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Educational Webinar & Resources
What is "LIFE"? How is it different from LIMA?


The Least Inhibitive, Functionally Effective (LIFE): A Modern Approach to Ethical Animal Training Methods was developed and presented by Dr. Eduardo J. Fernandez, PhD. School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, The University of Adelaide (Australia).  This webinar WAS RECORDED and is available on the Shelter Playgroup Alliance YouTube channel.

Dr. Fernandez published a peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior. Read it today!

The Least Intrusive, Minimally Aversive (LIMA) approach to animal training has encompassed an ethical standard for modern force-free animal trainers. Originally developed by Steven R. Lindsay in 2005, LIMA has been used to emphasize greater choice and control for animals while limiting the use of coercion in behavior management practices. Nonetheless, a number of problems were built into the creation of LIMA and continue to exist today, including (a) a lack of clarity in its terminology, (b) ambiguity in desired training approaches, and (c) a history of permitting aversive training techniques, including the use of shock collars. An alternative approach is thus proposed, and one that specifies (1) an inhibitory effect on behaviors to be avoided, (2) the importance in identifying function for behavior change procedures, and (3) the use of effectiveness as a practical metric for training success. The result is the Least Inhibitive, Functionally Effective (LIFE) approach to animal training methods. LIFE is discussed in terms of the importance of established behavioral
principles, terminology, and procedures, as well as its ability to promote optimal welfare for
the animals under our care and in our lives.

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  8. Fernandez, E. J., & Martin, A. L. (2021). Animal training, environmental enrichment, and animal welfare: a history of behavior analysis in zoos. Journal of Zoological and Botanical Gardens, 2(4), 531-543.

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