Disciplining a Dog
Part of dog training is dog discipline, and although positive reinforcement is preferable when dog training, sometimes it is unavoidable. Having a basic understanding of dog psychology will help you to provide the best level of dog care and to make the dog training effective as effective as possible. This article outlines how to give a dog discipline whilst staying calm.
- One of the most important things to understand when going through dog training is that dogs do not misbehave on purpose and there is often an underlying reason as to why a dog plays up. These reasons can include a lack of exercise or mental stimulation, any illness or pain as well as a lack of leadership. Dogs are pack animals and need to know where they fit in. The first step to providing dog care is to take the animal to a vet and see if they can spot any issues.
- If and when you have to discipline a dog, it should be done immediately after the bad behaviour has happened, or is still happening. A dog will not be able to understand what he is being disciplined for unless it happens at the same time as the bad behaviour. This makes dog training much easier as the dog can associate the two events.
- If you catch the dog in the act of doing something bad than clap your hands and bang a surface. The dog should stop and look at you, if he does, wait a few seconds then provide some positive reinforcement in the form of praise. Give the dog something else to do so that he doesn’t repeat the behaviour. After a while, this method of dog training should alter the dog’s behaviour.
- Any dog discipline actions should be short and sharp such as a clap and a bang. Try and make the time you spend giving praise to a dog longer than you what you would spend disciplining him.
- When handing out dog discipline, if the dog runs off to his bed or another safe place to lie down, you should leave the dog alone. He has understood his punishment and not further action is required. An effective part of dog care is to know when to leave him alone.
- If the dog discipline doesn’t produce any changes in the dog’s behaviour then you may not be punishing him at the right time. What the dog thinks is the bad behaviour and what you do could be different. For instance, if the dog jumps up at people and you tell him to get down, he might be learning the command to get down rather than not to jump up in the first place. Try putting your hand out and say ‘No’ when he looks like he is going to jump up. If he follows the command, heap lots of praise on him and reward him for not jumping.
- When carrying out dog training and applying dog discipline, it is always best to try and understand what is making the dog misbehave rather than simply stopping certain behaviours. If the dog is acting out from boredom, try to keep him occupied.
- Consistency is the key to successful dog training and dog care. It makes the dog understand what they can and can’t do much better.
- Expect the dog to make mistakes from time to time, it is only natural. They actually give you an opportunity to reinforce the rules.