Back to News

Published: Nov 03, 2011

Every dog has its own unique personality and ways of thinking, and many times these are the traits that owners love most in their pets. However, some behaviors dogs develop can be unpleasant, such as jumping on guests, chewing on furniture or pulling on their leashes.

According to VCA Animal Hospitals, using punishment in the correct manner may help reduce how much a dog acts out. Before beginning punishment, an owner must make sure that the poor behavior isn't due to something that could be changed. For example, if a dog chews on furniture or shoes, but doesn't have any chew toys of its own, then the problem may be easily fixed by purchasing toys it likes. However, if it has adequate options for fulfilling its animal instinct to chew, yet still attacks chairs and couches, then punishment may need to be enforced.

VCA reports that to make punishment successful an owner needs to pair an unpleasant consequence with the poor behavior. Owners should try to use a device, like an air horn or a whistle when the dog is in the middle of chewing, as the noise will instantly break up what the dog is doing and the sound may irritate it.

Continue to use the mechanism each time a dog chews or acts out another way to let it know the noise will occur every time it performs the negative behavior. Saying "no" sternly right after the noise may also further help the animal associate the behavior with punishment.