1. Health, nutritional, and physical factors: The trainer should ensure that any indicators for possible medical, nutritional, or health factors are addressed by a licensed veterinarian. The trainer should also ensure that potential factors in the physical environment are addressed.
2. Antecedents: The trainer should redesign setting events, change motivations, and add or remove discriminative stimuli (cues) for the problem behavior.
3. Positive Reinforcement: The trainer should employ approaches that contingently deliver a consequence to increase the probability that the right behavior will occur, which is more reinforcing than the problem behavior.
4. Differential Reinforcement of Alternate Behavior: The trainer should reinforce an acceptable replacement behavior and remove the maintaining reinforcer for the problem behavior.
5. Negative Punishment, Negative Reinforcement, or Extinction (these are not listed in any order of preference):
a. Negative Punishment – The trainer should contingently withdraw a positive reinforcer to reduce the probability that
the problem behavior will occur.
b. Negative Reinforcement – The trainer should contingently withdraw an aversive antecedent stimulus to increase
the probability that the right behavior will occur.
c. Extinction – The trainer should permanently remove the maintaining reinforcer to suppress the behavior or reduce it
to baseline levels.
1 Adapted from: WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE? EFFECTIVENESS IS NOT ENOUGH, Susan G. Friedman, Ph. D., Good Bird ™ Magazine, Vol 4-4; Winter 2008.