Since different groups in the animal industry have different definitions for commonly used words, I felt it was important to delve into the definitions and terms further. Please refer to my post about my educational background to understand where these terms and definitions come from.

This post reflects my opinions are of my own and may not reflect dog training or behavior consulting as a whole.


(Dr. Jim Crosby’s definition) One kind of cluster or collection of behaviors that a dog may use to affect its environment. These behaviors are often interpreted as hostile by human observers. The cluster of behaviors may include, but are not limited to, biting, barking, lunging, growling, baring of teeth, advance or withdrawal, or other gestures and postures. The individual behaviors in the cluster may be exhibited outside of an ‘aggressive’ encounter and have additional purposes. Purposes for which ‘aggressive’ behaviors may be used are gaining space from the perceived threat, outright defense, territorial protection, settlement of conspecific social disputes, and/or food production, among others.


Is the attribution of human characteristics to animals, plants, and inanimate objects? It helps bridge the gap between humans and animals by allowing us to empathize with them on an emotional level.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

in animal training works identically to the way it works with people: behavior analysts use observation and experimentation to create a series of functionally effective reinforcements to change behavior for the benefit of both animals and animal owners.


an extent of space measured other than linearly.


the time during which something exists or lasts

Environmental factors

Environmental factors include temperature, food, pollutants, population density, sound, light, and parasites.


Frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit of time.


to break the uniformity or continuity of behaviors.

  • Interruptions will stop the behavior in the moment, but it does not train the dog.

Learning history

A learning history is the sum of all behaviors changed or conditioned by the individual’s interactions with other people, events, or experiences. It includes all the antecedents and consequences that have combined to affect the individual’s behavior.


(Jakob Von Uexküll) coined the concept of “Umwelt,” which supported achieving objectivity through the study of subjectivity. In his own words: “All that a subject perceives becomes his perceptual world and all that he does, his effector world. Perceptual and effector worlds together form a closed unit, the Umwelt.”

Pet dogs

Domesticated dogs that play the role of a companion and/or pet in the household.

Physiological symptoms:

a branch of biology that deals with the functions and activities of life or of living matter (such as organs, tissues, or cells) and of the physical and chemical phenomena involved


responsive to or conscious of sense impression

Social mammals

Animals that exhibit social behavior. Social behavior may be defined as any behavior stimulated by or acting upon another animal of the same species.


What is wrong is replaced by a different skill


Dogs react to an outside stimulus with big feelings. Occurring because of stress or emotional upset.

  • Reactivity may occur from different emotional states. The emotional states can vary from excitement, fear, frustration, and happiness.
  • Reactive behavior from dogs can be displayed as barking, jumping, pulling forward/lunging, growling, moving away or towards an outside stimulus.