5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Yell at Your Dog
Yelling at your dog might seem like a quick way to get them to stop what they are doing and once it was seen as an acceptable part of training, but now we know there are much better ways to change our dog’s behaviour.
Think about it? Is yelling at your dog making their bad behaviour go away or is it causing a bigger problem?
Here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t yell at your dog.
Going on a tirade might make you feel better but the reality is that your dog won’t have any idea what you’re yelling about. A string of angry words will just confuse and possibly frighten your dog.
Have a think about how often you’re resorting to yelling at your dog? If it’s the main way you communicate with them then there’s a training problem. Better use of your time and energy is to teach your dog the behaviours you want them to be able to do and to manage the environment (for example, putting the rubbish bin out of reach so they can’t knock it over) instead of punishing them for doing the wrong thing.
It Creates Confusion
If you come home to a hole dug in your lawn, your first instinct might be to scold your dog for it. The problem with this approach is that your dog won’t associate the punishment with the crime. Sure, your dog will probably give you the appropriate appeasement postures when you shout at them – hunched shoulders, tailed tucked, eyes downcast – but your dog is reacting to your anger in that moment. It’s not “shame” or acknowledgement of wrongdoing, your dog’s behaviour is actually an attempt to appease you and calm you down.
When you yell at your dog hours after an incident has taken place they don’t associate your yelling at them with the act of them digging a hole, after all digging is a normal dog behaviour why would you be angry about that?
It Causes Training Problems
Maybe your strategy for dealing with a dog that jumps on visitors is to yell at them when they do it. Yelling at your dog might startle them and stop the behaviour for a moment but does it teach them what you do want them to do? Nope. Scolding your dog might help you to blow off some steam when your dog is doing something that is making you angry. It might even make you think your dog is going to stop the behaviour, but the truth is the same scenario will probably just repeat itself every time you have visitors over.
To change behaviours you need to teach an alternate behaviour that your dog can perform instead of the behaviour that is annoying you. A dog that is jumping up can be taught to sit instead when it greats people.
It Increases Fearfulness
Some dogs cope no matter how rough their handling, while others are much softer and are unable to withstand even an angry look. Yelling isn’t a great strategy for any dog no matter how resilient they might seem, but sensitive dogs in particular can experience all sorts of setbacks when scolded. Some delicate dogs become almost helpless when dealing with a yelling human and cease to offer any behaviour for fear of bringing on another episode. These dogs feel that action is useless and usually results in getting reprimanded so instead shut down in fear.
It Can Encourage Bad Behaviour
For some dogs any attention from their owner is better than being ignored. Behaviours like stealing things off the coffee table that result in you chasing them around the house. Jumping up on you to get your attention that end up with you yelling “NO” and pushing them down. Barking when they are bored where you join in on the barking by yelling at them to be quiet are all activities that mean that your dog is receiving some sort of attention from you. A much better way to deal with attention seeking behaviours is pinpoint the cause of your dog’s behaviour and work out proactive ways to solve it. Sometimes it can simply be about having a game with them or providing an activity before they start searching you out to get your attention.
It is always challenging to break habits and the habit of yelling at your dog will be hard to change as well. Give it a go! It’s definitely going to improve your relationship and the bond you have with your dog.
Thanks to Dr Eloise from “Love That Pet” for our latest blog post!
Christmas is a time for giving but when it comes to our pets giving them extra treats here and there can be a real hazard to their health. In some cases having just one extra treat can be the equivalent to a human eating a Big Mac, so keep in mind even small things can have an impact on our pet’s waistline and wellbeing.
While as humans we often equate special occasions to overindulging in food, we are fully aware of the consequences of eating rich and fatty foods and can consciously pay the price the next day. That doesn’t always mean we act sensibly of course! Our pets rely on us to provide healthy choices for them. Rich and fatty human foods will often make our pets feel unwell and lead to vomiting and diarrhoea. There are so many ways to show your pet that you love them, a cuddle, a pat, an extra walk or brush can be good non-food ways to spend time with them and won’t make them ill.
Dogs and Taste
Interestingly, dogs actually have much fewer taste buds and less sensitivity to taste than humans. Humans have around 10,000 taste buds, while dogs have less than 2,000. Often the intricacies of human foods are lost on them and it’s probably why they are just as happy to eat a piece of carrot or possum poo. So save the fancy cheeses and exotic Christmas foods for the humans, they will appreciate them more and you won’t be cleaning up a steaming pile of poo afterwards!
Healthy Treat Ideas:
If you really want to include your pet in your Christmas celebrations, consider giving a Kong toy filled with steamed sweet potato and cooked turkey pieces to wrestle with while you are enjoying the special meal.
Some other healthy treats include:
- Raw carrot pieces (you can chop them up and put them in a bag with regular doggy treats so they get all seasoned and delicious).
- Greenies are great for the teeth and have the Veterinary Oral Health Council seal of approval.
