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[MUSIC PLAYING] When you get a puppy, you become a target for advice. Suddenly, everyone's an expert and you're inundated with advice from television, books, and well-meaning friends. There's a large number of dog trainers out there who will immediately recommend a prong, choke, or shock collar, and assure you that spraying your puppy in the face with water or forcing him down on his back are tried and true methods that work. Even for a very experienced dog owner, it can be especially difficult to resist someone in a position of authority, such as a professional dog trainer. We're here to tell you that a lot of that advice is just bad, and you do need to learn how to stand up to those advice givers and advocate for your puppy. Dr. Herron shared reasons why we often allow ourselves to be intimidated into doing the wrong thing by our puppies, and also the facts that will give us the conviction to resist bad advice. A trainer instructs someone to do something really painful or really scary to their own pet that they love and have a really close bond to. Why do we do it? I think part of the problem is a lot of these confrontational training methods are under the assumption that the owner has a problem, that these behavior problems are a result of an owner's lack of dominance status or a lack of having control of their animal. So then you get a lot of self-blame linked into that, and they feel guilty, they feel responsible for their animal's behavior problem, because they're not punishing their dog, they're not controlling their dog, they're not commanding their dog appropriately according to what a trainer is telling them. And because that trainer is an authority figure to them, they don't have reason to suspect otherwise, and they're going to listen to what they say, as detrimental as that may be to that dog's well-being. So physiologically, there is a difference in puppies that are trained with positive reinforcement versus a punishment-based method. The brain is going to respond differently to different types of training methods. When we use positive reinforcement, or provide rewards for a desirable behavior, there's a dopamine release in the brain. To increase pleasure, happiness, I want to do this behavior again because of that good feeling I got, stuff that's actually increasing the bond between that puppy that owner of being activated. And that puppy is therefore going to look forward to interactions with that owner. Whereas when you're using a punishment-based training method, you're activating the fear system, that something that's very powerful and releases different neurotransmitters that can affect that dog negatively, where puppies trained with punishment-based methods become afraid. In my observation as well as in previously published studies, they have shown that dogs that are trained with punishment can actually retain that fear just in the presence of their owner, even outside of a training session. Which is just going to work its way to damage that human-animal bond each time that sort of correction or punishment is given to that dog. When I was at the University of Pennsylvania, conducted a study where we looked at all the various things that people had tried before they came to see me as a veterinary specialist. But I wanted to know what were some of the risk levels that came along with these different types of training methods. The results of our study suggests that a lot of these confrontational, punishment-based training methods actually are highly likely to elicit an aggressive response in the dogs. People were attempting what I would consider very aversive or confrontational training methods, and their dog were biting them. And essentially, the training they were attempting to improve their dog's behavior was actually making it worse or creating new aggression problems that never even existed before this training. When we're talking about confrontational methods or punishment as a means of training a dog, we're not just talking about an alpha roll or holding a dog down. This can be something as simple as yelling no at the dog, administering a simple leash correction. In a lot of these cases, these dogs responded aggressively to something as simple, and what we would think of as non-threatening as that. Mind you, these are animals presenting for aggressive behavior problems, so the risk of their displaying aggression may be higher than your general population of dogs. That said, these are very commonly used techniques, and owners need to understand the risks of using them, whether they have fear and aggression issues or they don't. There actually was a study published a few years ago where they found that dogs who had a history of being trained with positive reinforcement actually had better scores on their obedience commands compared to dogs who are trained with punishment. Dogs trained with positive reinforcement showed fewer behavior problems later in life. Dogs trained with punishment were more likely to develop behavior problems later in life, including aggression and other fear-related behavior problems. I would say it's a fair statement that initiating positive reinforcement-based techniques during that sensitive socialization period, during three to 12 weeks of age, really is going to have a tremendous benefit to that puppy. Forging that human-animal bond sets them up for being easier to train. And finally, the likelihood of their developing behavior problems later is greatly reduced.

Video Details

Duration: 6 minutes and 5 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 6
Posted by: norabean on Apr 2, 2018


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