Friday, June 15, 2018

How To Discipline Your Dog Without Hitting (Non-Aversive Training)

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Smacking the dog with a rolled-up magazine or newspaper is an archaic way of disciplining your dog. It’s not only ineffective compared to other humane training methods, but it can also lead to behavioral issues. Instead of hitting, some pet parents choose to employ shock collars to startle their dogs into submission. While sometimes effective, this again causes a lot of mental stress to the dog.

Do you really want a dog that is always scared of being hurt by the people it loves the most? If not, there are several effective training methods you can adopt to train your dog that doesn’t involve inflicting pain. Gather pet health advice and tips from reputed pet parenting sites to learn more about positive reinforcement and gentle training methods.

1. Pitfalls of Aversive Training Methods

Breaches Trust: Whenever you hit your dog you end up breaching the trust of friendship. Dogs do not expect their human parents to hurt them, so when they do get hit it compromises the bond of trust.

Can Cause Dogs to Be Submissive: If hitting or other kinds of training method is frequently adopted, it may cause the dog to develop an unnecessary fear of everything. Fearful reactions such as hiding, shaking, and general reluctance to interact may become more common.

May Lead to Aggressive Behavior: All animals have a fight or flight instinct. If your dog is naturally tuned to stand its ground, then hitting it may cause it to react aggressively. Bites, snaps, and growls may become more common, which is never desirable.

It’s Illegal in Some States: In some parts of the world hitting a dog or animal is considered illegal. In states such as North Carolina and Massachusetts hitting the dog may lead to legal action.

2. Non-Aversive Training Methods That Work

Now that we have established that hitting is not an ideal training method, the following are 2 ways you can discipline your dog that doesn’t involve hurting or shocking them.

Distraction Training: Making a certain noise to mark a good behavior and then following it up with a treat can be used to train dogs to exhibit certain behaviors. Trainers use clickers, which produce a distinct sound. Unlike shock collars, dogs only get to hear the “click” sound when they do something right. This is how it works. You ask the dog to perform a certain action. For the sake of this example, let’s consider you want your dog to sit. You need to look into the dog’s eyes and ask it to sit by saying the command clearly and firmly. Once the dog performs the action, you make the clicking noise and follow it up with a “good boy” or “good girl.”

Firm Assertive Tone: Sometimes training a dog is as simple as finding the right tone of voice. Dogs understand voice modulation better than they understand actual words. Maintaining an assertive yet non-threatening tone often gets the job done. Don’t forget to sincerely praise your dog following a positive action.

Top image via Pixabay

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