Monday, March 26, 2012

Reprimanding Your Pup

I know reprimanding your dog is a controversial subject, and I'm kind of worried about talking about it but I'm going to talk about what works for me.

I will not and do not hit my dog. Don't hit YOUR dog. It's not ok. I spanked Mason ONCE in his whole life, I'll be honest--he ran out the front door and almost got hit by a car. I was so upset and mad at him almost killing himself I whopped him on the bottom like my dad used to do to me when I was little. I immediately felt like a shit head, but needless to say he has yet to run out the door like that ever again. But that is not the way to teach your dog not to do something--he'll associate it with something bad, he often won't understand the connection between the two things, and it can make him afraid. It's just not a good combination, and that was my BIG mistake.

Now fortunately, I was blessed with a puppy that immediately responded to a negative tone of voice. By consistently using that to reprimand him, (a firm "NO MASON.") he quickly developed a shamed look whenever someone told him no. One thing I did subconsciously that I've happily seen develop into his form of reprimanding is the fact that I ALWAYS snapped my fingers whenever he was not listening and he needed to do what I was saying before I whipped out the angry voice.

This leads to the reason why I decided to write this post--as he's 1 year old, I've started to notice things that work for him. When he doesn't listen, I snap my fingers and repeat the command and he does it. When he's out to pee and wants to sniff something and I snap and say "COME" loudly he'll come running. I had never noticed it before, but I guess I accidentally clicker trained my dog with my snaps. I think it's a good method--just as you reward when your dog does something right, it's good to have something associated with when he does something bad, so he knows quickly to correct.


  1. This is helpful for sure. Didgi is so puppy moody that it's seriously impossible for him to get the point sometimes. for the most part, i think he knows what "no" means, but when he's in one of those moods when he doesn't want to listen, i have no idea what to do. lately, ive been putting him in "time out" which is leashing him and ignoring him until he decides to listen, id like to be able to immediately correct, and at least be consistent. like just last week, my friend grabbed his scruff when he was being bitey and he stopped, but he has since become immune to it, as in thinks your still playing. my real trouble is getting him to pay attention to me, but i guess that's his distracted puppy nature for now.

    1. (I think I forgot to hit reply so you'd see the response, so I deleted and am reposting:) Oh definitely, and I think I mentioned this before but it's really good to specifically train him to look at you for no reason. The whole "watch me" thing--rather than just relying on calling his name to get him to pay attention. It helps! Doing that transists into him looking at you when you do commands. Mason is really intense so I've had to teach him to look at me before I throw the ball or anything, it just helps him from overfocusing on what he's doing and exploding lol. Usually the scruff thing works--when Olive got waaaay out of control being a bitch one day I had to pin her. She was chasing Mason and biting him, and it was playful and then it got to the "latch on like a spider monkey onto your back with my mouth" and I had to go up and pin her to the ground on her back. It kind of knocked her out of her "i will kill you" mode that she got sometimes. The best way to train a puppy to stop biting is respond like another dog--yell really loudly when he does it, like a dog does when it's being hurt by another. Usually they stop when they get the signal they're being too rough.