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How To Discipline Dogs: Proven Techniques for a Happy and Obedient Dog

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe


The question of how to discipline dogs causes many strong emotions among dog lovers. Yet, it remains one of the most poorly understood aspects of dog ownership. From people who believe that hitting or “spanking” their dog is appropriate, to people who disregard any kind of training, dog discipline (or the lack of it) is something that affects every dog owner

Of course, there are many safe tools that can help us create a disciplined dog. Using a no-pull dog harness effectively means having a dog that walks quietly at our side on walks. Using a dog seat belt in a car can help us keep our dogs safe and off our laps while we are driving. These are simple non-controversial tools to help discipline our dogs without force. But what about e-collars or spray collars?

Whatever we associate the word “discipline” with, having a disciplined dog is really about safety and having a good relationship with our dog. It is not about punishment or cruelty. But to really deal with this difficult topic, we are going to refer to the dog clicker training expert, Karen Pryor, and the dog behavior bible, Canine Behavior Insights, by Professor Bonnie Beaver.

For example, a disciplined dog is a dog that comes when called rather than darting into oncoming traffic. Disciplined large dogs will not jump on frail, sick, or elderly people or small children. They will not dash out of the door the moment you open it.

Disciplined dogs are polite. They are neutral toward strangers and strange dogs, and do not pull on the leash to greet strangers. Neither do they react aggressively or fearfully when they see strange animals. Rather, they wait for commands from their owner before they act.

Remember, you decide what discipline means for your dog. For example, for my dogs, it is absolutely essential that they have a good recall and come when called no matter what. I also don’t want them jumping on people or pulling on the leash. So I consistently reinforce these behaviors.

On the other hand, I don’t care if my dogs sleep on the furniture or in my bed, so I don’t bother teaching them not to. For some owners, this is not acceptable and to them, disciplined dogs may mean dogs who stay on their own dog beds. The important thing is that you decide what the rules are for your dog and you consistently enforce those rules and boundaries.

We will discuss how to do this without cruelty below. But first let’s look at how disciplined people equal disciplined dogs.

Disciplined People Create Disciplined Dogs

Disciplined people create disciplined dogs

One point to cover before we get into how we discipline dogs properly is that dogs can only be as disciplined as we are. When we talk about a disciplined person, we usually mean a person that:

  • Has consistent good daily habits, such as exercise, a work life balance, and healthy diet.
  • Has good control of their emotions and does not have inappropriate outbursts, such as yelling at coworkers or their family. 
  • Has a good sense of how to behave appropriately in different environments.
  • Can control their impulses.

 It’s the same for dogs. A disciplined dog is a dog that:

  • Has a consistent daily routine where they exercise, have playtime, engage in activities, and know when it’s time to settle down and nap.
  • Does not have reactive outbursts such as becoming uncontrollable when they see another dog on a walk.
  • Has a good idea of how to behave in public, with other dogs, or at home.
  • Controls their impulses to chase, chew, dig, fight, bite, run off, or soil the house.

You can see that discipline in dogs looks the same as it does in humans. And yes, not every dog needs to be a disciplined machine just like not every person needs to wake up at 5 am to run and eat a steady diet of kale. Moderation is key. Still, some dogs need to be more disciplined than others from sheer necessity. I would much rather have a disciplined Cane Corso than undisciplined one.

But how do you get a disciplined dog?

What Is The Best Method To Discipline Dogs?

What Is The Best Method To Discipline Dogs?

When it comes to how to create a disciplined dog, there are many factors that go into it. A weekly 10-minute training session won’t cut it. Neither will a daily walk around the block. Discipline is a lifestyle that means consistently reinforcing the correct behavior in your dog on a daily basis. Discipline is not a once off reaction to a behavior you don’t like.

The following are the many steps involved in creating a disciplined dog.

1. Understanding Your Dog’s Motivations

Every dog has unique motivations that drive their behavior. We call this drive. Some dogs have a high food drive and other dogs don’t really care about food at all, making it useless to get the best behavior out of your dog (although hand feeding your dog can help this).

Understanding what motivates your dog, whether it’s food, play, praise, or affection, allows you to tailor your training and discipline methods accordingly. By utilizing your dog’s specific motivations, you can reinforce desired behaviors effectively and address any challenges or issues that may arise.

