Dogs are known to be a man’s best friend. This relationship starts on the day the puppy is brought home. But for the relationship to thrive, a dog owner must first teach his new puppy basic dog obedience.
Correcting bad behavior is not an easy task. And most are wondering how to discipline a puppy without being too harsh.
As a new puppy owner, you may find yourself faced with the challenge of guiding your furry friend’s behavior and teaching them appropriate boundaries. Discipline plays a crucial role in shaping your puppy’s behavior, but it’s essential to find the right balance between correction and not being too harsh on your puppy.
Disciplining a puppy involves teaching them what is acceptable behavior and what is not. Yet, it should always be done in a manner that fosters trust and understanding. It should be done in the most humane manner and with the use of positive reinforcement.
By employing gentle discipline techniques, you can guide your puppy’s behavior and shape its habits without causing fear or distress. There is no necessity to resort to harsh or negative punishments as it can only trigger them to fear you and develop negative behaviors.
In this blog post, let’s delve into the ways to discipline a puppy without being too harsh on them.
The Importance Of Discipline
Bringing home new puppies is like having a new member of the family. Just like humans, they need attention, want to be cherished, and need to be taken care of in the best way possible.
Since puppies are also good social beings, they easily learn and are obedient to what is asked of them with proper supervision.
Puppy discipline will significantly be of help in his growth in becoming a good adult dog. Besides, you get to spend quality time with your beloved pup.
Having quality time with your puppy could also be excellent mental therapy for both you and your pup. You will have lots of fun memories with your furry pup. Treasuring your time together with your dogs can make your training less burdensome and a more memorable one.
When Should One Start To Discipline A Puppy?
At what age should you start disciplining your puppy?
Disciplining a puppy should start the moment you bring your new puppy home. Discipline imposed on your young puppy is part of their training.
Make sure to correct your pup’s bad behavior at the earliest opportunity. Start early and start them young!
As part of the initial dog training process, mild disciplining of pups is necessary. It is a way for your puppy to learn good behavior. It is like soft or informal training for your puppies.
As your puppy starts to grow, little by little, you teach your dog where to eat, where to drink, where to poop and pee, and other minor things like that. There will be days when they will forget how to do these small things and may exhibit bad behaviors, and that’s where discipline comes in.
As part of disciplining them, they learn some habits and behaviors which will make your bond with them stronger.
With the help of some reinforcement, it is easier to teach our puppy good behavior.
What Does “Discipline” Entail?
Disciplining your puppies requires proper training (e.g., puppy socialization classes), patience, and positive reinforcement. For extreme negative behavior, try to understand the reason behind such behavior.
Never punish your pet, even if it keeps taking much of your attention. You might want to hire a dog trainer when you can no longer give that much attention to your dogs and what they need, like when you are busy with work. The dog trainer can effectively train your puppy to learn new and desirable attitudes.
The good thing about raising a puppy is that your young pup learns fast.
Likewise, your pup quickly remembers the new tasks he is taught. They easily learn a behavior when they are taught at the early stages of their lives.
Just like raising a kid, there are times when your puppies may be too playful or naughty. Undesirable behavior may cause you to be annoyed, which is not a good thing for you and your pup. Hence, being a pet parent also requires a lot of patience.
Finally, positive reinforcements have always been proven effective in dog training.
To discipline your dog, make sure to have puppy treats at hand to let them know their positive behavior is appreciated.
Another example of positive reinforcement is to give your dog verbal praise. Even comforting sounds would do as long as they know that it is an appreciation of the way they behave.
Using dog toys like this Hartz DuraPlay Bacon Scented Dog Toys will give them lots of playtimes to occupy their minds.
Additionally, taking your dog for walks and bringing them outside to play and have some fun are other ways to reinforce good behavior.
How Do I Stop My Puppy from Misbehaving?
When your puppy exhibits negative behavior, such as making a loud noise for no reason at all, it can be quite annoying and disheartening. When this happens, we are in a quandary on how to address them and this behavior.
And so you are faced with the challenge of how to discipline your puppy for bad behavior. What exactly would be the best thing to do and not do?
First, make sure not to give your dog physical punishment as it is not the solution to the problem, and it never works in dog training.
Instead, here are some insights on how you can discipline your puppy and improve their behavior without using punishment.
Make some house rules for your puppies.
Since your puppy is part of the family, you may want to address some of the do’s and don’t’s that he must respect around the house. Your puppy must learn which things he can play with and which ones are off-limits.
For example, a puppy loves to chew on things. But the problem arises when he starts chewing on your favorite shoes, the sofa, or any other household objects.
Do not physically punish him just to reprimand him for chewing and biting things. You must instill in him that what he is doing is not right. He must understand that he can only play with the toys that you bought him.
You could take several actions to fix his chewing and biting behaviors. First, clear the area where your dog usually stays. That way, your personal things are out of reach. Instead, provide him with chew toys to assuage his need to chew and bite.
