Today’s blog is going to be about an aspect of dog training and owning a dog that most people love to avoid, discipline. Many people view their dogs as something that should be loved and nothing else, or are so caught up on how cute their pup is that no matter what their furry friend does they see it as cute and do not ever discipline their animal. First and foremost, discipline is not just for the human it is actually many for the dog’s mental health and well-being. Dog’s need discipline and in fact in the wild dog’s choose a pack leader so that he/she will lead them and provide the similar discipline to what the dog received as a puppy from their mother. Without rules and boundaries dog’s cannot be happy, and will become mentally unstable the only problem is how do we discipline our dogs without physically hurting the pet that we love so much.
I am a firm believe in what I call “the touch”. The touch has been coined by Cesar Milan in many of his Dog Whisperer episodes, the idea of it is that instead of hitting your dog or spanking them when they do unwanted activity the owner instead makes his/her hand into a claw type formation mimicking the teeth and mouth that a dog would normally use, to quickly and firmly poke the dog in a sensitive area in an effort to get the dogs attention and let them understand that what they are doing is unwanted. Though the touch is to be firm and pinching it does not hurt the dog and should not be used with hurting the dog in mind. Every dog has a different spot on their body where they are sensitive and thus more receptive to the touch, as to finding the spot, that is the job of the handler to go about the trail and error process. If done correctly the touch is honestly the only disciplinary tool any handler needs in order to communicate properly with their dog. Many people have different idea and products to do exactly what the touch does (bottles of water, clickers, dog whistles) however in my experience, it is best to not use an outside tool, because when you don’t have that tool you loose all power in your dog’s eyes and this is never good in forming the submissive relationship that you want with your dog.