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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.

Should I Punish My Dog For Something Bad?

If you are a dog owner, you must have realized by now that dogs can sometimes be mischievous and naughty. While we love our beloved furry friends, we must correct them repeatedly without hampering the mutual feeling of love and trust.

This raises the question if you should punish your dog for doing something terrible. Well, to begin, remember that training and punishing are different things. In today’s world, vets and dog lovers opine that punishment is never the solution.

In fact, some recent research shows that a physical form of punishment is not required while you teach them basics like how to behave. There are many risks associated with punishment.

It can make your dog aggressive, increase fears, and inhibit learning. It is for the same reason that it is advised to avoid professional trainers who use shock collars, choke collars, pinch collars, and any other variant of physical punishment.

The bottom line is that punishment is not the answer. You need to train and teach your dog, not punish it. Punishment is more related to what we do not want them to do. Unfortunately, dogs are often unable to understand this.

Instead, focus on reinforcement and train them on what we want them to do, how we want them to behave, and how they can be our ideal pets.

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.

Is it Okay to Yell at Your Dog?

No, it would be best if you never yelled at your dog. While we all agree that disciplining a dog is essential, yelling, screaming, or becoming aggressive is not the solution to correct any undesirable habit your dog probably has.

There are many reasons why yelling is not at all recommended by pet lovers or vets.

Yelling At Your Dog May Give It Stress

Generally speaking, training can be of two types; reward-based and aversive-based. For example, it is well-documented now that yelling at dogs will not provide positive reinforcement.

Experiments have shown that owners who yell at dogs release a higher cortisol stress hormone. This hormone can be measured from a dog’s saliva.

Yelling Can Also Make It Difficult To Train

While many dog owners become frustrated with their dogs during the training process and yell at them, the training becomes more difficult. As a result, it may find even more challenging to follow and respond to your commands.

Dogs can hear better than humans, and yelling becomes confusing for them. As a result, they need help understanding what is essential, and only after long will they begin ignoring your commands.

Yelling Can Actually Confuse Your Dogs

Dogs don’t understand your language. They understand a few words. Instead, they focus on your tone and pitch. So, yelling continuously at your dog may confuse it, and it may react aggressively. It will do so to match up to your behavior.

For instance, if you scream at your dog to stop barking at the mailman, it will focus on the fact that you are screaming instead of the actions that you want it to do. So, instead of stopping barking, they bark even louder.

Yelling May Hamper Emergency Response

Your constant yelling will also confuse your dog, and it will not be understood if there is an emergency. But, again, this happens more as dogs rely more on the volume and the tone than on the actual words.

Generally, when people are excited, they tend to scream or yell. Likewise, emergencies will excite you, and even if you are trying to say something very important to your dog, it will fail to understand you, as it has yet to learn to distinguish your yelling’s meanings.

Yelling May Hamper Your Image In The Dog’s Eye

You must be aware that dogs are known for their faithfulness. They love their owners, and their world revolves around the owner’s family. Therefore, while they accept you as their owner, they expect you to have favorable behavior.

Hence, we recommend you never be abusive or yell at your dog. Yelling does not command any respect, and it gradually breaks the trust between you two. So, we recommend you be calm and consistent with the tone and volume while communicating with your dog.

Yelling Leads To Bad Behavior

Yelling can lead to negative reinforcement. If you yell at your dog, it may begin to ignore your commands. This will not only make the training process more difficult, but it will also create a communication gap between you two in your daily life.

Dogs are highly social animals, and yelling at your dog will adversely affect the relationship that you two have.

Yelling Can Prove To Be A Hindrance To The Learning Process

Please remember that dogs do not understand our language, and by yelling, even if you are trying to make it understand that it has done something wrong, it won’t help.

Instead of confusing your dog, you need to have a distinct tone and voice, making it easy for your dog to understand your command. 

Try to remain calm, and reward your dog for helping it understand your commands. This will also help it better understand the actions that it is expected to take.

