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Law of Correlation – The ability of an organism to adapt and evolve. The correlation of an organism with its environment. For example animals living in a non-supportive environment and without sufficient food will either a) adapt, or b) become extinct. Unfortunately it also means that humans (usually those of lower socio-economic groups) will suffer the most as a result of famine, wars, earthquakes, flooding etc……………………
life – Perhaps the most obvious criterion for life is being able to reproduce. If something is alive, then it must be able to produce copies of itself, which may or may not be identical. But this criterion is not sufficient on its own because crystals are able to grow and produce identical copies of themselves if placed in a salt solution. And no one would argue as to whether or not crystals are alive.
To the ability to to reproduce we need to add the ability to evolve. For something to be alive, the copies it produces of itself need to be able to change gradually across the generations in response to environmental factors. Evolution in the domesticated dog world can happen quickly, after only a few generations by selective breeding. If left to nature, the same changes would take millennia to occur through the process of natural selection.
Some questions to ask if an organism is alive: 1. Is it made up of at least one cell? 2. Does it metabolise – does it use and release energy? 3. Does it grow and change over time? 4. Does it respond to any physical, chemical or environmental stimuli? 5. Does it reproduce either sexually or asexually, and evolve? If the answer is NO to any of these questions, then what you’re looking at is actually NOT alive!
At its most basic level life must contain organic molecules of carbon and hydrogen.
The three domains of life are: bacteria, eukaryota, archaea.
evolution – Charles Darwin in his 1859 book On The Origin of Species by Natural Selection espoused the theory that species evolve, contrary to the belief at the time; that of the Creation. The thrust of this theory is fourfold: 1. More individuals are produced than can survive – 2. There has to be a struggle for existence – 3. Individuals within a species show variations – 4. Offspring tend to inherit their parents’ characteristics.
population explosion – A sudden, large increase in a population. In human terms this could be caused by economic growth coupled with the global oversupply of food, increased birth rate, reduction in infant mortality, increase in life expectancy and better healthcare generally, poor education and awareness of birth control, religious reasons and more. Population growth really took off at about the same time as the industrial revolution started. However, since World War II the global population has seen an exponential growth from an estimated 2.3 billion to a now estimated 7.2 billion and expected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050. This growth comes mainly from developing continents and countries such as Africa and, until recently, India. The governments of China and Russia, as examples, are actively encouraging population growth to help support the growing older population as well as for political reasons as the tensions between these two super powers ebb and flow!
The planet cannot sustain this exponential growth indefinitely. It is argued that we are currently experiencing the sixth mass extinction (Holocene extinction) on the planet with only the fittest and richest surviving. Indeed it is estimated that the planet now loses three species every hour! That’s a staggering 26,000 every year. Even taking into account NEW species being discovered there is still an estimated net loss of some 2,000 every year. Modern humans have to take responsibility since their arrival at the top of the food chain. The Law of Correlation tends to iron out peaks and troughs and the population may well, therefore, be self leveling in the short term. However, life on Earth, as we know it, will ultimately come to an end.
ABC – Referred to as the ABC of Dog Training. Antecedent, Behaviour, Consequence. As related to dog training we may offer the cue or a lure (the antecedent – what has happened BEFORE the behaviour), the desired behaviour ensues, the consequence will be to offer the lure as a reward. After some repetitions, the dog will repeat the behaviour usually without the need for a lure or reward but a voice cue and verbal praise alone. See also: proofing, CART.
aberrant – Unusual behaviour, not sociably acceptable.
abstractification n – The perceptual fog that humans tend to live in. Living in one’s own thoughts surrounded by one’s own ideas, avoiding reality. Overly thoughtful or contemplative. Abstractifier n – A person who lives in his/her own thoughts, one who suffers abstractification n. Abstractify v – to over complicate or over analyse something or to deny its existence, unable to ‘see the wood for the trees’. See also: analysis paralysis.
ADD – Attention Deficit Disorder. See ADHD.
