Article: Rules of Punishment
Before attempting to eliminate
any undesirable behavior your pet may presently
have, you must first understand The Rules
of Punishment. Many owners listened to
the well-meaning advice from friends and relatives
on how to punish an animal for inappropriate behavior,
then found themselves with an escalation of the
original problem or the adoption of an even less
desirable replacement behavior. However, close
adherence to these instructions will enable you
to control your pet’s behaviors in a safe
1. The correction that you use must be effective.
may sound very obvious, but far too many people it is
not. Use your common sense.
If you need to correct
the same behavior over and over again, try something
else. Think of punishment like hitting yourself on the
head with a hammer: If it hurts, don’t do it. Many
people follow any advice thinking, "It has to work,
it worked for Fido." No two animals are alike and
what worked for one very likely will not work for yours.
2. Animals must be given and rewarded for proper alternative
If you find a behavior unacceptable, you better be teaching
what is acceptable, before punishing him for what is
wrong. After a reprimand is administered, the animal
must know two things: first, how can he avoid being punished
the next time, and second, what should he be doing instead
of what he did.
If the punishment you give your
pet is "instructional," you
will be answering both of these questions for him. Show
him what is "right", then reward that behavior
consistently before you administer any punishment for
what is "wrong’. Animals will soon learn that
certain behaviors are met with worthwhile rewards and
some are not.
3. The punishment must not be
Personalities and sensitivities vary greatly. One animal
may barely notice punishment at a level that would petrify
another. The intensity of a correction should be sufficient
to get the job done the first time, but no stronger.
If the animal thinks that the punishment does not fit
the crime, the lesson will be lost.
4. The punishment must be immediate.
Animals must understand that the punishment is for the
behavior they are exhibiting right now. Never attempt
to punish after the fact.
5. The correction must be short.
people catch their pet doing something wrong, give it
a "spanking," then brow-beat or withhold
food from the poor thing all day long. Just make the
correction and call it good. The pet is not going to
remember what brought on your wrath all day. If he looks "guilty",
he’s not. He is thoroughly confused.
6. Your expectations must be reasonable.
cannot "stop" certain
behaviors. Animals run, jump, play, eat, fly, bark, and
meow. You can’t
eliminate these behaviors, but you can certainly put
acceptable limits on them. We offer
a broad range
of remote training devices and
bark contol systems suitable
for almost all training situations.
Curtis C. McLay
Article courtesy of Innotek Pet