The energy level of a puppy is equivalent to that of a young child or toddler. Just like your toddler, there are enough and more things in your house and the world outside that are too tempting for him to play with. Also, at that age, they don’t understand the difference between good and bad behaviour.
In any case, petulancy must be excused in a puppy as the pet is still learning and most often all their naughty acts cannot be considered and brushed off as “cute”. However, if allowed to continue, and not checked in time, such petulant behaviour can becomes “unacceptable” for the owner, while from the dog’s perspective he continues to imagine it can indulge in it, leaving lesser and lesser chances to reform, over a period of time.
So, how does one train and discipline a dog, without causing any unintended harm to the pet?
Well, to get your dog to behave, there are a certain Dos and Don’ts.
The Dos First
Reinforce good behaviour
In an ideal scenario, you don’t have to discipline your dog and always indulge it. By selectively treating it with goodies and treats, you can reinforce the fact that a particular behaviour is appreciated. This encourages the dog to repeat that more often, if only for the treat, thereby making you happy as the purpose gets solved.
Address it on-time
Every time your dog exhibits good behavior, it is important to appreciate it back immediately or while the pet is still in the midst of its act. This would convince the pup that it is on the right track thus encouraging it to repeat it more often. Any delay in your appreciation will confuse the dog about why it is being appreciated.
Have a medical examination done
Most often, bad behavior is a result of some underlying health issue. Urinating on carpets or chewing of shoes for a trained dog etc. can easily be attributed to certain medical conditions. It is always best to visit a Vet, if you find unexplained behaviour or sudden departure from normal.
The best way to discipline a dog is by redirecting it towards the right behaviour when it is in the midst of performing that act, or the impact would be lost on the animal. This is the only way to redirect it towards an acceptable behaviour.
One of the ways of remembering those tender moments is by clicking pictures for your pet while in a certain adorable act. It must even appear funny whenever you happen to view it again, after days, months or even years. The best idea would be to get a large-size canvas painted of your pet in one of his classic acts from pawstro.com. This way, you would succeed in time-freezing a wonderful memory.
Avoid physical discipline at all costs
Whenever you are provoked into physically disciplining your pet, consciously take a step away from it. You should never raise your hand on your pet as this gets them confused. Instead, the moment you feel that you are unable to discipline your dog, get the help of a professional trainer. Remember, physical discipline will make the problem complex. The dog will either start avoiding or hiding away from you, or worse turn more aggressive and start showing you the teeth.
Just like we are able to differentiate between playful sounds and barks, dogs also understand the difference between a scold and playful banter. Hence, there is no need to yell or scream when things can be settled with a firm, clear command. Remember that the dog can differentiate your tone of voice much better and understand when you are in a playful mood and when you are scolding. Yelling at the poor animal will make the situation more frustrating for both of you.
Don’t allow behaviour to get fixed into a habit
An effective way to disallow a particular behavior is by breaking habit formation. Always remember that all pets were wild animals at some point of time. They have a tendency to demarcate their territories by essentially urinating there. While it could be a natural behaviour for your dog, it is unacceptable inside the house. Hence, before the dog develops a habit of urinating inside, it is always better to encourage it to relieve himself in the bathroom or in a garden. Establish good behaviour from the word go.
Don’t allow them to continue
The best way to discipline a ‘don’t’ is by not allowing them to continue while in the act. Imagine that your new puppy has started chewing on your brand new leather shoe. While this is a perfectly normal behavior from the puppy’s perspective, if not stopped immediately, this will send a wrong signal that the behaviour is okay. Do not wait for the dog to finish. If you want the message to go home, catch the pet in the middle of his forbidden act. This would send a clear message that the behaviour is unacceptable.
Keep in mind that the puppy’s mental level is as undeveloped as that of an infant or a toddler. If taught lovingly and with care, just like us humans, dogs too can be easily trained to adopt the right behaviour.
Along the way, make sure you celebrate every small milestone in your pet’s life journey with you, in some meaningful manner. One of the most popular ways is by getting a digital canvas done through pawstro.com. Send them a photo of your fondest moment. They will digitally enhance it, paint it on a canvas and ship it back to you with a refund guarantee, in the rare case that you don’t like it.
Remember, a pet is like a family member. It needs the same care and love as a young infant. Follow the same parenting practices with your pet as you would with your infant to get the best behaviour out of it.