ADHD – Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. A condition where people, especially children or animals are extremely active and unable to concentrate on anything for very long, with the result that they find it difficult to learn and often behave in inappropriate ways. There are varying degrees and adults may find in later life that this has affected them but remained undiagnosed. Signs may include, for example, the inability to concentrate for any period of time, reading passages of dialogue repeatedly, boredom, claustrophobia coupled with the need to escape routine and repetition. Those with the disorder may well thrive in an outdoor, practical type of environment. See also: serotonin.
adrenaline – The stress hormone. A hormone secreted by the adrenal glands that increases rates of blood circulation, breathing, and carbohydrate metabolism and prepares muscles for exertion. The adrenal glands are situated above the kidneys. Adrenaline and cortisol normally are secreted in response to a perceived threat in the environment. The effects of stress hormones on blood glucose, heart rate and respiration increase oxygen and nutrient supplies to muscles and temporarily shut down the maintenance of the body’s other systems. This so-called fight-or-flight response to perceived environmental threats gives organisms an evolutionary advantage in making them better able to survive by increasing their chances of either destroying the threat or escaping.
allee effect – A phenomenon in biology characterized by a correlation between population size or density and the mean individual fitness of a population or species. Warder Clyde Allee, in the 1930s, conducted experiments on goldfish in a tank. Contrary to popular belief that individuals will suffer in a crowded environment, he discovered that the goldfish grew more rapidly and the survival rate was higher. Sardines, for example, will form huge shoals as the chances of survival are higher than for an individual; in other words, safety in numbers. Take wolves as another example; they will thrive in greater numbers as they are able to hunt more effectively. Conversely, fewer numbers will lead to a weaker group and even fewer numbers until extinction occurs. This is thought to be one reason for the decline of the Sumatran rhinoceros and others. Some species, therefore, will suffer from ‘undercrowding’.
allelomatic n – 1. Behaviour under stress, 2. Contagion, as in contagious yawning.
allelomimetic (US: allomimetic) behaviour adj – behaviour that is copied or mimicked.
allospecific – Antonym of conspecific. See also: heterospecific.
alpha/beta/omega (ABO) – A hierarchical system within a family in the animal kingdom with the alpha at the top, descending to the beta whilst the omega shows deference to all others in the group. In the case of a pack of wolves an alpha pair will bond and mate, though the female may sometimes be considered the beta member – deferring to the male. A nursing female may become the alpha with other pack members, including the male, serving her. Puppies and lower ranking wolves will in turn become omega members. Packs tend to form naturally and depends on the respective temperaments of its members. Beta and omega members wishing to dominate will either have to overthrow the alpha pair or form their own packs.
amino acids – (awaiting citation). See also: protein.
amoral – Without morals, standards, principles, scruples. Not to be confused with immoral – wicked, bad, wrong. Example sentence: I love Almódovar’s movies. They are unashamedly amoral.
analysis paralysis – The over analysis of an action or string of actions, for example in sports, that could lead to paralysation and non-action or incorrect action. See also: absractification.
anthelmintic, anthelminthic – An agent used to destroy and expel parasitic worms for example in sheep or cattle. To vermifuge.
anthropoid – Resembling apes. Apelike. Belonging to the superfamily Hominoidea which includes the hominoids: manlike.
anthropology – (abbreviation: anthrop.) 1. The scientific study of people, society and culture. The science that deals with the origins, physical and cultural development, biological characteristics, and social customs and beliefs of humankind. 2. The study of human beings’ similarity to, and divergence from, other animals. 3. The science of humans and their works. 4. Also: philosophical anthropology – the study of the nature and essence of humankind.
anthropomorphize – (pronounced: an-throp-o-mor-fize) To humanise, attribute or ascribe human form or behaviour (to an animal, object etc.) – anthropomorphism – the attribution of human form or behaviour (to an animal, object etc.)
