Pitfalls of Punishment
The following is the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior position statement on the pitfalls and possible adverse effects of punishment:
- "Timing punishment correctly is difficult.
- Punishment can strengthen the undesirable behavior.
- The punishment must be strong enough to be effective, but intense punishment can lead to physical harm.
- Regardless of the strength, punishment can cause some animals to become extremely fearful, and this fear can generalize to other contexts.
- Punishment can facilitate or even cause aggressive behavior.
- Punishment can suppress behaviors, including those behaviors that warn of aggression.Punishment can teach the animal to associate the owners, other animals, specific contexts, or Eenvironments with bad experiences.
- Punishment often does not address the underlying cause of behaviors or teach alternate behaviors."