5 Common Mistakes You Make when Scolding a Dog
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Training is not only about the dog, we must learn to communicate with our pet so that they understand what we expect from them at all times.
Sometimes - especially when a disagreement occurs after certain misdeeds - many owners pass the limits or behave in an inappropriate manner. At AnimalWised we explain what the common mistakes people make when scolding a dog are and how you should act.
Read on and discover the 5 common mistakes you make when scolding a dog and try to avoid them and replace them with other, better practices.
1. Scolding your dog at the wrong time
You've probably heard this a thousand times, but scolding your dog when it is not doing anything wrong is totally counterproductive. The animal does not understand why you are acting like that, and this generates mistrust and uncertainty.
Use a simple "No" when your dog urinates in a place where they should not, or does something you do not like. Try to teach them to change their bad habits. Practicing obedience or identifying the causes of your dog's bad behavior will be a priority, rather than just scolding them.
2. Overdoing it
Overdoing a punishment is always wrong, whatever bad thing your pet has done, you can never spend more than 1 minute scolding them or using inappropriate methods such as aggressiveness, electric or choke collars. You should never lock them up or act unpredictably or aggressively.
If you find that your dog looks away, licks their lips non-stop, squints or bares their teeth while looking sad, these are warning signs of excessive scolding. Do it immediately. A very famous example of "excessive scolding" is the popular guilty dog video on Youtube. In it, you can identify the signals that indicate that the dog is suffering and should not be scolded any longer.
If you have serious problems in training your dog, don't worry, there are professionals who can help you (a lot!) to solve your pet's behavioral problems. Consult an ethologist or dog trainer.
3. Bringing them over to their urine or stool
Maybe your dog still urinates when you leave home and you cannot take it anymore. We know it's unpleasant, but you cannot bring them over to their stool, do you know why?
In our article on why a dog eats feces we point out something many owners do not know. By bringing your dog over to their stool or urine in an unpleasant or violent way, the dog understands that you do not like what it has done, and will start eating it to avoid making you angry. Getting to this point is very sad for the poor animal, which may suffer intestinal problems.
Walk them more regularly and do not forget to congratulate them when they do their business outside so that, gradually, it will change their habits in a positive and easy way.
4. Not letting them growl
Dogs communicate their discomfort through growling at other dogs or people. In different contexts a growl can mean "leave me alone", "stay away", or "stop", and "stop doing that, I do not like it". By scolding them we are saying that they should not growl and that can lead them to directly attack either an animal or a person.
If you notice this behavior in your dog it is important that you go to a qualified professional because it is an obvious warning sign and must be solved as soon as possible.
Discover more about a dog's body language and their calming signals on AnimalWised.
5. Being inconsistent
If there's anything worse than what we've already discussed above, it is being incoherent and permissive when training your dog. For example, you cannot scold them for doing something that if you normally allow it. Dogs need stability, a feeling of safety and comfort at all times.
If you allow your dog to jump on the couch but suddenly one day they are told off for doing it, the poor animal will feel confused and this will increase their stress making them feel disoriented. It may seem like a minor thing to you, but the fact is that for your dog, you are their world. Do not do anything that can make them feel bad.
If you need real help, go to a professional, like you would do with your child.
If you want to read similar articles to 5 Common Mistakes You Make when Scolding a Dog, we recommend you visit our Basic education category.