7 ways to discipline your dog

99058668_c2534056f0 There are many ways to discipline your dog. Be careful when using them that you are disciplining your dog while they are doing the bad behavior and not after they’ve quit. For example, if your dog is barking in the back yard and every time you come to the door, he stops barking and you yell at him, he may not get that you are yelling at him for barking earlier. If you yell at him every time he barks at someone, he might associate your barking with other people showing up and assume the other people are bad. You don’t yell at him when they aren’t around, right?

Here are seven ways to discipline your dog from the book How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With:

  1. Distract. Make a loud noise to distract your puppy from whatever they are doing. A loud yell, a slap on the table or shake a jar with a few pennies in it. This should startle him and focus his attention on you.
  2. Scruff-Shake. Grab the fur under his ear on his neck and shake – a “brief but brisk shake”. This works best if you catch them in the act and the scruff-shake is a surprise.
  3. Put-Down. Push the puppy over (quickly but gently) either on to his side or onto his back and lean over him. This reinforces that you are dominant.
  4. Isolation. Say no and then ignore your puppy. Puppies are very social and they won’t like it that you aren’t paying attention to them.
  5. Time-Out. Put the puppy outside for a few minutes and then try the same situation again. Or you can stop playing or interacting with the puppy for a few minutes, if you were part of the situation.
  6. Squirt Bottles. Say “off” or “no” and squirt your dog at the same time. Water guns make this fun for you. Unfortunately many dogs (and cats) find this a fun game as well. Rutherford and Neil suggest using vinegar then, one part vinegar to six parts water.
  7. Sit Command. Right after saying no, say sit. This gives your dog something else to do other than the bad thing. I’ve also found it effective to just say sit. Usually when they sit they can no longer do whatever it is you didn’t like.

My dad used to swat our puppy with an empty plastic milk jug or rolled up newspaper. It was probably the distraction that worked, not the being hit.

What methods of discipline work best for you and your dog?

Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/chainsawpanda/ / CC BY 2.0.

113 comments for “7 ways to discipline your dog

  1. Agapito
    November 10, 2017 at 4:37 pm

    Awesome advice on teaching your loved pup behavior. Thank you it works.

  2. Tom
    December 20, 2017 at 4:59 am

    My two year old dog will run off 7 miles to a house that have 4 dogs. I don’t know how to stop him from doing this.

  3. noreen fenrich
    January 9, 2018 at 11:47 pm

    If it is a small dog that has a kennel with a blanket in it, when disciplining the dog, when it is -30, what’s the recommended time to leave it outside.

  4. stormy
    January 10, 2018 at 5:08 am

    Your dog should not be outside when it’s -30.

  5. anonymous
    January 11, 2018 at 12:29 am

    Wow lol u mean abuse? Use positive reinforcement instead. The only one of these that’s okay is the ignore one.

  6. CoRrInE
    February 4, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    My dog just swalloed a piece of Dove chocolate with the wrapper on it. My sister pushed all of the chairs in to the table and she found a way to get up. Later, I was playing with her and trying to get it out of her system quicker and she thought I was going to take her toy and she bit my breast. I was surprised that she did it, but not really because she is a violent dog. She growls at anyone that she has not known as a puppy. I need a way to tell her that swallowing the chocolate and biting me. She also scratched me so bad that I bled and I was so angry. I also need to discipline her a lot more. Can anyone tell me some good ways to do that? Thanks

  7. Gary
    March 14, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    can isolation be putting my dog in the kennel he sleeps in at night for a short period of time?

  8. stormy
    March 14, 2018 at 5:19 pm

    It could be, but the goal is not to punish the dog but to show them that if they play inappropriately, they don’t get to play. So “isolation” should be turning your back during play if the play gets too rough. I could see using the crate if the dog is just way too excited and you need a time out. I wouldn’t leave your dog there very long though.

  9. Mak
    April 3, 2018 at 3:03 am

    I have an 1 to 2 year old husky I just got and she dosent listen to a word I say, what do u think I should do to get her to listen

  10. Debra
    April 12, 2018 at 1:16 am

    When I leave my dog home alone he chews holes in the walls of our brand new home. When I get home, the act has already occurred, so I’m not sure how to discipline him. I have walked him over to the wall and told him no. But I doubt that he understands what I’m upset about. He is 180lb English Mastiff and crating him is hard with his size. Any ideas?

  11. stormy
    April 12, 2018 at 1:36 am

    You cannot discipline after the fact. You either need to set him up for a failure you can watch or not leave him in that situation when you are not around.

    You can crate a large dog. They just need room to stand up, turn around and lie down.

  12. Abby
    April 18, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    Discipline is discipline!- all of these are good tips lol- and the english mastiff yes you kennel his ass up. Get yourself an extra large kennel which is 85 bucks from petsmart- if you can’t train that dog and make your dogs understand that you are alpha your dogs will walk all over you and run your house- i have 2 5mo pups who are germen shepard huskey mastiff. Who sit stay and come. They are house broke and littermates- BECAUSE they have had positive reinforcement and negitive- you put their nose in it when they do something bad and tell them naughty. You catch them chewing you tell them not yours and give them a toy. when they go potty out side- you give them a treat!. When you leave them home for X amout of time out of the kennel and they had no accident or didnt ruin anything you give them a special treat. That is how your dogs learn.

  13. Malorie
    April 21, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    Hello, So I need some advice on how to discipline my dog. She wont listen to me but she listens to my husband. She likes to play too rough with our cat and I tell her to stop and then she comes after me thinking I’m playing and she will bite me as if I’m playing and I try to tell her no don’t bite but she continues to do it. Shes only 7 months old.

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