Should I Discipline My Dog?

Discipline in Positive Training

One thing I hear so often is that people use different forms of discipline with their dogs ... and as a positive dog trainer, I cringe on the inside and offer alternatives to their punishment that when deployed work so much better at changing their dog's behavior.

So, if you don't discipline, then what do you do?!

Guide your dog into making the right choices! Sometimes we will ignore certain behaviors, other times we will interrupt behaviors and offer a different behavior in it's place. Occasionally we can use a short time out, but this is reserved for special circumstances.

Primarily we will reinforce the behaviors we want from our dogs.

For example, if your dog is alert barking, first we acknowledge the alert and thank the dog for letting us know. If your dog still barks, interrupt the barking by offering a different behavior ... such as using a squeaky toy to distract with play.

What we NEVER do: use fear or force to stop a behavior. Never.

Why would we never use fear or force? Besides the obvious (it's cruel!) it doesn't work. Force and fear only suppress the behavior for the time being. When we use positive methods, we alter the behavior your dog chooses in a situation.

Force and fear also completely the destroy the trust and bond you have with your dog. Not only does this make for an unstable living situation, but also makes for an unstable dog.

Have questions about positive training? Ask away!


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