Why Physical Punishment Doesn’t Work

March 5th, 2008 by Dan

“I just give him a spank when he has an accident.” I have heard phrases like that one many times and each time I do, it takes all my patience to keep calm. Physical punishment during training is not productive and in many cases it can cause lasting damage to your pet (as well as your relationship with your pet)!
Puppy being housebroken
Photo by magdogs

Take this scenario for example: You are in the process of housebreaking your puppy. Each time you catch her peeing on the floor, you give her a spank. The message she is getting is “Ow! This person doesn’t like it when I go to the bathroom!” So what could very well happen is that she will not pee when you are around – indoors OR outdoors! She will wait until you are inside and you have left the room (or the house) and then she will sneak away and relieve herself. This kind of behavior is completely logical from the dogs point of view, as she does not understand the kind of logic you are using when you “spank” her.

If you catch your puppy in the act of having an accident- clap your hands to interrupt the behavior and then pick her up and carry her outside. Praise when the deed is completed in the proper location!

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