5 Reasons You Should NEVER Punish Your Dog

Training your dog is essential in ensuring your dog becomes an exemplary member of the family. In the past, when training was a challenge, it was a brutal process. But the dog-training community now favors using positive reinforcement techniques instead of punishment to achieve results and assist pet owners in connecting with their dogs.

Rubbing the face of the pet after the event of a pee spill and hitting the dog with an empty paper towel roll to punish an unruly behavior can only cause confusion or fear for the dog. Sometimes, we might not think we’re inflicting punishment on a dog through our actions.

There are better and safer methods to achieve consistent, desired outcomes. In this article, you’ll be taught why disciplining your dog could be better. Additionally, you will learn helpful tips for training from experts that will assist your dog in learning from wrong and growing into an empathetic, happy, and respectful dog.

Punishment Vs. Positive Reinforcement

If you can punish your dog for unruly behavior by striking, screaming, or pulling on the dog’s leash can cause the dog to be stressed, scared, anxious, and, in certain instances, even more aggressive. For some dogs, this kind of attention (even when it is negative) encourages bad behavior.

Punishing a dog can work temporarily; however, it’s not always efficient in achieving long-term outcomes. It can cause mistrust and can break your bond with your pet.

At one time, people believed that dogs learned by punishment. In the past ten years, significant advances have been made in understanding our dog’s companions and how they know. “Through many studies and even more research, we learned that dogs learn best through positive reinforcement, habit building, and teaching alternative behaviors,” says Marissa Sunny, dog behaviorist at Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS).

BFAS is a renowned animal welfare organization working to stop killing animals and cats in shelters nationwide in 2025. Unruly, unwelcome behavior is among the significant reasons animals end up in shelters. The number of dogs in shelters can be drastically decreased if pet owners offer their pets obedience classes, which encourages positive reinforcement.

“You can teach your dog to live in our human world in harmony with you and your family without harsh training methods,” says Linda Keehn, certified dog behavior expert with a professional certification for dog training at Positive Canine Training LLC, which is based in Cedarhurst, New York. “The dog will be happy to work for and with a humane leader that is clear in what is expected, fair in those expectations, and forgiving of mistakes.”

Positive reinforcement involves using high-value reward systems, such as treats, verbal praise, or physical affection, to build confidence and motivate the dog. This makes the dog feel happier and more inclined to keep the behavior that brought about the outpouring of love.

5 Reasons To NEVER Punish a Dog

If we take a dog to the house for the first time, we shouldn’t assume that they will be aware of the rules of the home or read our minds. Dogs are undoubtedly intuitive and intelligent and detect a variety of clues; however, they also depend on us for direction.

If your puppy is prone to going through the trash in the bathroom or crawling into your closet to play with your slippers If you punishing him verbally or physically will result in confusion and injury. More importantly, it can cause him to become scared and make him believe less in you.

In the same way, if your adult dog begins pulling on his leash, pulling it back will not teach him the proper manner of walking.

This article will review why you shouldn’t be adamant about your dog’s behavior. Learn how to handle undesirable behavior and establish an enduring and secure relationship with your dog partner.

Punishment can trigger anxiety, fear, and confusion.

As with the human brain, canines learn best when secure and confident in the instructor. “If the learner is afraid, anxious, stressed or confused, the brain shuts down as safety becomes the primary thought process,” says Keehn. “This is not a state that promotes learning.”

According to Sunny, Avoiding activities that can cause anxiety, fear, confusion, or anxiety in your pet is essential. This could include rubbing your dog’s nose in urine when they pee at home, tapping him with a newspaper roll, or using leash corrections.

“These things are confusing to dogs, and don’t get to the root of the behavior.”

Punishment isn’t the same as favorable reinforcement.

The most effective way for your dog can learn by reward-based training. It’s essential to ensure your dog can connect positively to certain items and actions. Hence, they have an ongoing positive or neutral encounter with the objects, according to Sunny. “Just like people, a negative experience with something will hold a much larger weight to a dog than a positive association.”

Sunny suggests paying attention to the dog’s body expressions to determine if she is being pushed “over the threshold and becoming scared, frustrated, or overwhelmed with something.” In this situation, moving slowly and taking your time with them is best. You can also use positive reinforcement.

Training based on punishment, as described by Keehn, is a method of teaching the dog what it should not do. At the same time, reward-based training can teach dogs how to act. For example, if you notice your dog calmly sitting in front of you, reward the dog by praising them. This will help him understand that calmness is to his advantage.

Punishment can break the bond you have with your dog.

