Why you should not hit your dog

There are many different ways of training your dog. Some people will use positive reinforcement alongside with negative punishment. On the other hand, some people will only use positive punishment with no or very minimum positive reinforcement. Regardless which training method it is, surely will provide behaviour changes on the dog. But are the behaviour changes good or bad? Does your dog respect and trust you?

The most challenging part in dog training is communication. We cannot use our language to teach them to complete a task or explain to them not to do something. Timing and positive reinforcement are the key factors in dog training. Rewarding the dog for the right behaviour at the right time will help the dog to learn. Using positive reinforcement in the learning phase can gain the dog’s trust and respect. It makes the entire training more fun and easier for the dog to learn the task.The dog is completing the task for you out of respect. As a result, both the owner and the dog are happier, the relationship is much healthier.

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Conversely, when using too much physical punishment in the learning phase is much slower for the dog to learn. The dog needs to figure out what don’t you want him/her to do under stress. Many dog owners say, ‘Hit your dog whenever he pees on the wrong spot. Take him to the spot and hit him. Hit him until he knows where he should pee.’ Some dog owners will even say, ‘I hit my dog whenever he didn’t come back when recall. Whenever he doesn’t come back to me, I’ll catch him and hit him. Hit him 100 times, 1000 times, hit him until he learns.’ Even when the dog has learnt the wanted behaviour, he/she is only completing the task out of fear. The dog knows that if he/she is not obedient, he/she will get punished. Moreover, it is unfair to punish the dog for not knowing what to do.

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There are many dog owners do not know how to train dogs. They do not know how to make the dog understand the desire behaviour that they wanted. Therefore, they used physical punishment to make the association. Some owners use physical punishment to show their frustrating and anger when the dog misbehaved. Physical punishment increases stress in dogs. Stress is a major factor in behaviour issues. Misused and/or overused punishment are poor dog training. Dogs interpret humans’ anger as emotional and weakness. A successful pack leader cannot be weak and emotional. Dogs with fear aggression are unpredictable. There is a very high chance that they will bite or attack the owner, other humans or animals to protect themselves.There are so many dogs in the shelter that are fearful, lost its trust in humans, have aggression because of poor dog training, misused and/or overused punishment. Dogs that are too aggressive that professional trainers cannot help, that means they are not safe to live with humans again. In that case, they need to be euthanised. It is a tragedy that bad dog owners/trainers have created.

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