- Natural raw treats like Ziwi Peak that have been air dried rather than heat treated.
- Home made jerky is easy to make in the oven or a food dehydrator. Instructions are here.
Foods to Avoid:
There are a few things that dogs and cats most definitely should not eat, including:
- Grapes, raisins or sultanas (so avoid the Christmas cake and pudding).
- Onions and Garlic (beware of the stuffing and gravy).
- Cooked bones.
- Xylitol which is an artificial sweetener.
- Fatty foods like bacon or marrow bones can easily trigger pancreatitis or a stomach upset.
- Nuts can be a choking hazard and macadamias are toxic to dogs.
While Christmas is a time of giving, we don’t need to overfeed our pets. I know how I feel sometimes after overindulging, so I’d love to save more pets from that discomfort! As a vet I regularly see pets during that week after Christmas with vomiting, diarrhoea and pancreatitis because they’ve been fed rich foods that didn’t agree with them. Your pets know you love them by how you treat them, not what treats you give them!
Dr. Eloise is a Sydney based vet working for Love That Pet. She completed her training in Veterinary Acupuncture in 2010 and has since then been incorporating this eastern practice in with her Western medical training. Eloise has a passion for helping pets with anxiety and itchy dogs. You can chat with her here on Google+
Just as there are constant developments and research in medical science there are also constant research and developments in animal behavioural science that influences what we know about the best was to train animals.
With this in mind Brooke Foy, the Managing Director of The Positive Pet Project, is off to the Professional Pet Guild Force Free Summit in Tampa, Florida from 11th to 13th November.
The summit will build a stronger collaboration of force-free pet professionals, and help support and build communication and networking opportunities with the veterinary community and veterinary educators.
Brooke will attend all three days, attending lectures related to positive training and building positive relationships between dogs and humans. She is particularly excited to hear the keynote speaker Dr. Karen Overall (pictured) – a renowned Veterinary Behaviourist – and to meet colleagues from all over the world, to share experiences, knowledge and expertise.
There’s a new smartphone app for dog lovers!
Developed by Brooke from The Positive Pet Project, and her good friend and dog chiropractic and massage expert Nat, “The Dog Massage App” is set to improve the physical and emotional bond you share with your pet. We have combined our experience in dog massage and reading and understanding dog’s behaviour, to deliver this comprehensive approach to regular massage.
The Dog Massage App is very easy to use, and will become an invaluable tool for dog owners to learn how to perform dog massage, keep track of their massage sessions, share their experience with friends and family and discover more about how they can truly connect with their pet.
And as part of our dedication to improving the lives of animals and the people who love them, for every app sold before 31st December 2015, we will donate 50 cents to Delta Society Australia – a wonderful charity that provides therapy dog services for hospitals, aged care facilities and schools (find our more at deltasociety.com.au)
So, why is dog massage so effective? It’s a relaxing way to enjoy each other’s company and when applied effectively, can relieve stress and anxiety, and sooth and comfort. Massage also increases circulation and healing, decreases aches and stiffness, releases toxins, improves agility and helps the health and wellbeing of both dog and owner.
Features of The Dog Massage App
- Information about the benefits of dog massage, how to set up a massage area and how to ensure your dog is ready and willing to be massaged
- Videos and step by step instructions: A series of six videos demonstrating each technique including calm opening, head and ears, neck, back, legs, shoulders and hips – with free updates
- Your personal Dog Massage diary: Schedule regular appointments, view your massage calendar and jot down any notes about each of your massage sessions
- Link to your social media so you can share your dog massage experience with your friends and followers
- Receive free expert advice: Register your dog’s details including name, breed and age to receive free push notifications from our dog massage and behaviour experts to improve your dog’s wellbeing
Thanks to everyone who helped us raise $234.65 during RSPCA Cupcake Day! Our amazing team gave up their time to staff the stand and we were thrilled to meet so many generous Albany Creek locals.
And congratulations to…..Jenny! Jenny is the lucky winner of our RSPCA fundraising raffle and she has scored a private training session with Brooke valued at $175. Thank you to everyone who entered the draw and helped boost the funds raised for the RSPCA.
Here’s a small selection of photos from the day. We hope to see you there next year!
Read the article from our very own Brooke Foy!
Here is an article featuring plenty of useful information about positive training courtesy of our very own Brooke Foy!
Training should be an enjoyable experience for both you and your dog. The more you understand about how your dog thinks and learns, the more effectively you can communicate. Clear communication means successful training and good behaviour—with no need for coercion or physical corrections.
Behaviour that is rewarded is more likely to reoccur. In other words, dogs do what works for them. If your dog was given praise and a treat the last time he sat, he is more likely to sit again the next time you ask. If he knows that jumping up on you will earn your attention, he’ll keep jumping, as your attention is a reward. This powerful principle is a key component of reward-based training.