It’s never enjoyable for you or your dog when you have to scold and discipline him. These situations always create unwanted emotions, worry, and a lack of self-assurance; and it can be even worse when it comes to your furry best friend— they may feel devastated simply because of a minor bit of discipline or scolding.
However, this is often a necessary part of pet ownership and something that needs to be handled as carefully as possible to maintain a good relationship between you and your dog.
Some people have heard that you should ignore your dog after scolding as part of the training and discipline process. However, no matter how awful your dog has behaved, you should never extremely scold him or her, and you should never ignore them for more than just a moment.
Always avoid using improper discipline methods (such as hostility or physical punishment), never act rudely towards them, and avoid acting unexpectedly towards them as well. If you notice your dog averting its eyes, licking its lips repetitively, or gnashing its teeth while looking sorrowful, these are warning signs of over-scolding.
There are several reasons why scolding is never the best solution. When you scold your dog, your dog may frequently change its behavior due to nervousness and possibly even act out from becoming overly stressed. However, if your dog is engaging in undesirable behavior, you need to respond and scold in a way that does not hurt your dog emotionally or physically.
How to Scold a Dog
You can’t allow your dog to do everything he wants, especially during training (whether that’s initial puppy training or later obedience and other types of training).
If he’s doing something unwanted, you need to draw his focus away from whatever that may be. This can be accomplished through giving a loud clap with your hands or using a loud voice to get his attention in a way that he can safely cease what he’s doing. Redirect your dog to something positive and healthy, such as chewing a favorite toy, as soon as the undesired activity has stopped.
This is one of the safest and most ideal methods to be used to prevent your dog from engaging in any behavior that you don’t want him to do.
Scolding Recovery: A Timeline for Rebuilding Trust with Your Dog
It’s important to note that scolding or punishment is generally not the most effective method for training dogs, as it can lead to fear, anxiety, and a breakdown of trust between you and your dog. Instead, positive reinforcement and redirection techniques are often more successful in teaching desired behaviors.
However, if you find yourself in a situation where you have scolded your dog, here’s a suggested timeline to follow:
- Immediately after scolding (0-1 minutes): After scolding, give your dog a few moments to process the situation. It’s essential not to continue scolding or displaying anger, as this will only confuse and frighten your dog.
- Short-term separation (1-5 minutes): If necessary, give your dog a brief time-out by separating them from the situation or environment for a few minutes. This will allow both you and your dog to calm down and reset.
- Re-engagement (5-10 minutes): After the short-term separation, calmly re-engage with your dog without showing any lingering anger or frustration. This shows your dog that you have moved past the incident.
- Positive reinforcement (10-15 minutes): Look for opportunities to reward your dog for good behavior, reinforcing the desired actions with praise, treats, or playtime.
Remember that the key to successful training is clear communication, consistency, and rewarding desired behaviors. This helps your dog understand what is expected of them and creates a more positive learning environment.
Stop Offering So Many Treats to Your Dog
Few things in this world appeal to dogs more than the treats they receive from their most favorite people in the world. Your dog, however, needs to learn how to behave properly even without being motivated by food every time—if you give treats for every single behavior your dog displays, he will not be motivated to behave nicely. Only reward your dog if he or she is acting well and being obedient; and offer their favorite toys or treats whenever they repeat the good behavior.
Ignore Your Dog
No matter how cute your dog is, you can’t reward him verbally or physically if he’s being naughty. If your dog is leaping on you and misbehaving while you’re trying to train him, it may be best to just ignore him until he settles down.
Reacting to jumping and excitable behavior from your dog only encourages them to repeat and escalate the behavior, so it’s best to calmly encourage them to sit or lie down (or at least quit behaving wildly) and then avert your focus from them for a while. This will teach them that the jumping and intense activities will not reward them with your attention, and this is also a safe way to discipline your dog with no yelling or physical discipline involved.
Remove Your Attention From The Situation
Again, if your dog is misbehaving, one of the best options for curbing this behavior is to act as if you are ignoring them and look away from the situation. Dogs thrive off of receiving attention, and if they find themselves not in the spotlight, they’ll desperately try to make sure they receive your attention again. When a dog sees that you turned away and quit giving them the attention and interaction they want, they’ll often try their best to piece together why that may be.
When coupled with treats rewarding good behavior, refusing to acknowledge your dog when he or she is showing bad behavior is a great option for helping them learn to correct their own behavior to get the desired results they want: your love and attention!
Always Remember to Love on Your Dog
As you can see, there are a variety of techniques to positively discipline your dog. While it can be frustrating to try to correct a dog that’s behaving badly, you want to do so most efficiently and humanely possible.
Always keep in mind that your dog is still learning, and some dogs may have even experienced a past trauma that is contributing to one or more behavioral issues—especially rescue dogs. Patience and affection in how you discipline your dog can help you and your dog maintain a better connection.
Is it appropriate to punish a dog for barking all night?
No. When dogs bark at night, they are often either concerned about a noise they’re hearing outside or experiencing some type of distress.
If your dog is afraid or feeling threatened by a noise outside at night, you may want to try walking your dog outside the perimeter of your home and talking to him in a soothing voice to reassure him that there isn’t any invisible threat. Once back inside, spend some time with him to calm his nerves, play a bit if he needs to burn off any extra energy, and do what you can to help him relax.
If your dog is barking due to distress, he or she may need to go outside to relieve an impending digestive issue (for those that are housebroken and adamant about not going potty indoors), may be reacting to any care they received at the vet clinic (such as deworming or vaccination causing discomfort), or maybe struggling with a psychological concern (especially for rescue dogs).
If your dog needs to go out or experiencing digestive troubles, take them out as much as you can until it passes—this is a huge issue for worm-positive dogs that end up having to take deworming medicines. If you have a rescue dog and don’t know the dog’s trauma history, the most you can do is simply try to comfort your dog and help them relax as much as possible.
There are more causes for barking at night as well, but these are some of the most common. As always, if your dog seems to have a physical concern, be sure to see your veterinarian to get him or she checked out and help them get back feeling healthy and good again. For dogs that bark at night as a simple behavioral issue, if it can’t be resolved through regular calming techniques or even with calming-ingredient dog treats, you may want to consider consulting a dog behavior expert for further help.
Is it permissible to hit a dog for bad behavior?
Not at all. Techniques centering on pain, such as hitting and beating, are not permissible in any circumstances besides self-defense from an animal and are considered harmful and abusive conduct. Physically hurting your dog cause a lot of stress in dogs, lower their quality of life, and can even make them aggressive. This is why we’ve provided the information in this article to educate dog owners on the safest and most humane methods of training and disciplining their dogs.
How do dogs say “sorry”?
Dogs apologize by drooping their ears, widening their eyes, and ceasing to pant or gasp. If the owner has not yet forgiven them, they often begin to paw and rub their face against their owner’s legs.
Family Dog Expert Author
Hi there! I’m Stuart, a devoted dog lover and family dog expert with over a decade of experience working with our furry companions. My passion for dogs drives me to share my knowledge and expertise, helping families build strong, loving bonds with their four-legged friends. When I’m not writing for SirDoggie, you’ll find me hiking, playing with my beautiful dog, or studying music.