“Punishment is effective, but it comes at the cost of trust in your dog. It’s the cost of the bond you hoped to create when you welcomed dogs into your home,” says Kheen. Through reward-based training, you can effectively communicate with your dog by demonstrating what is acceptable and can help build a bond.

Kheen employs the example of reprimanding a dog for throwing itself at you upon entering the house to illustrate that positive relationships are crucial in building on the relationship you share with your pet. The dog is thrilled to meet you after a few hours of absence and would like to greet you like dogs do face-to-face, so he reaches out to you. Instead of feeling grateful for this ebullient greeting, a punishment method could include kneeling him on the chest to “correct” this behavior.

“How would you say this will make him feel? It’s not fantastic. What if I bent down and kissed him so the dog could receive his greeting by putting all four paws in the air? There is no conflict, just love, and understanding.” This will solve the issue of jumping without hurting, pushing your dog, and breaking the trust.

Punishment techniques can cause your dog pain.

Choke chains and prong collars are not just uncomfortable but also ineffective. “I would steer away from any equipment, or technique that causes pain, fear, or intimidation,” recommends Keehn.

Using a choke chain or prong collar is an old-fashioned method to deter dogs not to pull on their leashes.

Using rewards-based training methods, you can train your dog to walk comfortably on a leash and not cause discomfort or suffering. If your dog isn’t responding to the regular nibbles of training, try offering high-value treats during walks. These are usually soft and fragrant, like string cheese or peanut butter, as well as tiny pieces of hot dog or Sardinines.

Punishment could have unintended negative.

If a dog is penalized for behavior we believe to be undesirable, the dog could misinterpret the message and result in unwelcome results, including aggression.

For instance, when dogs bark through the screen door or fence as other dogs pass by, it can become annoying for humans quickly. We are naturally looking to reduce this kind of behavior. A shock collar every time your dog barks at strangers could bring an end to the barking. However, it could cause him to feel that the barking is a sign of pain.

“After a few times [of being shocked], the dog associates other dogs walking by with pain, so he becomes more aggressive to dogs walking by or even any encounters he has with other dogs,” Keehn says. Keehn.

“There isn’t any way that the pet could be aware that the owner caused the shock. It could be that the dog walking past caused the shock.” This also applies to electric fences on the side of homes where the chance of passing dogs and humans through is higher.

Training Tips for Building a Healthy Relationship With Your Dog

Training your dog correctly is the best option for pet owners to prevent anxiety, fear, stress, and unwanted behaviors. It doesn’t matter if you begin the training on your own with the simple techniques at home, attend classes in a group, or employ an experienced trainer, it’s essential to be aware that, with time, patience, and love, it’s possible to develop an enduring connection with the dog and assist to make him a wonderful pet.

Here are some tips for training to keep in mind when beginning your dog’s training journey.

Be aware of your pet.

“The first thing I would recommend is learning to speak your dog’s language,” Says Sunny. Recognizing your dog’s language could assist in identifying his proper mood. “Often, we misread the dog’s stress as excitement, which leads us to put them in very stressful situations accidentally.”

When we are paying at their body language, We can understand the reason for what happened and then correct our behavior, like sitting down and allowing our dog to meet us when we enter the room.

Build a Trusting Relationship

Dogs will be more than content to follow instructions if there is a reliable leader. You can establish an enduring relationship with your dog through positive reinforcement. “Dogs will continue to do things that they get rewarded for until it becomes a habit, and they no longer need the reinforcement,” says Sunny.

To succeed in this regard, Sunny recommends giving the dog plenty of opportunities to grow.

“For instance, when you are you are potty training, it is best to bring your dog outside with a leash to the location you’d like them to go. Once they’ve done it, be very happy with them, congratulate them, hand them treats, and let them off leash (if appropriate). This will aid them in learning to get outside and go potty prior to going on a playdate.”

Use Redirection

It’s natural for dogs, particularly puppies, to chew your ankles and wrists or on your favorite shoes. “It is our responsibility to redirect them to appropriate things,” Sunny says. Sunny. “When dogs begin to chew on things it is not supposed to, gently declare ‘Eh!’ and offer them something they can play with, such as toys. If you see them chewing on the toys, you can praise them!”

Hire a Professional Dog Trainer

“I think pet parents should consider hiring a trainer as soon as they are seriously considering a dog – even before they get a dog,” Kheen says. Kheen. If you’re thinking about getting an animal, she suggests spending a couple of training sessions or even basic classes for groups.

“This will get you all off to a great start and limit unwanted behaviors before they start.”

To ensure that training is lasting, it must be continuous. It’s not enough to stop when the session has ended. If you continue practicing the methods you’ve learned with your pet, they’ll master the commands and create a habit.

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