Punishment As Training?

By Susan Aiello • Published: October 1st, 2011
Category: Animal Airwaves

Are rapping your dog with a rolled-up newspaper and rubbing his nose in soiled carpet effective dog-training techniques? Definitely not. Dogs respond much better to rewards than to punishment, which can lead to fear, aggression and avoidance.

Punishment may deter a specific undesirable behavior, but only if administered during the behavior and only if unpleasant enough to stop repetition.

Remote forms of punishment such as a squirt of water or balloons that pop when your pet jumps on the sofa can be effective. A bitter-tasting substance, like bitter apple, can be used to discourage destructive chewing, with normal exploratory play redirected to suitable chew toys.

Your vet can guide you to information on appropriate forms of dog training that use rewards to encourage desired behavior. Using positive reinforcement will keep training enjoyable for both you and your dog.