Study: Dog training with punishment is more pessimistic and stressful



Dog training with punishment

Study: Dog training with punishment is more pessimistic and stressful


During the current article, we will review a scientific study confirming that violent methods of dog training endanger the animal's well-being and psychological state and increase the secretion of stress hormones, let's get to know the details.


Scientists disagree on when humans domesticated dogs. Some studies have suggested that domestication began about 11,000 years ago, while others point to a much more distant date back to about 28,000 years ago.


However, what is consistent between these studies is that dogs are among the best domesticated animals.


Its benefits are surprisingly diverse, as it gives children better social skills, and it also plays an important role in hunting and guarding operations.


In order to fulfill their increasingly important role as domesticated animals, dogs need arduous training to behave in an appropriate manner, commensurate with the nature of the lives of human families.


And these exercises include: teaching dogs to submit to their owners, walking quietly in the streets, toilet training, and other exercises.


The methods vary in the training of these animals, among the methods is the use of the principle of punishment or reward.


However, voices from within the scientific community are rising to prevent dogs from being punished, stressing that using this method endangers animal welfare.


A new study published in the journal PLOS ONE indicates that dogs trained using punishments for incorrect behavior show evidence of increased levels of stress hormones, compared to dogs trained in reward-based methods.


Researchers carried out a study on 92 dogs from 7 dog training schools in Portugal, and those schools used either negative stimuli as punishment for dogs, or reward training or a mixture of the two.


The researchers filmed training sessions and examined saliva samples for the stress hormone cortisol.


Dogs trained using violent or mixed methods showed more stress-related behaviors, such as bending and yelling, and greater increases in cortisol levels after training than did reward-trained dogs.


The authors also conducted cognitive bias testing in an unfamiliar setting outside the usual dog training environment with 79 dogs, aiming to measure their underlying emotional state.


They found that dogs from violent schools respond more pessimistically to ambiguous situations compared to dogs that receive mixed or reward-based training.


The results of the study confirm that the use of punishment in dog training undoubtedly endangers animal welfare.


This paper is one of the first large-scale studies of dogs domesticated in a real training environment, using the types of training methods typically applied in dog training schools.


The researchers suggest banning the use of violent training; Because of its negative impact on the well-being of dogs.


The study reveals that the emotional states of animals are affected by the experiences of immediate reward or punishment in the short term, as well as by the cumulative experience of the type of training in the long term.


And then repeated exposure to aversive stimuli will greatly affect the psycho-emotional state of those animals.


Stress hormones are likely to affect the health of animals as well, says Anna Catarina Vieira de Castro, an animal researcher and author of the study.


De Castro adds that the effect of cortisol on humans is well known; It leads to a wide range of diseases, which can apply to dogs as well, noting that work on that study took 4 full years.


She continues: We hope that the results will help in the development of recommendations and guidelines for dog training; Training is an unregulated activity on a large scale all over the world.


De Castro believes it is important to inform the public through reliable scientific sources of the impact of the methods they choose to train their dogs, adding, based on an animal welfare perspective.


we advise people to use the methods that have the least negative impact on the well-being of dogs, which our study showed to be methods based on animal welfare. Rewards, not punishment.


Key words:

dog training        punishment         reward       methods       stress hormone cortisol