Ask an Expert - Training and Punishment

Ask an Expert - Training and Punishment

14

Q:I’m really confused about the use of punishment in dog training. Each source I turn to contradicts the other—some say punishment is essential and others say it is cruel—and I just don’t know who to listen to anymore. Is punishment necessary in order to raise a well-behaved dog? I’m getting a puppy in a few months and want to start him off right. —Perplexed in Port Moody

A:Tune in to any episode of Supernanny and you will see punishment being doled out quite liberally. Not the spanking or yelling variety that might come to mind and which was widely advocated only a few decades ago, but the well-timed removal of valued items and activities. An ardent opponent of spanking, Supernanny shows parents how to punish without pain or fear by using time-outs, confiscation of favourite toys, and loss of hard-earned reward tokens to help turn around some pretty problematic behaviours.

These safe punishers, known as “negative punishers” because they work by subtracting something valuable, have replaced the use of intimidation in progressive child-rearing. “Subtraction” punishers are unpleasant—no child wants to lose movie night—but not frightening or painful. They help decrease the problem behaviour without eroding trust between parent and child.

Think dog training and we have tons of negative punishment options: marching Fido home from the park right after bullying another dog, putting the Frisbee away after an uninvited grab, and a swift time out in the utility room for underwear-snatching. Negative punishers are especially effective when we take away the very thing the dog was trying to score while being naughty: see how many times your dog jumps up for a cookie if it goes straight back in the jar as a result. It doesn’t take a doggie Einstein to learn to keep four on the floor; most are reformed in under five tries.

The beauty of using them with dogs is that they don’t lead to fearful associations with people; there’s no chance of creating a fear biter. This is especially important when there is even the slightest possibility that the naughty behaviour was actually motivated by anxiety in the first place. A time-out for growling at a tail-tugging toddler won’t worsen their relationship, whereas ripping a strip off the dog just might. Negative punishers don’t leave children OR dogs wincing at a fast-approaching hand the way spankings or scruff-grabs can. As a kindergarten child once advised me: hands are for hugging, holding, and helping.

Combining this type of punishment with the mainstay of effective training—doling out the good stuff like walks, treats, games, and praise for desirable behaviours—these are the only type of deterrents you really need to let your dog know when he’s out of line. Verbal reprimands are fine, too, provided he isn’t so sensitive that this sends him cowering or urinating, but aren’t a necessary ingredient to get the message across loud and clear!

Add a comment

Comments (14)

Thank you for sharing such great information with us. I really appreciate everything that you've done here and am glad to know that you really care about the world that we live in
Wed, 05/16/2012 - 01:21
I really enjoyed to read your article, it good to reading, and thank you for sharing with us. I found this is an informative and interesting post, so i think so it is very useful and knowledgeable. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. <a href="http://www.skilch.com">cyborg88</a> www.skilch.com
Mon, 08/13/2012 - 18:31
Greetings author, it is apparent that you know your subject matter and you are passionate about this topic.I realy concur with your usages and will eagerly look forward to your future updates. <a href="http://www.affordablewriting.net/thesis-writing.html"> thesis writing service</a> <a href="http://www.affordablewriting.net/research-paper-writing.html"> Research Paper writing Services</a>
Thu, 09/27/2012 - 04:39
Thanks for sharing and I hope you will share some more with us.My pleasure to being here on your blog that enhance my knowledge and good example for my writing project..Do not stop sharing because you know very well every one need help for writing and you writing is awesome...! <a href="http://www.rapidwriters.net/custom-thesis-writing-service.html">Thesis Writing</a> <a href="http://www.rapidwriters.net/custom-thesis-writing-service.html">Thesis Writing Service</a> <a href="http://www.rapidwriters.net/custom-thesis-writing-service.html">Custom Thesis Writing Service</a>
Mon, 10/01/2012 - 06:56
Welcome to our michael michael kors online store. Michael Kors isn’t busy building a major Twitter presence,its designers are busy thinking of coy ways to get everyone talking about their designs.With Michael Kors Purses you will find you own elegance.<a href="http://www.elegantmkhandbag.com/michael-kors-shoulder-bags-c-4.html">michael kors bags wholesale</a>
Sun, 11/04/2012 - 23:38
It introduced terms and even a <a href="http://www.parquesdisney.es">Parques Disney</a>
Mon, 01/14/2013 - 01:40
One of the best articles i have read.I Like your effort and hardworking. <a href="http://gameonlinks.blogspot.com/2012/10/counter-strike-16.html"> download Counter Strike 1.6 Free For PC</a> | <a href="http://gameonlinks.blogspot.com/2012/11/gta-4-maximum-graphics.html"> download Gta 4 Free For PC</a> | <a href="http://gameonlinks.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-amazing-spider-man-2012.html"> the Amazing Spider Man Free Download</a>
Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:22
after surfing many sites, i have found something informative.Thanks for this addition. <a href="http://gameonlinks.blogspot.com/2012/10/counter-strike-16.html"> download Counter Strike 1.6 Free For PC</a> | <a href="http://gameonlinks.blogspot.com/2012/11/gta-4-maximum-graphics.html"> download Gta 4 Free For PC</a>
Wed, 01/16/2013 - 11:24
Type d’arrangement transmission obd2 scanner <a href="http://www.obd2center.fr/logiciel-de-diagnostic">obd2 software</a> <a href="http://www.obd2center.fr/lecteur-de-code-obdii">MaxiScan OBD2 Scanner</a> <a href="http://www.obd2center.fr/outil-de-diagnostic-pour-voiture">lexia 3 v47</a>~~ <a href="http://www.obd2center.fr/cles-et-puces-de-vehicule">Programmeur de clé automobile</a> AK-47
Sun, 01/27/2013 - 19:03
Your article is very good, and I really like it. Thank you. <a href="http://www.moonheels.eu/">online shoes</a>
Sat, 02/09/2013 - 02:26
I am fascinated with this topic and your post has been one of the best I have read.<a href="http://www.writingpearl.co.uk/coursework-help/">facilitate coursework</a> |<a href="http://www.writingpearl.co.uk/lab-report/">custom laboratory report</a> |<a href="http://www.writingpearl.co.uk/dissertation-proposal/">dissertation proposal writer</a> |<a href="http://www.writingpearl.co.uk/personal-statement-writing-service/">personal statement for university</a>
Tue, 02/12/2013 - 11:14
I have felt worse after wearing others shoes that were broken in. It did help a lot to wear them with the those small round toe cushions.
Sun, 02/24/2013 - 21:23
Excellent and decent post. I found this much informative, as to what I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up..<a href="http://zyloslim.stacypershall.com"><strong><em>http://zyloslim.stacypershall.com</em></strong></a>
Sun, 10/13/2013 - 06:15
Excellent and decent post. I found this much informative, as to what I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up..http://zyloslim.stacypershall.com
Sun, 10/13/2013 - 06:16

Dog of the Week!

Meet: Brooke Lynne