Articles | Volume 2, issue 1
Primate Biol., 2, 119–132, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/pb-2-119-2015
Primate Biol., 2, 119–132, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/pb-2-119-2015

Forum article 21 Dec 2015

Forum article | 21 Dec 2015

Training laboratory primates – benefits and techniques

K. Westlund K. Westlund
  • Astrid Fagraeus Laboratory, Comparative Medicine, Karolinska Institute, 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract. This review discusses the benefits of training in the effective management of laboratory-housed nonhuman primates, including improved welfare, facilitated husbandry, improved quality of data, and human–animal relationships. Training implies that the animals cooperate in aspects of their own care and is a type of enrichment. Some refined ways of using negative reinforcement are discussed, as well as management perspectives on laboratory primate training. Several approaches to dealing with fear are described: systematic desensitization/counterconditioning (SD/CC) versus combined reinforcement training (NPRT). In addition, a detailed shaping plan covering target training, useful when e.g. moving, weighing, or stationing animals, is presented.

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Short summary
The benefits of training laboratory primates include improved welfare, facilitated husbandry, quality of data, and human/animal relationships. Refined ways of using negative reinforcement are discussed, as well as target training and management perspectives on primate training. Several approaches to managing fear are described: systematic desensitization/counter conditioning (SD/CC) versus combined reinforcement training (NPRT).