If you are new to dog ownership and training, you may not realize that there are many different ways of training a dog. If you do a simple online search for dog training methods, you are likely to come up with thousands of results. While there are a number of training methods that are safe and effective, methods involving punishment of the dog are generally not recommended for a variety of reasons.
- Punishing your dog could make him fear you. If you punish your dog often, he may become fearful of you, rather than regard you as a companion.
- Your dog may not associate the punishment with the behavior. Dogs are most likely to learn when the consequence (reward or punishment) immediately follows the behavior. Rubbing your dog’s nose in it when he has an accident in the house is completely ineffective because the punishment often comes long after the behavior was completed.
- Your dog could become confused or frustrated. Dogs love to please their owners, and if you do nothing but punish your dog, he may become frustrated and could even develop aggressive behaviors.
- Yelling at a dog will only make the behavior worse. It may be tempting to yell at your dog to get him to stop barking, but this is only likely to rile him up more.
- Scolding a dog for natural behavior may cause frustration. Certain behaviors, such as barking, chewing and digging, are completely natural for dogs, so they may not understand if you punish them for these behaviors. Rather, try redirecting your dog’s attention to a more appropriate outlet, such as a chew toy.
- Consistent punishment could cause aggression. The more you punish your dog, the more likely he is to become afraid, and for many dogs, a natural reaction to fear is to become defensive and aggressive.
- Punishment can damage your relationship with your dog. To have a healthy relationship with your dog, your dog needs to trust you. If you are constantly punishing your dog, that is not likely to happen.
- Punishing a dog doesn’t address the cause of the issue. If you repeatedly punish your dog for a certain behavior, he may learn to stop doing it, but those impulses could end up manifesting in another way.
- Positive reinforcement is much more effective. It is infinitely more effective to teach your dog what kind of behaviors you DO want rather than punishing him for every negative behavior.
- Punishing a dog could make him nervous. If your dog learns to be fearful and nervous around you due to frequent punishment, he is more likely to feel that way around other people as well.
The fact of the matter is that punishment is not an effective training method, and it is certainly not a good way to foster a healthy relationship with your dog. If you want to train your dog properly, look into training methods involving positive reinforcement techniques.