Dr. Nichol’s Blog – Use of Punishment in Pet Training

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Download a .pdf version of the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) position statement on The Use of Punishment.

Giving dogs and other creatures a clear reason not to engage in bad behavior would seem like a quick and simple way of solving a problem. But when a dog or cat gets a painful consequence for doing the wrong thing their unmet behavioral needs can be manifest in other, even more unhealthy ways.

Punishment is rarely used as part of evidence-based behavior modification in part because it can easily lead to unintended consequences. This position statement, on The Use of Punishment, from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) is written for pet parents while it shares current research on healthy learning. I hope you find it valuable.


All the best,

Jeff Nichol, DVM