How Long Can a Dog Be Punished After Bad Behavior?

Consistent training provides a basis for good behavior in your dog.

Consistent training provides a basis for good behavior in your dog.

When correcting your dog's behavior, it's important to do so only while he's in the midst of his bad act. Otherwise he won't understand why he's being punished, and even worse he may associate the scolding with a different behavior all together.

Verbal Over Physical

Verbal correction should always be used over physical violence, which is a terrible and confusing way to communicate with your dog. Give him a calm but firm "no" when correcting bad behavior.

Practicing Effective Training

If your puppy is young and untrained, scolding while he is, for example, piddling on the carpet may be necessary while he's still learning, but eventually when you need to correct less destructive bad behavior, positive reinforcement for good behavior should be your main training technique.

The Most Effective Punishment

Your dog wants your attention more than anything. Ignoring him when he's performing only minor infractions like whining or jumping, and then giving him positive reinforcement when he exhibits the desired behavior often gets the fastest results when training him.


If you need to stop the bad behavior more immediately, redirecting your dog to another action -- and then praising him for that action -- is an effective way to use positive reinforcement instead of negative. If you're not seeing the results you want with these techniques, it may be a good idea to talk to your veterinarian for advice and to see what training or behavioral specialists they recommend.

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About the Author

Cait Smith has been writing professionally since 2003 when she wrote and edited for her college paper, "The Cherokee Signal" for three years. She then wrote for two years at her university paper "The Echo," while she studied journalism. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

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