TIP #1: THE PROBLEM WITH PUNISHMENT
Aversive training methods are often rooted in the assumption that dogs are biologically driven to dominate their human owners, who, therefore, must assert their own dominance in order to control their dogs’ behavior. However, this is a fundamentally flawed concept. The behavior problems most often seen in dogs - aggression, fearfulness, destructiveness, inappropriate elimination, excessive vocalization, and inappropriate attention-seeking - are associated more frequently with anxiety or frustration than with confidence and social assertiveness.
Punishment is defined as any stimulus change that reduces the probability of occurrence of the behavior preceding it. Positive punishment refers to an aversive stimulus that is applied to the animal (in contrast to negative punishment, which refers to removal of a desirable stimulus). Positive punishment is not recommended for management of behavior problems for several reasons:
TIP #2: REDUCING EXCESSIVE BARKING
Dogs bark the most right after you leave home for the day. So if you are not there, how can you stop it? The easiest way to immediately reduce this type of barking is to feed your dog from hollow chew toys. Each evening moisten your dog's kibble and stuff it into a Kong or hollow marrow bone and put it in the freezer overnight. In the morning give your dog his stuffed toy, and he will spend well over an hour extricating his breakfast from the toy. And if he is busying himself with his toy he will be lying down quietly and not barking!
- Dr. Ian Dunbar
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, CTDI