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Author (up) Innes, L.; McBride, S. url  doi
  Title Negative versus positive reinforcement: An evaluation of training strategies for rehabilitated horses Type Journal Article
  Year 2008 Publication Applied Animal Behaviour Science Abbreviated Journal Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci.  
  Volume 112 Issue 3–4 Pages 357-368  
  Keywords Horse; Training; Positive reinforcement; Negative reinforcement; Stress; Rehabilitation  
  Abstract Rescued equids are often exposed to rehabilitation and training (or retraining) programmes to improve their physical and psychological well-being as well as to facilitate the re-homing process. Training uses either positive or negative reinforcement learning procedures and it is considered here that, there may be welfare implications associated with using the latter technique as it has the potential to overlay acute stress on animals with a chronic stress life history. The aim of this study, therefore, was to compare these training strategies (negative versus positive reinforcement) on equine behaviour and physiology as the first step in establishing an optimal rehabilitation approach (from a welfare perspective) for equids that have been subjected to chronic stress in the form of long-term neglect/cruelty. Over a 7-week period, 16 ponies (aged 6–18 months) were trained using either positive (‘positive’) (n = 8) or negative reinforcement (‘negative’) (n = 8) techniques to lead in hand, stand to be groomed, traverse an obstacle course and load into a trailer. Heart rate was measured (5 s intervals) on days 1 and 4 of each training week, ‘Pre’- (1 h), ‘During’ (0.5 h) and ‘Post’- (1 h) training session. Ethograms (10.00–20.00 h) outside of the training period were also compiled twice weekly. In addition, weekly arena tests (as a measure of reactivity) were also performed 1 week before and during the 7 weeks of training. Results showed significant differences between the two training schedules for some measures during the latter stages of the trial and suggested that animals trained under a positive reinforcement schedule were more motivated to participate in the training sessions and exhibited more exploratory or ‘trial and error’ type behaviours in novel situations/environments. In this context, the incorporation of positive reinforcement schedules within a rehabilitation programme may be of benefit to the animal from a welfare perspective.  
  Corporate Author Thesis  
  Publisher Place of Publication Editor  
  Language Summary Language Original Title  
  Series Editor Series Title Abbreviated Series Title  
  Series Volume Series Issue Edition  
  ISSN 0168-1591 ISBN Medium  
  Area Expedition Conference  
  Notes Approved no  
  Call Number Equine Behaviour @ team @ Serial 5644  
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