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Physical Punishment?

  • No, I am against using physical punishment.

    Votes: 26 74.3%
  • Yes, I am for using physical punishment.

    Votes: 9 25.7%
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Discussion Starter #1
Whether in training or just when your dog does unwanted behavior, are you for or against using physical punishment? What I mean by physical punishment is whipping your dog, popping dog on the nose, etc.

I don't know enough to have a opinion in this matter.
 

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Okay, I accidentally voted yes. Duh.
 

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What does the op mean? A firm correction for not complying with a learned behavior or the puppy dug a hole in my garden so now I am mad and going to smack it?
 

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What does the op mean? A firm correction for not complying with a learned behavior or the puppy dug a hole in my garden so now I am mad and going to smack it?
I believe that IS what they are asking? Old time training based more on punishment vs. new methods that work on smart training methods.
 

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I believe Chris Wild has already talked about - in response to your poll yesterday - why punishment has no place in dog training BUT punishment is NOT the same as physical correction.

I don't think anyone is their right mind is in favor of whipping the dog ...
 

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OTOH, I have taught all of mu GSD's to "take" things like biscuits and little pieces of kibble (treats) easy with a soft mouth and one of the things we used was a little one finger tap on the nose if they were too enthusiastic about gobbling the treat. it works along with a verbal "easy" and the tap only after theyknew what they were supposed to do.

Would anyone thing of this as "punishment"? I have had someone in our local obedience club tell me that the tap was a "no no" and could have an adverse effect on the dog and our relationship.
 

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Different poll, same problem with the wording.

A CORRECTION (leash pop for pulling) is not the same as PUNISHMENT (pop on the nose for a trained adult stealing food off your dinner plate right in front of you) or ABUSE (whipping for any reason).

I don't understand the purpose of all these polls.

Different people have different training methods. I think it's sad that if someone uses corrections in their training someone else refers to positive only training as "smart training" thereby implying that a correction is only used by stupid people or it's stupid to use a correction.

How frustrating it must be for people new to the hobby, because I'm not new and it's frustrating to me. I am trying something new for the first time with our puppy (clicker training) but use a facility that promotes the clicker for what it is - a tool - not a miracle cure for everything. Corrections are utilized when necessary and proper, and are fair and humane. However, one tries to get advice on clicker training and you are usually stuck getting advice from what many I know refer to as "the clicker crowd." Unfortunately these people are anti-correction so it's difficult to even get an outside opinion and it ends up appearing as those it's one way or the other. If you use corrections you're lazy or cruel or don't know what you're talking about.
 

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Very true!

All corrections are not punishment!

And a lot of people sometimes use the words to mean the same thing (or different things!) so one has to first understand what other people really mean to be able to inntelligently discuss the issue!
 

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"The art of a good trainer consists in making (any) compulsion as imperceptable as possible...compulsion is not punishment, the trainer must make sure the dog understands this by his tone and countenance." - Max v Stephanitz
 

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I have to say I am for punishment, er, "physical correction," if the dog does something fairly egregious. I've had fosters try to take food off my plate while I was eating it. I've had fosters growl at me and attack my dogs. They've tried to "claim" my couch. I have no idea how you'd handle those situations with a clicker and a treat.

I'm strongly against punishment or correction when teaching new behaviors, though.
 

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Different poll, same problem with the wording.

A CORRECTION (leash pop for pulling) is not the same as PUNISHMENT (pop on the nose for a trained adult stealing food off your dinner plate right in front of you) or ABUSE (whipping for any reason).

I don't understand the purpose of all these polls.

Different people have different training methods. I think it's sad that if someone uses corrections in their training someone else refers to positive only training as "smart training" thereby implying that a correction is only used by stupid people or it's stupid to use a correction.

How frustrating it must be for people new to the hobby, because I'm not new and it's frustrating to me. I am trying something new for the first time with our puppy (clicker training) but use a facility that promotes the clicker for what it is - a tool - not a miracle cure for everything. Corrections are utilized when necessary and proper, and are fair and humane. However, one tries to get advice on clicker training and you are usually stuck getting advice from what many I know refer to as "the clicker crowd." Unfortunately these people are anti-correction so it's difficult to even get an outside opinion and it ends up appearing as those it's one way or the other. If you use corrections you're lazy or cruel or don't know what you're talking about.
Worth repeating
 

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I have to say I am for punishment, er, "physical correction," if the dog does something fairly egregious. I've had fosters try to take food off my plate while I was eating it. I've had fosters growl at me and attack my dogs. They've tried to "claim" my couch. I have no idea how you'd handle those situations with a clicker and a treat.
......

Maybe with a BIG treat? Heh! Heh!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
What does the op mean? A firm correction for not complying with a learned behavior or the puppy dug a hole in my garden so now I am mad and going to smack it?
That's what I'm asking. That's what I mean by physical punishment.

*Sigh* So it's still unclear. I don't know what to say.
 

