How to Discourage Bad Behavior in a Dog

Teaching your dog what's good and bad is a vital skill. You can start at any time; a dog is never too old to learn a few new tricks. This is just a small article that explains an easy, simple, and effective way to get your dog's attention, hold it, and calmly redirect them to a more productive activity.


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    Get your dog's attention. Do not yell, or talk in an exited voice. Say their name quietly, but firmly. If the dog is doing something loud and cannot hear you, place a hand on them. If the dog is running around, it may work to firmly grab their collar, but make sure you show no sign of being aggressive.
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    Whisper very quietly. Dog's, like young children, pay attention when you whisper. If you yell, then they know what your saying and don't care. If you whisper, then they pay close attention because they want to know what you are saying. If the dog doesn't look you in the eye when you start whispering to it, make eye contact. Hold it's face in your hands if you must, but make eye contact and whisper to it.
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    While whispering, pet it and make sure to praise it. Only praise the dog if it's calming down. If the dog tries to leap away from you, grab it's collar firmly and say "No.", but don't shout.
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    Once the dog calms down, get it to do the opposite of what it was just doing. If it was barking, lead it to it's bed (or favorite place for a snooze), hug it, pet it, praise it, and get it to go to sleep. If it's biting you or someone else, give it a chew toy to play with. Be creative.
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    In the future, use positive reinforcement when the dog does what you'd like it to do (napping calmly, not jumping on guests, not digging up the garden, etc), and redirect it's bad behavior to something you'd prefer it to do. After a while, your dog will learn; be patient.


  • Calm yourself before trying this method. If you're hyper, the dog will also pick up on it.
  • Do not get angry. Stay positive and serious the whole time.
  • Make sure that guests understand what you're training your dog to do.
  • Get the whole family to join in, not just you.
  • Feel as though you are in authority, the dog will pick up on that.
  • Start training your dog immediately.
  • Do not punish your dog for its unwanted behavior. You will have troubles bonding with your dog if you use negative reinforcement.


  • Sometimes a dog might bite. If they bite during play, firmly say "no biting" and walk away. If they bite during discipline, put on their leash so that they can't get away from you, put on some heavy gloves, and continue to calm them

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Categories: Merge | Dog Obedience