Use of punishment during dog training leads to increased aggression.
Although positive dog training techniques have become widespread, "discipline"-based training using physical force has become more common because of certain popular television shows that feature it, and a number of dog training books which advocate it. Common punishing or confrontational techniques used to control dogs include: sharp leash corrections meant to cause discomfort; hitting or kicking the dog; applying electric shock; applying physical force to pressure a dog into a submissive down position; or the “alpha roll,” which forces the dog on its back in an apparently submissive position, plus a variety of other techniques involving shouting, threatening stares or growls, use of water sprays or water guns, grabbing the dog by the scruff of the neck or the jowls and shaking it, and similar procedures.
Meghan Herron and her colleagues from the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania reported in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science that using punishing techniques when training dogs tends to increase the aggression in the animals, in much the same way that spanking increases aggressive responses in human children. Just how aggressively dogs responded to these negative control methods, depended upon the severity and nature of the technique used to force or punish the dog. Thus 43 percent of the dogs increased their aggression in response to being hit or kicked, while only 3 percent showed an increase in aggression associated in response to a corrective sound such as “Schhtt!” or “Uh-Uh!”