Punishment – is it useful for your dog?
Here something different for you, a quick quiz. I’m going to give you some scenarios and you can tell me which action you would take – when is punishment appropriate? Be honest with yourself, it’s just for fun.
Your year old puppy drinks lots of river water while on a walk, then pees in the house. Do you:
- Rub her nose it, whilst shouting at her
- Go and smack her
- Sigh and clear it up
- Remind yourself not to let her drink too much when it’s hot?
Answer: 3 and 4
Your dog runs off out of sight whilst on a walk. Do you:
- Call him positively and excitedly, squeaking a toy.
- Wait for him to come back
- Chase after him, angrily shouting his name
- Remind yourself that you need to carry on working on his recall training, although he is much better than he was?
Answer: 1, 2 and 4
Your young dog jumps up at your husband when he gets home from work and jumps up at visitors. Do you:
- Give her a smack and shout at her for being naughty
- Push her off and say ‘Down!’ at her
- Ask your husband and visitors to turn away from her and ignore her
- Remind yourself that you need to ask people to help you continue her jumping up training and explain what you want?
Answer: 3 and 4
You leave your sandwich on a coffee table while you go to the toilet. You are only gone for a minute, but your dog eats your food. Do you:
- Wonder where your sandwich could be
- Yell at your dog for eating your food
- Smack your dog to teach it a lesson
- Remind yourself that if you leave food in front of a dog, it will only not eat it if it is ill?
Your children love playing with your dog but struggle to leave him alone. One of your children comes over and puts her face up to the dog’s (whilst he is on his bed) and your dog growls. Do you:
- Praise the dog for being patient with your child
- Shout at your child for getting in the dog’s face
- Smack your dog for growling at your child
- Remind yourself to work with your child and your dog about good interaction and to make sure that you never leave them alone together?
Answer: 1, 2 and 4
Your dog snaps at another dog that comes into her face when you are out on a walk. The owner of the other dog calls out “it’s OK he’s friendly” but your dog growls and shows her teeth. Do you:
- Shout at the owner of the other dog
- Give your dog a treat for not killing the other dog
- Smack your dog and shout at her for being aggressive
- Remind yourself to work on distracting distracting your dog away from approaching dogs and reward them for ignoring other dogs?
Answer: 2 and 4 (and probably 1 as well)
You leave your dog out in the garden for a while. When you come back there is a big hole in the middle of the lawn. Do you:
- Beat the dog for being so naughty
- Punish the dog by shutting it away for a few hours
- Drag the dog to the hole and yell at it
- Remind yourself not to leave the dog unsupervised and bored where it can do damage?
Answer: 4 It’s entirely your fault.
You come in to find your dog has chewed one of your trainers. Do you:
- Ring the rescue centre because you are sick of the bloody dog
- Shout at the dog
- Show the dog the shoe and give him a smack
- Remind yourself to buy some more dog toys and to tidy your shoes away in future?
I am hoping that you have enjoyed my bit of fun? Of course we can all get fed up with our annoying dogs and all their bad behaviours. However, I hope you can see that it is important to manage our expectations and to understand that any dog is still a dog. How well it behaves is entirely up to you and the way you manage it. Some dogs are easier to train than others, but none of them need punishment.
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You are very welcome to CONTACT ME to ask for my advice. I can help you with a variety of issues and problems around getting a dog and suggestions for tackling training issues. Go to the What Dog? page for more information on my service.
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