antisynurb – An animal that may be described as antisynurbic, living in synurbia. Happy to live in an urban environment alongside humans whilst remaining undomesticated. An example is the rabbit which, having escaped captivity in the C13th, is happy to live near humans. Sometimes domesticated cats will leave home and are happy to live in a feral state scavenging food from nearby houses. See also: synurb, synurbic, synurbism, antisynurbism.
antisynurbic – (pronounced: anti-syn-urb-ic) Species that has move away from domestication or semi-domestication to live in a wild or feral state in synurbia. Rabbits may be said to be antisynurbic having been, it is thought, introduced by the Romans, in a captive state, and later escaping into the wild. See also: antisynurbism, synurb, synurbic, synurbism.
antisynurbism – (pronounced: anti-syn-urb-ism) The process or transition of moving from a domesticated or semi-domesticated state through to a feral, semi wild or wild state. To act in an antisynurbic way. Cats, dogs, rabbits ect. returning to a feral or semi-wild state but happy to remain in an urban environment living alongside and scavenging from humans (as this is less time and energy consuming) may be said to be antisynurbic or displaying antisynurbism. See also: synurb, synurbism, synurbic.
arboreal – Pertaining to trees. 1. To live in or amongst trees. 2. To resemble a tree.
arboretum – A place where trees and shrubs are grown and cultivated for their scientific and educational interest.
ASSCON – Association, Consequence. Acronym describing the way dogs learn. Firstly by association (classical conditioning), secondly by consequence (operant conditioning).
Aurora Energy Research – Intelligence for global energy transformation.
autoecology – The ecological study of an individual organism or species. See also: synecology.
AVMA – American Veterinary Medical Association.
balanced training – Training that combines purely positive reinforcement and the more old fashioned (some say traditional) approach of physical correction and punishment. A well balanced dog must surely be one that is happy and confident, has learnt by making his own choices through guidance and reward from the trainer without physical intervention. Richard The Dog Trainer believes in a long term holistic and force free approach to training. Yes, it may take longer to get there but once a habit is reinforced it will be with the dog for the rest of his life and not forgotten as with a short term verbal reprimand or physical correction.
BAT (behaviour adjustment training) – Behaviour modification comes from an individual changing how it thinks and feels about a stimulus that generates a problematic behaviour. For example, using an e-collar to suppress chase is just that, suppressing a desired behaviour. It is forcing obedience or compliance and does not change any underlying factors. So it’s just training. However BAT methods used can be convoluted and controversial……………..more……………..(citation needed). See also CAT, LAT.
beeswax – A yellowish or dark brown wax secreted by bees in the form of flakes from the abdomen as a result of the nectar they consume, for constructing honeycomb. The flakes are masticated and, when mixed with saliva, produce a malleable wax which is formed into hexagonal cells forming the honeycomb.
behaviour adjustment training (BAT) – Citation needed.
bifurcate – Having two branches, forking in two different directions.
biodiversity – The number of all living species of plants and animals that are living in any given area.
Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) – An internationally recognized program addressing threatened species and habitats and is designed to protect and restore biological systems. The original impetus for these plans derives from the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). As of 2009 this consisted of 192 counties including the UK.
biodiversity hotspot – A biological region that is both a significant reservoir of biodiversity and is threatened with destruction. Specifically refers to 25 biologically rich areas around the world that have lost at least 70% of their original habitat. The remaining habitat amounts to just 1.4% of the land surface of the planet, yet supports nearly 60% of the world’s plant, bird, mammal, reptile and amphibian species.
biofeedback – physiology, psychology – 1. A technique for teaching the control of autonomic functions, such as the rate of heartbeat or breathing, by recording the activity and presenting it (usually visually) so that a person can know the state of the autonomic function he or she is learning to control. 2. A technique of seeking to control certain emotional states such as anxiety or depression, by training oneself, with the aid of electronic devices, to modify autonomic body functions, such as blood pressure or heartbeat. 3. Clinical studies demonstrate that a wolf described as the alpha male also happens to be the one with most testosterone. Furthermore, there is a phenomenon at work called biofeedback, whereby the alpha wolf, on achieving this status, begins to produce more testosterone, in order to maintain this status once it has been acquired. However, this theory becomes extinct when examining packs where a female appears to be the alpha. It is clearly not linked directly to testosterone, so perhaps other hormones and pheromones play a part.
