Reward-Based Training Vs. Aversive-Based Dog Training

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I was just browsing through some articles on google about dog training. I came across some interesting articles that talks about the Negative Dog Training Methods Can Cause Long Term Harm, which basically corroborates or supports my previous blog post about, Pet Professionals Advocating For Reward-Based Training Across the Board. 

Here are several reasons why I like this post and it helps me understand why the Dog Training Industry advocates are dead focus changing dog training culture. The first reason is that the article talks about about Portugal’s University of Porto, who conducted a study on two types of dog training aversive and reward-based training simultaneously to see the short-term and long term effects of each type of training. The researchers conducted their study with a total of 92 dogs, out of those 92 dogs 50 dogs received aversive-based training, and the other 42 dogs received reward-based training. 

The second reason I liked the articles is because it provides great information as far the types of behaviors each group of dog displayed during and after their training. Furthermore, the researchers took one step further by taking a sample of each dog saliva before and after and measure their stress levels during and after training. This is the part that was very interesting to me, learning that their saliva carried a stress-causing hormone called cortisol. The dogs that received aversive-based training were the ones who had high levels of cortisol in their saliva which means this type of training created high levels of stress on these dogs.

Here is another reason why I think reward-based training for dogs, in my personal opinion, is the best way to go now that I am clearly understanding dog behavior when it comes to how we humans train them. Dog are more cheerful and willing to adopt the behaviors we can in them when we reward them, as supposed to using aversive-based training. Here is what the article said about these two issues, “The dogs were put in a room containing food bowls. Researchers observed how quickly and excitedly the dogs went to the bowls. The researchers reported that the dogs receiving aversive training were observed to be more “pessimistic” in behaviors in the room than the ones trained with rewards.” 

The article went on to say that dogs do like different forms of positive-reinforcement when training. For example, they love positive feedback, or when we pet them for a great job they have done. But the most single form a dog will listen and adopt your behavior you want in them is the Dog Treat. According to VOA, dog would most likely appreciate more their dog treat aside from pets and appreciation feedback.

If you would like to read more in detail on this subject, you are more then welcome to check on the links below and read on some more and provide some feedback on your input on this subject.

Negative Dog Training Methods can Cause Long Term Harm

Dogs Can Feel Their Owners’ Stress Too