How can I punish a dog without hurting him?
Your dog always do what he wants, he doesn’t listen to you, he ravages the whole house , he is digging , stealing food , fighting , biting and becomes really unbearable, you want to discipline him to give him a lesson but you don’t want to hurt him ?
Here is a list of effective punishments for your pooch so that he understands what you expect from him and that he stops committing all his stupidities and especially without breaking the bond and the confidence that your dog has in you:
First of all, you should know that there is no better way than the Obedience Training to really end the bad behavior of your puppy or dog, so these punishments should only be a temporary solution for your dog and they should not become a habit and a way to interact with your dog.
The following is a list of punishments that you should never subject your dog to
Please read this , it’s important !! we’re talking here about Discipline and positive punishment , not hearting a dog in any ways !!! .. check out this list ..
These are positive punishments that are no longer valid and that do more harm than good for the dog and really cause learning and behavioural problems:
- Never Hitting him on the head
- Never Hitting it with your newspaper or magazine
- Never Hitting it on sensitive areas such as the muzzle
- Never Yelling at him and showing your anger
- Never Grab him by the neck and shake him or strangle him …
- No Kicks in the but !!
- Never Pull him with force using his leash or strangle him with
- No electric collar
- no spiked collar …etc…
- Never Strangle him with his necklace …
- Never Isolate your dog for a long period of time
- Never Ignore bad behavior without a remedy!
- Finally, Punishing your dog or puppy should never last long (less than 5 mn )
- Avoid punishing your dog ” too long after a bad behavior ” like Rubbing your dog’s nose in it’s poop , yelling at him when barking and especially after he stops excessive barking !! , Kneeing a dog that jumps up …
Punishing your dog in the wrong way could make him aggressive
Here is the result of a study on the relationship between the kind of physical punishment used against the dog and the level of aggressiveness that this punishment triggers in the dog in question.
Want some ideas on how to discipline your dog? Here they are:
1- It’s better to anticipate your dog’s unwanted behaviour and avoid it
First of all, I must tell you that the best way to discipline your dog is to anticipate his misdeeds and prevent them long before they happen,
Your dog loves to chew on your socks? don’t leave them lying around anymore!
Your dog loves to steal your little girl’s Breakfast Bacon in the morning before she goes to school? stay with her until she finishes eating …etc.
Then make sure you take the best toy from the dog and use it to play with him for a few minutes before you leave and leave him alone.
By doing so, you will draw his full attention to the game and that’s what he will do when you leave the house.
2- The negative punishment
It is in fact not to reward your dog for bad behaviour or behaviour that is not completely exemplary.
If for example your dog jumps on you every time you come home from work, which is a bad habit because he will do it again even with your friends or even strangers, you should not pet him anymore if he does that !
Ignoring your dog and not petting him will persuade him to jump on you when you come home, and as soon as he understands that you don’t want him to jump on you anymore and he stays calm when you open the door, you will reinforce this behavior by rewarding him with petting …etc…
Other examples of negative punishment for Dogs and puppies
If you are walking your dog and he continues to pull on his leash, instead of pulling on the leash yourself and risking injury to his neck, the best thing to do is to stop completely and take away your dog’s enjoyment of the walk, which will not please him and will encourage him to stop pulling on his leash.
Once your dog will loosen the leash and stop pulling, you will then resume walking.
Another example of a negative punishment for your dog is if he bites your hand when you play with him.
What you need to do is get up immediately, stop playing with your dog; ignore him completely until he calms down.
By doing so, you have taken away his enjoyment of playing with you and he will soon make the connection between the fact that he bit your hand and stopping the game.
In short, negative punishment when the dog acts badly and positive reinforcement when he resumes his good behaviour.
3-Start the punishment by Ignoring bad behaviour
Dogs usually misbehave just to get their master’s attention !
So you need to ignore your dog’s misbehaviour and then redirect his attention and energy to do something positive and reward him for it.
Example: Your dog or puppy is tearing your socks, what are you going to do then?
Ignore him, then take his favorite toy, hold the toy in your hand, move away from the dog and you will see that he will soon join you and leave your sock alone.
Give him his toy and go pick up the sock without your dog noticing you doing it !
4- Sanction your dog by using the ” No” or ” Stop it ” command
This is the punishment with a negative marker, you must in fact shout firmly using the “No” or “Stop it” command. I’m not telling you to shout for several seconds ! no, just once…
This technique is to be used when you catch your dog doing something stupid ! You can also use a PET CORRECTOR.
