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How do you train a dog humanely?

Every dog training guide I see talks about hitting your dog. Ok, I like my shoes in one piece like anyone else, but I am not going to inflict corporal punishment on my dog. So what are the options?

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13 Responses to “How do you train a dog humanely?”

  1. obeirn1 said :

    repetition and reward. Ignore all inappropriate actions and reward the action that you are trying to encourage.

  2. MissBehave said :

    Noise association. Blow a whistle or make a loud noise. The dog will find this unpleasant and will associate the bad behaviour with the noise and will eventually stop. This can take just a few hours or a few days. Be consistant. It does work.

    And just like the previous answerer, reward for good behaviour to encourage what you want to achieve

  3. kalsmom said :

    You don’t need to hit your dog to train him. I would suggest an obedience class. They will help you learn the best methods of training by reward.

  4. wanda.farmer3 said :

    I do not hit my dog when she is bad unless she bites someone. (she did that once and I bit the dog right back instead of hitting her and she never did it again. She was so confused by that. lol)

    When my dog is bad I treat her like a small child. Yell no. say what she did wrong or show her. Then give her a “time out” crate, sitting outside…stuff like that.

    Whenever my dog is good I say good girl, rub her belly and give her a treat. I teach her that it is good to be good. every day I catch her doing good and tell her like I do my kids. I hate hitting. I dont think it works either.

  5. rooster5glad said :

    You need to find better training guides. I have never seen one that says to hit a dog. For puppies loud noises can deter them from doing certain things, best to not let them know it is you making the noise. Also the first word they learn should be “no”.

  6. FairlyErica said :

    Look into clicker training and positive reinforcement training. You’ll find lots of books in that vein that will never recommend hitting your dog (in fact, really? There are multiple guides that recommend hitting?)

    Some places to get started:
    * (has a great Yahoo! group)
    * Book: “The Power of Positive Dog Training”, by Pat Miller
    * Book list at
    * Can also simply search “clicker training” in Google and Amazon

    Clicker Training can make training into a fun game where your dog not only does what you want, but also can’t wait for the next training session. What more could you ask for?

  7. aussie said :

    Positive reinforcement is the most humane but will take you much longer to teach the same commands as if you were to use negative and positive reinforcement. My second choice would be clicker training.

  8. Black Angel Shadow said :

    In some instances spanking your dog is not a cruel punishment if you do not abuse it, just like in spanking a child if they do something wrong. However, it depends on what they’ve done. Sometimes I give my dog, and even my cats, firm spanks on the butt or nose if they do something wrong but it’s only enough to sting a bit, not enough to actually hurt them. Majority of the time I will tell my dog to go to her room and I don’t let her out until I feel she’s served her time. If your puppy does something inappropriate then I would recommend a time-out in his/her kennel which should be kept in a room where you can close the door. If s/he starts whining, COMPLETELY IGNORE HIM/HER. Even by saying “hush” or “quiet” will give them the attention they’re trying for. At this point, they don’t know the difference between good dog and bad dog. It’s just attention for them. And negative attention is better than no attention at all. Dogs by nature are pack animals. Look at wolves, their closest cousins. They want to be with the pack. If you separate them and they can’t see you and you don’t acknowledge them in any way, they’ll learn. If you are trying to train your dog do not hit them. It will have a negative affect on both your dog and his/her training.

    When you’re beginning, give them treats when they do what they ask and as they start getting better lesson the treats and lavish them with attention. This way they will learn to listen to you but they won’t expect a treat every time. If they do not do what you ask of them then keep trying to give them the command. I they still won’t listen then stop the training for five minutes. If you have been working with them for over 30 minutes then maybe it’s time to play a bit. If it’s been more like 10 minutes, then ignore them for the 5 minutes and try again. They could just be stubborn. For more answers ask your veterinarian or an obedience trainer. And keep in mind that everyone has their own opinions and each dog has their own personality. Some dogs will respond well to my ideas while others will not. Just keep your dog’s personality in mind and if s/he catches on to the type of training you’re trying to do.

