Video: Punishing The Dog
We very often use this term, combining under its name all the unpleasant and painful effects on the dog, thereby confusing even more the already confusing matter of education and training. Therefore, by the way, it is difficult for us to agree with the assertion that punishment cannot be used when educating and training, that it is ineffective, that there are other more humane and effective methods, for example, negative reinforcement. So let's first figure out what punishment is, in order not only to agree with the above, but also, recognizing it by sight, not to use it so often.
Punishment is such our unpleasant or painful effects for the dog that we make after the dog's behavior is unnecessary or wrong from our point of view. That is, some time passes between the offense of our dog and our influences. This is the main difference in punishment. And if an unpleasant influence on our part occurs immediately after the end of the undesirable behavior or during it, then this is already called negative reinforcement.
The second difference of punishment is its inevitability. No matter how the guilty dog behaves after a misdemeanor, we believe that it should be punished. And we punish.
For example, we come home in the evening and find in the apartment sodom and gomorrah and a puppy happily meeting us. From the point of view of the average dog owner, we have to punish, which we do. This is actually a punishment, because it was removed from the misconduct by a considerable amount of time and turned out to be inevitable. As well as useless, as you will see for yourself over time. But it is also a negative reinforcement for the ritual of meeting your puppy. And you will notice how the puppy ceases to rejoice at your arrival and more and more often takes a pose of submission (he is ashamed of the mess he has made, but continues to do it!).
Or your dog picked up something on the street and, carefully chewing it, comes up to you, executing the command "Come to me!" You, of course, tear it out like a sidor's goat, and this is a punishment for the selection of food (and useless, you yourself know), but also a negative reinforcement of the approach to the trainer. Your actions lead to the fact that the dog ceases to approach you at such moments, and calmly eats what he has picked up to the side.
And one more situation. You don't like the dog climbing onto the couch and would like to correct this behavior. You enter the room and find a sleeping dog with a happy expression on the couch. Wanting to make it clear to the dog that he is wrong and that you do not like this behavior, you spank him. Over time, the dog begins to understand this: when he is lying on the couch, your appearance and threatening words serve as a signal to quickly jump off the couch to avoid a slap. That is, you teach the dog to jump off the couch quickly with negative reinforcement. But your spanking is a punishment for the very climb onto the sofa with which you are going to fight. Over time, you yourself will see that the educational value of this punishment is negligible. The whole history of mankind speaks about the same in terms of combating crimes with the help of punishment.
Why is punishment most often ineffective? Because, as a consequence, it is very distant from the cause (offense). Imagine - you punish a dog an hour after it has eaten your slippers. During this hour, the dog performed a dozen more harmless acts. How can she understand which particular action led to adverse consequences? Nature makes her associate the consequences with the most recent action, which the dog does.
The American scientist B. Skinner, one of the founders of operant learning, showed that the result, in order to become a reinforcement of any action, must follow it no later than ten seconds. We emphasize that this rule works in its natural environment, when an animal can perform a lot of various necessary and unnecessary actions per second. I.P. Pavlov, in his famous tower of silence, managed to develop conditioned reflexes when the reinforcement was delayed for up to 30 minutes or more from the conditioned stimulus. Such reflexes were called delayed conditioned reflexes; it turned out that they are produced with difficulty or not produced at all. And from the point of view of the domestic physiology of higher nervous activity, punishment can be defined as a far delayed negative reinforcement.
Punishment does not teach, does not give information to the animal about what kind of behavior is correct. The dog that you punish for eating slippers cannot understand anything because in the last hour he has not eaten any more shoes. And you should be happy about it. And yet, punishment often teaches how not to get caught, and not how to behave correctly. It is very difficult for a person, and for an animal it is almost impossible to change future behavior in order to avoid its consequences in the future.
Take a closer look at yourself - more often than not, when punishing a dog, you simply give vent to your emotions and your resentment towards her.