There is no denying that dogs are the most precious things to have ever walked the face of the earth. Still, it’s not always fun and games, and without boundaries and discipline, things can go awry. No matter how charismatic your four-pawed fur ball is, it’s crucial to correct their behavior.
When executed properly and cautiously, punishment doesn’t have to feel dissenting or antagonistic. Constructive discipline helps your canine better understand what they should avoid doing from what they’re allowed to keep practicing.
When they exhibit bad behaviour, consider temporarily taking away their toys, putting them on time-outs, not giving them attention, or sternly raising your voice instead of hitting them. These are acceptable disciplinary methods that yield more promising results. Remember, like kids, you want to build a relationship where your dog sees you as a friend, and not a source of hurt.
Should I spank my dog?
Any physical form of punishment can severely strain your relationship with your fur baby. The last thing you’d want is for your dog to fear and avoid you. If you begin using force to teach them a lesson, this can nurture unwanted behavioural problems such as aggression, insecurity, and wanting to constantly hide or stay away from you.
Similar to human relationships, hurting your dog teaches them to view you as a source of anger and resentment, whereas using non-harmful tactics makes them understand which practices shouldn’t be tolerated. It doesn’t matter what they do—whether it’s stealing food from the table, peeing on the couch, or barking excessively—spanking your dog isn’t going to do both of you any good.
When possible, start them young
It’s easier for dogs to get the hang of acceptable things when you train them at their youngest. Take note, however, that this won’t always be easy. Remember that pups are just like human kids—full of energy and devoid of principles. That said, you’re going to have to teach them everything they need to know. It may be obvious to you, but pups surely won’t understand that it’s wrong to poop in your bed room, chew shoes, or randomly bite your fingers.
So how then do you make them understand?
If you’re determined to raise social and perfectly behaved puppies, you’re going to want to bank on praising them and giving them treats when they do something right.
Disciplining a puppy can be confusing in that you want them to understand why you’re upset, but you also don’t want to hurt them. That being the case, correct their behavior the way you would with older dogs. You may think that constantly giving them treats may be counterproductive, but this route is the most effective when it comes to dog logic. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also a really powerful training strategy for puppies.
Here are other ways you can discipline your dog without hurting them
When your dog won’t stop biting on furniture or barking at nothing, make a loud noise as a way to distract them. Hit a table, shake a tin can, or make a loud yell. These should be enough to divert their attention and put their focus on you.
Let them master the sit command
This can be trickier to plenty of dogs, especially if you haven’t taught them the sit command just yet. When you tell them to sit, this allows them to stop whatever they’re doing and put their attention on you. Letting them get used to hearing the word “no” after having them sit down can help, too, if you’re quick to provide them treats once they stop the misdeed.