[ti:Study: Negative Dog Training Methods Can Cause Long-Term Harm]
[00:00.04]A new study suggests that dog training methods based on negative punishments
[00:06.72]can cause long-term harm to the animal.
[00:11.92]Much research in the past has studied training methods in general,
[00:17.36]including for dogs working with police or with search and rescue operations.
[00:25.80]But the latest study centered on dogs kept as companion animals for humans.
[00:33.84]Such dogs are often considered part of the family
[00:38.06]and need training on how to behave around people.
[00:44.04]Researchers from Portugual's Unviersity of Porto led the study.
[00:51.44]The researchers carried out experiments
[00:54.68]involving two kinds of dog training methods – aversive and reward-based.
[01:03.40]Aversive methods depend on the use of some kind of negative action
[01:09.20]in answer to unwanted behaviors.
[01:13.80]Examples of this include shouting, pushing or pulling the dog to force it to do something
[01:21.33]or using special collars that put pressure on the neck.
[01:27.32]Reward-based methods involve giving the dog food, praise or attention
[01:33.92]when the animal completes wanted behaviors.
[01:38.80]The study included 92 dogs that were attending training schools in Portugal.
[01:46.24]Fifty of the dogs received aversive training,
[01:49.73]while 42 were trained using reward-based methods.
[01:55.64]The experiments were designed to measure both short-term
[01:59.96]and long-term effects of the two training methods.
[02:05.28]The dogs were video recorded during training sessions
[02:09.59]so researchers could observe their reactions to the training.
[02:15.36]Researchers also collected mouth fluid from the dogs before and after the training
[02:22.17]to test for levels of a stress-causing hormone called cortisol.
[02:29.44]Researchers reported that dogs from the aversive training group
[02:34.38]were observed to have more stress-related behaviors than those in the reward-based group.
[02:42.88]They also showed increased levels of cortisol.
[02:47.68]The study suggests these results clearly demonstrate
[02:52.06]the short-term effects of aversive training methods.
[02:57.40]Another part of the experiment was designed
[03:00.32]to measure the long-term effects of the two different methods.
[03:05.32]This involved the dogs taking part in an exercise about a month after the training sessions.
[03:13.68]The dogs were put in a room containing food bowls.
[03:18.68]Researchers observed how quickly and excitedly the dogs went to the bowls.
[03:26.32]The researchers reported that the dogs receiving aversive training
[03:30.88]were observed to be more "pessimistic" in behaviors in the room
[03:35.82]than the ones trained with rewards.
[03:40.04]The latest study supports earlier research on the effectiveness of reward-based training.
[03:48.32]Many other studies have suggested that food is the best reward
[03:53.69]to get dogs to perform the behaviors we want.
[03:59.16]One of those studies was led by Erica Feuerbacher,
[04:03.62]a professor at Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg, Virginia.
[04:09.32]Her study compared a food reward to a reward of petting or praising the animal.
[04:17.64]Feuerbacher told The Associated Press the dogs were clear about what reward they liked better.
[04:25.76]"They'll work harder and respond faster for food than for social interaction," she said.
[04:34.56]Feuerbacher noted, for example, that research has found that dogs were likely to stay near a person
[04:42.36]praising them for the same amount of time as if they were being ignored.
[04:49.56]Zazie Todd is the writer of a forthcoming book called "Wag: The Science of Making Your Dog Happy."
[04:58.80]She told the AP that people clearly should not expect a dog to obey just because they love them.
[05:07.24]"If only it was like that," she said.
[05:12.04]Todd added: "If your boss stopped paying you,
[05:16.04]you'd probably stop going to work pretty quickly. You need to motivate your dog too."
[05:24.48]Some dog trainers teach the use of "life rewards,"
[05:29.20]which could include play or taking the dog for a walk.
[05:34.32]Todd says these can be useful, especially to help keep behaviors the dog has already learned.
[05:42.18]However, for most everyday behaviors most people want to teach,
[05:48.06]food rewards are just "quicker and easier," she said.
[05:55.28]I'm Bryan Lynn.