How Should I Discipline a Puppy?

Puppies are loved for their sheer size and cute demeanor. At the same time, it is your responsibility as a pet owner to properly discipline your new furry friend. Just like human children, puppies need to learn boundaries and how to behave. Note that this never entails physical punishment. By utilizing patience and consistency, you can successfully discipline your puppy--employing the correct methods will also save your house and personal items. If you have a particularly persistent puppy that does not respond to traditional disciplinary techniques, then you might consider consulting with a veterinarian.

Handling a Puppy

Biting, chewing, tearing and excessive barking are all traits that many new puppies have. Young adults are still exploring the world, and they often like to test their limits. This is why many common behaviors are often mistaken for aggressive ones.

One of the most successful disciplinary techniques you can try is to simply hold your puppy when he acts out. You might have to grab him gently by the muzzle until he calms down. The key to success is to hold your puppy until he calms down, and to not let go if he is still hyper and jumping around in your arms.

Other Methods

Even if your puppy is not being destructive, you might still need to utilize discipline to control an unruly canine. Examples include barking too much, or trying to play with your pant legs or shoes when you are walking. If your puppy does not calm down to holding him or her for a few minutes, then the best method might be to walk away.

Walking away for a few minutes lets your puppy know that he is acting out of line, and that he needs to calm down if he wants any more attention from you. Since dogs require a lot more attention than other kinds of pets, such as cats, this disciplinary method works particularly well with puppies.

Keep in mind that this form of action should only be utilized for up to a few minutes. Leaving your puppy alone for several minutes at a time is not only neglectful, but your furry friend can also get anxious during a lengthy absence. In some cases, leaving a dog alone for too long can result in damaged furniture and personal belongings.

All puppies are different, and they all respond to discipline in their own way. These techniques can take time to take hold, and patience is always a necessity when you are trying to keep your puppy in line. It is also important to be consistent with whichever methods you choose to ensure their success. Trying out a different form of discipline throughout the day can actually confuse your puppy, and he might even act out more as a result.

During the process, you might find yourself getting frustrated from time to time. If you find that you need a minute to cool off, place your puppy in a crate for a minute, take a breather and come right back. Never, ever physically discipline a puppy, no matter how frustrated you get. Physical discipline is cruel, and your puppy will learn to distrust you. When an animal does not trust you, then it has the propensity to act out even more.

All puppies respond to discipline in their own unique ways, and few are particularly strong-willed. If your puppy fits the profile, then you might need the help of a veterinarian to cope with your puppy's persistence and defiance. This will require more patience, but successful puppy discipline is still within reach.

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