How to Punish a Dog and a Puppy
Harmless and effective dog or puppy punishment
Dog punishment is not a pleasant theme, but it is important. These knowledge will make your life much easier and reduce stresses for your pet. We will explain, how to make a dog stop doing "dirty tricks", how to punish it with minimum harm for its mentality and maximum effect for stop of inappropriate behavior.
Don't confuse punishment with anger and rudeness. A dog may be punished different ways. Our task is to make a dog understand in its "language". There is no point to explain in English what it has done wrong and why it should not repeat such actions.
We have already explained how to train a puppy and a dog to a command "drop it/stop/no/leave it" (call it however you like). And it will be useful for stop of undesirable behavior of your dog. Begin with it.
But note, that a punishment is not enough. You should also have a proper treatment for your dog using its flock instincts. At our next articles we will also explain how to bring up an obedient and well-bred dog.
Many people allow their dogs to do everything they want: to eat food from table, chew their shoes, furniture, express aggression towards the owner, sleep anywhere they want, go ahead while entering a house etc. It is not difficult to break dog's habits, but with a proper owner's attitude and actions. Your dog is a reflection of your behavior and attitude to your pet. Think it over and begin to act.
It is naive to suppose that a training class will decide all the problems of dog behavior and after a couple of months you will have an obedient and well-bred dog. Of course, a good trainer will help you to resolve all the problems with your dog, but it is impossible to resolve it at a dog training ground only. You should use a lot of advices at home, constantly in everyday life.
You will need a punishment quite often and there are cases when you cannot get along without it.
How can we punish a dog and why?
We will try to explain it with simple words. Excuse us for the familiarity, it is used to make the explanation clearer. We just want you to know enough to have no problems with your pet and to use our advices if there is a need of such.
So, why should we punish? A dog must know the rules set by the leader of its flock - you. If there are no rules - a dog sets its own. E.g. when a Max owner saw it taking food from the table - she reacted quite not emotional, not enough for stop of inappropriate behavior. max got used to its growling, because food was worth it. And the situation was intensified by the permissiveness at home. Max liked to put owners' shoes outside and carry it all over the yard. The dog liked to bite the furniture and to eat vegetables in the garden. The list of its "dirty tricks" seemed never-ending.
After a punishment some dog owners pamper their pets because feel sorry for them looking at its good eyes. It shows your kindness, but it spoils your dog and reduces the effect of punishment.
Bad behavior is impossible to change if the punishment is irregular and weak and if you allow a dog too much. You must make a dog do what you want and express your patience and will.
How should not you punish your dog? Do not confuse punishment and own emotions.
It is no use to punish a dog if you have not caught it at the place of misdid. In this case a dog will not understand the reason of punishment and will be just afraid of you and it will reflect negative for the process of training. Punish a dog only if you catch it at the place of misdid.
For example, you cam home and saw chewed shoes that was unhidden from dog's or puppy's teeth. And at the same time your dog is sleeping peacefully at its bed, or coming up cheerfully greeting you with it's tail. Don't even think to punish a dog if it came to you, even it it came after a calling. Coming to the owner must be always associated with pleasant emotions. Moreover, a dog will not understand the reason of punishment in this case.
As for a physical punishment, it should not be too much. You need to learn to use your strength reasonably, using it for proper punishment. Learn also to use an irritant. To cut a long story short, you need to find an optimal strength influence to make a dog stop undesirable action and make it harmless for a dog. The point is not to do a harm to a dog, but to stop its inappropriate behavior.
Don't punish a dog with objects you see around, like a hat, a glow, a bag or any other item. A dog may get angry with it and the next time seeing it tear it apart. Hatred to an object may keep till its adult age and it is very difficult to reduce. But often you have no object by your hand to punish a dog at the moment it needs punishment. And it can be already late to do something if you will begin to look for a proper tool.
Sometimes a dog acts too excited. There is no point to punish a dog in this case. Moreover, it is harmful for a dog to be punished when it is so excited. Make it sit at your heel with a command "heel" and "sit" and wait till it calms down.
If you have a watch dog breed, that guards your house or an apartment, you should punish it very carefully, even while guests visit. If a dog barks at the visitors, you should at first praise a dog and then calmly and with an assured voice call it and take to another room (if you live at an apartment) or its cage (if you live in a house). Don't cry at your watch dog for barking.
It is better if a watch dog does not associate with any people except of the family.
The greatest mistake is to punish your dog when it comes up to you! And it is very difficult to correct. Such a mistake may create a lot of problems for you in the future.
How to punish a dog to get the result maximum quickly?
For this you need to stop the inappropriate dog actions in time, using proper punishment, and to understand, that it is impossible to decide all the problems at once. It needs time. And you should use a proper irritant strength and intensity, enough for dog understanding and harmless for a dog.
As we wrote about irritant in the article about the command "drop it", it may be used since a puppy is 3 months old. But is should not be strong for a young dog. It is better to express more persistence trying to get the result.
For example, you caught a dog while chewing your shoes or eating from the ground. Come up to a dog immediately and command with a calm, but strict voice "drop it" and hit its croup by your hand. Account the strength of your hit: at first hit a little, than stronger, if a dog does not obey. A dog understands far not at once what you want. that's why you need a lot of patience and time.
Remember, a dog is to be punished when you've caught it ONLY! If you are not sure whether a dog should be punished or saw the result of its misbehavior after some it time - it is better not punish a dog at all.
In general, you should always remember, that you are breaking a habit of your dog, that's why you punish it, to make it not to repeat it in the future. If you see your dog doing it again, don't worry, just forbid again, but more strictly, that the previously.
Don't play with a dog after punishment and don't pamper it. It is better to avoid it for some time after.
Punishment cannot be expressed by food limitation, intense strength etc. It is senseless.
Your hands are the best tool to punish your dog. It is an ideal tool for this purpose. Some people suppose that a dog may get angry and bite the owner when gets elder. But if you will use hits by your hands reasonably and will not punish a dog without a reason, everything will be all right. Your hands also feed and pamper a dog. A wolf and dog flock leader or she-wolf do not use any tools and objects for puppy punishment.
With time, moreover, if you bring up a dog from puppy age, a dog may lay its ears back, flat its legs and show it obedience to you. If it happens, you should reduce the strength of punishment. But dogs may also use it. Some dogs when understand its misbehavior and expect being punishment, "play guilty" flattering their ears and legs. Sometimes it works and they avoid punishment.:)
Note: if you don't punish a dog for furniture spoiling - a dog will not suffer, but if it eats from the ground - punish it immediately!