Punishing a Puppy

Copyright: David the Dogman

I think the message I have is that we cannot ever expect a puppy to think human...therefore it is quite reasonable for us to think like a dog. A very good book on the market is called Think Dog...by the late John Fisher, well worth getting.

When puppies annoy the bitch she will use eye contact and facial expression first. The youngster will carry on the unwanted behaviour then the mother will give out a low growl which will increase in volume with a show of teeth. If this is not enough to produce the desired result the bitch will to all intense and purposes fly in at the youngster. This is not a full blown attack, far from it, it is dress rehearsal for the pup, conditioning him for life later on. No contact is made although from the resulting noise mainly from the puppy, one could be excused for thinking that the litter had been reduced to one pup.

It is interesting to note that the bitch will immediately console the puppy and start to lick it all over...and this behaviour is observed every time the youngster steps out of line.

From this we can learn that the puppy has been taught by the bitch the correction and reward. Correction...Growl (our voice NO)...the moment the behaviour stops the lick (we simply stroke the pups head). Now what we are doing is copying the mother. This way the puppy is never fearful of us.

In my humble it is cruel to punish a dog for anything after the act. In other words if you come home and find a mess, destruction etc. then ignore this. The puppy or indeed the dog will never understand he has done wrong. To come home and shout will make any dog put his tail between his legs and cower or shy away. Many owners will say "You see...he knows he has done wrong". He does not know anything other than the human has arrived back at the den and is aggressive. Commitment, Firmness, but kindness.

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