8 Best Ways to Discipline a Large Dog (Most Effective Methods)

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Have you adopted a large breed pup who is a lot more energetic than you thought?

Don’t worry. I have good news for you!

And did I tell you that this is the perfect time to train your dog to be obedient, act smart, and be attentive?

We all dream of having well-trained dogs as dog parents, isn’t it?
Supportive encouragement and proper training are the best ways to assist a dog in differentiating good behavior from bad. And this becomes more important when it comes to large dogs.

Of course, your dog will make mistakes in the process of learning. But if you know the most effective methods of disciplining and redirecting your dog, then buddy, know that you will have the best-behaved doggo on the street!

Dogs are fast learners. This makes their obedience training process a lot simpler. And once they are fully trained, it will be easier for you to deal with them.

The Best Ways to Discipline a Large Dog

So, what are the best ways to discipline a dog? Here, I have come up with a list of the most effective methods to discipline your furry buddy.

Just make sure that the punishment you choose to give your doggo matches the action. This will not affect the bond that you are building with your canine companion at the moment. Now, let’s start with the tips!

#1. Practice Positive Reinforcement

Practice Positive Reinforcement for dogs
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The most effective and the most popular method of discipline is using positive reinforcement. You don’t need to punish your pup for something that they don’t really understand. Instead, praise them for every good deed they do.

Let me give you an example. Suppose you are potty training your furry buddy. In that case, offer them a treat each and every time they go on the pup pad or use the potty outdoors.

If you don’t want to treat your pup, you can do another thing. Every time they obey your command, give them some more love and repeat the command they just did in a praising and exaggerated tone.

According to experts, this reward-based discipline method works super effectively for your beloved doggo.

And did I say that it builds as well as improves the bond between you and your pup?

You will be grateful for this in the long run. Trust me!

#2. Redirect From Bad Behavior

Redirect From Bad Behavior
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All your doggo needs is a little bit of redirection when they are in full-on tantrum mode, and you want to calm them down. When you see that your pup is doing some unwanted behavior, divert their attention to something positive. Let me explain it to you with an example.

Suppose your pup is showing some major signs of aggression. Or, they got too excited to go to a dog’s park. If you think they are about to jump on a person or another dog, you can use a clicker to stop them from doing that behavior. The sound of the clicker will stop your pup from doing what they were about to do. And when that happens, command them to come to you or sit down. And don’t forget to reward them.

A clicker is very helpful for dealing with a number of different behaviors. This includes biting on your household objects and reducing barking.

#3. Time It Right

Time It Right
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According to dog trainers, if you want to reward or discipline a dog for any behavior, don’t wait for more than five seconds after the action or incident occurs.

For example, if you find your pup biting your shoe, don’t wait for fifteen minutes to show them the consequences. They tend to forget what they did even after a minute. So, warn them right then and there. What you can do is tell your pup, “No bite” in a firm voice. Also, you can avoid showing them affection or giving them treats.

During this discipline training, you need to keep a close eye over your doggo, at least for the first few months or weeks. This is to ensure that your furry buddy is not misbehaving even when you are not looking.

#4. Don’t Discipline Your Dog Physically

Don't Discipline Your Dog Physically
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As a pet parent, I can say that we love our pup like our family. And so, we don’t want to hurt them in any way, right?

So, even if you are extremely frustrated with your doggo, never lay a hand on them during the training process. You can never justify shaking, hitting, or intimidating your dog.

What if you feel like this whole thing of disciplining your dog going out of your hand?

If you discipline your pup physically, it can make things worse, so hiring a professional would be beneficial. Or, if you have any family member who has previous experience with disciplining dogs, take their help.

Dogs have a hard time connecting the punishment with the action they did. This is why there are fewer chances of changing their bad behavior.

But you can punish them in two ways if you wish to, and these are: negative and positive punishments. In the case of the former, you take away something that your dog wants from them to stop them from behaving badly. And in case of positive punishment, you do something so that you can lessen the likelihood of your pup’s bad behavior.

When you treat your pup too harshly for their bad behavior, the chances of your dog improving their behavior become low. Instead, they are likely to become fearful and not listen to you much.

