Don’t Punish your Dog – It Doesn’t Work

Why You Don’t Want to Punish Your Pet

When you first bring home a dog you want to make sure that you don’t influence them negatively. That can be especially difficult when you’re training your dog to demonstrate good behavior. When your dog demonstrates bad behavior, instinctually we’ll feel upset, frustrated, or even flat-out angry. You might act out on your dog through these emotions and negatively influence them in a way you didn’t intend. Yelling, spanking, and even aggressive handling can mentally damage your dog and don’t yield good behavior. In short, any sort of negative reinforcement on your pet doesn’t work whatsoever. In fact, you might actually be causing further problems for them. Continue reading down below to see why you don’t want to punish your dog but “correct” them instead.

Timing is Everything

Dogs are associative learners. Your dog will learn how a certain behavior they perform will be followed by a certain consequence or reward. They also have short attention spans – roughly 45 seconds – and will forget anything within a short span of time. This is why an immediate correction is needed after they’ve demonstrated bad behavior.

For the first few weeks after bringing a new dog home, you’ll need to keep an eye on them. Look at what bad behaviors they demonstrate. If they demonstrate bad behavior, you want to immediately provide a consequence for it. Doing it early is important so that they can learn soon, but it’s perhaps more important that you provide an immediate consequence. 

For example, if you find out later that your dog chewed up your shoes as opposed to earlier, and you decide to attempt to correct their behavior while it is sleeping on its bedding, they will not learn from their mistake. By performing your correction on them now you’re only conditioning them to learn from the behavior they are currently doing. In this case, spanking your dog while it is sleeping because it chewed up your shoes will not correct its behavior.  You are not teaching your dog to not chew on shoes, you are teaching it to not sleep.

This is unhealthy for the dog because you’re conditioning it to not perform a behavior that is otherwise tolerable.

Follow your dog everywhere when it’s introduced to a new living environment. Perform the necessary actions required immediately after it has demonstrated bad behavior. It will prove to be more beneficial the longer the dog continues to live there. 

Correction vs. Punishment

As stated earlier, you don’t want to punish your dog. You want to correct it. Punishment doesn’t work, only correction.

Punishing your dog hasn’t only been proven to be ineffective but it also breaks the bond between you and your pet. Spanking your dog, for instance, causes your dog to fear you. And it will especially fear you for doing an action you didn’t intend to punish it for. If your dog is at a distance away from you, for instance, and you call it over to spank it for peeing on the rug, it will learn to fear you from calling its name as opposed to the bad behavior.

Another reason why punishing your dog won’t work is because your form of punishment might not even work as a punishment. In fact, you could even be forcing them to exhibit bad behavior. yelling at your dog, for example, usually doesn’t work. Yelling at your dog only excites them and they will see it as you wanting to play with them. Doing this following bad behavior they’ve demonstrated will condition them to do that bad behavior repeatedly when they have a desire to play.

Dogs need guidance in what they are doing wrong in order to correct bad behaviors. When your dog does something wrong, your first instinct is to punish them or yell at them as if they were another human. Dogs do not learn this way. When your dog does something wrong, take a deep breath and help them understand what they have done wrong. Tell them to go to their crate (if they have one) or an area where they feel comfortable.

Again, you do not want to punish your dog. Learn how to correct them on bad behavior and to reward them for good ones.

Need Assistance in Dog Training? Call the Professionals

Training your dog can be difficult. Even if you do know that punishment won’t fix their behavior, you are left to wonder what forms of consequence/reward are needed to correct them. If you’re having trouble training your dog, then don’t hesitate to call Giving a Dog a Bone. The people of Giving a Dog a Bone have serviced many dog owners to ensure that their pets come out as good, well-behaved animals. They are well-versed in the “correctional” treatment of dogs and can guarantee that your dog will be trained in the proper way. If interested call us at (772)-600-8435 or visit our contact page.


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