Remember, most pet dogs are low-drive dogs, unless they are a working breed. These are usually companion dogs that are not working dogs. My Bullmastiff, Jack, is a low-drive dog. This means I don’t have high expectations of him to do any work. Training sessions are short and meant as a time for us to bond and reinforce good behaviors. 

So, it’s also important to understand a dog’s limitations. If Jack were a working, high-drive Belgian Malinois, our life would look very different, with daily training and exercise easily taking up to two hours of the day to create a disciplined dog.

2. Understanding Your Dog’s Instinctive or Genetic Behavior

Dogs have innate behaviors and instincts that are influenced by their breed and genetics. It is important to recognize and understand these instincts as they can impact your dog’s behavior and discipline. By acknowledging and working with your dog’s natural tendencies, you can provide appropriate outlets and guidance, preventing frustration and promoting desired behaviors.

For instance, retrievers love to retrieve (it’s in the name), so a simple way to channel this instinct is to play fetch. They also love water, making retrieving objects from a pool a great way to get them loads of high-intensity but low-impact exercise. Recognizing and addressing instinctive behaviors helps you discipline your dog in a way that aligns with their natural inclinations.

A note on instincts is one that affects people that have “bully” breeds, or breeds that come from dog-fighting ancestry. To be clear, these are my favorite dogs and they’re wonderful working and companion breeds. 

But in dog fighting, dogs are selectively bred not to ramp up aggression slowly the way most dogs do with warning signals like growling and raised hackles. They need to go straight to a fight when they are triggered.

What this translates to is the same old phrase we hear all too often; “he attacked with no warning.” The reality is that some of these dogs are just not genetically wired to give a lot of warning before a bite (but this doesn’t mean the warning signs are not there, just that they are easy to miss). This is why responsible, educated ownership of powerful breeds is so essential.

If you have problems with dogs fighting, see our article on how to discipline dogs after fighting.

3. Clear and Effective Communication

Clear communication is fundamental to effective discipline and training. Dogs rely on cues and signals from their owners to understand expectations and boundaries. Establishing consistent and clear communication helps your dog grasp what is expected of them, reinforcing positive behaviors and discouraging unwanted ones.

Use concise verbal commands, consistent hand signals, and appropriate body language to convey your intentions effectively. Timing is crucial, as delivering commands or rewards promptly ensures your dog associates them with the correct behavior. Consistency and clarity in communication foster understanding and help your dog learn and respond appropriately to your guidance.

4. Exercise and Socialization

Exercise and Socialization

In addition, exercise and socialization are essential components of a well-disciplined dog. Regular physical exercise helps channel your dog’s energy in a positive way, reducing the likelihood of destructive behavior driven by boredom or excess energy. 

Remember, when a dog is overexcited and overstimulated, they cannot learn. So exercise is your best friends and really reduces 90% of behavior problems in dogs.

Socialization is also crucial for teaching your dog appropriate behavior around people, animals, and different environments. Expose your dog to a variety of stimuli in a controlled and positive manner from an early age. 

Arrange playdates with other friendly dogs, introduce them to new environments, and expose them to different sounds, sights, and smells. Proper socialization helps your dog develop confidence, reduces fear and anxiety, and promotes good behavior in various situations.

5. Giving Some Dogs a Job

Certain breeds have innate instincts and a strong desire to work. This is why we call them working breeds. A working dog without a job is probably one of the most common reasons we see undisciplined behaviors like excessive barking, digging, or destructive chewing. 

Giving these dogs a job or purpose can greatly contribute to their overall discipline and well-being. Find activities that align with their breed traits, such as herding, retrieving, or participating in dog sports like agility or obedience trials. 

Engaging their minds and providing outlets for their energy helps prevent behavioral problems that may arise from boredom or frustration. Giving your dog a job not only keeps them physically and mentally stimulated but also strengthens the bond between you and your canine companion.

Some dogs are surprising when it comes to the jobs they can do. Just watch this Rottweiler herding:

6. Being Consistent

To effectively discipline dogs, it is crucial to reinforce and reward desired behaviors consistently while avoiding reinforcing unwanted behaviors. This requires clear communication, consistency, timing, and understanding of the dog’s individual needs and motivations. 

Your dog is only ever going to be as disciplined as you are. If you allow them to get on the furniture sometimes, but get angry at other times, they will never be disciplined about staying off the furniture. The same goes for any behavior. If you are inconsistent about when you allow leash pulling, or jumping on people, your dog has no reason to understand what the rule or boundary is.

