Bringing home a dog, is the dream for many dog lovers. You want to have a great relationship with them as your companion. We also want to trust them to not run away, not bite things in the house and behave on walks or when people come over to the house. Those things come with time and training. You might get a dog that already knows a lot of behaviors that humans like to see in their dog but often, especially with puppies, you might have to teach them. So now you’re asking yourself how to discipline your dog when he misbehaves. Should I punish my dog for misbehaving? Should I use positive reinforcement?
Is it good to discipline a puppy?
Yes, disciplining your puppy is good in the sense that you want to train him to obey your rules. No, you should not discipline your puppy by punishing him as a response for disobedience to your rules.
Look at it this way: Your puppy doesn’t know what your rules are and needs to learn.
If you punish your puppy by yelling or other punishments, it can make your puppy fearful of you or even perceive you as a threat. This would be bad for your relationship and trust you’re trying to build.
You can change your tone of voice. For example, use a sterner, calm but firm voice and a signal when your pup is doing something bad or turn your back and ignore your dog for a short time. This still shows the puppy you’re not happy and not giving it attention that he might want.
Physical punishment can also make your dog aggressive or he may take out his frustration by barking or even biting. You don’t want to be counterproductive and harvest bad behaviors or make them worse.
Instead, use positive reinforcements to reward good behavior. It is a much better way to discipline a dog for both of you.
When using positive reinforcement methods, you’ll want to make sure to reward your pup right away when he does something desirable. This will help your puppy understand what he is being rewarded for.
Use small treats as a way to reward your new puppy for good behavior. Who doesn’t love a nice snack? It is also good to teach your dog a word or signal while giving the treat. For example, you can use a clicker or say a word or phrase. This helps you slowly going away from giving treats after some time while still showing your dog that you like his behavior.
When to start to discipline your dog?
You’ll want to start disciplining your doggie as soon as you bring him home. The faster you start dog training your dog the better. Especially puppies will learn fast while they’re young and everything Is still pretty new to them.
However, don’t be discouraged to try to train an older dog. You can still teach them better behaviors and even tricks. You might just need more practice and patience with them.
How to I make my dog stop barking so much?
If your dog is barking excessively it can be very irritating for you or your neighbors. If you start yelling at your dog in response to this negative behavior, you might encourage them more incentive to continue barking. Your puppy might interpret your yelling that you are barking with them. Instead, you can try to turn away from them and not giving them attention. You can also try to teach them a command “Quiet” by holding a treat in front of their nose. Dogs can’t smell and bark at the same time.
How do I stop my new puppy from biting things?
You need to make sure that your dog is not hungry and has his own things to chew on, like a chew toy. Dogs like to use their teeth and nose so giving them chew toys that can occupy them by using their senses it might help with biting.
Especially for puppies who have a lot of energy, it is important for pet parents to keep in mind that they might need more playtime or walks to keep up with their energy. If they are bored or frustrated, they might bark or chew more to keep them busy or get attention.
When your pup gets older, your dog will change by itself, too. Puppy behavior is very different because they have so much energy, are teething, and want to explore and test things.
Always try to find the reason behind the bad behavior first and see if you can distract them with an alternative.
The most important thing is to build your relationship between you and your new puppy. As a pet parent you might want to get a professional dog trainer if you are having trouble disciplining your dog’s behavior problems yourself. Dog trainers are experienced and know a lot of ways that they can try to stop your dog’s bad behaviors and train your dog for good behaviors.