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There’s this song lyric by a band called NEEDTOBREATHE that says “be more heart and less attack” and it’s something that everyone should take to heart. We understand how not all days will be good days and sometimes frustrations might surface, but the way you connect with others and fur babies in your life can impact their health. 

This is especially true with dogs. Dogs are already empathetic, highly sensitive creatures. They can pick up on the character of people and react to the way we treat them. That’s why when your fur baby or dog does something they should not be doing or training isn’t going according to plan, you should do anything but yell at them. 

Your patience may feel like it’s being tested, but try to breathe and think before you react. 


What happens when you yell at your dog?

According to Science Alert who reported on a study that shows yelling at dogs can have adverse effects, the results have short-term and long-term effects:


Each dog was filmed during the first 15 minutes of three training sessions, and saliva samples were taken to assess stress levels from training - three from each dog relaxing at home to establish baseline levels of stress hormone cortisol, and three from each dog after training.
The researchers also analysed the dogs' behaviour during training to look for stress behaviours, such as yawning, lip-licking, paw-raising and yelping.
Unsurprisingly, the dogs in the aversive training classes showed elevated stress behaviours, particularly yawning and lip-licking. Their saliva also had significantly increased levels of cortisol compared to when they were relaxing at home.
By contrast, the positive reinforcement dogs were pretty chill - far fewer stress behaviours, and much more normal cortisol levels. (via Science Alert)

To observe the long-term effects, the study went on for over a month. The dogs subjected to aversive training became more timid and became more hesitant to engage in the training activities. 

By the end of the study, there was no upper hand that aversive training had over positive, reward-based training. They produced the same activity results, but the positive training obviously had better mental health and behavioral results as opposed to the aversive training.

So while some might think that asserting dominance through yelling or yanking at leashes and such are productive and character-building for their fur babies, happy dogs happen when their dog parents exhibit more care and affection with patience. You can change your tone to express your dissatisfaction with a no-no your dog may have done, but whatever you do, control the volume of your voice! The last thing you want to do is traumatize your fur baby. They love you and you are brighter than sunshine to them.

This is just a sampling of tips and informational posts we offer at Joyride Harness. You can find more content including tips and tricks and how-tos for caring for your dog on our blog at this section. Feel free to leave a comment with tips you’re looking for!
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