7. Managing a Dog’s Environment 

Creating a safe and conducive environment is a crucial aspect of discipline. By understanding your dog’s individual needs, instincts, and potential triggers, you can proactively manage their environment to prevent unwanted behaviors and set them up for success.

Simply put: if your dog chases chickens, the best way to discipline them is really not to allow them access to chickens. This is environmental management.

For instance, if your dog has a strong prey drive, it is important to avoid off-leash situations in areas where there are animals they may be tempted to chase. By keeping your dog on a leash or in a securely fenced area, you can prevent potentially dangerous or disruptive situations.

Similarly, if your dog tends to exhibit destructive behavior when left alone, ensuring they have a safe and enriched environment with appropriate chew toys, interactive puzzles, or confinement in a dog-proofed area can help prevent destructive tendencies and promote positive behavior.

8. Teaching A Dog Impulse Control

Teaching A Dog Impulse Control

Teaching a dog impulse control is crucial for creating a disciplined and well-behaved canine companion. Impulse control refers to the ability of a dog to resist immediate temptations or impulses and instead exhibit self-control and patience. 

By developing impulse control, dogs learn to make better choices and exhibit appropriate behavior even in the face of distractions or exciting stimuli. This skill allows them to listen to commands, follow instructions, and refrain from engaging in undesirable behaviors such as jumping, begging, or excessive barking.

The video below discusses impulse control exercises and distractions for your dog.

9. Teaching Your Dog High Engagement and Ignoring Distractions

Teaching a dog to engage with you and ignore distractions is a vital aspect of creating a disciplined dog. By focusing their attention on you, the dog becomes more receptive to your commands and guidance, making training and communication more effective. Engaging with you strengthens the bond and establishes you as the leader. Additionally, training the dog to ignore distractions helps them maintain self-control and make appropriate choices in various environments.

Teaching your dog high engagement is the first step to stop your dog ignoring you

The video below can get you started on teaching your dog to engage with you in any environment. 

Discipline As The Reinforcement Of Correct Behaviors

Discipline As The Reinforcement Of Correct Behaviors

Discipline in dogs ultimately comes down to which behaviors you reinforce, as reinforcement is a key factor in shaping and maintaining behavior. Reinforcement refers to the process of strengthening a behavior by providing a consequence that increases the likelihood of that behavior being repeated in the future.

The easiest way to explain how to reinforce behaviors successfully is to make the wrong behavior hard and the right behavior easy. And reward, reward, reward.

This is vital to understand. Disciplining dogs is not about waiting until they do something wrong to punish them or react. It is about reinforcing the correct behavior before the wrong one becomes a problem.

Behaviors in dogs can be reinforced in two main ways: through positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement involves providing something desirable or rewarding to the dog immediately after they exhibit a desired behavior. This increases the likelihood of the behavior being repeated.

Example: When a dog sits on command, and the owner rewards the behavior with a treat or verbal praise, the positive reinforcement strengthens the sit behavior, making it more likely that the dog will sit again in the future.

Negative Reinforcement

Negative reinforcement involves removing or avoiding something unpleasant or aversive as a consequence of the dog’s behavior, which increases the likelihood of that behavior being repeated.

Example: If a trainer uses a e-collar set to a low vibrational setting (not a shock), they can apply the vibration when the dog loses focus during training. As soon as the dog regains focus and offers the correct behavior, the annoying vibration stops. So the negative stimulus goes away. In human terms, a common example of negative reinforcement is a our car beeping when we don’t put on our seatbelt. The annoying beeping only stops when we give the correct behavior (using our seatbelt). This is negative reinforcement that we use on ourselves to train ourselves to always use our seatbelts.

It’s important to note that negative reinforcement should not be confused with punishment. Negative reinforcement focuses on rewarding the desired behavior by removing an aversive stimulus (something the dog does not like), whereas punishment involves adding an aversive stimulus to decrease the likelihood of an undesirable behavior. Positive reinforcement is generally considered the most effective and humane method of training dogs.

Should You Punish A Dog For Unwanted Behavior?

Should You Punish  A Dog For Unwanted Behavior?

One reason the topic of disciplining dogs is so controversial is that we associate it with punishment. In the dog training world, there is much heated debate between what we call balanced dog trainers (who use a combination of negative reinforcement, corrections, and positive reinforcement in their training) and force free or positive reinforcement only dog trainers.