biological hierarchy – (bottom up) atom – molecule – cell – tissue – organ – system – organism – population – community – ecosystem – biosphere.
biome – A major ecological community spread over a large area and dominated by a particular vegetation. Any life zone consisting of interrelated plants and animals determined by the climate, for example desserts and deciduous forests.
boreal – 1: North, north wind 2: Pertaining to coniferous forest areas of the northern hemisphere, including the taiga and tundra 3: Designating a dry climatic period from about 750 – 550 BC with cold winters, hot summers and flora dominated by pines and hazels.
brain – The brain is comprised of three main parts:-
1) The forebrain consisting of the cerebrum, thalamus and hypothalamus (a gland forming part of the hormone producing endocrine system). The cerebrum or cortex is the largest part of the brain and is associated with higher brain functions such as thought, action, decision making and behaviour. It is divided into two hemispheres, left and right, looking almost symmetrical but thought to control different functions. It is further divided into four ‘lobes’ for different tasks. Buried within the cerebrum are the thalamus, hypothalamus, amygdala and hippocampus combining to form the limbic system (thinking or emotional brain).
2) The midbrain forming the brain stem connecting to the spinal cord responsible for transferring information to and from the body via neurons.
3) The hindbrain containing the cerebellum or ‘little brain’ – older in evolutionary terms controlling basic functions such as muscle movement, coordination, balance and posture.
broiler – 1. Part of a stove that produces strong heat and cooks food if placed underneath it. Grill. 2. A young tender chicken suitable for roasting. 3. A pan, grate etc for broiling food. 4. A very hot day.
bush – 1: A large plant with many branches; smaller than a tree 2: A semi-arid or arid region in a hot country with little vegetation and of not much use to man. Wild and uncultivated.
calcareous – Pertaining to high acidity containing or resembling calcium carbonate, calcium, chalk and lime. See also: grassland.
canidae – (pronounced: can-e-day) Generic term for the dog family including the domesticated dog, wolf, coyote, jackal, fox, wild African dog, pariah, bush dog, maned wolf and dingo. Of the order carnivora (meat eaters).
canis – Genus of the canidae (dog) family. We are concerned here with canis lupus (wolf) of which there are some 40 species and a further two sub species: canis lupus dingo (Australian wild dog) and canis lupus familiaris (domesticated dog). Worldwide there are over 400 breeds of domesticated dogs (Wilcox & Walkowitz, 1995) and the UK’s Kennel Club recognises 209 breeds. This is the largest morphology of any mammal in history!
carbon – A chemical element that coal and diamonds are made up of. At its most basic level life must contain organic molecules of carbon and hydrogen. From Latin carbo = coal.
carbonate – To treat with carbon dioxide or carbonic acid as in the production of soft drinks. To form or turn into a carbonate.
carbon dioxide – An incombustible gas present in the atmosphere produced by people and animals breathing out – respiration* and in organic materials released by combustion. Also in the reaction of acids with carbonates: used in carbonated drinks, fire extinguishers and as dry ice for refrigeration. The major gas contributing to climate change (caused by the greenhouse effect) along with methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and water vapour (clouds). Forula: CO2.
* Plants ‘breath IN’ carbon dioxide and ‘breath OUT’ oxygen.
CART – Cue, action, reinforcer, treat. See also: ABC.
castoreum – the oil secreted by the beaver which is used as bait by trappers.
CAT – Constructional Aggression Treatment…………more……….(citation needed). See also: BAT, LAT.
