Best Way to Discipline a Puppy for Biting or Bad Behaviour
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Puppies are adorable and lovely to care for. However, they can also be quite naughty, biting and misbehaving at times. It is our responsibility as their caregiver to discipline them from a young age so they are well-behaved and have a balanced temperament as adults. With that being said, we mustn't do this by scolding them.
In this AnimalWised article we're going to explain the best way to discipline your puppy by using positive reinforcement and other methods that don't include any type of violence. Keep reading to learn more!
Is it bad to scold a puppy?
Dogs feel that we are part of their pack and want to live with us in peace. They actually want us to be happy and they don't misbehave to make us angry. In fact, they don't know what good or bad behaviour is until they learn it from us.
Therefore, it's important to note that canine education does not try to punish the dog's bad behaviour, but instead, to reward them when they behave well. This is called positive reinforcement and it is the best way to discipline and train a puppy or adult dog.
Before we scold a puppy, we must ask ourselves why they are behaving in such a way, because the truth is that they don't want to make us angry on purpose. If your puppy does not answer your call, chews on the cushions, or relieves himself at home, it is because he has not yet learned all the new rules, commands or the routine of his new home.
Why do puppies behave “badly”?
Dogs, especially puppies, ask us for a lot of attention and will do everything possible to get it, even destroying the cushions to see if we react. If you detect negative behaviour, you must remedy it from the beginning. For example, if your dog jumps up to greet you, ignore this behaviour, turn around and turn your back on him. When he has calmed down you can pet him to reward the good behaviour. Next time, he'll be more careful and try to stay calm so you greet him and pet him.
Usually, a puppy just wants your attention and tries to figure out they can do that. Therefore, simply teach them to catch your attention differently, in a well behaved way that won't disturb anyone or cause any trouble.
The best way discipline a puppy
But how to scold a puppy properly? Do not completely ignore your puppy's misbehaviours, but correct them appropriately so that he understands what he can and cannot do. Therefore, we want to offer you tips to find out how to correct a puppy.
The best way to discipline your puppy is through positive reinforcement. In other words, we are going to reward them when they behave the way we want them to. This is the most effective way of training a dog as they always want to do good and they fully understand that we are happy when we reward them with a treat or affection, making them repeat the awarded behaviour.
Therefore, instead of scolding them for their bad behaviour, simply reward them when they do a good behaviour. Give them a treat, tell them “good puppy” in a sweet and high pitched voice, or give them a cuddle. Another great method for this is clicker training. Not only is it helpful for overall training, for tricks and canine sport, but also to correct bad behaviour. Learn more in our article about clicker training for dogs.
So, how do you let your dog know that they've misbehaved? Should you simply ignore it and reward them when they do it correctly? Well, that's one way to handle it. However, if necessary, you can “scold” them by saying their name or the word “no” firmly and in a low voice as soon as they've done an undesired behaviour.
Dogs are very sensitive and will perceive the change in our choice and facial expression and they will know something isn't right. Therefore, a simple firm “no” is suffice to let your puppy know that they've misbehaved. Along with this you can reward the correct behaviour as that is how they best learn how to behave in different environments.
You should never scold them by yelling at them, threatening to hit them or any other type of violence. If you resort to this type of scolding, not only will you harm your relationship with your puppy as they will begin to associate you with something negative and will begin to avoid you or be scared of you, but you can also traumatize your dog, leading to them having a bad temperament or trust issues as adults.
My puppy has behavioural problems
Is your puppy biting or having other behaviour issues? If you've tried training them through positive reinforcement and even through the clicker method and you're still struggling to get them to behave, you can resort to contacting a canine trainer or canine behaviour specialist. They will be able to analyse your puppy's behaviour and show you how to properly train them. You should also bring them to the veterinarian for a check-up to rule out the cause being due to a medical condition.
Remember that training a puppy takes a lot of patience as they are very distracted and playful at this age, but with patience and the right methods it is definitely possible to train a dog to behave in different situations and even to do certain tricks when asked to do so.
When it comes to biting, we recommend you read our article about why your puppy is biting their leash and why your puppy is biting and growling. You can also learn more about training your puppy in our article about when to start training your puppy.
Lastly, we recommend you watch our videos below about puppy care and training.
If you want to read similar articles to Best Way to Discipline a Puppy for Biting or Bad Behaviour, we recommend you visit our Basic education category.