Punishment and discipline are terms that can usually be used interchangeably, but I feel that in reference to dog training a distinction ought to be made.

Punishment usually means forcing your dog to obey (sometimes with pain) and is always the result of a frustrated owner. Punishment says, “I am angry because you are not obeying me and I am releasing my frustration on you.” Punishment is the result of a lack of communication between human and canine. Punishment drains the owner and confuses the dog. A dog never responds to punishment with respect.

Discipline should empower the owner because it brings about results and is a product of proper communication. Discipline says “I am your leader and I am asking you to obey me because it is what is best for you.” Discipline is a result of calm, assertive leadership. Discipline empowers the owner and brings harmony to human and canine. Your dog will respect and love you more for your discipline because dogs want rules, boundaries, and limitations.

Learn to recognize your attitude when you are correcting your dog. If you frustrated, stop, take a deep breath, let it go, and work on communicating with calm leadership. Lead your dog!