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Why did the chicken cross the road? Because she wanted to get to the other side, silly.

Why does the dog bark at the postman walking up the path? Because he turns around and goes back the way he came.

Why does the dog lunge, chase and bark at cars? Because they are moving and disappear.

You’d think it was obvious but it often isn’t until it is pointed out.

(The function of the two dog examples is Avoidance).

It’s those ABCs.

Antecedent A: The farmer’s wife, on the grass verge at the other side of the road, was calling ‘chick chick chick chick chick’ and throwing pellets and meal worms over the ground.

Behaviour B: The chicken runs, half flies, across the road.

Consequence C: The chicken eats pellets and meal worms.

(The function of the behaviour is Seeking Access to Materials).

So now we know why that particular chicken crossed that particular road at that particular time, anyway.

Here is the story of a young dog I have just been to who is reactive to traffic.

By Theo Stewart