You can also try to keep him on a leash to stop him from chewing and biting things he can get his teeth into. A leash would limit his reach and keep him from getting a bite or chewing on anything. See to it, though, that his leash is chew-proof, as it might be the next thing he would be chewing or biting.
Your puppies must also develop a daily routine for their activities around the house. Supervision must be given on where to eat, the proper place to pee or poop outside, and where he can freely play around.
Your puppy can quickly adapt to these things by making it his daily habit. And it must be appropriately shown to him constantly.
Disciplining your puppies in a positive way.
Your puppies may misbehave at times or can be annoying when barking at those passing by your house. When your pup is barking excessively, you can stop him by bringing him to an area where he will not see the passersby. See to it that the area is secure, and he cannot go back to where he used to be. Otherwise, he will just go back there and start barking once again.
In other instances of extreme barking, dog trainers and vets recommend that you just make a calm but firm noise.
You can use a whistle, clap, or do something to get his attention. Redirecting him to another activity is another effective way of solving these problems. Use his favorite toy as a distraction. Get his attention away from what he is doing with dog toys. It will stop him from such bad behavior.
Establish signals as cues for your dog to behave.
Establishing signals would also help in disciplining your puppy. These signals are used when something is off or when your pup is acting in a negative manner. These signals can tell your puppies that what he is doing is inappropriate behavior.
Training your dogs every day can help them establish desirable behavior and remember these things.
Provide positive reinforcement.
Giving your puppies a reward or other training treats for doing something good is also a good reinforcement to minimize behavioral problems.
You might want to give him a well-deserved snack with this Pup-Peroni Dog Snacks. Lavish him in the flavor he most loved.
It is suggested that you reward treats right after your pet does something good. It will help him identify that he gets the treat for doing the right thing. These healthy treats can make you and your puppy happy and have a strong bond.
Praising your dogs can be rewarding for them. Words like “good job” or “good dog” encourage them to do and behave well.
No physical punishment at all times.
Do not use punishment to discipline your puppy. It is never the answer.
Physically punishing your pups may result in them being aggressive and misbehaving more. Sometimes, they would take it on others by barking or, worse, biting visitors or guests.
Sometimes, you would be tempted to starve your dog due to some unsatisfactory behavior. Starving them would not get them to behave the way you want them to. This might only result in forcing your dogs to chew on things to satisfy their cravings or hunger.
Remember, there is always another way to discipline your dog without using punishment.
You could always use positive reinforcement to keep your dogs from inculcating bad behaviors.
Be firm and consistent, and make time for your puppy.
Disciplining your puppy and correcting their behavior can be a tough job at the beginning. But, in the process, it can be rewarding to yourself as well. You must be firm and consistent in disciplining your furry pet to help him retain and memorize what he needs to learn.
In correcting or giving praise to your puppy, you must be concrete. Be definite in showing him which is which. You need to eliminate any confusion on your pet’s part on whether he did the right thing or not.
It is best to invest your time and attention in supervising and monitoring your puppy.
This will contribute much to correcting behavior problems and will be of great assistance in his growth. It will help him in becoming the best version of himself.
Is It Okay To Discipline A Puppy?
Yes, it is completely okay and acceptable to discipline your puppy. It is actually important to teach them good behavior. However, discipline entails teaching them good behavior without punishing them.
Physical punishments are Never the Answer
But physical punishment is never the right way of disciplining your young puppy. Punishing them physically may only trigger them to develop worse behavior than what they are already exhibiting.
In some mild cases, it can lead them to become shy or scared of people. In worse instances, it may even cause them to be aggressive toward you.
Nor is Shouting or Yelling
Shouting or yelling at your puppy is also not advisable since he may misinterpret it as a threat. Your puppy may develop fear towards you and would cringe every time he sees you. Or your dog may grow up fearing any kind of loud noise in and outside your home. That would not be a very pleasant scenario for both of you.
Again, always remember, though, that punishment never works.
Use Signals as Alternative
Instead, you may want to use signals to make him understand that what he did was wrong or correct him in a firm tone.
Now that you have these ideas on how to correct your puppy’s behavior, take time to enjoy your moments together.
Always remember that being a pet parent is one difficult job. But, once you enjoy your training and bonding time together, it can be very therapeutic for you since a dog’s love is also one of a kind.
Get Professional Help
In cases when you do not have time to correct your dog’s behavior and provide guidance on how your dog should behave, it is best to seek professional help. Engage the service of an animal behavior consultant or a professional pet behavior specialist to get your dog some help.
It is important that negative behaviors are addressed at the earliest possible opportunity. Train your dog to avoid these negative behaviors by hiring a dog trainer to help you with this.
Create a nurturing and positive training environment for your puppy together. Embark on the journey of gentle discipline and watch your puppy thrive!