Scullion Hall, L. E. M., Robinson, S. 2016. Implementing a successful positive reinforcement training protocol in laboratory-housed dogs. Animal Technology and Welfare 15(2), 83-88.
Training is recognised as important for laboratory animals, both to improve welfare and increase the efficiency of conducting husbandry and regulated procedures. Despite the acknowledged need for such training in the laboratory-housed dog and the availability of training protocols for the pet or working dog, few publishedstudies exist detailing the implementation of training protocols. Refinement of restraint procedures and husbandry can improve welfare. This paper outlines a positive reinforcement-based protocol and describes the implementation in a busy pharmaceutical indistry environment. Sixty-six naive dogs held as stock were trained in brief, once-weekly training sessions for four weeks. Data were recorded on behaviour and progress in training. The results support the implementation of brief, structured training to increase welfare and compliance. The scoring tools used also identified a small number of dogs which failed to respond to training, providing a meand for staff to allocate dogs best suited to short- or long-term studies.