So you recently got the cutest little puppy, but she’s taking a poo on your rug? Or maybe your not-so-recent rescue chewed through your internet cable so you couldn’t watch Netflix for two days? Or maybe even your dog who you believe knows the ‘house rules’ just chewed on your drywall, making a chip in the paint 3x worse?! What do you do about this stuff? Can you discipline a dog? If so, what is the proper way to discipline that bundle of shedding joy? I’m here to address your dog discipline concerns today!
I recently received a message asking how we discipline Sassy and we really handle discipline in our house as redirection. We do not swat or yell at Sassy. Not only it is just plain mean, but she does not have a clue what that really means, even if we were to do it. It would really just leave her upset and confused.
You see, dogs think differently than humans. Dogs think of you as a companion and play-mate. Dogs know that you are there to serve them fully by feeding them, letting them out, etc. But they also know that because you do those things, it is up to them to show you love and understanding that you never knew was possible.
You cannot discipline a dog after the behavior has already happened.
You have to catch them in-the-act. This makes dog discipline even more different than kid discipline, in my opinion! One time, my husband was mad at Sassy for a full day when she randomly chewed through the internet cable (yes, that scenario actually happened at our house). He didn’t even want to let her up on the couch, trying to punish her, until I gently reminded him that she had no idea that what did she was wrong. For all she knew, she was just out in the backyard doggin’ around. Yes, it was annoying and yes it was random, but she is a dog and she didn’t know better. How would she unless we’d caught her previously to stop her?
The easiest way we are able to stop a behavior in Sassy is to tell her ‘no’.
We have already established that we are in charge with her, so when we say ‘no’ she (generally) listens. She is a Husky, so some of that listening goes out the door if she’s after something she really wants. That is just a regular dog instinct though, heightened by her particular breed.
If you have not established that you are in charge yet, you could try shaking a jar of pennies or a spray bottle to get your pup’s attention.
Really, the key is to get your dog’s attention. Once you have their attention, you can use your “mean mom correctional” voice to let your pooch know what they are doing is NOT okay. Your dog’s behavior feeds off your tone of voice. Sassy completely shuts down if we get too gruff in our tone of voice, we’ve learned.
The end results we are all looking for is for our dogs to listen to us. The easiest path to that is correcting the behavior as it’s happening which means proper supervision at all times. For a Husky, that means supervising them even after you think they know the ‘house rules’.
How did you correct your dog’s behavior? Leave a comment below because you may just help out someone else in my dog mom community!
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