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About Dog Discipline

By Tielle Webb
 
Having a dog as a member of your family brings added love and happiness into your home. This is especially true if your pooch is well behaved and obedient. Learning how to discipline your pup in a way that it will best respond will help you and your dog be more content.

History

Dogs have been companion animals to humans for centuries. Historically, dogs were the first animals people intentionally gave food. The animals likely hung around camps or villages and when people learned that they killed pests such as rodents, warned them of other people or animals approaching, and probably saw how cute puppies were, they deemed the animals valuable. Because dogs have a social order much like humans, it didn't take long for people to realize the dogs could be trained and disciplined.

Significance

Dogs that are disciplined and trained to be obedient are happier, healthier animals. This is because that, with proper discipline, your dog will come to understand that you are the "pack leader." Knowing this will help your dog feel safe and protected. Teaching your dog to obey can even save its life. For example, if a dog is about to run out into the street and a car is coming, a properly disciplined dog will obey when its owner calls it back.

Types

There are numerous dog training styles. Leash and collar training is a method that relies heavily on physical force and restraint. Reward training, which includes clicker training, is built upon the theory that dogs can be better trained and disciplined using positive reinforcement and by rewarding positive behavior. Other methods incorporate facets of both of the previously mentioned training types, rewarding good behavior and using means to correct undesirable behavior.

Considerations

In order to properly discipline a dog, the owner must be disciplined, as well. This means that whichever methods the owner determines to use, he must consistently follow through with them. When the dog sees that its master means business, or when the dog is rewarded or punished for a behavior without fail, the dog will soon make the desired changes. When training a dog, it is important that you are clear about what you want to accomplish so that your dog does not become confused.

Warning

If you use a chain or other type of training collar, only use it while training. Leaving it on the dog at other times could cause your dog to become seriously injured, as these collars can get caught on items such as fences or furniture and choke your pet. Never strike a dog, not even with a rolled-up newspaper. It may become fearful of you and could become even less obedient. Hitting a dog can also backfire if the dog feels cornered or threatened and lashes out.
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