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Punishment/corrections are abusive when the dog doesn't understand them, can't learn from them, or if you're just venting your anger. If the puppy dug a hole in the garden, you come home some hours later and you see it and smack the puppy, pop him on the nose, or do anything else for that matter, the puppy can't learn from it and you're just venting your anger. However, if you're in the yard with the puppy and you see him beginning to dig in the garden, you can give an "nah-ah" or whatever your verbal correction is, lightly correct, and redirect him to a place he is allowed to dig. (In this case, the "nah-ah" is the correction.)

That said, the puppy digging scenario is a bad one because it's a stupid idea to leave a puppy alone anywhere or with anything you don't want destroy. Destruction is what they do.

If you're just teaching your dog the sit command, there's no place for correction or punishment because he has no clue what you're talking about. It's all happy positive because you want to make learning fun, not something your dog dreads. But if your older dog who is already trained is told to sit and he just looks at you, a leash pop or light tap on the butt with your fingers can be appropriate to let him know that he has to sit when he's told, not just when he wants to.
 

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As I've said before, "positive only" training is a misnomer-- I do not know of any trainers who use ONLY positive reinforcement in training.

Different poll, same problem with the wording.

A CORRECTION (leash pop for pulling) is not the same as PUNISHMENT (pop on the nose for a trained adult stealing food off your dinner plate right in front of you) or ABUSE (whipping for any reason).
Actually the wording is even more confusing because when I see the term "punishment" I think of it in the operant conditioning/learning theory meaning so it means something quite different.

This is the definition of punishment in learning theory:

"Definition: Punishment is a term from Psychological Learning Theory that has a precise meaning; it refers to something that causes a behavior to lessen in intensity. There is nothing that is intrinsically punishing. A thing is called punishing if, when it is applied, it results in the reduction of behavior that you want to reduce."


Punishment can be either positive or negative. Positive means adding something and negative means removing something. So positive punishment would be something that is added to decrease a behavior (usually an aversive) and negative punishment would be removing something to causes a behavior to decrease (usually removing something "good" ie taking away something the dog wants.)

Examples of positive punishment would be saying "no" when a dog does something you don't like, giving a collar jerk when they pull on leash, squirt bottle for barking, smacking the dog for stealing food, etc...

Examples of negative punishment would be taking away a dog's bone if they growl, a time-out, stopping play if a puppy nips too hard, etc...


So under this definition, collar corrections would be considered physical (positive) punishment.
 

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Well, I voted yes because I have slapped my dog's bottom before. Different for every dog though... By 'slap' I don't mean hitting your dog upside the head or face. Mine get it on the flank. As an example my old bulldog - no verbal commands got her attention when she was focused on an animal. So I'd go "Hey!" and pop her butt, she'd turn around like, "Oh, you're talking to me?" - and I don't even mean hitting hard. A slap. I play rougher than that with them.

And of course there are soft dogs (like my old GSD) who would shrink from a verbal correction like you were beating her. All I ever had to do with her is say "Ahh!" and she would immediately behave.. Then there are the hard dogs, like my old bulldog.. When she was zoned in the only thing that made her behave was ME, not a collar. I could hang her from a prong collar and she would have still gone for the other animal. But she wanted to please so much that me slapping her hiney and saying "Hey!" would snap her out of it. If I put my hands on her, stroking her even, she'd pay attention.

Now... hitting your dog out of anger, for tearing something up, etc. I do not agree with... Nor using real force (like I said, hitting myself with the force I'd slapped my dogs wouldn't even leave a red mark) for any reason, I don't think so. Like when I went to a friend's house and their rottie was completely ignoring them to jump all over me, she grabbed her by the collar, leaned over her and stating slapping her face over and over. The dog was cringing, it's eyes shut, and nose wrinkled. The woman was lucky it was such a sweet dog. And guess what? The dog went right back to jumping on me..

And closed hands? No way.

The only time I've hit a dog with any force was to make her back off another dog. I was alone when a two bitches got into it, had just broken the bulldog off of her and had the bulldog restrained, the other dog (shepherd) came at her (ignoring me telling her to back off) and when she got close enough I hit her upside the head and told her to "GO!" and she did. I picked the lesser of two evils then I would think. I did what I felt I had to and I felt bad even then because the shepherd gave me such a confused look.

I guess I shouldn't have even voted, because I don't even do it as a correction, I do it to get their attention. When my dogs are CORRECTED, it's with a collar pop if verbal doesn't get them.. And anything trivial is corrected with an "Acht!".


I seem to remember other discussions like this.. Has it been posted before?
 

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As I've said before, "positive only" training is a misnomer-- I do not know of any trainers who use ONLY positive reinforcement in training...
I believe that "purely positive" training is impossible, as it is impossible to avoid all aversive stimuli in normal life. For example, you are teaching your dog to heel, and he crosses in front of you slightly; you accidentally step on his foot. You have delivered an aversive stimulus whether you intended to or not.

The mere act of withholding something the dog wants, until he does something you want, is in itself slightly aversive. Withholding a treat or toy that the dog wants causes frustration, which feels unpleasant. The dog will attempt to alleviate his frustration by offering behaviors until he either gives the correct behavior and gets reinforced, or tips over into apathy, anger, or some other unwanted emotion that gets expressed as quitting, redirecting aggression, etc.
 
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