Defining The Line Between Punishment And Correction In Dogs
Punishment should never be an option in dog training. Correction is a much better word to describe the process of issuing a command of disapproval when a dog exhibits an undesirable behavior.
The need for dog owners to be able to define clearly the line between punishment and correction is very important. Punishing a dog for any deeds done while you weren’t around will only confuse him and eventually compromise the bond between you and your pet. In general, punishment is anything but constructive. If your dog is being trained, it could set him a few weeks back, thereby wasting your time, effort, and money. Unlike humans, dogs don’t plan or premeditate. They don’t share the same sense of logic; thus, punishing a dog long after he has done something wrong will only be counterproductive.
When you come home to see your shoes chewed to pieces, you cannot correct the behavior by punishing your dog. Since he can easily read your body language, he will know that you are upset, but this does not mean he understands why. After seeing what your dog did to your shoes, your first reaction may be to go punish your dog. If, for instance, you punish him while he’s playing with his toys, he will think that’s why you are upset. Punishment can easily send mixed messages, which can be detrimental to your dog’s development and training.
However, it will be another story if you catch him on the act of chewing. This time around, you can correct him to make him realize that you are not pleased with his behavior. A dog needs to be shown the actual cause and effects of a specific behavior in real time so they can better understand what you intend to teach them.
Unless you catch him actually doing an undesirable behavior and are able to get his attention immediately, punishing your dog has negative repercussions. Dogs are sensitive to situations and are quick to react to you. They don’t have the power to premeditate; thus, it is wrong and even cruel to punish your pet. What your pet needs most at the time of bad deed is proper correction and never punishment.