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Presentation Description: Stereotypic behavior is repetitive and invariant behavior which is many times described as having no apparent function. Examples might be rocking, pacing, or swaying. Dogs are known to show stereotypic behavior in a variety of topographies such as licking, blanket sucking, and tail chasing. The etiology of these behaviors appears quite complex with likely multiple genetic and environmental factors contributing. Identifying these factors for the prevention and treatment of problematic stereotypic behavior is challenging. This presentation will focus on new findings from Dr. Alexandra Protopopova, assistant professor in companion animal science at Texas Tech University, and Dr. Hall’s labs on the association between behavioral persistence and stereotypic behavior. The presenter will discuss what behavioral persistence is, how it can be measured, and current hypotheses on how it is related to stereotypic behavior. He will also discuss his current research on adapting the use of functional analysis (a method used in human populations for decades) to evaluate the potential contribution of environmental factors to canine stereotypic behavior, and how it can be used to develop targeted treatments specific to the environmental factors maintaining the behavior. Learning Objectives: Define stereotypic behavior and provide examples of stereotypic behavior in dogs. Describe at least one hypothesis on how behavioral persistence relates to stereotypic behavior. Describe evidence that suggests genetic and environmental factors contribute to stereotypic behavior. Describe at least one functional analysis procedure that can be used to identify whether an environmental factor contributes to stereotypic behavior. Describe at least one way an environmental variable that maintains stereotypic behavior can be manipulated to reduce the behavior.
Speaker(s):Dr. Nathan Hall