CANI CLASS Dog Training School in Paris
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Use of punishment and intimidation

What’s the big deal about using intimidation ?

When using old school dog training, a trainer might use intimidation such as saying “no”, “eh eh”, or jerking on their dog’s leash to train them to leave things alone.  The problem with using punishment and intimidation to train a cue, is that whether you like it or not, Pavlov is always on your shoulder and dog will start to have a conditioned emotional response to the cue similar to the feeling the dog had when he was punished by the trainer.

If you were to continually pair a cue conditioned with punishment, with another dog or person, the dog would start to associate the other dog or person with punishment as well.  This can be detrimental to your training if you are trying to get your dog to be more social and comfortable around people and dogs.  Fearful behaviors and reactivity are the side effects of an underlying behavioral problem.

It can seem like training is working when you use punishment because the dog stops doing what you didn’t like.  However, you are suppressing the symptoms instead of addressing the cause.  By using a ‘leave it’ cue trained with only positive reinforcement, you are not only aksing for an alternate behavior to do instead of the one you didn’t like, but you are also pairing the person or dog with a cue that your dog finds highly reinforcing.  This means you will be conditioning a reinforcing association with the dog or person when you use your cue.

By Emily Larlham