Can dogs understand punishment?

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Punishment is a strong word for any living thing. People get punished all the time for their behavior. Moreover, punishing is a way of reminding them about their mistake. But does that work for dogs? Do dogs understand punishment?

The answer is “NO”. Punishing a dog is a sensitive issue and there are ways by which you can punish your dog. Not all punishments have to be harsh. There are positive punishment, negative punishment, and passive punishment. Dog misbehaves differently on a regular basis, and if they do it continuously, then they need to know that what they are doing is a mistake and how it affects the people in the house.

Positive punishment is shouting at your dog. Negative punishment is where you do not say anything to your dog, such as even when they come to pet you, you do not play with them. Passive punishment is where you keep them away from the things they like. For example, if your dog likes to play with his toy but he keeps tearing it, then you keep that away from him until he understands that this is not expected of him.

If your dog does something incorrect on a regular basis then it is advised to look into negative punishment. In this case, if you use a positive punishment and scold your dog, you will find that they will either get angry or scared. Either way, they really would have not understood whatever you are trying to communicate to them. They will only end up showing signs that will make you feel that they have understood why you are being the way you are. However, in reality, they would not have.

In the other case, when you use a negative punishment, dogs will understand that this is bothering you. Dogs have a way of identifying when their humans are sad and this will put them in their place where they realize that their humans are unhappy because of what they did. You can identify his reaction through body language. This will help you know if he/she is being receptive of it. 

Disciplining a dog depends on the dog that you have – its characters and behaviors. If you have a fretful dog, punishing him will only aggravate his fears. On the other hand, as we all know, prevention is better than cure. If you catch your dog doing something that is wrong, correct him immediately and do not wait until he has done it to punish him. Correcting him continuously while he is in the act of doing it has more power than punishing him afterward. Teach him to stop at the “No” or “Stop” command.Every time he does something wrong, say this in a stern voice. This will work better than punishment.

Hope you found this blog useful. What steps do you take when your dog does something wrong. Do let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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