Stop Yelling at Your Dog!

DISCIPLINE BY YELLING – A Dog’s Point of View. 

Human > Frantically pointing finger. Shouting. : “Blah BLOO bli blah AGAAHE tulo shanana!!! WHAFIGI!!.”

Dog > Cowering. Nervous. Thinking. : “Why is he angry with me? What did I do?.” 

Disciplining your dog by yelling and screaming at it is COMPLETELY POINTLESS! Not only is it ineffective, counterproductive, and consequential. It reverses the steps of progress. It destroys any sliver of trust your dog had in you, thus, weakening the bond. It will take quite a while to repair the damage and earn its trust back. 

It is detrimental to your relationship with your dog because they cannot understand your words. They can just feel by your energy that you are very angry with them. It is very disheartening to their spirit, knowing you are mad at them but not knowing the reason.

You don’t need to yell for your dog to know you’re angry. You can project your emotions without saying a single word. But humans forget that dogs are not like them. Humans are naturally selfish beings. They ASSUME that dogs should know what is expected of them. That dogs should understand people speak. Instead of learning about DOG LANGUAGE, people try to irrationally conform their dogs into a compliant mini version of a person. Then they wonder why their dog doesn’t understand THEM! Well, try understanding the dog FIRST! 

“I don’t understand people speak”
DOGS LIKE TO PLEASE

Dogs want to please. They do not intentionally try to piss you off, that is a human interpretation because humans are flawed and insecure.

Dogs instinctively act like dogs. They are great problem solvers, but they don’t sit for hours contemplating and analyzing all options before making a decision. That thought process is fundamentally innate to human beings.

Dogs don’t wake up in the morning and think to themselves what type of day they are going to have or how they can annoy their human. Your dog is not sitting at home, coming up with a scheme to bolster a reaction out of you when you come home from work. 

Dogs don’t hold grudges after discipline. That is a human thing. Instead, dogs forgive and forget easily. They love freely without expecting anything. Something we can all learn to do.

ENERGY? Hocus Pocus! No!

It sounds hippy-ish, yes, but the fact is dogs ARE sensitive to energy. Everything that exists vibrates with energy, including your emotions. I can walk into the room, not say a word, not even distort my face into an expression, but project my frustration internally, and my dog will feel it. He may have picked up on a microexpression on my face or through my body language as well. But again, not having to scream or yell, I can project anger or disapproval. The same goes for sadness and happiness. Using your energy and visualization techniques to assist in training sessions is effective. It takes a bit of practice, but it is helpful.

STOP!

How do I stop yelling at my dog when I’m so angry? There is one proven technique to prevent further damage between the bond and trust with your dog. Ready for it? SHUT…YOUR…MOUTH!

Shhhh!

Breathe. Calm down.

So what’s the alternative then? Prevention. Diversion. Association. Well, timing is everything! If you don’t catch them in the act, then there’s no point in discipline. 

Problem: Chewed Shoes! If you come home from work and your shoes are chewed up, getting mad at your puppy is not going to accomplish anything but make him nervous next time you get back from work. Shaking the chewed shoe in his face and yelling is not going to make him understand that he shouldn’t have chewed your shoe. “But When I come home from work, and I point at the chewed shoes while yelling at my dog, he does know why I’m angry because his ears are back with his head down, looking scared and guilty.” The reason why he looks scared and guilty is not that he knows what he did wrong, but because he feels your anger. You’re misinterpreting it. You can point at anything unrelated while yelling, and he will still give off the same body language. 

Solution: If you come home from work after the fact, then just let it go. You cannot make your puppy remember back to hours earlier to the exact point when he decided to chew the shoe. So just let it go. Next time, put your shoes out of reach so he can’t get to it and leave chew toys as another option for him. Prevention. If you are home and you catch your puppy starting to chew your shoe, take it away and replace it with a chew toy. Diversion. Teaching the command ‘Leave It’ will become valuable as well.

Problem: Garbage Thief! Again, if you found your garbage on the floor after the fact, let it go. 

Timing is everything. 

Solution: Secure garbage so they can’t get into it. Prevention. If you catch her in the act, clap your hands to get her attention. Give her another command, such as come. When she comes to you, tell her to sit. When she does that, praise her. Diversion.

Problem: Rough Houser! “I like to play with my dog outside, but sometimes he gets a little too rough. He’s a large dog, and he starts out playing nice, but then he starts to jump and nip at me!.” 

Solution: Instead of yelling at him each time he does that but continue playing with him, walk away. Soon as he starts nipping and jumping at you, stop the game, turn your back and walk back into the house. Do that each time you play with him when he starts to get rough. He will eventually see that it is not fun when he jumps and nips at you because you stop playing the game with him. He will associate his jumping and nipping at you with the end of playing. Association.

Problem: Biting Monster! “My puppy is teething; she tries to bite my hands when I pet her or my feet when she’s laying by them!.” Yes, teething can be an uncomfortable, sometimes painful experience for puppies. The only way they know to alleviate it is to bite and chew and massage their gums. 

Solution: Give them enough chew alternatives to help relieve their teething. Diversion. If they are trying to play with you nipping at you, ignore and walk away. Try again in a few minutes. Association.

Problem: Potty Accident! Your dog has an accident while you are away. When you get home and see it, you gasp, grab your dog and drag her to it and rub her nose in it while you are yelling no. You assume she knows what she did wrong because she is looking scared and guilty. Well, she is scared! Because she knows you’re outraged. Not because she understands WHY you are! Dogs can get timid in the first sense their owner is angry with them. Sometimes a dog will have an accident in the house if there are health issues. So before jumping to the conclusion that they should know better, ponder the thought that maybe they are not feeling well. 

Solution: When you come home to a mess, clean it up, and let it go. If you’re in the midst of potty training a puppy, it is best not to set it up for failure. When I potty train, I keep a constant eye on them even if I have to attach a leash to my belt loop. I take them out more often than not. If they start to look like they are going to go, I get them out the door as soon as I can. Then lots of praise when they go outside. Remember, when dogs have an accident, they really had to go and they’re just doing what’s natural to them. It’s not logical to get mad at that. It is YOUR job to teach them where to go.

MY EXPERIENCE

In my own experience, when I was young, I realized a long time ago that yelling is pointless. I quickly realized that I was the problem. When I started learning about dog behavior first, things changed. Experimenting with different methods of communication, I found that for myself, less talking is more effective. A few words or none at all. When I catch my dog doing something he shouldn’t be doing, sometimes, a snap of my fingers once is all he needs to stop and back away. If I’m in the middle of eating or working on something and he starts to get into my face, sometimes, I let out a little growl, and if I do it just right, he gets the point.

THE POINT?

The point is yelling is pointless! Because dogs are so sensitive to your energy, they already know when you’re mad, sad, or happy. It’s more effective to focus on their positive behavior rather than punishing them for every mistake they make. How you carry yourself is going to make a big difference in how your dog reacts to you. So just give it up. Stop yelling at your dog! 

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