• Michael D'Abruzzo

    January 13, 2017 at 2:24 am

    If we are talking about quick results and reliability, from a scientific perspective, positive punishment delivered in any form at a level motivational enough to cause a behavior change would be the answer.

    The quick results will have a likely side effect of a not so happy and perhaps scared dog. Think of a dog that gets a crash course in invisible fence training.

    Is that the best way to teach though? I would say no. Someone would get fewer side effects and ultimately even more reliability if they took their time to also directly reward the dog for obeying a command to wait or sit while they went through first, and also teaching premack principle… the act of sitting or waiting will lead to the more desired act of going through the door. Polish off with punishment after those two lessons sink in and the dog has 3 different reasons to be motivated to obey anything, not just a door drill and have little to no side effects.

    This is the kind of question that I would expect to get different opinions based off of ideology and preference, although established principles of learning will likely best reflect the answer as: “it depends…”