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Why Punishment Fails

Teach with Kindness & Compassion

Animal Behavior Wellness Center DOES NOT condone the use of punishment tools or techniques, correction, or aversive methods that rely on pain, force, fear, or intimidation.

We focus on the use of positive reinforcement as the primary consequence when teaching new behaviors.


The definition of punishment is anything that stops a behavior from occurring and/or decreases the chances of it being repeated in the future.


Punishment-based training techniques increase fear, anxiety, and arousal. Punishment can also put the user at risk for becoming the target of aggression.

DISCONTINUE use of ALL punishment and aversive training devices, including shock

collars (aka - stim, vibration, e-collars), prong collars (aka - pinch collars), penny cans, scruffing, water bottles, squirt guns, chain bags, verbal scolding, spanking, and swatting.

  • DO NOT punish or correct an animal for behaving like one.

  • You can interrupt behavior (no stress, no force, no confrontation, no pain, no intimidation). Then, positively redirect the animal to something else. However, steps should be taken to better manage the behavior, or begin managing the behavior, thereafter.

  • Training should focus on teaching and reinforcing. Again, no pain, force, confrontation, stress, or intimidation. Find more information about Behavior Modification HERE.

We encourage you to FOLLOW THE SCIENCE! and read more from the experts at The American College of Veterinary Behavior, The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, The International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, and the American Veterinary Medical Association.

© Lili Chin -

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