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How To Discipline a Puppy?

Did you recently bring home an adorable little puppy who has made your life a living hell? You’re probably starting to think your puppy is less of an angel and more of a devil. Maybe your puppy is biting, chewing, barking, peeing, pooping, and doing everything except what you want it to do. But while you want to discipline your puppy, you’re not sure how to go about it.


This is a common concern, especially among first-time dog parents. Do we use physical punishment or verbal reprimands to discipline a puppy? How can we encourage good behavior and discourage bad behavior in a puppy? What is the most humane way to discipline a puppy? What methods are proven to work in disciplining disobedient puppies?


If you have these questions on your mind, please keep reading. We will tell you what experts say are the best ways to discipline a puppy. These tips will help you raise a well-behaved, well-socialized dog who is a delight to have in your family.


At what age do you discipline a puppy?


You should start disciplining your puppy at around 8-10 weeks old. This is the age at which puppies start to understand basic commands like “stop” and “leave it!”


You may think this is a rather early age to discipline a puppy. But remember, like humans, puppies learn behaviors very early in life. At age 8-10 weeks, they are full of energy and curios about the world around them. They are a blank canvas where you can teach them everything from scratch. This is the ideal age for your puppy to start learning what is acceptable and what is not.


So, don’t miss the opportunity to discipline your puppy and help them get a hang of things. This is the best time to teach your puppy that it’s wrong to chew shoes, poop inside the house, bite your hand, or destroy flower beds.


Early disciplinary measures will also make the process of training your pup easier. At the same time, you should puppy-proof your home to ensure safety and minimize damage to your home. If you’re a new dog parent and aren’t sure what all you’ll need, this checklist will help.


What are the best ways to discipline a puppy?


In a nutshell, the best way to discipline a puppy is with redirection to acceptable behaviors when your puppy misbehaves and treats and praise when your puppy behaves.


In other words, positive reinforcement and reward-based discipline is the key to teach your dog how to behave.


But how do you go about it?


Identify activities your puppy loves. It shouldn’t be too hard. Most puppies love walks, snuggling, belly rubs, petting, tasty treats, and play time.


It’s important that your puppy understands you are in control. Meaning, you decide when they get to do their favorite activities. And when they do something they’re not supposed to, like nipping on your toes or chewing on a shoe, you get to withhold rewards.


This method will reinforce good habits. It will teach your puppy to associate certain positive behaviors with snuggles and treats and provide an incentive for your pup to repeat these behaviors. Ultimately, this method will teach your puppy to be an obedient, well-socialized, well-behaved dog.


How discipline a puppy when I’m not home all day?


If you are often away from home for long hours, disciplining a puppy can become challenging. But there are solutions. Pet cameras and treat dispensers can be used to reward good behavior remotely or interrupt bad behavior with verbal commands. Even older dogs, with separation anxiety, for example, can develop destructive behaviors and benefit from these same measures.


When to discipline a puppy for bad behavior?


The best time to discipline a puppy for bad behavior is when the behavior is happening and not after. You should interrupt the behavior with a sharp reprimand. It’s also important to redirect your puppy to an acceptable behavior after you interrupt an unacceptable one.


How do you discipline a puppy that won’t listen?


Disciplining a puppy that won’t listen should not be a negative exercise. It might seem counterintuitive to use rewards during disciplining, but it is a proven method that works. It also helps you develop a healthy relationship with your dog.


Remember, puppies and adult dogs respond best to reinforcements. You must give a consistent message to your puppy about what is good behavior and what is bad behavior. Cuddling your puppy because you felt a wave of affection after they’ve been naughty will send confusing messages to your puppy. This will make disciplining harder and more frustrating.


Can I spank a disobedient puppy?


Spanking, hitting, beating, or using force to punish a disobedient puppy is not recommended. It may prove futile and could even severely damage your relationship with your dog. Hitting a dog can lead to behavioral issues such as fearfulness, insecurities, hiding, running away, and aggression.


Remember, by hitting your puppy you’re not disciplining them or addressing the problem of bad behavior. Rather, you are teaching them to look upon you as a source of pain, which will only make things worse. When you show affection later on, it will leave your puppy confused and scared because they can’t understand the reasons for your changing behaviors.


What positive reinforcements should I use when disciplining my puppy?


Treats and praise are proven positive reinforcements that work in disciplining a puppy. This is a powerful training method that teaches your puppy that there are certain behaviors they need to continue doing. It also teaches your pup that doing certain things leads to withholding of things they love.


Other humane and efficient ways to discipline your puppy include:


  • Time outs
  • Using your voice to reprimand rather than physical force
  • Taking away toys
  • Withholding treats
  • Avoiding giving your puppy affection or attention, such as belly rubs or petting on the head, after they misbehave


These methods of disciplining your puppy will ensure they don’t become fearful or wary of you, but rather understand what actions will and won’t be tolerated.

05 April, 2024