CDS – Cognitive dysfunction syndrome – Cognitive dysfunction syndrome is a condition related to the aging of a dog’s brain, which ultimately leads to changes in awareness, deficits in learning and memory, and decreased responsiveness to stimuli. Although the initial symptoms of the disorder are mild, they gradually worsen over time, also known as “cognitive decline.” In fact, clinical signs of cognitive dysfunction syndrome are found in 50 percent of dogs over the age of 11, and by the age of 15, 68 percent of dogs display at least one sign. See also: cognition.
cerebellum – Part of the hindbrain situated at the anterior base of the main brain (cerebrum). Also known as the ‘little brain’, it is older in evolutionary terms controlling basic functions such as muscle movement, coordination, balance and posture.
chernozem – A black soil rich in humus and carbonates found in temperate, semi-arid grassland regions of Russia known as steppe. (From Russian a contraction of: chernaya zemla or black earth). Highly prized and suitable for crop growing.
chimp paradox, the – The Chimp Model (designed by Prof Steven Peters) suggests we have two brains; the rational human brain and irrational chimp brain often in conflict with each other. One brain says you want to do something but the other says you can’t. What’s YOUR excuse?
choke chain – An aversive type chain lead which, when set to the live ring, will tighten around the dog’s neck and throat causing discomfort and choking whenever the dog pulls. The theory is this will cause the dog to stop pulling and walk ‘to heel’ (known as negative reinforcement), in other words the dogs stops pulling to remove the pain. In reality this has little effect as the dog learns to cope with this!
chromosome – Part of a cell that carries the genes which determine the characteristics of an animal or plant.
classical conditioning (reflexive, respondent or Pavlovian conditioning) – Learning by association. A psychological process whereby an involuntary and automatic reflex occurs in response to an unrelated trigger. Psychologist Ivan Pavlov conducted experiments on dogs in 1927 and discovered, after repeated conditioning, that they would salivate at the sound of a bell. In other words, two stimuli are paired; food and the bell resulting in salivation. The dog’s salivation is involuntary as he has no control, and automatic in the sense that whilst he may reflect momentarily on what has just happened (the trigger) and is about to happen (the reflex), he does not need to, himself, initiate a prompt or action. An example would be a ringing doorbell and someone walks through. Once the dog is conditioned, he assumes that whenever the doorbell rings there is someone at the door – which in turn may trigger barking. It may be argued that the resultant barking, unlike salivation, is NOT involuntary and the dog may choose to bark or not. However, in the dog’s mind, he cannot stop himself; only with further training can this behaviour be modified. See also: differential classical conditioning, operant conditioning, ASSCON, counter conditioning.
clicker – A small hand held mechanical animal training device, made of plastic, held in the palm and operated by the thumb to produce a cricket like ‘click’. Used during operant conditioning (systematic training) it is used to ‘mark’ the desired or correct action in response to a cue given by the trainer followed by a reinforcer (reward). It may be thought of as a ‘bridge’ between the action and reward if, for example, too great a distance exists between the trainer and animal for instantaneous reward. The clicker was first used to train sea mammals and was invented by Marian Breland Bailey a graduate student working with the renowned psychologist B F Skinner.
cognition – 1. The mental act or process by which knowledge is acquired, including schooling, perception, intuition and reasoning. 2. The knowledge that results from such an act or process.
community – The mix of species within an area at a given time. This may consist of many populations such as in a typical British back garden of birds, foxes, badgers, moles, insects, domestic cats and dogs and homo scientificus! See also: ecosystem.
confrere – Colleague, a fellow member of a fraternity, profession etc. Example sentence: There’s grass as far as the eye can see; it would be an ineffective strategy to expend energy guarding your daily acres from your confrere.
coniferous – Pertaining to conifer trees; evergreen with needle like leaves and usually bearing cones. These include fir, pine, spruce, larch, juniper, cypress, yew and sequoias. See also: deciduous.
