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.

9 comments for “7 ways to discipline your dog

  1. Denise sexton
    September 3, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    I have a German Shepard. Yesterday I have my chihuahua a bath and let it outside. When I called my chihuahua in she nipped at him. Later on that night someone let the chihuahua out of the house and this morning I found him dead in the yard with puncher wounds. You could tell my Shepard bit into him all 4 fang teeth imbedded in his chest and abdominal area. How do I disipline my German Shepard. I have another chihauhau that is only 5
    Pounds. I don’t want this to happen again. What do I do?

  2. stormy
    September 3, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    I would not leave your two dogs together if you suspect your German Shepard of hurting your chihuahua. You can’t discipline a dog after the fact. You either have to catch them in the act or train them before hand how to act.

  3. Max
    January 8, 2015 at 8:07 pm

    I have a lab called max , if you go out side an pat and play with him he turns it into jumping on you growling and biting really hard. I’ve tried everything to stop him
    Put him a lead for a few minutes
    Hitting him
    Spraying him
    Not giving him dinner
    Nothing will work he will keep jumping and biting you until your inside away from him
    What do i do ???

  4. stormy
    January 8, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    I would not hit him or deny him food. Is he drawing blood? If not, it sounds like he wants to play. So I’d find some games to play with him. To keep him from jumping up, you can keep a leash on him and stand on it when he’s about to jump.

  5. Jo-Danan
    January 21, 2015 at 9:52 am

    Hi Stormy
    I have a 1 1/2 year old pure breed stuffy x labradoodle, he is generally well behaved and to my knowledge of dog behaviour, will at times exhibit ‘boystrous’ behaviour though over the last couple of weeks has suddenly started becoming destructive, he has completely wrecked multiple flyscreens on door, most recently doing so only two days after fixing them and has chewed on parts of the wooden house (worrying as I am renting). It seems he is acting out during the times that we are not home but have been home for a certain amount of time prior to putting him back outside. We have another dog (labradoodle-his dad) who has never exhibited these behaviours. I am unable to leave bones outside at the moment as we have European wasps swarming our backyard (though the nest is not in our yard so we can not get rid of them) though have been advised not to leave meat out as it attracts them. If you have any advise on how to discipline or hopefully stop this behaviour I would really appreciate it. Also he is being castrated in a weeks time and we are hoping this will help out. What do you think?
    Thank you

  6. stormy
    January 21, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    Has anything changed recently? Even things you might not think of as very important?

  7. Jo-Danan
    January 21, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    The only thing I can think of is I went away for ten days and it seems that since then this behaviour has started, we also put a blow up pool in the back yard which he is quite fond of but it does limit the running space a bit more, though we do try and take them for a run every day, weather depending..

  8. Camryn
    January 22, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    My dog chewed up my brand-new jacket what do I do to discipline him I put his pen but that did not work.🐶

  9. stormy
    January 22, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    You have a chance to tell him “no” when you take a way the jacket. But there’s really no way to discipline him later.

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