Punishment or Discipline?

For most of us, an average day begins with a series of rituals. We dress appropriately for our job.  We show up at work promptly at the same time every day. We stop at traffic lights on the way to  work. Does abiding by these rules and boundaries feel like punishment to us? Of course not. We are simply practicing the discipline expected of all of us who choose to live in a  functional society. a society without chaos.

In their natural world, dogs or wolves live in a highly disciplined and structured society. The packs’ very survival depends on maintaining order, and order  doesn’t  happen  without discipline. But often we feel that implementing discipline is a form  of punishment to a dog. Nothing could be further from the truth!

The reality is that dogs thrive on rules, boundaries, and other forms of discipline. Without discipline, a dog feels lost and confused about his role in the pack. Keep in mind that your dog doesn’t care what position he has in the pack, as long as the   pack runs smoothly. Regardless of how smart you may feel your dog is he or she is not equipped  to  manage  a human household!

Our own human society is critical of parents who don’t guide their children properly. It’s no different in the canine world. If we truly love our dogs, then we want to fulfil them in every way. Just as we can’t survive on love alone, neither can our dogs. It’s actually a disservice to withhold discipline from our dogs.  

Make sure you offer your dog the complete package when you bring him into your world. Along with exercise, food, shelter, and affection, offer him a healthy dose of rules, boundaries,  and discipline. Don’t think of discipline as punishment, but just one more gift you give your best friend to keep him happy and balanced.