How To Discipline Your Dog


How To Discipline Your Dog

Chewing! Growling! Messy poop! These are just some of the nightmares that every dog owner wants to avoid. Who wouldn’t want to have their dog well-disciplined? This dream may seem elusive and far-fetched for new dog owners, but it can be achieved with the appropriate training. It does not come easy though because it takes time and commitment.


At times, it can be frustrating, and you may want to just throw in the towel. Just think of the long-term benefits and bear in mind that training your dog makes you a responsible dog owner. Proper training means using positive discipline, not punishment. You must remember that disciplining your dog is like disciplining your child. 



How to Discipline your Dog

Every time your dog misbehaves, you must discipline them right away. The right thing to do is to use positive discipline. Positive discipline means you will use positive reinforcements such as loving praise and healthy treats. You can use reprimands, and whenever practicable, withdraw attention. This method does not promote punishment since punishment, in any form, is virtually the same as animal cruelty.  



How to Discipline a Dog Without Punishment

Keep a stern voice.

When saying “no” to your dog, keep that positive and stern voice. Be firm but don’t sound too angry. Show assertiveness in your tone. This will send out the message to your dog that you mean business. Yelling will not do well since dogs may not be able to associate your tone to the behavior you want to reinforce.


Associate your dog’s name with a treat.

Don’t call your dog by their name when they misbehave (like when you say, “Chippy, no!”) When you do this, you are linking the name of your pet to the negative action. Instead of doing this, use your dog’s name only when you give a treat, for instance when you say, “Chippy, here boy” then extend out the treat. Teach your dog to associate its name with positive reinforcement. 



Be consistent.

If you want your dog to be well-mannered, be consistent with your rules. If you say no, mean it. Don’t be strict today and tomorrow, slack. Your dog will get confused with the rules and may not behave as you expect it to be.


Related: How Should You Place a Prong Collar on a Dog


Is Punishment an Efficient Dog Training Method?

Whenever your pet misbehaves, it can be tempting to use a stick to punish them. You might also resort to yelling or screaming. This may seem like the easiest way, but it creates more damage than you can imagine. Dogs that are constantly punished behave aggressively. They may become more frustrated and confused. This may also lead to a distant relationship between the master and the pet.


What is worse, all your efforts to train your pet will be put to waste as your dog won’t respond to your prompts anymore. Your best option is still to use positive discipline. This way, you can still foster a healthy relationship with your pet. If you are searching for an easy-to-manage dog you may want to look into low-energy dog breeds. Lower energy breeds may be more suitable for training and behavioral guidance. 



Punishment vs. Discipline

Drawing the line between punishment and discipline can help you identify appropriate ways to deal with your misbehaving pet. Punishment is the use of physical force such as hitting and beating whenever your dog behaves inappropriately. Discipline, on the other hand, refers to using acceptable measures to modify a certain behavior.



Do's and Don'ts of Disciplining Dogs

The Don'ts of Disciplining a Dog

Don't physically discipline your dog. 

Do away with hitting or beating. This doesn’t send the message across to your dog. Your dog won’t understand why you’re beating them. They won’t realize their mistake. Hitting or beating can even result in fear, depression, and aggression. This may cause your dog to feel distant from you. 



Don't yell or scream at your dog.

Dogs are sensitive to the human voice. They can tell by your tone if you’re mad or just being stern. Avoid screaming. It only scares your furry friend. Just like hitting, yelling at your dog can do more damage to your relationship. Instead, use a steady but firm tone.


Don't rub your dog's nose in their accident. 

If you ever thought of rubbing your dog’s nose in its poop or pee, don’t ever do it. This will not deter your dog from peeing or pooping anywhere. It can cause your dog to become afraid of you. Rubbing your dog’s nose may lightly be construed by your pet as a way of petting. However, if you overdo it, your dog might be agitated, and they can bite.


Don't allow play that isn't okay. 

As puppies, it’s expected that your pet will not always display the appropriate behavior. When there’s a lot of things in the house that tempts them, it is best to declutter your space. Take away things lying on the floor. Your puppy might be tempted to chew on them. If they do and you don’t correct this right away, your puppy might think it’s okay to do this and will repeat the behavior more often.


Modifying the behavior will soon become challenging. It will help a lot if you give restrictions to your pet. Like when there are parts of the house that are off-limits such as the bedroom or the couch. Don’t ignore bad behavior because it seems cute. Your pet will not outgrow this. Teach your pet to play appropriately. 



The Do's of How to Discipline a Dog

Do reinforce good behaviors.

Every time your dog displays an acceptable behavior, strengthen the positive act by giving praises or treats. You may want to spend quality time with your dog also. Pet them or play with them.


Do catch your dog in the act.

Catch your pet doing improper acts. Reprimand them right away and reward them whenever they behave appropriately. You’d be surprised how your dog can learn quickly.  


Do consider your dog's health.

Be mindful of your dog’s condition. Sometimes dogs misbehave because they’re feeling unwell. Their misbehavior can be their way of getting your attention. Check for any symptoms of illnesses such as thyroid dysfunction, or anything else.


Do redirect your furry friend.

Redirecting your dog means checking bad behavior and then giving an acceptable option. Let’s say your dog is about to chew on your furniture, stop them immediately. Let them calm then give a toy that they can chew on. Keep on doing this for some time and your dog will soon realize that they are not supposed to chew on things other than their toy. 



How to Discipline a Puppy 

Puppies are cute and adorable, but they can also be a source of stress when they misbehave. To discipline your pup, just assert your authority. Let them know that you are the master. This way, your puppy will respect you more and become more obedient. Be firm and strict. Avoid screaming and yelling as this will only scare your pup.  



Final Thought

Each dog is unique. Some techniques may be effective. Some won’t work. It’s still best to study your dog. Get to know their personality so you would know the best technique to use when disciplining them. Set aside time to train your pet. This is not only to train them but also to bond with your furry friend.


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