Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.

Webinar Series

How Much Science Can You Fit in One Room?


Terri Bright (Angell Animal Medical Center)




Abstract: When a dog or cat exhibits a behavioral problem, the owner may do nothing, and learn to tolerate the new behavior. They may also adjust the environment to prevent the problem, such as when they crate a dog instead of letting it bite visitors, or change a litterbox to eliminate a cat’s inappropriate soiling. They may consult friends or websites, obtaining widely varying degrees of expertise. They may hire a professional who may (or may not) have a wide range of skills, from none to extensive. They may recognize behavior modification methods that are likely helpful and those which may have unwanted side effects. They may also consult their veterinarian…who may or may not have a range of behavioral knowledge. A behavior analyst with extensive knowledge of and experience with applied animal behavior analysis is well-placed in a veterinary hospital to work with the behavioral problems of pet cats and dogs. This is especially true because the behavior analyst is the most likely of various specialists to be familiar with assessing function of problem behavior. However, this behavior analytic specialist should be knowledgeable in many branches of science, including a cursory knowledge of possible underlying medical conditions that would make a veterinary or veterinary behaviorist referral necessary. Other working knowledge should include biological branches of science such as genetics and ethology, as well as applied animal behavior, which includes behavior of animals living in social proximity to humans. The behavior analyst should be a student of ethics across species in order to avail themselves of the least intrusive forms of behavior change, for owners and pets. Finally, the behavior analyst should have some human behavioral knowledge in their treatment repertoire, as pet animals in veterinary hospitals are not treated or trained absent human interaction.


Instruction Level: Basic

1 BACB CEU available.


Terri And Ribbon Yard

Biography: Terri Bright received her Master’s and Ph. D. in Applied Behavior Analysis at Simmons University. She is the Director of Behavioral Services at Angell Animal Medical Center, in Boston, Mass., where she oversees a terrific training and behavior staff with a robust offering of 100 dog-training classes a week across three locations, ranging from Agility to Scent Work to Puppy (and sometimes Kitten!) Socialization. Dog-training classes also include “Obedience,” Rally Obedience and Canine Therapy. As a clinical behaviorist, she sees 400 patients a year at Angell, most of whom are dogs with behavioral issues such as dog and/or human aggression, separation anxiety, or extreme fear. About 10% of her patients are cats who exhibit aggression toward other cats or humans, or who have house-soiling behaviors. Dr. Bright also teaches Behavior Analysis at Northeastern University, is a Faculty Fellow at the Cummings School of Veterinary Behavior at Tufts University, and is on the Executive Cabinet of NEADS World Class Service Dogs. She is a past President of the ABAI Applied Special Interest Group, and is the founding editor of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis in Animal Training (


CE Package

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This item is available to current ABAI members only.

Learning Center Video and Quiz

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