CEU Event: Using DRA and Extinction to Reduce False Alerts in Conservation Detection Dogs, Part 1: Research

When: Ongoing
Where: Online


CPDT-KSA Knowledge: 0.00
CPDT-KSA Skills: 0.00

* Courses approved for CBCC-KA CEUs may be applied to a CPDT-KA or CPDT-KSA recertification. Courses approved for CPDT-KA or CPDT-KSA may not be applied to a CBCC-KA recertification.

PLEASE NOTE: CPDT-KA can earn a MAXIMUM of 12 CPDT-KSA Skills CEUS within their 3 year certification period.


In 2022, two working conservation detection dogs with Action for Cheetahs in Kenya were making a consistent mistake in their jobs: they were alerting to caracal and leopard scat instead of just cheetah scat. With novice handlers at the other end of the leash, the issue wasn’t going away. The K9 Conservationists team, including Kayla Fratt, spent roughly 3 months in Kenya mentoring handlers. After an exhaustive history-taking on the training samples used and training history of the dogs, the team decided to attempt an extinction procedure for false alerts while rewarding the dogs heavily for interest in their target odor – essentially a DRA procedure. Over several weeks, the combined teams worked on increasing search area, layering in other distractors, increasing the dogs’ alert duration, reducing the availability of target odor, and varying handler behavior in order to proof the dogs’ search behavior with the correct target.

Sponsor:IAABC Foundation
Speaker(s):Kayla Fratt

 Email: courses@iaabcfoundation.org
 Web: https://iaabcfoundation.org/2023-animal-behavior-conference/