My thoughts for today. Are about punishment. Why it works, how it works,who it works on.
I decided to join another training group on Facebook to try to give some insight to people wear most of the time they’re getting ideas from trainers that use punishment primarily. So the question always comes up, “will it work on my dog?” Or, “Why isn’t it working on my dog?”
I believe there is only three types of dog in this world, and these types are determined by how they respond to outside forces.
Number 1, is the dog that after being scolded, wapped, or pushed. Decides that the outcome of the behavior is unfavorable and stops the behavior
The second is a dog that does not associate the punishment with it’s behavior, but instead defends itself with the tools it’s been given.
The third is a dog who also does not associate the behavior to the unwanted stimulus, but instead shuts down and is now fearful.
When I’m talking about these punishments, I am meaning the best try at adding enough discomfort to entirely disuaded any further attempts of the behavior. Not just a lite slap, or a firm “NO”, or a light push down. In science a true punishment is one that is entirely effective with it’s delivery, there is no need to employ it multiple times, as that could also dilute the effectiveness, and the animal becomes desensitized, much like to many rewards can also disuade new ,or lengthening behavioral attempts.
The problem with this method is, we don’t know how the animal will respond to the use of positive punishment (P+), adding something to get the behavior to lessen or stop completely, until after it’s been employed.
When we understand how inadequate we are at communicating to our pets, and how hard it is for pets to understand complex abstract ideas, we realize how easy it is for the animal to not associate the pain with it’s behavior, but instead to associate it with the deliverer, especially if it had shown the behavior multiple times with absolutely no reprimand before.
Going back to the three types of dogs, the second and third dog will not learn from the punishment, because it doesn’t associate the behavior with the pain and any more attempts to institute these “corrections” will only further tear down the relationship of trust between the dog and owner, or will desensitize the dog to the stimulus. Therefore, in my eyes, punishment only works for one-third of dogs in this world, as two will not stop behavior.
To me that is not a good ratio of success. However, every animal in the world desires something, and wants to know how to get it. Every situation has a behavior that could be shown which would be favorable to both parties. Teaching your animals how to act to get the favorable thing for them is a universal way to facilitate behavioral change in 100% of the subjects involved.
Let me know your thoughts on this matter.