  9. b.w. said :

    never it a dog. again never hit a dog period but i see you don’t want to do that any way. i was mostly writing that for people that read this and think hitting a dog is okay. it’s not. you train a dog by rewarding good behavior. so till your dog learns your shoes are not a chew toy, keep them in a closet. provide plenty of acceptable chews for your dog. when your dog chooses one of her/his toys, praise her/him. there are Kong’s you can put treats in, that will keep them busy for a while. always praise the dog for choosing the right thing when the dog chooses the wrong thing tell him/her a firm “no” take the item, replace with a dog chew. when the dog accepts the dog chew…praise her/him.

  10. Pallas said :

    You should never hit your dog, in any case and if the dog is very, very rebel you should grab the back part of the fur and make sue he lays on the ground, just to remind him you are the Alpha male. As any teenager they fight against authority and will put you to the test. The best thing to do is ignore him completely and absolutely when he does something naughty, like if he didn’t exist, lay down watch TV anything. On the contrary if you get back home and everything is in place, giving hugs and cookies and jolly out, eventually he’ll get the point.

  11. reccmike said :

    a dog learns by rot ,like it or not

  12. romance_german_shepherds said :

    The Basics


    Holding a treat in your left hand just above the pup’s nose, gently rest your right hand on pup’s rump.
    Slowly move the treat in an upward motion while applying gentle pressure to the rump. ( you dont want to push hard because if you do the dog will sit every time someone touches him and this is not good for competitive obedience)
    as soon as pup sits say in a very happy excited tone “GOOD SIT” and give the treat.
    Repeat excersize 7x. then take a play break and move on to something elce.
    very young pups should not train for more than a half hour each day
    every time you put food bowl down or give a treat give the sit command, and wait for the sit. then once pup sits give treat or food down.
    DO NOT move on to something new until pup has the new command down pat.


    walk away from pup about 10 feet to start. say pup’s name and “COME” in a happy voice. once pup comes praise it lavishly have a bit of a play and give it a treat.
    Gradually increase the distance you walk away. and eventually once pup knows command only treat every 3rd come. tappering off until he comes every time with out treat using only praise.
    this will take a few days to learn if you practice every day.


    Start with pup in sit. move hand with the treat between the pup’s front paws on the ground.
    Say “DOWN” in firm but not loud voice.
    pup might try and get treat without going down, dont let him have it until he downs.
    praise in happy voice “GOOD DOWN”
    repeat 7x


    Start pup in down possition. say “STAY” in firm voice. walk to end of leash, backwards. if the pup moves say once only “AP” in a not pleased tone. go back do not say anything. put pup in down again repeat “STAY” walk backwards to end of leash.
    pup does NOT get praise or treat untill he stays for 30 seconds, then a minute, then 5 minutes. move times up each week.
    after he can do a 5 minute down/stay every time. move on to a sit/stay doing exactly what you did for down/stay.
    Once on leash sit and down/stays are reliable for 5 minutes each. drop the leash and walk away from your pup, your back to the pup. about 10 feet away. wait 5 min. recall your dog. with dog sitting in front of you once he reaches you. treat and praise.


    Please do NOT train with a choke collar. i recomend martin gayles.
    with dog on a short leash exactly beside you on your left side say “HEEL” if the dog starts to pull give a correction snap with leash on collar. and recomand “HEEL” the second your dog complies peaise with “GOOD HEEL” in happy voice. and continue to walk , correct, and praise for 30 minutes.

    Allways end training sessions on a positive note. Never get angery with your pup for not responding to a command. Praise lavishly every time pup responds to a command.
    NEVER hit your dog. NO reason is an acceptable reason for physicaly abusing your pup.

  13. Rachelle B said :

    Read the book “Cesar’s Way”
    Cesar Millan… the “Dog Whisperer”
    show is on the National Geographic Channel
    friday evenings.

    I’m 1/2 way through the book…. already
    saw some changes at the shelter I volunteer at today.


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