Source: Human Engagement
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.
Many times when I pull over in the middle of busy traffic. It’s to talk to someone on the other end of a leash about dog training. Other times it’s to talk to the dog only. Sorry, they intrigue me.
When I am talking to the people, they first bring up his temperment to dogs or other people. The second thing is how well they listen. Now these things are important and if that’s not happening then there is surely some help needed. However, it’s probably not the help people are thinking they need.
What these owner/dog combos need more than anything is my favorite thing to teach. Enrichment.
Enrichment is the action of improving or enhancing the quality or value of something. Which means, giving your dog something to make its life better.
I’m constantly looking for new toys to make and games to play with my dogs. Why? Because then I become more rewarding to my dog and I get the engagement I need for them to listen to me when I ask something.
“Wait?” You ask. “You get “obedience” from play?”
“Why yes!” I say. Wanna know why?
Because dogs do things to get things. My dogs do things I say, because I give them things.
I read an article today by the great Denise Fenzi, (https://denisefenzi.com/) this article was an inward look at the relationship that we have with our dogs.
What is your relationship with your dog? What reason have you given for your dog to listen to you today?
So back to the reason to train your dog. It’s not to get behavior under control. It’s to grow a relationship worth having, for the both ends of the leash.
I had the opportunity yesterday to go onto 93.3 “The Rock of the Bluffs” and promote myself, my conference, the dog park association, and a local rescue I work with. (Thanks to all of you as well)
The biggest thing to stick out about the whole experience was being put on the spot to take the DJ’s very dog reactive dog because he wants to get two new boxer puppies and they’re coming home in a week.
Now reactivity can be, (hell is always), a very complicated thing. Especially when you throw humans into the mix. From my experience dogs rarely become super reactive unless we limit their interactions with other dogs. I mean they are born with other dogs! They know from birth that they are extremely fun to be around!
I’ve seen some really reactive dogs calm down before. The example I use to explain the utter fear and frustration they feel is this. What if you were taken by some strange people and dropped in the middle of a small town in India where you had no communication with the outside world, did not know the culture or language, and we’re constantly sent mixed signals by your captors? By this I mean, that they fed you good food, made you a good bed, most of the time playing with you and gave you attention, but sometimes would lash out at you, screaming or maybe smacking you. How on edge would you be? How long would it take you to understand?
Knowing that these people did that, would you be wary of strangers? Ones that haven’t provided anything for you?
I don’t know if that’s the most accurate example for dog-dog reactivity, but it hopefully opens your mind to try and think of a better one.
These animals just want to be safe, and without the correct input, they err on the side of caution and use their tools that they have to keep themselves safe. Fear is a funny thing. Irrational fear may be called that from the outside, but from the creature that has it, it is very real.
This is the excerpt for your very first post.
Today has been very fulfilling and eventful for me. If you are reading this, this is why! Today starts ,hopefully, a new exciting part of my dog training journey. Today my web domain launched through WordPress.com. I hope to make this as interactive and educational as I can, but please bare with me as web design has not been my fortay. If you would like more information please check out my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/bangarangbowwows, or my youtube page “Jeffrey Bangarang”.
Please look for future blogs or vlog posts and feel free to leave comments below.
Thank you for coming with me on this journey into understanding.