Dog Punishment

Dog Punishment

Why Isn’t Punishment an Effective Training Method?

Firstly, if you are a first time dog owner all of the different choices you have to make can be intimidating! There are so many different foods, dog collars, and training methods available for you and your pup. Figuring out which one is best can be a tough task. Training your puppy early is good for both of you. But figuring out which type of training method to use can feel impossible. There are tons of good training methods available online. But, be wary of training programs that use dog punishment to teach good behavior. Training your puppy using a fear and punishment method can have severe repercussions for both of you.

Won’t Understand

Using punishment as a training method for your new puppy will likely be confusing for him. Unless you punish him immediately after doing something undesirable, he probably won’t understand what it is he is being punished for. It is often difficult for dogs to associate a punishment with a behavior. Therefore, using punishment as a training method will only confuse him. And will not deal with the actual issue causing the undesirable behavior. For example, a dog that has frequent accidents in the house may be nervous, or have a medical issue. Punishing him does nothing to treat the underlying cause of the accidents, and just hurts your relationship with him.

No Control

Punishing a dog for something he has no control over. Or something that is normal dog behavior such as digging or chewing, can cause him to feel frustrated. Your pup naturally wants to please you. And if he consistently is made to feel that he is unable to do that, he will become frustrated. A frustrated dog will likely continue to exhibit whatever behavior you are trying to discourage. And worse, could even become aggressive. Instead of punishing your dog if he is chewing or digging, try to give him an outlet for those behaviors. This could include designating a certain spot in your yard where he is allowed to dig. Or finding him a toy that can withstand lots of hard chewing. Redirecting your pup’s behavior will be more fun for both of you, and much better for your relationship.

No Trust

Consistently punishing your dog will teach him to associate being around you with being in danger. And result in him not trusting you. Trust is one of the most fundamental blocks of your relationship with your dog. If your dog does not feel that he can trust you, that sentiment will likely end up extending to all humans. This will cause your dog to be nervous around all people. And possibly other animals. Nervousness in dogs often manifests as aggression. By punishing your dog as a training method you are likely reshaping his personality to become more aggressive towards people.


When your pup is acting wild (as they often do) or barking and whining inconsolably (as they also do) it may be tempting to yell at him to calm him down. While this is an understandable reaction, it will most likely just serve to excite him. Instead try distracting him by redirecting his behavior into something a little less challenging. Giving him a toy may quiet him down. Or go on a nice walk or run to get rid of that extra energy.

Overall, dogs respond much better to positive reinforcement training methods. A dog punishment based training method can have serious damaging repercussions on your pup, and probably will not be very effective. Training your dog with rewards and positivity can be a bonding experience for both of you and end up strengthening your relationship!

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