conserve – To save. Reducing, stopping or reversing any undesirable action or effect that causes damage, or potential damage, to the environment or natural world at large. The cultural force that encourages societies to reflect upon and regulate their relationship with the non-human and plant world with a view to leaving the planet in a better condition for future generations.
conspecific – (of animals or plants) belonging to the same species. (Wolves) will only form pack with their own kind – though this has been disproved by Shaun Ellis https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaun_Ellis_(wolf_researcher). See also antonyms: allospecific, heterospecific.
coprophagia, coprophagy: noun – coprophagic, coprophagous: adjective – involving the eating of excrement. This can be common amongst dogs possibly caused by the need to double digest food, for example, because of a shortage of nutrients in the diet. Other theories are a maternal instinct to ‘clean the nest’ after the bitches licking puppies ano-genital area to stimulate defecation and urination.
correlation – A link between two things – example sentence: “there is a correlation between smoking and lung disease.” See also: correlation coefficient, Law of Correlation.
correlation coefficient – the measure of similarity or dissimilarity between two things. A statistical relationship between two variables where +1 has the strongest possible relationship and -1 has the least possible relationship. A zero coefficient is random. See also: correlation, Law of Correlation.
corticosterone – A hormone of the corticosteroid group. 1. a steroid hormone produced by the adrenal cortex that affects carbohydrate, protein and electrolyte metabolism, gonad function and immune response. 2. Any similar synthetic substance used in treating inflammatory and allergic disease.
cortisol – ACUTE (short term) stress can be invigorating. However, CHRONIC (long term) stress can tip over and cause severe heath side effects. Cortisol is a steroidal hormone responsible for metabolism, blood sugar regulation and immune functions. It is also an anti-inflammatory and anti allergenic also helping to regulate blood pressure. It is released by the adrenal gland situated above the kidneys. See also: adrenaline, fight-or-flight.
counter conditioning – psychology – the conditioning of a response that is opposite to a previously learned response; for example, in psychotherapy an anxious person or animal might be taught relaxation, which is incompatible with, or opposite to, anxiety. See also: operant conditioning, DCC, desensitisation, flooding, saturation exposure.
cynology – cynologist – The study of dogs. One who studies dogs.
cynophobia – An irrational fear of dogs.
DCC – desensitisation & counter conditioning. See also: desensitisation, counter conditioning, flooding, saturation exposure.
deciduous – Trees that lose their leaves at the end of the growing season, usually found in temperate zones throughout the world. The UK is a great example with its native oaks, ashes, elms and many more. Coniferous trees, although found here, are not native and have been introduced at some time.
desertification – The formation of a desert due to, for example, deforestation, over grazing by animals, land being left fallow and infertile after over-extraction.
desensitisation – psychology – to decrease the abnormal fear in a person or animal of a situation, stimulus or object, by exposing him/her to that object gradually either in reality or in his imagination. See also: DCC.
diet – A balanced diet consists of:- (top down) carbohydrates – fruit & vegetables – meat, fish, dairy – treats (sugary drinks, cakes). Carbohydrates & fats for energy – protein for growth & repair – vitamins & minerals in small amounts for general wellbeing – fibre for gut function – water used for transportation and body functions.
Differential Classical Conditioning – Classical and operant conditioning are not exclusive from each other; you must give rewards or some form of feedback (to the dog) no matter the behavior, in order for classical conditioning to occur – ‘association’ rather than ‘consequence’. Consider these rewards or feedback as being GRADUATED. Differential classical conditioning means giving the dog rewards or feedback no matter what the behaviour but to a lesser or greater extent. For example giving the dog high value treats for desired behaviors (no barking, sitting, staying, coming etc). Conversely verbal interaction and reassurance (rather than reprimand) when the dog shows an unwanted reaction such as growling. More aggressive forms of reaction (for example lunging and/or biting) may, of course, require reprimand and/or correction though should immediately be followed by positive feedback to (a) reassure the dog that he has behaved well for ceasing unwanted behaviour (b) to maintain relationship. Here is the breakdown in the event of UNWANTED behaviour:
- No trigger – No rewards.
