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Author Notes:

Corresponding author: Jennifer L. McMillan (jmcmil3@emory.edu)

We would like to thank Xing Hu, Yuxian Ma, Damien Pittard, Annaelle Devergnas, and Karen Rommelfanger who helped with the training, and five anonymous reviewers whose edits and suggestions helped improve the paper.

The Yerkes Center is fully accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care, International.


Research Funding:

This project was supported by NIH/NCRR Grant P51OD011132 to the Yerkes National Primate Research Center, and the following individual NIH/NINDS grants (TW): RO1NS049474, R01NS054976, R01NS042937, R01NS062876, and P50NS071669.

Refining the Pole-and-Collar Method of Restraint: Emphasizing the Use of Positive Training Techniques with Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta)


Journal Title:

Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science : JAALAS


Volume 53, Number 1


, Pages 61-68

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


The pole-and-collar method is one of several techniques that enable the safe transfer of a nonhuman primate from its home environment into a restraint chair without the need for sedation. It has been used within the scientific community for decades. Traditional methods to train animals for pole-and-collar use rely primarily on aspects of negative reinforcement, with very little incorporation of positive-reinforcement techniques. With increasing emphasis on animal training and welfare, research facilities are incorporating positive-reinforcement training into husbandry and experimental procedures. Here we demonstrate the feasibility of training rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta; n = 8) to cooperate for pole-and-collar transfer to a primate restraint chair. By using predominantly positive-reinforcement techniques, with supplemental elements of negative reinforcement, macaques were trained in a mean of 85 training sessions (a mean of 1085 min of training time). We also provide tools for investigators using the pole-and-collar method to help them successfully incorporate positive-reinforcement training into their procedures. This refinement has the potential to improve animal welfare and enhance the value of nonhuman primate models in research.

Copyright information:

© 2014 American Association for Laboratory Animal Science

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