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6 Ways to Discipline Your Dog

Updated on June 6, 2019
Andrew Frey profile image

Andrew Frey is a pet parent to 3 lovely dogs: Mozzie, Linda, and Buddy. He also works with a non-profit organisation that rescues dogs.

A dog carrying wood
A dog carrying wood | Source

There are very many ways which you can use to discipline your dog. But before you start disciplining, it’s good to take some time to research and make sure you’re using the best approach. Once you have understood what you should or should not do, then go ahead and choose the right method.

Here some ways you can use to discipline your dog;

1. Manipulate your dog to do whatever you want

When first dog training, it can be really tough to figure out where to start.

This works best in a home environment where there are no disturbances or when you’re alone in your home. Dogs figure out what’s the right thing to do so you should never force a dog to do what you want her to do. Never force your dog into the position you want her to. You should only show her your body language and present her with a treat if it’s necessary.

2. Timing is very essential, at the exact moment she succeeds, reward him.

You should only punish a behavior if you find him in the act. You can monitor your dog using a pet camera to make it easy for you to catch him in the act. If your dog for example pees in the house, then, you should punish this behavior if only you catch your dog in the act. If it has peed in the house a few moments ago, but has moved to doing something else, then he won’t understand why he is being disciplined.

You have to ensure that there is no doubt in the dog’s mind that what she did was wrong and it made you angry. If it was the right thing, remember you must praise him at the exact moment he has done the right thing. You could simple praise him by giving him either food or play. This will bring the difference between a choice and a positive outcome in your dog’s mind, which is what is desired.

3. Use of distractions

When your puppy shows a bad behavior, you could simply distract him for example, by making a loud noise. You really do not have to yell. You either slap a wooden surface or shake a jar with pennies. This kind of noise will distract him and redirect his attention to you. When his focus is on you, you can instruct him to do anything else and when he does it, then, you should reward him.

Your dog will learn how to behave in different situations and is always doing it on your command, then it’s time to give him a more difficult situation. You should not rush this but give him time to adapt to this behavior without any distractions.

Some other examples of distractions can be moving the exercise to a new location or adding people or a toy. You have to figure out what distracts your dog. You have to challenge your dog and she should be able to still reinforce the behavior in a less challenging situation.

4. Be Firm

No means no. Learn to say “no” to your dog if he is behaving in a way that you don’t like to let him understand that what he is doing is wrong and he needs to stop immediately. Ensure that you don’t yell at your dog because he is only going to be afraid. He won’t understand that the yelling is because of his behavior, he will only see it as a threat.

A firm "no" signals him that he is doing the wrong thing. When dog training, a good dog trainer should show authority without losing being mad. When it comes to disciplining your dog and training them to know what is allowed and or not, you have to be firm and consistent in order to achieve the results you desire.

5. Use positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is a dog training method which will work best if you begin when he is still young. A puppy does not understand a lot of things when its young for example, it can’t understand why it is wrong to chew shoes or pee in the house. So, positive enforcement can help because it is a method which works through praising and treating the dog when it does the right thing. The use of reward as a discipline tool is a very powerful method during training.

Whenever your dog does a certain behavior that is acceptable, you have to reward him and praise him. He will realize what he should be doing in that particular situation. This is how positive reinforcement works. When the dog does something not acceptable you can take away the treat or your attention. This will help the dog understand that he should avoid the actions that will lead you to ignore him.

Unlike hitting the dog, which can be cruel, this reward system will help your dog learn the good behavior through conditioning. Dogs love eating good food and attention. When a good behavior is rewarded with food or some belly rubs, you should know your dog will choose the good behavior.

6. Use Dog Training Collars

One of the growing ways in which technology can help you train your dog better is shock collars. These are collars worn around the neck by your dog. You then have a remote that helps you administer correction. These collars have a receiver that transfers this correction. A lot of collars that are used usually have 3 training modes. These training modes are beeps, vibrations, and shocks. It is good to know that the shocks are not harmful to your dog and they are not in excess. They are just little tingling stimulations that are quite uncomfortable for your pet making them stop what they are doing.

Always use the beep and vibrations more. The intensities of these training modes can vary from level 0-100. However, in most cases when using shock collars to train your dogs you will find that after administering the shock once or twice, beeps work perfectly onwards. This method helps you discipline and train your dog much faster.

Wrong Ways to Discipline Puppies

  • Never use physical punishment.
  • Don’t drag, stare or hold down your dog.
  • Don’t yell, shout or scream at your dog.
  • Never rub your dog's nose. It doesn’t feel nice.
  • Looks for progress and not perfection.
  • Never discipline a dog when you are in a terrible mood.


Positive reinforcement, consistency and time are key regarding the behavior of the dog. Disciplining your dog requires a good balance because rewarding a good behavior is as important as correcting a bad or an inappropriate behavior. If you tell your dog to stop doing something and he stopped, then don’t forget to give him a tasty treat to show him that what he did was a good thing. The way to any dog’s heart is through the belly and he will figure out soon that he gets treats if he listens to your commands and does the right thing. Good luck and happy training!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2019 Andrew Frey


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    • RebelwoIf profile image


      13 months ago from United Kingdom

      Firstly, I would like to say I wholeheartedly agree with pretty much everything in this article with one exception. You say "Never use physical punishment", which I absolutely agree with, yet you advocate the use of shock collars. If you are using positive reinforcement correctly, consistently and persistently there is no need for things such as shock collars.

      I have a northern breed reactive dog, diagnosed at 7 months with hyperkenesis who is now 5 years old and continues to be a work in progress but I have never, nor would I ever, used a shock collar on him. He is stubborn, wilful, unpredictable and challenging but, through communication, love and respect, we have developed a relationship that works. If I were to have even tried a shock collar on my boy, he would never trust me the way he does now. They are cruel and have no place in a training system based on +reinforcement.


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