Here is a common mistake made by dog owners that can make their dog aggressive. Each year, nearly 500,000 dog bites are declared in France and 60,000 cases have resulted in hospital care.
- 1 The personality of the owner linked to that of his dog
- 2 Punitive training methods can make a dog aggressive
- 3 5 Rules for Positive Reinforcement Dog Training
- 4 Source
Punitive training methods are linked to canine behavior problems such as fearfulness and aggression. It has been proven that there is a connection between the personality of the owner and the behavior of his dog. A team of researchers recently investigated whether people with certain particular personality traits were more likely to use a particular training method. And if so, if that could explain the link to their dog’s behavior.
Punitive training methods can make a dog aggressive
Punitive training methods may be associated with aggressive behavior in dogs. The study, published earlier this year in PLoS One magazine, involved more than 1,500 dog owners who answered an online questionnaire about their personality. They were also asked if they suffered from depression, what methods they used to train their dog, and what their dog’s behavior was.
Researchers have found significant links between owners’ use of “confrontational” (punitive) training methods and behavioral problems in their dogs. Here are some of the findings of the study:
– Punitive training methods (hitting the dog or using an electric collar) are sometimes associated with aggressive behaviors such as persistent barking at the owner and at strangers and with separation anxiety.
– Owners with the best results in terms of emotional stability reported fewer problems with dogs defecating in the house when they were alone
– Men with even moderate depression were five times more likely to use poor training methods than women without depression. “This result is really striking,” said the study’s lead author. “When we then looked at the available literature on depression in men and women, we found that they tended to express their depression differently. Men are more often aggressive or moody, while women tend to internalize their depression. »
5 Rules for Positive Reinforcement Dog Training
One of the most difficult principles for dog owners to grasp when it comes to training is that punishment is generally ineffective. And often even counterproductive. In other words, you risk making your dog’s behavior worse by using punitive methods. While training through positive behavioral reinforcement not only helps your dog become a good “canine citizen”, but also preserves the close and valuable bond you have with him.
The principle of positive reinforcement training is to use tiny treats as rewards (ideally the size of a pea). Along with verbal compliments and signs of affection to encourage the behaviors you want your dog to adopt.
1. Give precise orders and repeat them regularly
Choose short, preferably one-word commands for the behaviors you want to teach your pet, e.g. “Come, sit, stay, down, heel, go”, etc. Make sure all members of the family always use exactly the same commands for each behavior.
2. Reward desired behaviors with treats
When your dog does what you asked, immediately reward him with a treat and a verbal compliment. Do this whenever he correctly obeys an order. He must make the connection between his behavior and the reward. This of course means that you should have treats on you every time you give your dog a command in the beginning.
3. Training sessions should be short and fun
The goal is for your dog to associate obeying your commands with something positive. Take advantage of training sessions to strengthen the bond you have with your pet.
4. Gradually reduce rewards
When your dog has learned a new behavior, only use the treats intermittently. Eventually they won’t be needed, but you should still reward your dog with a verbal compliment when he obeys a command.
5. Keep using positive reinforcement
This will allow your pet to retain the behaviors you want. Reward-based training helps teach your pet good behaviors and establish a mutual bond of trust. If your dog is exhibiting inappropriate behavior and you’re not sure you can fix the problem yourself, talk to your veterinarian.