Using ABA (differential reinforcement) with old dog
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Using ABA (differential reinforcement) with old dog

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My 11 year old dog does not like his current arthritis supplements and refuses to willingly take it. So far, an effective technique to get him to take it (until this batch runs out and I get a different flavor) is to use differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (he gets a treat for complying with my command (and initially for approximations of getting it, so to increase the behavior), and does not get anything for engaging in the other forms of “refusal” behavior (looking away, batting his paw, etc.).

I can only do this procedure once per day, so my plan is to fade the number of treats allotted (thin reinforcement schedule), so that by the time we’re done with this bag, he’s down to 1 treat for taking his supplement.

I mentioned use of a bit of behavior momentum in my video, however that is actually not accurate- due to me not giving him different commands he already knows (and will do) prior to telling him to get the supplement. My apologies in error.