Study: Yelling at your dog can lead to long-term trauma and stress


The study found that puppies who are trained using aversive methods tend to have higher levels of stress and even long-term trauma.

New research suggests that dogs should not be yelled at or punished for their antics, as this not only scares them, but could lead to trauma or other negative effects on their mental health in the long run.

Yelling dog trauma stress

Pet dogs trained by aversion methods have worse wellness than dogs that have been trained with awards, the researchers said.

In view of the above, it is recommended to be patient when raising our puppies.

The study was led by biologist Ana Catarina Vieira de Castro of the University of Porto in Portugal, recruiting 42 dogs from three schools using reward-based training such as treats, and 50 dogs from four schools using training. based on in aversion.

Each of the dogs was filmed for the first 15 minutes of three training sessions and took saliva samples to calculate the stress level.

Yelling dog trauma stress

On the other hand, they analyzed the behavior of the dogs in order to demonstrate the stress through actions such as yawning, licking their lips, lifting their legs and screaming.

As expected, dogs in aversive training exhibited high stress behaviors. Cortisol levels have increased dramatically in saliva.

Conversely, dogs that received reward-based training had lower levels of stress and cortisol in their saliva.

After obtaining these results, they decided to assess the effects of long-term stress. Thus, a month later, 79 of the dogs analyzed were trained to associate a bowl on one side of the room with a snack of sausages. If a bowl was located on this side, it still had the delicious snack, but when it was located on the opposite side, the bowl was empty.

Investigators have moved the bowls around the room to see how quickly the dogs will find the reward. And a higher speed was interpreted to mean that the dog anticipated a bite of delicacy, while a slower speed meant that the dog was more pessimistic about the contents of the bowl.

It was then obvious that the dogs which had received an aversive training approached the bowl more slowly. This suggests that the rewards method tends to be more effective.

Undoubtedly, it can be concluded with the study that aversive training, although many consider it the most appropriate, does not necessarily have an advantage over reward training as it could cause trauma and it is very important to maintain the mental well-being of our pets.

According to Science Alert, the researchers said:

“Our study highlights the fact that the well-being of companion dogs trained with aversion-based methods appears to be at risk.”