- Trigger present, small reaction – Give verbal reassurance. Increase distance in the future.
- Trigger present, over reaction – Verbal reprimand, possibly physical correction followed immediately by praise for cessation and the subsequent wanted behaviour.
- Trigger present, no reaction – Jackpot with rewards.
This process allows the trainer to reward DESIRED behaviors more strongly while maintaining classical conditioning during all exposures to the trigger. See also: ASSCON.
discriminative learning – One of three paradigms of machine learning: generative, discriminative and imitative. Rather than learning by rote (generative) or copying (imitative), a student (or dog) will learn that if one response is incorrect there is a greater chance that another is correct, in other words – discrimination.
discriminative stimulus – Stimulus that provides information about what to do; cue.
dog – A domesticated canine mammal (canis familiaris) belonging to the canidae (dog family) descended from the wolf with 98.8% of its genes. Other family members including the wolf are coyotes, jackals, dingoes, India dhole, African wild dog and some foxes. They have been domesticated by man over millennia and are opportunistic scavengers. Dogs are carnivores but can tolerate vegetable matter in moderation. Strictly speaking dogs are the male of the species whilst bitches are the female.
dopamine – The pleasure or addiction hormone released by the hypothalamus – a chemical found in the brain that acts as a neurotransmitter and is an intermediate compound in the synthesis of noradrenaline. It acts as a chemical messenger to affect movement, emotions and the ability to experience both pleasure and pain. Additionally, dopamine plays a large role in addiction.
DRA – Differential Reinforcement of an Alternative Behaviour –
drag hunting – the laying of a scent of an animal – sometimes aniseed – for a dog to follow as if hunting.
DRI – Differential Reinforcement of an Incompatible behavior (DRI): Reinforcing a desirable behavior which is incompatible with the undesirable behavior. For example, using a piece of chicken to reinforce sitting and making eye contact with you instead of barking at another dog. See also DRA – Differential Reinforcement of an Alternative Behaviour and DRO – Differential Reinforcement of Another Behaviour.
DRO – Differential Reinforcement of Another Behaviour –
ecology – The study of the relationships between living organisms and their environment. See also: ethology.
ecosystem – An area able to independently support life and life cycles of both animals and plants, and its interaction with the environment. See also: population, community.
ecotourism – A form of ‘low impact’ tourism to market and promote the less well known areas of natural beauty or, conversely, depressed but aspiring areas of the world with the potential to conserve nature. The aim must be to inform both the local and wider populations of the plight of the indigenous flora and fauna. Side effects of ecotourism are many but most importantly will educate and raise awareness of the need to conserve nature. Furthermore it will bring employment, money and enhance the economy of the area. The downside is that large corporations will inevitably syphon off profits. Visitor numbers may potentially act detrimentally and erode the very thing to be conserved by traipsing over the terrain and disturbing the wildlife. Local customs may be put at risk and the indigenous people and animals driven away.
egregious – Outstandingly bad, flagrant. (Historically) distinguished, eminent. Example sentences: 1.There are few more egregious insults than to call someone stupid. 2. His Lordship is most egregious.
endorphin – The word endorphin is a contraction of endogenous morphine meaning morphine produced in the body. Not in itself a hormone, rather any of a group of hormones having a number of physiological as well as psychological effects. Endorphins are naturally occurring opiate compounds manufactured by the brain and nervous system enhancing the threshold to pain having an analgesic effect, at the same time making us (or dogs) feel happy and producing a ‘high’ effect. This can occur, for example, after exercise, play and mutual physical contact.
environment – 1. Ecology: the influence of external factors affecting the behaviour, development and habitat of animals and plants – 2. The external conditions, factors or surroundings in which people, animals and plants live – 3. A computing environment consisting of systems and programs.
