively reduce instances of aggressive behavior. Additionally, this study looked at how much post-training generalization […]

Ultrasonographic monitoring of fetal development in unrestrained bonobos (Pan paniscus) at the Milwaukee County Zoo

Abstract The bonobo, Pan paniscus, is one of the most endangered primate species. In the context of the Bonobo Species Survival Plan®, the Milwaukee County Zoo established a successful breeding group. Although the bonobo serves as a model species for human evolution, no prenatal growth curves are available. To develop growth graphs, the animals at […]