Kindness To Dogs During Training Matters

Aversive dog training techniques negatively affect canine welfare

The use of even mild punishments in training can make dogs more stressed and more pessimistic compared to dogs who are trained with positive reinforcement-based methods. That’s an important conclusion of a study by Ana Catarina Vieira de Castro of Porto, Portugal and her colleagues. They recently published Does training method matter? Evidence for the negative impact of aversive-based methods on companion dog welfare.

The importance of this study is that it addresses a common question: If dogs can learn from both positive training methods and from those that use punishment, does the choice of method matter? The recent research offers a compelling answer to this question because the effects of training methods extend far beyond the actual skills learned.

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