enzyme – A chemical substance that is found in living creatures which produces changes in other substances without being changed itself. alt: A substance produced by a living organism which acts as a catalyst to bring about a specific biochemical reaction.
epiphany – 1. A moment of sudden insight or understanding. 2. Epiphany – A Christian festival on the 6th of January which celebrates the arrival of the wise men who came to see Jesus Christ soon after he was born.
ethology – The study of the behaviour of animals in their normal environment. See also: ecology.
evolution – Charles Darwin in his 1859 book On The Origin of Species by Natural Selection espoused the theory that species evolve, contrary to the belief at the time; that of the Creation. The thrust of this theory is fourfold: 1. More individuals are produced than can survive – 2. There has to be a struggle for existence – 3. Individuals within a species show variations – 4. Offspring tend to inherit their parents’ characteristics. See also: life, population explosion, gaia hypothesis.
excursive – to exclude, digress or ramble, opp to inclusive.
exposure – to uncover, to be affected by. See also: saturation exposure.
extraterrestrial marsupialism – 1. The ability of an out of earth being to nurture one’s young with utmost care immediately after birth esp. if born prematurely. 2. The ability of same, to grow an appendage or organ through, for example, cell reproduction or evolution.
fauna – Pertaining to animals, especially animals in a certain area. Example sentence: “The fauna of the India Ocean is abundant.” See also: flora.
federal – (n) 1: A federal country is one in which the different states or provinces have powers to make their own laws and decisions. 2: (adj) A Fed or Federal is someone who belongs to or relates to a national government of a federal country rather than one state. 3: (adj) Used to describe a system of government of which some people disapprove. See also: unitary.
feral – noun: Animal (or plant) existing in a wild or semi wild state especially having been domestic or held in captivity. Usually happy to live alongside and scavenge from humans. adjective: one that is described as feral. See also: synurb, antisynurb.
fight-or-flight (hyperarousal or accute stress response) – psychology – One of two possible reactions to a dangerous, potentially dangerous or frightening situation. If, for example, a dog is being attacked by, or is in any way frightened of, another dog he/she has the option of either running away or counter attacking. Dogs on a lead MAY be particularly nervous of an unknown approaching dog and, being unable to run away, may decide to attack. Careful desensitisation and counterconditioning over a period of time will be needed in this scenario. See also: DCC, desensitisation, counter conditioning, cortisol.
Five ‘Fs’ – Fight, flight, freeze, fiddle about, flock.
flehmen – One important distinction between humans and dogs – and indeed many other mammals, reptiles and amphibians – is the vomeronasal organ (VNO [pertaining to the bone separating the nostrils]) or Jacobson’s organ. The presence of this vital organ was confirmed in 1813 by Ludwig Jacobson. This consists of a pair of fluid filled sacs above the roof of the mouth and the upper incisors. It captures heavy moisture-borne odours enabling the animal to ‘taste’ as well as smell scent and pheromone molecules within the nasal cavity. Cats, horses and others will often grimace by curling the upper lip upon capturing such an odour! This phenomenon is known as ‘flehmen’. I have not observed dogs doing this but they do open their mouths and drool, presumably having the same effect!
flooding – psychology – Exposing a person or animal to a certain situation or stimulus of which that person or animal is fearful; the theory being that the fear will be overcome. For example, a dog fearful of other dogs is subjected (exposed) to others en masse. However the success rate is low and may actually have the opposite effect and make the dog dangerously more fearful or even shut down in the hope the situation or stimulus will go away. A better approach would be gradual desensitisation until saturation exposure is achieved. See also: DCC, counterconditioning.
flora – Pertaining to plants, especially plants grown in a certain area. Example sentence: “The flora of the Amazonian rainforest is abundant.” See also: fauna.
folivore – noun: folivorous – adjective: Foliage eating animal.
FSC – Forestry Stewardship Council. Their mark lets you know the wood is from a sustainable source.
frugivore – noun: frugivorous – adjective: Fruit eating animal.