I’m not here to say who is right, because it’s a far more difficult and nuanced topic than many trainers want to admit. But when it comes to the subject of discipline, we need to define and discuss the term “punishment” and “corrections.”

Punishment and corrections overlap, but for the sake of argument, we are going to draw a distinction and then talk about whether they have a place in working with dogs. Punishment is a negative consequence for a behavior. We will discuss the idea that hitting, kicking or yelling is punishment below. But first, let’s assume that punishment is not this extreme.

In her book, Don’t Shoot The Dog, Karen Pryor, uses the example of a child sticking a fork in a power outlet. When this happens, the mother may smack the child’s hand and give a stern “No!”. This is far from abuse, after all, one reason is that getting a fright from their mother’s reaction to stop the behavior is a better option than being electrocuted.

But as Pryor points out, the results are unpredictable. Even with impeccable timing and delivering the quick smack right at the crucial moment that lets the child associate sticking objects into power outlets as “bad,” are we sure that the child really learned the crucial lesson?

Or did they learn that sticking a fork in a power outlet when mom can see you is bad?

Most parents agree that even with a sharp, quick punishment, they probably start taking other precautions until the child is older and outgrows the phase. Perhaps they limit access to cutlery. Maybe they move furniture in front of the outlets. In other words, they manage the environment rather than relying on punishment to work.

This happens all the time with dogs who learn to not chew the furniture when their owner is there and they receive a punishment, but when they are left alone for a long time, furniture chewing is still a good way to pass the time.

What’s more, punishment can create a lot of problems for dogs, as they become increasingly anxious and uncertain when they don’t make the correct association with their actions and punishment. In other words, most of the time dogs don’t know why they’re being punished and they can draw the wrong conclusion. Much like children do.

But does that mean there is no place for punishment? The answer is that it depends. And this is when we begin to look at what corrections are.

Corrections in Disciplining Dogs

Corrections are similar to punishments, as they are a negative consequence for bad behavior. There are many types of corrections, but perhaps the most controversial one right now is the use of an e collar to “zap” a dog when it is engaged in unwanted behavior.

But corrections aren’t always this extreme. For instance, I recently visited a sheep farmer with Border Collies to learn more about his training process. His dogs are typically working some distance from him and he doesn’t use tools like e collars. Watching him work with a young dog, I notice the dog become overexcited, nipping and biting at the sheep.

A good herding dog does not put their flock under unnecessary stress, so a dog that is too aggressive when herding is not going to cut it as a sheep dog. The farmer’s reaction was interesting. Without raising his voice or becoming flustered, he recalled the dog and gave it the command to “down” next to him.

With his dog in the down position at his side, he kept letting the older dogs work the sheep. This was a correction without any force or pain. All the young dog wanted was to herd his sheep. But the privilege of doing that was removed until he calmed down.

Once calmer, he was sent back to work. With a few “corrections” of nothing more than stopping his favorite activity, the dog began to learn discipline with his flock, and that nipping, biting, or overexcitement would mean that he was removed from doing his favorite thing in the world.

The reason for relaying this story is that too often, force-free trainers assume that balanced trainers are resorting to punishing methods with their dogs. This causes a lot of anger and accusations in the dog training community. Certainly, there are many dog trainers using uncalled for punishments with their dogs that called themselves “balanced” dog trainers, but this is not the case for everyone.

The point is, if a trainer is using corrections, it’s worth asking what the corrections are and when they use them. This way you can decide for yourself if it seems excessive.

That said, it is worth noting using too many corrections and punitive measures can be a sign that a trainer lacks skill. In some very specific high levels of bite work with protection dogs, e collars are a helpful tool that some experienced trainers use effectively. But in the wrong hands, shock collars can quickly become abusive.

Disciplining Dogs With Hitting, Yelling, Or Kicking: Is It Ever Okay To “Spank” Your Dog?

I have put the acts of hitting, kicking, and yelling at dogs under its own heading, because these are not corrections, they are abuse. While punishment is not a good technique to use with a dog, we have discussed how the conversation around a correction is more nuanced and corrections don’t have to be painful or cruel. But none of that extends to violence, bullying, or intimidating dogs to discipline them.

