Pet Tips

Puppy Discipline – Punishing a Puppy – Pet tip 173

Getting a new puppy is incredibly exciting for the whole family. Puppies are so cute and so playful that everyone in the family tends to want to play with it and wants it to really blend. There is so much to know about puppies however, and the more we know the easier it will be for the puppy to really blend in with the family and become a great dog. This blending in though does take some time and effort on the part of the owner and many owners make common mistakes. These common mistakes often center on disciplining or punishing your puppy when it does something ‘bad’. The following article is intended to help you avoid two common mistakes many new puppy owners make when they need to discipline their puppies.

Hitting a puppy
This is an absolute no-no and is very old school training. It can destroy the relationship you have with your dog. It is also highly ineffective especially when you don’t catch your puppy in the act of doing something bad. Puppies and dogs have very short term memories and the only way they learn through punishment is when they are caught in the act. Punishing them 30 seconds after they have finished the ‘bad act’ is too late and they cannot learn from the punishment. Punishment needs to be doled out as the bad behaviour is happening. Normally scolding the puppy with a firm “NO” is enough punishment and after a few times they learn that a particular behaviour in inappropriate.

Crates are not for punishment
Many people use crates (a cage) to help toilet-train their puppies. When properly used, it is a legitimate way to toilet train puppies. Some owners however make the mistake of putting their puppy in the cage and locking the door when the puppy misbehaves and this is a mistake. Perhaps puppy owners are doing this because when they were kids they were sent to their rooms as punishment for their own bad deeds. Puppies are not kids though and rooms for kids are different than crates for puppies. A crate should be thought of as an equivalent to a dog’s den. Dogs see their dens as a safe place and punishing them by locking them in a crate is likely to confuse them and give them negative feelings toward their ‘safe-place’. Subsequent behavioural problems are common side effects to this practice.

There are of course many more mistakes that people often make with their new puppies. These mistakes may vary in relation to the puppy’s breed. Group obedience training for all dog breeds is highly recommended and teaches your new puppy its place in your family. It also gives you an excellent opportunity to ask a professional trainer questions about your particular puppy and discuss any possible problems that you are having difficulty dealing with.

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