Should You Punish Your Dog for Chewing

As pet parents, you must have witnessed that your dog (especially if it is an adult one) loves to spend some time chewing on its favorite toys, sticks, and bones.

Well, in these cases, we don’t mind them chewing on for hours, but they can sometimes begin to chew on our slippers, shoes, furniture, and even clothes. So it becomes important to stop them and rectify their habits during these times.

Well, in these cases, we don’t mind them chewing on for hours, but they can sometimes begin to chew on our slippers, shoes, furniture, and even clothes. So it becomes important to stop them and rectify their habits during these times.

The problem is that you can’t teach dogs not to chew, as it is their innate nature. It is important to teach them that it is fine as long as they are chewing on bones or toys. But chewing on certain items like your shoes, clothes, or furniture is certainly not acceptable.

So, punishment must only be considered a solution if your dog has something to chew on and satiate its inner nature.

At times, dogs may also suffer from inflamed gums, which makes them chew on things. This is a medical condition, and apart from the fact that you would need a vet, begin by directing their attention to other things. This will make them stop chewing on your things.

Besides, we always recommend that you keep big toys and chewable bones with your dogs. This will lessen the chances of them chewing up your slippers.

If you find them chewing on your belongings even after that, stop and scold them. Also, take your belongings from them and give them the toy instead. This will help them to understand what they are allowed to chew.

You can also install a dog camera in your house or area where your dog is most likely to create a mess. Using such cameras, you can let your dog hear your voice constantly, even from remote locations.

As a result, your dog will understand the importance of your presence and will rectify its chewing habits.


How do you punish a dog properly?

To properly punish a dog, never hit or physically abuse your dog. Instead, always try to correct its behavior when it is performing the act of unaccepted behavior. For example, you can always try to say a loud ‘no’ or clap your hands to make it realize that its actions are not being favored.

Also, you can use your stern commands and positive reinforcements. Besides, maintain a positive environment.

How do I punish my dog without hurting him?

To punish a dog without hurting it, try the following steps:

• Put your dog in time-outs instead of any physical mode of punishment.
• Redirect your dog’s attention or energy towards something that will do it good in the long run.
• Positive reinforcement can help a lot, as dogs often try to please their owners.
• Be stern with your voice, but don’t be abusive or hit it.
• Be patient with your dog and consistently work on its behavior issues.

How do you discipline a dog that doesn’t listen?

To discipline a dog that doesn’t listen to you, follow these steps:

• Take their toys away, and make them realize they have done something wrong.
• Avoid paying them any attention when they are misbehaving.
• Do not hit your dog. Instead, try to maintain a steady voice and stop them if their behavior is undesirable.

Does smacking a dog on the nose work?

No, smacking a dog on its nose won’t discipline it. While a light tapping on its snout will be misunderstood as being playful, if you are rough and hit it forcefully, it can make your dog react violently and become reactive and defensive.

Does your dog remember if you hit them?

Yes, they do. Dogs’ memories are not that strong, and while they may forget a couple of times when you hit them, especially if they are young, eventually, they remember being beaten up. In the future, this can lead to many issues ranging from anxiety to aggression.

This is the reason you will find that dogs growl and snarl at other people. Chances are they remember past encounters with those people, which were unpleasant.

What can I do instead of yelling at my dog?

Instead of yelling at your dog, you can try to do the following steps:

• Try to understand why you are reacting in such a way.
• Correct it, but do not punish your dog physically.
• Maintain positive reinforcement in your daily habits.
• Take their toys and other stuff to make them listen to you more carefully.
• Vent out your anger on something else.

What to do when you lose your temper with your dog?

7 Control your anger and never hit or abuse your dog.
• Try to see and understand the situation and the reaction from your dog’s perspective.
• You can make the living space of your house dog-proof.
• Recognize what triggers your anger and use some calming strategies. Take medical help if required.
• Redirect your negative energy to something else.
• Be patient with your dog and let it be comfortable as well. 
• Don’t keep blaming yourself that you are losing your temper. It will take time, but everything will eventually fall into place.


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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