The reasons that someone may hit, kick, or scream at their dog varies. But they include:

  • Extreme frustration or an emotional response to something like losing your most expensive pair of shoes to a puppy or your dog biting a child or another dog.
  • Replicating the behavior you saw in growing up. For instance, if you grew up with adults threatening dogs with rolled up newspapers or pushing puppies’ noses into their poop for pooping inside, you may well do it yourself.
  • Not knowing how to cope with a problem or unwanted behavior, leading one to resort to outbursts when you don’t know what else to do.
  • Having a personal issue with emotional regulation that leads to abusive behavior toward your dog.

I understand many of the reasons that people may resort to hitting, kicking, or yelling. Nevertheless, it has no place with no dogs. When I work with people and their dogs and I sense that this behavior is not a matter of ignorance (they don’t know a better way but they’re willing to learn), I try to get the dog rehomed to a better environment.

Let’s be clear, no good trainer, including balanced trainers who use corrections or negative reinforcement, resort to yelling, hitting, kicking or anything similar. This is the opposite of discipline. In fact, outbursts like this show an extreme lack of emotional discipline from the human. 

Hitting a dog offers no guidelines for the dog as to how to behave better. Dogs never “learn their lesson.” What they learn is that their owner is unstable and unpredictable. How the dog responds is going to depend on the dog’s individual personality and survival response. 

What Happens When You Hit Your Dog?

When you show aggression toward your dog, such as by hitting them, you typically force them into a survival response. The four survival responses are fight, flight, freeze, and fawn. A dog will pick one (or a combination) based on their baseline personality and what they find works best to cope with their situation. So:

  1. Fight: a dog that has a strong personality may choose to become aggressive to defend themselves. Often this doesn’t happen during the event, but their overall aggression may begin to rise as they try to warn others to stay away from them. They get into more fights with other dogs, or become more aggressive about their bed or food. A dog with a true fight response will bite back when a handler is pressuring them with yelling and physical violence or intimidation. This often causes the dog to be euthanized.
  2. Flight: dogs who suffer extreme punishments will start a range of avoidant behaviors, such as hiding, not coming when called, and not engaging with their owner. With these dogs you often see a rise in anxiety-based disorders, such as licking their paws for hours.
  3. Freeze: the freeze response is the response that leads many people to believe that their “punishment” has worked. A dog that is flooded with too much overwhelming stimuli, like hitting and kicking will begin to shut down. When neither fight or flight seems an option, they develop learned helplessness. They stop engaging with their surroundings and accept their fate. To some people, this can look like a dog who “learned a lesson,” but really, fixing an emotionally and mentally shutdown dog is far harder than fixing a scared or aggressive dog.
  4. Fawn: the fawn response is another survival response that gives people the wrong impression that their method has worked. When a dog fawns, they give a variety of appeasement signals to try to diffuse your anger. They will present their belly, avert their gaze and look “guilty”. They’ll tuck their tail and cower. This gives many people the impression that the dog knows what they did wrong and is trying to make up for it with their guilty puppy eyes. They aren’t. They’re trying to appease you to reduce your anger.

So as you can see, the key here is that regardless how a dog responds to punishing behaviors that become abusive, they’re really displaying a survival response. The key takeaway is; they’re not learning anything and they are definitely not becoming dogs with discipline. They’re trying to survive. 

And in the interim, the effects of putting a dog under this kind of pressure are myriad, but you can be sure that there is no way to have real bond with your dog (aside from a trauma bond perhaps) if your idea of discipline is bullying, aggression, or violence.

Using Tools To Discipline Dogs: Which Ones Are Helpful And What Should We Avoid?

Using Tools To Discipline Dogs: Which Ones Are Helpful And What Should We Avoid?

It is important to address the issues surrounding certain “disciplinary” dog training tools, such as e-collars, citronella spray collars, and debarking collars. While there are cases where professional trainers may use these tools effectively and without cruelty, it is crucial to understand the potential risks and challenges associated with their use, especially for the average dog owner.

1. E-Collars

E-collars, also known as electronic collars or shock collars, are devices that deliver an electric shock to the dog’s neck as a form of correction. While some professional trainers may use them with proper knowledge and expertise, they can pose significant risks if used incorrectly or inappropriately.

E-collar set to the lowest vibration can make a good tool for negative reinforcement. By using the vibration when your dog loses focus on training and stopping it when your dog gives the correct behavior, you can use it to deal with problems like dogs losing focus.

