Bringing your puppy home is a joyous time. But soon, you will start realizing that training needs to begin at once. Potty training, chewing, playing too rough all become issues sooner than later. How do you discipline your Doodle dog without harsh punishment? Let’s talk all about why severe punishment is ineffective, and what you should do instead.
Difference Between Punishment And Discipline
Before we dive right in, we should first define punishment and discipline. Punishments are defined by repercussions for past behaviors, while discipline is often thought of as positive learning techniques. Punishment for your doodle dog includes harsh and crude gestures, while discipline gives someone the chance to learn from their mistakes through trial and error.
Why Punishing Your Dog Doesn’t Work
When humans get frustrated, many of us tend to lash out. Anger, yelling, and rage are common first responses. But these methods don’t do anything for your puppy. Here are a few reasons why punishing your dog doesn’t work:
- There is a language barrier that dogs can’t understand. They don’t know why you might act this way because it doesn’t line up with dog language or etiquette.
- Dogs learn by trial and error. Punishments for past mistakes are confusing and interrupts this process.
- Physical punishment puppy instills fear and loss of trust. Both of which will start the cycle of misbehavior and acting out for attention.
But we aren’t saying that you should ignore all destructive behaviors. What we are saying is that there are better ways to discipline your dog in healthy ways.
How To Discipline Your Doodle Dog Without Harsh Punishment
In this next section, we can talk about all the best ways to encourage your puppy to learn. The best trainers across America use all of these disciplining techniques. And when used properly, they are quick and practical to stop any destructive behaviors. Not to mention you won’t have the “I feel bad for disciplining my dog” guilt with these gentle methods.
The best choice for puppies is to use distractions. The idea here is that when your dog is doing something naughty, you correct the behavior with something acceptable. For instance, if your puppy is chewing on the leg of your couch, give him a chew stick instead.
Guaranteed, he will love the taste of a juicy teething treat more than your furniture. In this disciplining technique, you show your dog that the furniture is not an acceptable toy, but his bone is. You can use these for almost any situation.
2. Avoid Attention
If you are wondering how to discipline a puppy for biting, this is for you. When your puppy has bitten you too hard in play, walk away and avoid looking at them.
This technique works because Doodles crave our attention. When you suddenly stop giving them the love they desire, they wonder what they did to make you upset. While this technique doesn’t work instantly, your puppy will put two and two together after a few times.
Just like children, puppies benefit from time-outs as well. When your puppy does something unacceptable, choose a time-out area to put them in for a few minutes. Puppies don’t want the fun to stop or the love to end, and they don’t have either in time-out.
This discipline method works best when they have done something that can’t easily be ignored or redirected. An example would be if your puppy has a play date and gets into a small scuffle with their friend, time-outs are effective. Placing them in an area with no distractions helps them connect what undesirable behavior is.
You might wonder where to do this. The best option for time out is a small playpen in the corner of the room away from everyone. You could also use a back room with no toys as long as it is puppy-proofed. You don’t want to use a crate for this method because your puppy will think they are in trouble every time they have to go to the crate. Time-out using a crate will make your puppy resist crate training and hiding every time you have to leave.
4. Sounds Or Short Commands
Another way to discipline your Doodle dog without harsh punishment is to use short sounds to grab attention. This method works like the distraction technique but is much simpler. Most people use a sharp “No” in a stern and low voice. You are not yelling or in dragged-out tones, though, because this quickly becomes condescending. Another option is to use a “psst” noise to grab your puppy’s attention. These work well when your puppy is in the act of doing something unfavorable to get them to stop quickly. Then you can pair this with giving your puppy a distraction. Soon your puppy will understand that these commands mean that what they are doing won’t turn out in their favor, and they will redirect themselves.
5. Positive Reinforcements
And finally, we come to positive reinforcements. The way this works is that when your puppy does something good, you reward them. Most people use this method when it comes to training naturally. But you can also use it in regular training. When company comes over, and your puppy doesn’t jump all over them with excitement, give them some praise and a treat as positive reinforcement. When your puppy notices that they get recognition for doing things nicely, they will seek to do it more.
How Long Should You Punish Your Dog?
Disciplining your dog should never be for long. Puppies have short attention spans and soon forget what they did and why you act the way you do. The key to any of these technique’s success is timing and consistency.
Disciplining should happen immediately after the act has occurred. If you have been gone all day and come home to a destroyed house, it doesn’t do you any good to do anything then.
After you have disciplined your puppy, you might wonder when it has been long enough. For most dogs, a minute of time-out or ignoring is long enough to get your point across. Any longer than this and your dog thinks you are holding an undeserving grudge. Just like people, grudges don’t work on puppies either.
How To Discipline A Strong-Willed Dog
Strong-willed dogs can be a challenge to train. They will resist most training styles to the point that owners get desperate. But instead of punishing your dog, you could try another option. The first step is to be firm and consistent with your dog.
During the training process, try not to leave them alone if possible. The more time your dog has alone, the more time they can take to get into trouble. Being right on their tail, so to speak, will let them know that they can’t get away with anything for long.
The second part is to be consistent. Choose a training style consistently for at least two weeks before changing it up again. Experimenting with the right discipline methods is beneficial, but your dog will get confused if you change it too much. Being firm and consistent will let your dog know that you are just as strong-willed as they are.
But whatever you do, don’t use physical punishment on a strong-willed dog. This will only lead to more problems and misconduct. Your dog wants companionship, not a hierarchy system where someone rules over the other. Additionally, if you are wondering how to discipline a spoiled dog, all of these steps work just as well.
How To Discipline An Aggressive Puppy
Aggression in puppies should be handled with extreme caution. If you are ever in doubt, talk with a vet, or experienced behavioralist about how to proceed with training. Aggression could be the result of past trauma, disease, or learned behavior. And depending on the root of the aggression, it will need to be addressed differently.
For the most part, positive reinforcement works well with puppies that show signs of aggression. If your dog displays signs of aggression towards meeting new people, you could give treats for good behavior. You could even try using treats as a bribe to greet people and gain trust. There are countless situations where positive reinforcement will work well.
In other situations, your dog might be acting out of fear. Nervous chewing or marking are very common in dogs with anxieties, and in turn, they can get aggressive. In these situations, it is best to use distractions that stop the wrong behaviors. But no matter what way you decide to go, gentleness and understanding go much further than punishment.
What About Potty Training?
The most common question we get is how to discipline a puppy when they pee in the house. Potty training is a sensitive time for everyone, and you don’t want to make it worse with yelling. Instead, try being home during the potty training process at all times.
When you notice that your dog is about to pee, make a quick noise to distract them and rush them outside. If they emptied their bladder before running out, you need to still go through the motions. Take them outside and walk them around for a few minutes.
When you go back inside, don’t yell or make eye contact with your dog. Clean up the mess with a urine neutralizer in silence and then resume normal activities. If you notice that your dog still goes in the house, use a spray outside to attract them to a designated area.
Now Your A Training Expert
With all of this information, you know how to fairly discipline your dog effectively. You and your puppy will have a close bond that is irreversible. The house will be calm, and you might even notice that your dog learns the basics faster than other dogs.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Doodle Board!