If you pay attention only to 'bad'
behaviours - even with hitting, yelling, and so on, those are the
behaviours the dog will continue to do. If you actively ignore them and only
acknowledge the 'good' behaviours, you are likely to see the dog
display more of the 'good' behaviours. The dog is choosing to do the
'right' behaviour because he wants to and enjoys doing so.
If you pay attention to both 'good' and bad'
behaviours, then you're confusing the heck out of your dog! Because
both are being reinforced, the dog will continue to do both. A dog can be so desperate for attention that they will carry out a behaviour in order to receive the attention that follows, even if we perceive that attention to be "bad".
If you do physically or verbally punish your dog, you
run a high risk of creating much worse behaviours than the ones
you started with. Punish your dog for 'bad' behaviours and you risk
creating aggression, fear, anxiety, learned helplessness, or a
dog that ignores you. Sure, you may immediately suppress the 'bad'
behaviour, but that doesn't mean that the 'bad' behaviour is gone
forever. For example, punishing your dog for jumping might make him
become so afraid of people that he bites instead of jumping. Even stern "No!'s" can count as punishment.
You may sometimes hear the phrase 'balanced
training'. What this means is that the trainer uses traditional,
force-based techniques when they don't like a dog's behaviour, as well as positive reinforcement when the
dog is correct. As discussed previously, this is just confusing to
the dog and makes him less likely to offer behaviours. This type of
training teaches the dog to possibly work for you to avoid
punishment, but it does not teach the dog to willingly work for you. They are also likely to continue doing the behaviour when you are not around.
Other dogs may just shut down from the punishment and end up doing
absolutely nothing. The question then is, why did you want a dog in your life? If it was to establish a harmonious relationship with a social member of another species, this won't get you there.
It's more effective to teach dogs' minds
rather than manipulate their bodies. Then you are working with,
rather than against, your dog during training sessions. It is more
effective and kinder to help inexperienced untrained dogs rather
than reprimand them.
Force- free trained dogs - those who are not punished
- will freely offer behaviours in an effort to elicit a good
response from their trainers, will grasp information more quickly,
and will be able to learn more advanced behaviours at a much earlier
age than most other training methods encourage.
Don't mistake these methods as being permissive or soft. These methods are based on scientific learning theory, positive reinforcement found to be the best of the four quadrants in learning. Getting your pup to work for what motivates them is smart not soft!