Dog owners who try to tame their pets by acting aggressive themselves will only make matters worse, LiveScience reports. A new study in Applied Animal Behavior Science presents sobering news for advocates of tough love. Those who hit, kick, growl at, or confront their dogs in similar ways are more likely to have pets that act in kind. Instead of raising their hand, owners should try offering more exercise, or maybe a treat, when training.
“This study highlights the risk of dominance-based training, which has been made popular by TV, books, and punishment-based training advocates,” said the lead author of the study. “These techniques are fear-eliciting and may lead to owner-directed aggression.”
(Read more scientific study stories.)