2 December, 2021

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How to Discipline Your Dog

How to Discipline Your Dog

Spare the rod, spoil the dog? No, this archaic line of thinking isn’t effective when figuring out how to discipline your dog.

It is not every day that your dog is cuddly and adorable. There are times when it doesn’t act like an angel, and this might drive you crazy. Like when it jumps on people, barks inappropriately, chews on your shoes, slippers, or even empties its bowels anywhere.

This article will help you look at some misbehavior of your furry friend and the possible technique to discipline it.

How to Discipline a Dog

Be observant. Know your dog’s personality so you would know what technique could work well with it.

How to Discipline a Dog Without Punishment

There are many ways of disciplining your furry friend without being too harsh. Let’s look at some misbehaviors and how you can address each without resorting to violence.

Barking inappropriately

Barking is normal for dogs. In fact, barking is often the only way they can let you know if they have some discomfort, if they need something, or when they feel threatened. However, too much barking can become annoying. To address this, you must identify the root cause of the problem. Your dog barks for the following reasons:

  • To express boredom
  • To get attention
  • To warn you of a present danger
  • To respond to other dogs

Depending on the reason for the excessive barking, the best solution is a firm reprimand. Withholding attention or reward may likewise help eliminate the problem.

If your dog gets excited because of other dogs, it is best to isolate it. You can do a time-out by putting your pet in a corner away from the noise. After some time, you can release it but act as if nothing happened. If, however, your canine is just bored, give it a toy to play with or play with it. Your time spent with your dog is not wasted. It’s the best way of bonding with it.


For dogs, biting and scratching are not expressions of aggression — these are common to them. Dogs use their mouths as a way of exploring their environment. They scratch to express their excitement. If this goes unchecked, however, these actions may give rise to serious problems. The best way to respond to this is to express your pain whenever your dog bites or scratches you. Say “ouch” and take its mouth away from you.

Pooing or peeing inside the house

Potty training is one of the most daunting experiences for pet owners. It’s also one of the smelliest and grimiest. What you need here is to train your pet by letting it get accustomed to a routine. Make a routine for eating time and going out to poop. Dogs would need to poo after eating for 5 to 30 minutes. If you stick to the routine, your puppy can learn to take it outside, so you won’t have to clean a filthy floor or couch.

Until your puppy is potty-trained, please place them in a crate. This will allow some time for your pet to understand that its “house” must be kept clean. Keep in mind to reward every positive behavior that your pet manifests. This works effectively in reinforcing the desired outcome.

Is Punishment an Efficient Dog Training Method?

Punishment is never an effective way to discipline a dog — it only makes matters worse. Punishment breeds hatred and resentment. It makes your dog cower before you or even hide from you.

Punishment vs. Discipline

Discipline is much preferred over punishment because punishment is always associated with violence. Discipline is corrective. Punishment is afflictive.

Do’s and Don’ts of Disciplining Dogs

The Don’ts of Disciplining a Dog

Don’t physically discipline your dog.

Physical discipline involves hitting or beating. It can vary in severity from light beating to harsh. This method is discouraged with dogs because it’s against animal rights. Its effect is damaging. It can hurt, disappoint, or even make your dog feel embarrassed.

Don’t yell or scream at your dog.

Yelling at your dog may cause stress or even wind them up. Shouting at your pup can be easily misconstrued as excitement, and your dog may join you by barking.

Don’t brush your dog’s nose in an accident.

Dogs use their nose to sniff. They even use it to communicate with people through snout contact. If you rub this part of your canine friend the wrong way, it may cringe in fear.

Don’t allow play that isn’t okay.

Watch out for inappropriate dog play such as chewing on things, neck biting, growling, pinning down smaller dogs, and the like. Check this behavior immediately so that it will not become your dog’s habit.

The Do’s of How to Discipline a Dog

Do reinforce good behaviors.

Dogs, like children, repeat a behavior that is reinforced through praises and rewards. They likewise abandon habits that are ignored.

Do catch your dog in the act.

Check your dog promptly. It’s best to be physically around so you can do this. You can be on the lookout for any misbehavior, and you can address it immediately.

Do consider your dog’s health.

Consult your vet if your dog is misbehaving due to an illness.

Do redirect your furry friend.

Create appropriate diversions or alternatives when your dog displays unacceptable behavior. The best way to do this is by offering dog treats as a way of positive reinforcement.

How to Discipline a Puppy

There are safe and effective ways to discipline a puppy. Positive reinforcement is just one of them, while negative punishment is not.

Effective punishment for dogs looks like removing something pleasurable to your canine pet, like your pup’s favorite snack or beloved toy. Positive and negative reinforcement operates by adding or removing something.

Puppy time-out can be another way. Isolate your pup when it bites or chews on things. Time-out can help your pet calm down and take a rest.

Final Thought

Having a dog as a pet is very challenging but rewarding. Once you get your pet trained, it will not depart from its routines. The key to this is consistency. Be sure to stick to your routines until they get instilled in your dog.