MSPCA-Angell Headquarters

350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130
(617) 522-7400
Email Us

Angell Animal Medical Centers – Boston

350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130
(617) 522-7282
angellquestions@angell.org
More Info

Angell West

293 Second Avenue, Waltham, MA 02451
(781) 902-8400
angellquestions@angell.org
More Info

Angell at Nashoba – Low-Cost Wellness Care

100 Littleton Road, Westford, MA 01886
(978) 577-5992
angellquestions@angell.org
More Info

Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Boston

350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02130
(617) 522-5055
More Info

Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Cape Cod

1577 Falmouth Road, Centerville, MA 02632
(508) 775-0940
More Info

Animal Care and Adoption Centers – Nevins Farm

400 Broadway, Methuen, MA 01844
(978) 687-7453
More Info

Donate Now

More Ways to Donate

From an online gift to a charitable gift annuity, your contribution will have a significant impact in the lives of thousands of animals.

Animal Behavior and Training

The MSPCA-Angell believes that the best approach for training and behavior modification is with rewards-based methodologies. We philosophically oppose those that use aversive stimuli. To this end, we do not recommend the use of force in animal training as it can cause pain, injury, and/or mental suffering for the animal. Additionally, scientific evidence shows that identifying the cause of problem behavior, designing alternative behaviors, and controlling the environment to reduce instances of the behavior using primarily positive reinforcement, desensitization, and counterconditioning, produces the fewest side effects such as increased fear and/or aggression. In some cases, medication is appropriate to increase the effectiveness of training.

The MSPCA-Angell believes that the “Five Freedoms” should be incorporated into the behavior and training activity with all owned animals and those being cared for in adoption centers.

Therefore, the MSPCA-Angell will:

  • recommend new options in dog head collars and harnesses that are safe, easy to use, and humane, while also strongly discouraging the use of choke, electronic, and prong collars.
  • encourage pet owners to discover their pet’s best reinforcers (appropriate for the species) and use reinforcement in the form of food, praise, and sometimes toys, in order to increase desired behaviors and decreased unwanted behaviors.
  • educate the public about how to achieve the best results for long-term behavior by focusing on changing motivation and creating alternative behaviors when animals exhibit problem behaviors.

Learn More:

RN5 lightbox

COVID-19

Important Updates