Stop Yelling At Your Dog, It Has Long-Term Negative Effects On Their Mental Health

Stop Yelling At Your Dog, It Has Long-Term Negative Effects On Their Mental Health

A heartbreaking study has now revealed that if owners scream at their dogs, it can leave them traumatized for a pretty long time.

Dogs are considered human's best friend and undoubtedly, we have a lot to learn from them. But recently, a study published this week by molecular biologists in Portugal revealed that dogs who go through shock collars or aversion-based techniques while being trained are worse off in terms of healthy dogs who learn from reward-based training, reported Science Alerts



The report stated that aversive training “can have long-term negative effects on your dog’s mental state.” The study was conducted on 42 dogs who went through reward-based training and 50 dogs from aversion-based training schools. After comparing their cortisol levels and stress behaviors, it was revealed how each training technique affected them.

Cortisol is the stress hormone that is known to control our mood, motivation, and fear. By testing the saliva of the dogs and pairing the results with the video recordings during the training sessions, the researchers were able to gauge the pups' stress levels.'



The dogs that were tense showed a lot of signs of being stressed out on videos like licking their lips or yawning. Also, the dogs who went through aversion-based training were seen to have higher levels of cortisol than the group of pups in the reward-based classes.

The study is said to be especially important since the use of aversion-based training has been widely touted as negative, but prior to this study, there has not been any scientific basis to back it up. 



The study also indicated that "these findings indicate that the use of aversive-based methods compromises the welfare of companion dogs in both the short-and long-term."

The research was led by biologist Ana Catarina Vieira de Castro of the Universidade do Porto in Portugal and during the study period, the pups were taught by methods of yelling and also the method of leash-jerking were found to be more stressed, with higher levels of cortisol found in their saliva.



The researchers added, "Specifically, dogs attending schools using aversive-based methods displayed more stress-related behaviors and body postures during training, higher elevations in cortisol levels after training, and were more ‘pessimistic’ in a cognitive bias task."

The puppies who had calm, patient and experienced teachers performed better at tasks that researchers assigned to them such as locating a bowl with sausage in it.  



But the dogs who were trained harshly were slower to locate the treat bowl and it was concluded by the researchers that their harsh experience made them depressed and less excitable dogs.

It was also analyzed by biologists that a great way to figure out stressed-out behavior in dogs can be noticed as lip-licking, paw-raising, yawning and yelping. The researcher concluded, saying, "Critically, our study points to the fact that the welfare of companion dogs trained with aversive-based methods appears to be at risk." 

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