5- Use a punishment that your dog understands
The ideal punishment is to block the road for your dog and ask him to back off.
this punishment is even applied by the dominant dog of the pack to put the dogs of the lower ranks in their place
So you’re going to stand in front of your dog, look at him in the eyes and walk towards him, which will force him to move backwards, it’s a kind of humiliation but don’t worry, that’s not how your dog will interpret it and it works as a punishment.
6- Discipline your dog by chaining the commands
If your dog makes a mistake, you will use a firm tone, call him to you and ask him to obey by executing successive commands.
Begin by asking your dog to make sure, then lie down and get up, …and repeat this sequence two or three times.
You’re going to remind him who’s the boss and he’ll soon make the connection with the stupidity he just committed.
7- Discipline your dog by sending him to his basket (crate) or by isolating him for a while
If you are at home and none of the other sanctions work, you can punish your dog by sending him to lie in his basket or enter his crate right after he has done something wrong.
The last possible sanction for a dog is to isolate him for no more than 5 minutes by putting him in a small room, alone and closing the back door after you give him the “sit” command.
Sending your dog outside is not a sanction, on the contrary it is a reward, so you have to send him in a room where he will stay alone.
Punishing your dog by isolating him is to leave him alone in a “poor” environment, no distraction or interaction with a human or another animal and where he has no access to his toys …etc…
How to punish or Discipline a puppy?
If I must insist on one thing when it comes to punishing your puppy, it’s to never use his crate as a prison !
Never yell too loud at your puppy and no physical punishment either.
Use the other methods I showed you in this article but be a little more lenient towards your puppy, because he is still too young to become a gentleman.
Use Positive Punishment not just Punishment !
Positive punishment is the fact of associating the bad behavior of the dog to an unpleasant act by the application of an unpleasant stimulus ( never hurt your dog !! ) for him and that will with time persuade him not to do the bad behavior again to avoid what will follow.
In order for your dog to understand why he was punished, you must apply your punishment within 5 seconds of his bad behavior, we are talking here about direct interactive punishment.
For example, when it comes to food guarding, you will remove the food bowl from your dog as soon as he shows his teeth and start growing and showing his teeth !!
After several attempts, the dog will quickly understand that in order for you not to take away the food, he must not show aggressiveness when you approach your hand to his bowl.
The point here’s to act right after the bad behavior of the dog and add an act that will not please the dog.
Dominance never gives good results with dogs, so avoid using force to reprimand your dog, instead use trickery, temporary deprivation, be a partner with your dog and not a master or a dominant male!
You will therefore to correct the bad behavior of the dog and discipline it use not only positive punishment but it must always be followed with positive reinforcement when your dog finally understands and stops his bad behavior.
So, reprimand the bad behavior of the dog while rewarding the good behavior with which you want to change it.
You can also use Remote Punishment to discipline your dog by anticipating his bad behavior and acting without him seeing you!
If your dog jumps on your chest every time you come home from work, once you are at your door and you hear him excited behind the front door, talk to him, ask him to sit and once you think he has finally calmed down, open the door, but first don’t make any noise when you hear him jumping behind the door and if you open the door and he is trying to jump on you, close the door and ask him to sit and come back in.
What is negative punishment in dog training?
To discipline your dog or puppy, you can also take away his reward, his toy, his treat … and this is called negative punishment as opposed to positive punishment which is to add to the bad behavior an act that your dog will not like.
You can for example interrupt the outing to the backyard as soon as your dog starts digging or barking at the neighbors … , you will take away from the dog something he likes to punish him for the bad behavior that you do not like!
How to discipline a dog not caught in the act?
The punishment of dogs should always follow the crime !
Unfortunately a dog ( most of them ) will never understand why he was punished if you don’t catch him in the act!! the best way is to watch your dog and act within seconds of the bad behavior so that he associates his act with your punishment.
If you come home and find that your dog has torn the toilet paper or done his business in the hallway, you can only drag him to see the damage and show him that you are not happy, he will feel your sadness but it is better to watch him and confront him with his act at the very moment he does it!
What to do right after you punished your dog ?
Punishment should always be followed by teaching good behavior, so you will gradually replace bad behavior with good behavior, and you should reward your dog for any sign of improvement and good behavior.
For example, if you give your dog some treats and he doesn’t let you take them back, take them back even if you have to pull him by the leash and put him in his crate.
But as soon as he understands that he should not growl at you if you want to take his treats away and he lets you pick them up, plan on getting better treats than the ones you took away and give them to your dog as a reward for his good behavior to reinforce it.
How to punish and discipline your dogs for fighting ?