Let me give you an example. Suppose your pup had an accident on your bed. Don’t hit them, yell at them or lock them up alone for fifteen minutes. Instead, you can give them a command that tells them clearly that what they did is not right. For instance, withhold affectionate belly rubs or treats and don’t give them access to your bedroom.

In order to be consistent with your discipline training, always repeat the same consequences for this kind of action. And your pup will be able to make a connection between undesirable behavior and bad consequences.  

Bonus Read: Best Dog Bark Collars for Training

#5. Don’t Praise Bad Behavior Accidentally

Don't Praise Bad Behavior Accidentally
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Yes, dogs are adorable, I know. But that doesn’t mean you will cave in! 

When your pup does something terrible, and you discipline them, don’t show affection to them or give them some treats if they become sad. Doing so will not help in disciplining them anyway. In fact, it will do bad.

Let me give you an example. Suppose you are disciplining your furry buddy for jumping on another dog in the neighborhood one day. And then you don’t do or say anything to your doggo when they jump on one of your neighbors who don’t really mind it. This will give mixed signals to your doggo. So, what I am saying here is you need to be consistent. Otherwise, your pup may not understand what you are trying to teach them.

Let me give you another example of “bad” behavior of your pup that you might actually be encouraging. I’m talking about leash pulling. I know you might have heard it a thousand times that you should not allow your pup to lead. But every time they pull the leash forward when they get super excited, you always follow them. Doing so will give your doggo the wrong message. They will start thinking that this is the right way to walk. So, you need to stop whenever they give the leash a pull and call them by your side and ask them to heel. Trust me. Once your pup learns it, your walks will be much more pleasant.

#6. Don’t Let Your Dog Play with Something That is Not Okay

Don't Let Your Dog Play With Something That Is Not Okay
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You are teaching your dog how to be disciplined, right? But you should know that they are just learning. During the initial phase of learning, they are not going to show you the best behavior, right.

We all have many items at home, right? And some of those can be extremely tempting for your doggo. This makes it important for you to make it clear to your furry buddy which of those items they can have and which ones are not for them.

Chewing is one of the top behavioral concerns for most pet parents. So, to make sure that your expensive shoes are safe, keep them out of reach of your dog. Or, you can even choose to restrict the access of your doggo to certain areas of your home.

Refrain from allowing your pet buddy to misbehave if you want your canine buddy to be well-mannered and don’t think it will grow out of bad behavior or it is cute. From the beginning of their discipline training, you should teach them how to play properly.

#7. Don’t Rub Your Pup’s Nose in An Accident

Don't Rub Your Pup's Nose In An Accident
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When you have just started with the best ways to discipline a dog, it can take some time for your doggo to learn where to pee or where it is acceptable to pee. When they are outdoors, many dogs often mark their territory in a number of places. And for some pups, it can be really hard, in the beginning, to learn not to do so when they are inside the house. 

Also, even if they make out that they are not supposed to pee in the house, at first, they may not be able to understand the intensity of their actions. To punish your dog, don’t rub their nose in their pee. This can break the connection between you and your doggo. They can even develop an anxiety issue.

If you want to make your pup understand that they should not urinate in the same spot in your home, redirect your pup outside till you clean up the mess. Use a good enzymatic cleaner and remove the smell of the previous urine marks.

#8. Don’t Scream Or Yell at Your Pup

Don't Scream Or Yell At Your Pup
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You understand the difference between your dog’s barking and the playful sounds that they make, right? In the same way, your pup understands when you are just talking in your normal voice and when you are yelling!

During discipline training, if you scream at your doggo all the time, they will gradually start to tune you out. In fact, things can become worse. Your shouting at your pup might excite or agitate your dog, which could encourage negative behaviors. Therefore, the best thing you can do is use a clear and calm voice and give them easy-to-read commands.


Don’t get the idea that if you follow the best ways to discipline a dog, your pup’s training will be complete after a session of one day! Of course, I have covered some important fundamentals of disciplining your dog so that you can kickstart your pup’s discipline training. 

Just keep two things in mind. First, you need to be consistent with your dog training methods, no matter the circumstances. And secondly, you need to keep a proper balance of negative and positive reinforcement. So put these training methods to use and enjoy the feeling of being a parent to your furry buddy!

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