How to punish your dog.

How to punish your dog. Should you punish your dog? No!

how to punish your dog
How do I punish my dog?

Contrary to popular belief, punishment and dominance are NOT helpful for working with an aggressive dog. Aversives, physical or verbal punishment and “corrections” for aggressive behavior have been scientifically proven to make the behavior worse over time.

An article like, which studied and conglomerated results from 17 other studies, and all of these studies from Victoria Stillwell’s site ( show that there is scientific proof that positive reinforcement training is the most effective and humane way to train a dog.

Trainers that utilize the “dominance theory”, “alpha theory” (based on wolf interactions), or other similar ideas should probably get educated to the fact that the dominance theory has been outdated and disproved for well over a decade, and the “alpha wolf” theory has been retracted and revised, largely thanks to the studies on wolves of Dr. David Mech

The above link covers explain the misconceptions, how they have been amended, and deals with some common behavioral myths and why they occur.

Aggression is not dominance-based behavior. Aggression is stress and fear-based behavior. A dog may growl at you when you try to get near his food or get him off the couch not because he is trying to be “the alpha”, but because he is nervous and thinks you might be trying to take the things he likes from him. A dog that barks and lunges at you in your own home is scared, not “dominant”. A dog that is stressed enough to act aggressively will not get better with added stress and coercion.

Dominance is between members of the same species, and it is almost always resolved in a peaceful manner (see above resources to learn more about this). There is no dominance between a human and a dog. Dogs do not want to control humans, and acting out of this assumption can cause massive rifts and damages in the human-canine relationship.

If you have an aggressive dog, please seek out force-free, positive-reinforcement trainers with aggression experience.

How to punish your dog

You might also be interested in: Should I be acting like the alpha dog or my dog’s mother?

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SparkyGo.