Disciplining Your Dog

It is important to remember that your dog needs lots of attention and training to ensure that it behaves properly. These two things will do more in preventing bad behavior that disciplining your dog will. However, your dog will still misbehave on occasion. It’s important at these times to be sure that you’re correcting the behavior and that your dog understands this. If you don’t catch your dog in the act of doing whatever the bad thing is, you can’t actually discipline your dog for it. Your dog will not understand what it did wrong; it will only understand that you are upset about something. When you do catch your dog misbehaving, there are some disciplining tricks that will help prevent it in the future. The word “No” is very effective, especially when it receives a little something extra. Lowering the pitch of your voice when telling your dog “No” helps it to understand that what it is doing is bad. It may not respond as well to a higher pitched voice because it associates that with happier things. Spraying a water bottle or water gun at your dog while giving the “no” command will also provide extra incentive for it to stop what it’s doing. If your dog does not respond to this as you would wish, add one part vinegar to six parts water. The vinegar will be unpleasant for your dog but will not harm it, provided it is properly diluted. Establishing a time out in which your dog understands what it is being punished for is also effective. There can be a physical time out or a mental one. A mental time out would be telling your dog “No” and then ignoring it for a few minutes so that it understands that it was misbehaving. Most of the time, prevention is the best discipline that you can use. If you are going to be away for any length of time, enclosing your dog in a crate or smaller area will keep it from tearing up your house or going to the bathroom inside. Starting with training your puppy early on will prevent bad behavior as it grows because it will understand boundaries better. Always be consistent however you discipline your dog and never do so unless you catch your dog in the act.

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