Focus on Behavior Alternatives, Not Punishment
If your dog begins to bite or growl, or if they pee in the house or grab food off your plate, many pet parents will instinctively reprimand their dog, but punishment is the quickest way for your relationship with your dog to worsen.
“Punishment, even verbal punishment, has many side effects, including increasing fear and anxiety,” Ballantyne says. “It can result in owner-directed aggression, and it also doesn’t teach the dog what to do.”
Randi Rossman, a certified canine behavior consultant, agrees. “Everyone’s had a boss who focuses exclusively on what they’ve done wrong. How did you feel about them?”
Instead, focus on rewarding the behavior that you’d like your dog to repeat. Ballantyne says doing this will help your dog better manage his environment so he doesn’t make the wrong choice in the future.