How you communicate with your dog speaks volumes about your personality and style. Unfortunately, just like with a child, your tone and volume play a large role in your dog’s development and how you bond. Yelling at your dog can make your dog nervous and fearful.
Yelling also can make your dog less likely to respond to your commands, which makes you more frustrated and likely to yell.
New research and most dog-training experts recommend you stop yelling at your dog and instead use a soft, quiet voice when you talk to your dog.
That doesn’t mean you have to use baby talk. It doesn’t mean you can’t be firm or discipline your dog.
It just means stop yelling at your dog.
Here are seven reasons why yelling at your dog is detrimental to both of you.
1. Yelling stresses dogs
There are multiple training strategies that can be grouped into two general approaches: aversive-based and reward-based. Yelling at your dog does not provide positive reinforcement. Researchers tried to define the most successful strategy based on objective factors such as the prevalence of stress behavior patterns and the level of the stress hormone cortisol in dogs’ saliva. It is no surprise that when their owners yelled, the dogs’ behavior illustrated signs of stress as yawning, and a higher level of cortisol.
2. Yelling affects training
Another reason to stop yelling is the fact that it affects the way your dog responds to your commands. If you constantly yell, your dog doesn’t understand what is important. Dogs hear better than humans and both yelling and repeating yourself actually work against you. After a while, your dog will start to ignore your commands. Train your dog like CIA agents do and teach her to respond to commands when your voice is in a conversational tone.
3. Yelling is confusing
Most dogs understand only a few words. They pay more attention to the tone and pitch of your voice. Yelling at your dog is more likely to confuse her and cause her to react in a hyper or aggressive way because she’s trying to match your behavior. A classic example of this is when you yell at your dog to stop barking. The dog focuses on the fact you are yelling rather than the words you are saying. The dog thinks you are barking, too, and will likely only bark louder.
4. Yelling prevents an emergency response
If you constantly shout at your dog, your dog doesn’t know when something is important. If you typically talk in a calm tone, when you do raise your voice or give a short, simple, stop command, your dog is more likely to respond. For example, if your dog gets out of your yard is wandering toward the street, she’s more likely to respond if you yell wait or stop, rather than walk into the street.
5. Yelling affects your image as the leader
Dogs are social creatures. They are eager to accept you as the leader, but they expect certain behavior from you. If you are yelling, or worse, abusive toward your dog, you won’t establish the trust and respect you need. Being a leader is one of the most essential aspects of training and owners must understand that aggressiveness and intention to frighten do not command trust or respect. Your dog needs to see consistency and a calm demeanor.
6. Yelling encourages bad behavior
Constant yelling will create a pattern of negative reinforcement. For instance, when you called your dog and it took a long time for her to respond and come back to you, do not respond by yelling at her again. That shows your dog she has no incentive to come back. Instead, call your dog and when she comes back, praise her and give her a treat. If all you do is yell, why would your dog want to please you?
7. Yelling inhibits learning
Dog owners should understand that dogs do not speak human and angry tirades won’t convince the dog that she behaved badly. She also does not connect your anger to what she did hours ago.
You need to make your tone a distinguishing factor to make sure the message to your dog is clear rather than confusing. Teach your dog the behavior you want to see instead of simply yelling at her. Use a calm voice and rewards to help your dog understand the connection between the command you give and the actions you want.
Adopting a conversational yet firm and confident tone while teaching commands is much more beneficial than constant yelling at your dog.
The bottom line is your dog wants to please you. Before yelling, think about whether your dog’s behavior was provoked by something you did incorrectly. Do not punish your pet for your own mistakes and you both will be happy!
Elizabeth Skinner always loved animals and started the career of a police dog trainer while she was studying at a college. She decided to buy custom research papers sometimes as the help of experts allowed her to dedicate more time to her true calling in life.