It might surprise you to hear this, but living with a dog is not all fun and games. No matter how cute our four-legged friends are, sometimes it’s necessary to correct their behavior.

But, what is the right way to discipline your dog? Some people think that punishing a dog is the only way to get them to behave, while others propose a positive reinforcement method, where your pooch learns through a reward-based system.

Knowing how to encourage good behavior in a dog will save you a lot of trouble in the long run, so it’s crucial to learn about the most efficient methods and training techniques. Trust me, your furball will thank you for it.

Cute Doggie

Is Punishment an Efficient Dog Training Method?

Before we start analyzing the effectiveness of different training methods, we should understand what punishment, by definition, means. The term often implies a discipline method that is based on physical harm, like spanking or hitting your dog.

However, there are actually both positive and negative forms of punishment, and they belong to two different categories:

  • Positive obedience training
  • Aversive obedience training

Punishment as an aversive method includes discipline that causes pain to your dog. Not only are these practices cruel and harsh, they are also completely ineffective.

On the other hand, knowing how to punish a dog in a humane way is much more productive. Using positive reinforcements to train your dog, rather than resorting to force, is the best method to discipline your dog.

Punishment vs. Discipline

When done properly, punishment doesn’t have to be negative. Constructive punishment helps your dog learn through conditioning, and quickly understand what’s allowed and what’s not. Disciplinary methods that are considered to be positive and beneficial are:

  • Time-outs
  • Using your voice to put a stop to unwanted behavior, rather than hitting your dog
  • Taking their toys away
  • Avoiding giving your dog attention when they misbehave

All the tips mentioned above are both humane and highly efficient at the same time. Your dog won’t feel scared or wary of you, but they will understand that what they did won’t be tolerated.

Are There Effects Of Spanking?

Using hitting or spanking as a method of punishment can severely damage the relationship you have with your dog. If you start using force to discipline them, your dog can develop various behavioral issues. Some typical problems that hitting your dog will cause are:

  • Insecurity and fearfulness
  • Instinct to hide or run away from you
  • Aggression

If you're beating your dog, you’re not addressing the problem, you’re teaching them to see you as a source of pain. Whether the reason for punishment is excessive barking, peeing in the house or snatching food off your counter, punishment in the form of spanking is only going to make matters worse.

Your dog won’t be disciplined if they’re punished with force. In the majority of cases, physical punishment only makes dogs scared and confused. Why? Because you’re conditioning your dog to expect pain from you, without them being able to understand the reason for it.

How To Discipline A Puppy

Same as it is with humans, it's easier for dogs to get the hang of things while they are young. However, this doesn’t mean that the process will be easier.

Puppies are full of energy and still at a stage of development when they need to learn everything from scratch. A puppy doesn’t understand it’s wrong to chew shoes, poop in the living room or bite your toes.

So, how do you raise a puppy to become a well-socialized, well-behaved dog?

Through treats and praise.

If you’re unsure how to punish a puppy, use the same positive reinforcement principles you would with adult dogs. It might seem that using rewards as a way to discipline a dog is counterproductive, but it’s actually a powerful training method.

By learning that certain types of behavior result in affection and prizes, they’ll quickly realize they need to continue that practice. Similarly, when something of value is withheld or taken away, it teaches them to avoid actions that lead to this.

Why Positive Reinforcements Work Better Than Punishment

Unlike hitting a dog, which is cruel and futile, disciplining a dog with a reward system is a tried and true method that has real benefits.

Constructive and positive training methods help your dog learn the proper behavior through conditioning, which is the best way to discipline a dog.

When a certain activity results in eating treats or getting belly rubs, you can be sure your dog will want to do it as often as possible. For example, if going potty outside means being praised and petted on the head while doing business on the bedroom floor means time out, the choice is easy for a dog. They love pleasing their owners, and when disciplined properly, they’ll know how to do exactly that.

What Are The Best Solutions For Disciplining A Dog

Now that we’ve determined that positive, reward-based discipline is the key, the trick is to learn how to use that method with your own dog.

Focus on activities and items your pooch loves. In most cases, it will be snuggle time, walks, or a tasty treat. To properly discipline your dog, you will need to let them know you’re in control of their favorite activities. Whenever they do something they are not supposed to, like bite or run away, punish them by withholding the rewards they’re used to.

However, even when you manage to establish positive and negative punishment through rewards, it can be hard to discipline your dog if you’re often away.

Pet cameras that double as treat dispensers, such as Petcube Bites, can help you reward your pet for their good behavior remotely, or interrupt unwanted behavior with verbal commands via the two-way audio feature. Even well-behaved dogs can suffer from separation anxiety, which leads them to engage in destructive behavior. Dog cameras that allow you to monitor their activities and assist positive reinforcement training can help you stay on top of the situation at all times.

In the end, the most important thing to remember is that punishing a dog doesn’t have to be negative. Dogs need structure in their lives, and when you establish discipline in your household, both you and your dog will be much happier for it.


Petcube products are designed to make pets and their pet parents happy. Petcube Play and Petcube Bites let you watch, hear, play, train and give treats to your pet remotely. Our sound and motion alerts will let you catch destructive or distressed behavior before it gets out of hand.

Order Petcube now

petcube play pet camera