Do Not Punish With Crate

Do Not Punish With CrateOne thing that we have seen many dog owners do is use a crate as punishment. It’s very important that you never put your dog in their crate after they perform a negative behavior. Do not punish with crate! Reinforcement, both positive and negative, is a very effective training technique. When a dog does an action and you consistently reinforce that action with an action of your own, the dog will always correlate one with the other. If your puppy chews up your favorite pillow, you get upset and yell at the dog, and then put it in their crate, they’re going to be sad and scared and see the crate as punishment. When I trained my dog using the loose chain technique, our dog was already crate trained. When we would reinforce the dog’s negative behavior by jangling the chains he hated, he would run off scared into his crate. This is different than the first example because our dog willingly went into his crate, because his crate is his safe place.

That’s the ultimate goal – for your dog to find their crate to be their safe place.

Again, ‘punishing’ your dog is advised when they do something that you do not want them to do. Just make sure that you do not make the crate a part of the punishment. The same goes if you plan on leaving your dog in the kitchen when you’re not home. Don’t make that kitchen area part of the punishment.

The most effective means of ‘punishing’ a dog is to simply ignore them! Dogs are very, very social creatures (as you know, since they always want your attention!). When you ignore them, they realize that the behavior that led up to them seeking attention is not going to have the positive effect that they had hoped for. This is in the same sense that when you are training your dog to greet guests, you want your guests to ignore the dog at first, until it calms down. If your guests were to greet the dog when the dog is jumping up on your guests, your guests are reinforcing the dog’s bad behavior. Instead, the guests should wait until the dog is calm before paying any attention to it. This teaches the dog that being calm around guests will get the dog the attention that it wants!

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