If you’re looking for a positive way to discipline your dogs which are fighting, here’s how to do it:
When you understand that your dogs are not going to stop fighting, for a bone or a toy for example, you will start by stopping them by drawing their attention to something else and prepare to discipline them regardless of which one started the fight!
Sometimes it’s enough to say “let’s go” or the command you use when you are ready to take them to the park… otherwise, a glass of cold water will quickly separate them
At the same time you will take away whatever it is that made them fight! it could be a toy, food, etc.
Put each dog in their “bad dog corners” if not start putting them in two separate rooms or put them back in their respective Kennels if they are puppies, make sure you treat them both the same!
Wait until they both calm down, you’ll see them distracted by something else! It usually only takes a few minutes.
If when you release them, they start fighting again, put them back in their kennels quickly, but this time double the time they stay separated from each other, like an hour or more!
Finally, you must know that it is maybe because of you that they fought ! You may have created confusion between them without realizing it, by giving them food in the same bowl, by giving them different toys or even just one toy like that, by playing more with one while ignoring the other, by giving more attention to one than the other, by giving more treats to one of them, etc.
It is now time for positive reinforcement as a final phase, reward them both with the same number of treats or two of the same kind of toys when they stop fighting when you take them out of isolation, you can even reward them with a short trip to the backyard… which they love the most!
How to punish a dog for digging ?
You should know that digging is a normal behavior in dogs and should not be seen as a bad behavior that deserves to be punished !
Dogs dig to satisfy a need, this act stimulates them, they clean their nails, they stretch their paws, some even just do it innately because they may also want to hide a bone and bury it for example for later … etc
The problem then is to discipline a dog that digs in a place where it should not!!! like when it digs your flowers or your salad patch or even when they make holes in your lawn …
Here is what to do to stop your dog from digging everywhere :
When you catch your dog digging and not once he is done and back in the house, you have to catch him so he understands the reason why you are punishing him!
You will start by interrupting the bad behavior with a loud noise for example or even sprinkle him with a little water (not in winter!!)
You can also associate this act with a command like “No dig here! “In his presence, you will fill the hole he created and put something on it, like a stone, a pot, chicken wire …. Etc and take him to a place where he can dig.
You must repeat this exercise each time you catch him digging in that spot and if you notice that he is not listening to you, you will have to bring him into the house each time he shows this bad behavior and you will make him go through that area while holding his jubilation but without stopping and take him to another area where he can dig.
Continue these exercises until he finally understands that he can’t dig and make holes everywhere!
how to punish a dog for getting in the trash ?
As I explained before, you will have to watch your dog to catch him at the very moment he puts his head in the trash can.
You will then attract his attention with a loud noise, tell him a command in a loud voice, you can use “No trash” or “disgusting! “… and you will take him away from the trash can and take him straight to his ” bed dog corner or even lock him in his kennel “ if he persists in his bad behavior.
You will then create another occupation or distraction for your dog as soon as you get him out of his kennel by encouraging him to find his favorite toy that you would have previously hidden! Scatter treats around the house and encourage him to find them…
You can also use a repellent if your dog is left alone in the house, this will keep him away from the trash can when you are not at home.
how to punish a dog for going potty in the house ?
In this case, your dog has not had any potty training ! yet and you will have to do it and train him to go potty only in authorized places like outside the house or in the bathroom, at least not in the house, not in his kennel, not under your bed or on your lawn…etc
You will start by putting your dog on a regular feeding schedule and detect when he will surely want to relieve himself (usually within half an hour after eating, or a little less!) so that you take him straight to the place dedicated to his needs (potty pad, bathroom, outside the house …)
Reward your dog each time he uses this place to do his business
Don’t forget to clean and remove the smell of urine from the places where your dog has accidentally urinated so that he won’t have the urge to do it again every time he passes by that place!
Accidents like this happen to dogs all the time, even those that have had crate training can show this bad behavior sometimes! Don’t punish your dog for an accident like this, but for a repetitive behavior!
And if you go out and leave your dog in the house, put him in his kennel or only allow him access to one room and the bathroom, make sure you take him outside right after his morning meal to encourage him to do his business before you go to work.
Let’s wrap this up
All these punishments can be avoided if you train your dog, start with the Crate training, as soon as you bring your puppy home, and continue to train your dog all his life, so that he learns all the time to behave well and be really happy in your company because he will always know what you expect from him.
Dont Forget :
You must never punish or discipline your dog without making him understand why and above all you must always encourage the dog to do a good deed and reward him right after the punishment.