Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Behavior: systematic desensitization

Synonym(s): Desensitization

Contributor(s): Daniel Mills

Introduction

  • A technique originally developed within human behavior therapy to control fear reactions.
  • Widely used in combination with counter-conditioning   Behavior: counter-conditioning  in order to raise the threshold at which an animal reacts to something, ie used to control a variety of forms of arousal including fear.
  • Involves the incremental controlled arousal of the animal by variants of a problem stimulus in order to facilitate control over the level of arousal expressed.
  • In practice often combined with counter-conditioning   Behavior: counter-conditioning  .

Print-off the Owner factsheets on Aggression   Aggression  , Vices why and how to manage them   Vices - why and how to manage them  , Problems with clipping how to deal with them    Problems with clipping - how to deal with them  , Problems with shoeing how to deal with them   Problems with shoeing - how to deal with them  , Traveling with your horse loading problems   Traveling with your horse - loading problems  , Bucking   Bucking  , Rearing   Rearing  , Bolting   Bolting  .

Pre-requisites for treatment

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Stages of treatment

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Advantages

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Disadvantages

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Christensen J W, Rundgren M & Olsson K (2006) Training methods for horses: habituation to a frightening stimulus. Equine Vet J 38 (5), 439-443 PubMed.
  • Gough M R (1999) A note on the use of behavioural modification to aid clipping ponies. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 63 (2), 171-175.

Other sources of information

  • Mills D S & Nankervis K J (1999) Equine Behaviour, Principles and Practice. Blackwell Science, UK.
  • Equine Behaviour Forum. Website: www.equinebehaviourforum.org.uk


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