Beating A Dead Zebra

I don’t want to feel like I am wasting my time trying to convince people that they do not need to cause their dog distress in order to get their dog to behave.  It is SO important to me that people understand their dogs and don’t just go with the latest fad because it looks good on TV.  There is so much more to it.  When you hear hoofbeats, it really isn’t smart to think of Zebras, at least not here in the U.S.

So in the days to come I will be addressing some of the most important issues with regard to our relationship with the four legged members of our families.  Let me start by saying this:  You DO NOT HAVE TO USE PUNISHMENT and moreover, you SHOULD NOT use punishment when training your dog!  What constitutes punishment?  Anything that you add to the equation that the dog finds distasteful.

So why do I keep harping on about punishment?  According to the latest and greatest college textbook on general psychology in regards to how we learn there are a number of bad side effects to punishment:

  1. Passive aggressiveness…
  2. Avoidance behavior…
  3. Modeling…
  4. Learned Helplessness…
  5. Temporary Suppression…
  6. Increased Aggression…

Carpenter, Siri (2009-10-12). Visualizing Psychology, 2nd Edition (Page 155). John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Is this the relationship you want to have with your dog?  An adversarial one?  One where, if he behaves, it is because he is afraid of you?  I like to think not.  So in the next few posts I am going to discuss these side effects and how they will damage the relationship you have with your dog.

About Dawn Sims

I am a graduate of Animal Behavior College, have been a Certified Professional Dog Trainer through the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers, a professional member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), a member of the Pet Professionals Guild (PPG), and a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC). I am also a freelance writer for dog related publications. I have been training dogs since 1997, promoting force-free, science based training methods, instructing group classes and providing private in-home dog training. I have worked extensively with dogs with behavioral issues, including those suffering from anxiety, aggression and other stress related disorders. I have dedicates much of my free time to rehabilitating and re-homing shelter dogs with a variety of rescue organizations. As part of my passion for advocating science based dog training methods, I have had the privilege to lecture at Virginia Tech’s School of Veterinary Medicine. In 2014 I returned to Arkansas after 12 years in rural North Carolina, where Happy Hound Pet Services began in 2007. I live in Rudy, Arkansas, with my husband, seven dogs, a cat, and occasional foster dogs.
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