Why to use Rewards and not Punishments Such as Collar Corrections to Train Your Dog?
Punishment can cause distrust, fear, injury and aggression when trying to train your dog
Rubbing a dogs nose in “it” can cause him to avoid going to the bathroom in front of you, electric fences can cause him to avoid his yard, and choke collars can cause throat injury and back and neck misalignment.
Punishments tend to escalate. If your were to resort to physical punishment, you would find that a light tap would get your dogs attention at first, but then the contact would tend to get more and more force behind it.
Punishment inhibits creativity. If your dog is punished for lying down when asked to sit, he will be confused and fearful when asked “down”.
Punishment has side effects in dog training. If his pinch collar tightens every time he sees another dog, he may not understand that it is his pulling that causes the pinch and may conclude that the other dog is the reason for his distress. Pinch or prong collars have been known to cause aggression towards other dogs.
We know better now. In the past we punished children more harshly and have since learned better ways to motivate them. It is the same with our dogs. Punishment can ruin your relationship with your dog. The act and mindset of looking for errors in your dogs behaviour automatically places you in an adversarial relationship.
Training with punishment takes a lot of skill. Most people don’t have this amount of skill. If you have poor timing or use to much force you can really harm your pet physically and psychologically.
With reward training, the worst you can do is to be set back a bit or move more slowly until you become more skilled.
Punishment causes the learner to focus on avoiding the punishment instead of changing the behaviour. A traffic violator doesn’t usually stop speeding; he just gets a radar detector. Your pet will become adept at being a sneak or doing the minimum of a behaviour to avoid punishment.
Your dog (and you) will not find training a pleasurable experience. There will be a lot of jerking and forcing going on and your dog will not want to participate.
Children will not be able to participate in punishment-based training. It will be too difficult for them, as it requires so much skill.
Training using rewards relies on teaching the dog to behave as we would like using treats, toys, play, petting and whatever else the dog likes. If your dog is doing something you don’t like, instead of punishing, teach him to do something different for a reward, and have fun!