I believe that animals should never be hit. You can maintain a level of discipline without ever hitting a dog. When they come to you as a puppy or even an older dog you will need to teach them what is expected of them. A properly disciplined dog will give you all their love and attention for years but you must teach them what is acceptable behavior.
A firm “NO” is all they need to teach them proper behavior and what you expect. No screaming or hitting is needed. After they display a certain behavior that is not acceptable, you need to get their attention and be firm when you say “NO”. Your dog will learn that every time they do a certain thing they have this alpha (leader of the pack dog) admonishing them. It may take several times for your dog to understand what you want. One day, happily, when they do something that is not allowed you can say “NO” and they will usually stop. After a while you will find they no longer exhibit that behavior. They are extremely intelligent and want more than anything to please you.
When we had our Shelties (male and female), one day we arrived home to toilet paper strewn all over the house. I put my hands on my hips and said “Who did this” in a calm voice. Both dogs ran to their beds and watched as we picked up this mess. It was just toilet paper. They waited till I went into them and said “OK”. Both dogs ran to me and loved on me. We learned to keep our bathroom doors closed when we left the house. After about 3 months we left the house and deliberately did not shut the bathroom doors. There was no ticker tape parade when we arrived home. They had simply moved on to playing with each other or the myriad of toys we had around the house.
Dogs need entertainment and if you are not there they will look for ways to be entertained. My advice is to keep several toys out for them to play with when you are away from the house or you can put them in a closed room, or a crate. I prefer letting them have a run of the house and other than the ticker tape parade we never had any more issues. Dogs are different and you will learn what works and what does not.
We lived on a waterway in Florida and many times we would see ducks in our backyard. One time I let the dogs out and saw a Mama duck and babies walking by the water. I spoke to my dogs, Lance and Heather. “Do not go near those ducks” I had their complete attention and I promise you they understood what I said. They left the house and went outside but did not go near the ducks. When they were finished with their business I let them inside and praised them for their behavior. I knew in my heart they would not harm the ducks… and they never did!
Always, always praise your dog when they do something right. It is part of wanting to please you. They will learn that this behavior is good and they get praise and hugs for it.
Loving and praising your dogs will be a great experience with years of fun and happiness you will both share. They are truly Fur Babies!
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