Despite being adorable creatures, puppies can feel overwhelming for new pet parents to handle since they're developing creatures. For example, your puppy could do their business on your bed, destroy your couch, chew your favorite shoe, and break delicate items.
If you're experiencing this problem and want to curb such bad behaviors in your furry friend without feeling abusive, we're here for you. This article will focus on how to discipline your puppy without aggression or violence, ensuring they mature to reach both physical and mental maturity.
Why you shouldn't use violence or aggression
Confronting bad behaviors from your new puppy aggressively isn't a recommended course of action since it damages the relationship you have with the canine. Furthermore, using force and violence will result in insecurities, fearfulness, and even aggression.
Essentially, spanking your dog doesn't address the problem as you're only conditioning them to see you as a source of pain and not fun. In most instances, physical discipline only makes your puppy confused and scared because you're subjecting them to pain for no conceivable reason.
Ultimately, violence is not the answer whether you're disciplining them for defecating in inappropriate locations, excessive barking, chewing your furniture, or breaking delicate items. Instead, it only makes matters worse.
How to discipline your puppy
Being a pet parent requires patience to train your dog to exhibit your desired behavior, and this section shows the best ways to achieve this goal. Here's what you need to know:
Catch your dog in the act
It's not uncommon to walk into the room and see your puppy defecating on the bed or ripped open your favorite shoe. In this case, it's best to resist any urge to discipline the canine as you can reprimand it for what happened in the past.
The best option is to address your puppy's behavior while or immediately after it happens since dogs forget events within two minutes. This action lets them understand that they're being disciplined and hopefully choose a more positive behavior.
Consider medical issues
Suppose your puppy suddenly began urinating on random places despite you potty training them with the best puppy pad. In this case, there's a possibility that this frequent, uncontrolled urination arises from medical issues, like a urinary tract infection.
A trip to the veterinarian should help decipher whether your dog's being a bad boy or a helpless canine with issues beyond its control. Also, dogs are clean creatures with a distaste for soiling in their home area; therefore, it may be a sign of internal problems if they urinate uncontrollably.
Correct with an alternative solution
Learning to discipline a puppy involves providing an alternative solution and redirecting their destructive force to a more appropriate item.
For example, suppose you catch your dog in the act of ripping your shoe apart; in this case, you quickly halt the action, release your shoe from their mouth, and calm the dog down.
Afterward, provide your puppy with a chew toy, letting them know they were reprimanded for destroying a valuable but providing a proper redirection for their nature.
*Note: Provide positive reinforcement whenever they exhibit good behavior by munching on the toy instead.
While being less smart than humans, your puppy is intelligent nonetheless. Therefore, they can distinguish between your normal tone and shouting voice, like how we understand a playful bark from an aggressive one.
If your puppy training method is to yell and scream, the dog will tune you out eventually since you begin to sound like loud noise. Furthermore, the scenario can worsen, and your puppy chooses violence in return, becoming agitated and aggressive.
Irrespective of your command, speak clearly to your dog; use a calm, clear, and simple voice with straightforward instructions.
Set restrictions and how to discipline your puppy
How to discipline your puppy starts with setting boundaries on what is permissible and beyond reach. This action is necessary since your puppy is a learning animal and will be interested in your home, playing with whatever item it finds.
Failing to distinguish between your property and theirs often results in them chewing your shoes, ripping the couch, and defecating in the kitchen.
The best way to set these restrictions is to keep your belongings out of sight as they mature and restrict entrance into certain areas like your bedroom, kitchen, workplace, etc.
Don't permit it because of the behavior and its cute appearance. They'll stick to it until adulthood when initiating a change will be a colossal task. Start from the beginning.
Encourage good behavior
Stopping bad behavior immediately is important in dog training, but it is equally necessary to praise the canine whenever it succeeds and acts. This positive reinforcement can include giving treats, playtime, petting, and other forms of reward that dogs value.
Encouraging good behavior whenever it appears lets your puppy know what you expect from them. Furthermore, you can associate these rewards with a simple verbal cue like "yes!" or "good boy," letting them know they've done something well.
For example, if your dog stopped barking after hearing your command or used their potty pad correctly? Pet them or give them treats.
Don't take breaks or let some bad behavior slide because you're tired, busy, or not in the mood. For example, if you reprimand your dog for barking unnecessarily at the neighbors, do it every time it happens.
Failing to correct your puppy consistently will confuse it on which behavior is good and bad, letting it succumb to its desires and ignore your previous efforts. Therefore, don't give your furry friend a "just this once" card; initiate a correction whenever bad actions happen.
Learning how to discipline your puppy is tough, but each correction helps mold it into the best friend possible. Also, bonding, correcting, and rewarding help strengthen your connection and make you two inseparable.
However, if your dog refuses to comply with your instructions and keeps ruining the environment, making loud sounds, and being a bad boy, consider consulting a dog trainer for a more specific disciplinary method.