Why You Should Never Shout at Your Dog

Some people like to yell, and some dogs have a way that would make almost anyone want to yell. Sometimes dogs chew up new shoes, bark until after midnight, go to the bathroom in the house, etc. Sometimes yelling may even provide short term relief, but we would like to make it clear, here and now, that yelling at your dog will not fix a problem or engender any type of positive reinforcement.

How can we be so sure that yelling at your dog is never more than a temporary quick fix, and that he'll inevitably return to the behavior that angered you in the first place? A better question would have been wondering how yelling ever would or could work. The answers lie in basic dog psychology.

To puppies their owners are just other, higher ranking dogs. When you start yelling at him, it only increases how excited he is, rather than clarifying what you'd like done. This will also generate negative associations in your dogs head that could make him feel unwanted or disliked when you're yelling, which will prevent him from developing the ability to know that what rule he is actually breaking.

Not All Loud Voice Commands Are Bad

Although yelling at your dog is a negative, unproductive form of communication, there are going to be times when you need to firm up the tone of your voice and change the way you come across. There are three general forms for vocal tones for the way you speak to your dog that apply here:

A soothing or relaxed tone should be used whenever you want to give praise to your dog. When you communicate like this, you should be able to relax him (as opposed to winding him up). Speaking to your puppy in this tone of voice makes him feel secure as a member of your family – which always leads to better behavior.

The second tone of voice is what we call the direct tone. A direct tone would be the same tone you would use to give commands to your puppy when you want to get his attention. It should be a short, firm, and authoritative form of communication.

The third tone is where you finally get to raise your voice (without yelling). This is what we call the diplomatic tone. However, you must remember to draw a fine line between a typical tone and a yelling at your dog. Remember, you do not want to yell your dog but there are certain times when you need to get across to him to back away from something quickly or to immediately halt a certain behavior. Ideally, you want to use strong, terse one or two syllable phrases like "STOP" or "DOWN BOY".


Source by Kelly Perry