But the main concern with e-collars is the potential for misuse or the use of high-intensity shocks, which can cause physical and emotional harm to the dog. Without proper training and guidance, average dog owners may unintentionally cause fear, anxiety, and even pain to their dogs, undermining the trust and bond between them.

2. Citronella Spray Collars

Citronella spray collars are designed to release a burst of citronella spray near the dog’s face when triggered by barking. The idea is that the dog will associate the spray with barking and eventually learn to stop barking to avoid the unpleasant scent. However, the use of citronella spray collars can also be problematic.

A dog’s nose is highly sensitive, and the strong smell of citronella can be overwhelming and distressing for them. This can lead to fear, anxiety, or other negative associations with the collar, affecting the dog’s overall well-being. Additionally, similar to other aversive methods, citronella spray collars may suppress the behavior of barking without addressing the underlying causes, which can result in heightened stress or frustration.

3. Debarking Collars

Debarking collars are designed to inhibit a dog’s ability to bark by delivering a stimulus, such as an electric shock or ultrasound, when the dog attempts to vocalize. This approach raises significant ethical concerns and can have adverse effects on the dog’s welfare.

Debarking collars essentially suppress a natural behavior without addressing the underlying causes of the barking. It is essential to understand that barking is a form of communication for dogs, and by preventing them from barking, we stop their ability to express themselves and potentially address their needs or alert us to potential problems. 

In other words, debarking collars are like stopping a child from crying when they have a broken arm. It will stop the behavior that is annoying you. But it does nothing to address the real issue. This is cruel and we heavily insist that if your dog has a barking issue, that you see our other articles on dog barking to deal with the issue.

See: Dog barking at nothing, dog barking at night, and do dogs ever get tired of barking.

Good Tools For Disciplining Dogs

Utilizing appropriate tools can be beneficial for disciplining dogs and ensuring their safety. Here are some tools that can help discipline dogs while avoiding potential issues:

1. Muzzles 

Muzzles are valuable tools for managing a dog’s behavior, particularly if they have a history of aggression or reactivity. Muzzles provide a safety measure by preventing a dog from biting or engaging in potentially dangerous behaviors. Properly fitted and introduced muzzles can allow you to safely socialize your dog, take them to public places, or work on behavior modification under controlled conditions. It’s important to note that muzzles should never be used as a long-term solution or a substitute for training and behavior management.

2. Crates

Crates, when used appropriately, can provide a safe and comfortable space for a dog. They serve as a den-like environment where dogs can retreat, relax, and feel secure. 

Crates can be effective tools for managing a dog’s behavior when you cannot directly supervise them or when they need a quiet place to rest. Additionally, crates can aid in house training by preventing accidents and destructive behavior when you are unable to actively supervise your dog.

Remember, crate is to a dog as cradle is to baby. It is not a punishment and it is not meant to be a doggy prison to leave a dog in there for most of the day. But it is useful to keep your dog out of trouble after they have had their daily training, exercise, play, and other activities.

3. Leashes and Secure Yards

Keeping your dog on a leash in public and ensuring you have a securely fenced yard are essential for their safety and the well-being of others. Leashes provide control and prevent your dog from approaching potentially unsafe situations or engaging in undesirable behaviors. Secure yards provide a designated space for dogs to play and exercise without the risk of them escaping or encountering hazards. Investing in sturdy leashes and secure fencing helps maintain control and prevents your dog from getting into trouble, such as running into traffic or trespassing onto neighboring properties.

4. Anti-Chew Spray

If you’ve been following this article, you may have noticed where I said that discipline also means making the wrong behavior difficult and the right behavior easy. A good example of this is using anti-chew spray on items like shoes and furniture if your dog is chewing. The bitter taste makes chewing on the wrong items difficult because of the bitter taste.

If your dog has access to appropriate items, like chew toys, then chewing only on the correct items becomes easy. 

Final Thoughts

By using these tools effectively, you can discipline your dog and minimize the chances of them engaging in unwanted behaviors or encountering unsafe situations. However, it is crucial to remember that tools alone are not enough — proper training, socialization, and positive reinforcement techniques should accompany their use. Using tools responsibly, in conjunction with appropriate training methods, creates a structured and safe environment for your dog, promoting good behavior and overall well-being.

Meet Your Experts

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Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.