Customer Question : Is it okay to spank my puppy?

"Is it okay to spank my puppy?" This question was sent into us from a newer puppy parent the other day and we are here to answer it! 

I think this is an important question to answer and address without judgement as we are all learning and trying to become better with our fur-children and grow with them.

Just like having children, having a dog isn't easy even for even the most veteran of us dog owners, and as a newer dog owner you might not know how best to train and discipline your dog when they do something you don't condone. 

With that being said, with absolute certainty, I can tell you that physical punishment, such as spanking, is not an effective or appropriate method of training or punishment for dogs. Physical punishment can cause fear, anxiety, and aggression in dogs, and can damage the trust and bond between yourself and your dog. 

Our fur children are not capable of understanding the reasoning behind physical punishment and it can create confusion and fear. This can lead to an escalation of behavior problems, rather than resolving them.

While we understand becoming extremely frustrating with dogs sometimes, there are much better ways to resolve any ongoing issues.  From destroying furniture, nipping, to forgetting all their recall training at times, we have seen it all and will break down what actually works.

Instead of using physical punishment, positive reinforcement training methods should be used to teach dogs the desired behavior. Positive reinforcement training involves rewarding the dog for good behavior, such as with treats or praise. This helps the dog understand what is expected of them and encourages them to repeat the behavior. This can take some time and patience, but in the long run it is definitely worth it in correcting any unwanted behavior.

We had a dog ourselves who would always take shoes and rip them up if he was not getting the attention he felt he deserved,  we were able to correct this behavior with positive reinforcement training and rewarding their behavior when they ignored the shoes. With time, this behavior was forgotten by him (and now he just rolls on the bed to make his point!) 

In situations where the dog has already displayed an unwanted behavior, it is important to use management techniques to prevent the behavior from happening again, rather than punishing the dog for something that already happened.

If you need to correct a behavior, it's best to redirect the dog's attention to something else or to remove the dog from the situation. For example, if your dog likes to bark excessively when someone comes to the door or past your home, you can teach them a "quiet" command and reward them when they stop barking. This will be rewarding for both of you, and can remove any unwanted behaviors.

Another alternative is using a time-out technique, where you remove the dog from the situation for a short period of time, and release them again when they are calm.

It's important to note that professional help from a qualified dog trainer or behaviorist may be necessary in some cases, especially if the dog's behavior is severe or persistent and you are not able to resolve it on your own. They can help you understand why your dog is behaving in a certain way and provide you with a customized training plan. We recommend this if you have exhausted all your options as they are professionals and can assist you with larger problems your dog may be encountering.

In conclusion, physical punishment, such as spanking, is not an effective or appropriate method of training or punishment for dogs. Positive reinforcement training, management techniques and time-out are some of the alternatives to spanking. It's important to understand the cause of the behavior and to work on resolving it in a humane and positive way.

If you are a new dog owner, or just have a question regarding your pup, please feel free to message us as we are always happy to assist and answer any questions you may have. We are all learning everyday and asking for help when you do not know how to handle something is perfectly fine!

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