The Best Dog Correction Guide

Miniature Pinscher Puppy

A lot of dog owners always wonder how to correct a dog? Do you try to correct your dog and get the feeling that the dog just doesn’t want to listen? Or do you feel like the dog has a mind of its own? If your answer is yes that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

The truth is that you haven’t learned the proper and efficient way to correct the dog. Dog’s correct each other and the mom is correcting the puppies from the time they are born until they leave to a new home.

Making these key adjustments in this guide will set you on a new path to correcting your dog with little force because you understand the techniques of how to do it the right way.

The Goal of a Dog Correction

The goal of the correction is one of the most important parts of learning the art of dog obedience. The three main topics you need to understand about the goal are below:

  1. Get Dog’s Attention
  2. Stop Bad Behavior
  3. Avoid Punishing Dog

Get Dog’s Attention

When you correct a dog, it is only to get the dog to stop what they are doing currently. Once the dog stops you stop! If the dog stops and you continue to correct there will be a disconnect between what you want and your actions.

Stop Bad Behavior

The only time you correct a dog they’re doing something they’re not supposed to be doing. The correction when done consistently will instantly stop the dog from what they’re doing. 

How to Stop Dog Behavior Problems for additional issues.

Avoid Dog Punishment

This guide is to help you avoid punishing the dog. The correction isn’t close to punishing a dog. The methods we teach will have you hands-off of a dog 99.9 percent of the time.

There are times when you need to increase the correction but only to achieve the goal. That correction is always done at the lowest level possible.

Escalation of Correction

Correcting a dog should go through a series of steps. You don’t start off touching the dog and that should never be the goal. You want to start off by giving them whatever verbal “no” you use.

Once the dog has received the verbal to stop the behavior and they continue or are in the zone that’s when you will tap them to snap them out of their tunnel vision. You get their attention using the lowest level of force that will get it.

After getting their attention you finish the correct like any pack leader would by making the dog sit or lay afterwards. Here is the progression in bulletin form.

  • Verbal
  • Leash Correction
  • Physical Correction
  • Sit and Lay

Let’s go through a few scenarios of how this works.

Verbal Dog Correction

You tell the dog “no” and get the dogs attention afterwards they sit down or lay down. This will happen most of the time when you follow our exercise program and always make them sit or lay after a correction. 99 percent of the time this is as far as you will have to go

Once the dog is getting trained the way we teach there will be no reason to advance to other stages.

Notice how the dog gives a verbal and then touches. Not to fight or hurt but to correct.

Leash Correction

Leash correction is a special subject, so we want to address it as such. When your dog is on the leash most of the time this correction won’t be verbal first. You want to correct the body language or the dog most of the time.

Timing is critical and when the dog starts putting their ears, tail, and head up you want to correct this right away.

Once you correct it, they usually have a target that is pulling their attention. The second you get them looking straight when they turn their head correct the eye contact.

Physical Corrections

You can get this technique wrong by not following the goal of the correction. Once you get the attention that’s all you are doing. You tried to verbally correct, if off leash, with no response. So, you touch.

If on leash you gave them a correction with no response, so you poke to get their attention.

Made popular by Cesar Milan who is known as the Dog Whisperer. The method he uses is like how dogs will bite another dog, but he uses his hands in a poking motion around the stomach area.

The physical correction isn’t all the physical and isn’t meant to hurt or injure the dog. Make sure you are using a low level of force to start and increase if needed.

The beautiful thing about the physical correction is that higher levels of force are almost never needed. The touch is the only thing that is needed to snap them out of the zone.

After a few times the dog will understand that if they don’t respond by giving you the attention you will touch them in order to get it.

Here a mother dog uses physical touch but doesn’t hurt the dog

On-Leash Dog Correction

  1. The Right Direction to Correct
  2. Body Language Correction

When correcting a dog on leash make sure you correct towards your body. Pulling backwards will get you more pulling. Avoid getting into a pulling match and knock the dog off balance immediately with a sideways correction.

As mentioned in a previous paragraph get to understand the right and wrong body language. Once the dog starts making themselves look big you must correct at that point. Failure to do so will lead to a lunge or jump.

When you correct the body language the dog should resort back to ears back, tail down, and mouth open the exact calm body language you want to see from your dog.

Off-Leash Dog Correction

  1. Make Dog Sit or Lay
  2. Practice Makes Perfect
  3. Timing of the Correction

Make Dog Sit or Lay

Off-leash corrections are an important part of controlling your dog when you don’t have a lead on them. The last thing you want to do is have your dog slip the control and take off running. You are at the dog park and the dog won’t stop running away.

The sit and lay method after the correction is what the mother does to the puppy after correction. Make no mistake about it this is the most effective way to correct your dog off leash.

Practice Makes Perfect

The first time you try this with a puppy or grown dog you will experience growing pains. You will not have the skill most likely to communicate to sit and lay after the correction. The problem most people have is that you are not asking them to do either.

You keep following the dog at a distance until they do it. You don’t have to be close to the dog to make this happen. In fact, when you practice enough you will correct from the couch or from inside the house and this will be there automatic response.

This part is more important than how strong you correct.

Timing

This is probably the most important of all the correction methods. When you time the correct right, the dog will stop right away. That’s why I can walk into somebody’s home with a dog I don’t know and make them listen. While the dog owner is telling me that they don’t listen and are in complete shock.

I’m not performing a magic trick I am simple giving the proper timing that a dog would give another dog. That timing is what we like to call prevention.

When a dog is growling at the dog bowl it doesn’t wait until you start eating the food. Dogs bark well before you open their gate and try to walk in. When correcting a dog take the time to correct before they do something.

When you get the proper timing down pact there will be no reason to touch the dog often. The opportunity will never present itself on a consistent basis.

Make sure you understand and get this principle down before trying to give a hard correction. You will become a great dog trainer and someone that the dogs listen to even if you don’t know them.

The reason is because you are speaking their language at the time, they would speak it.

When You Shouldn’t Correct a Dog

  1. Correct Yourself
  2. Bathroom
  3. Tearing up something
  4. Because they aren’t listening

Correct Yourself

After out discussion about timing you should understand why it makes no sense to correct a dog after an act has taken place. Not because they shouldn’t get corrected but because you must correct before it happens. Once you put yourself in a position to get taken advantage of you should learn from the mistake.

You must correct yourself. Setting the dog up for failure is your fault. Take responsibility for not putting them in a position to succeed. You probably haven’t been exercising them or you left food right in front of them and went to the bathroom.

Your fault not the dog’s fault. It’s your fault

Bathroom

When you leave for how many hours and come back to a mess you can’t correct the dog. I have trained many dogs and never correct for that. I always try to figure out what I did wrong.

We advocate that you take your dog out 5 times a day and you have two walks outside in one day as well. There should be plenty of time to empty out.

If you’re having trouble in this area read these outstanding articles:

Potty Training 101 for Puppies

Crate Training Made Simple

Just take your dog to the bathroom and clean up the mess without a correction.

If you don’t take your dog out enough don’t correct them correct yourself.

Tearing Up Something

Why was that item out in the first place? Why did the dog have access to the item? Where were you at? You must correct before the dog is tearing up the item not after they tear it up.

Use a crate when you can’t supervise. Keep the dog on the leash. Make sure you are exercising a lot. A dog must earn the right to be left unattended not the other way around.

Don’t leave the dog without supervision and complain about the results.

Check yourself.

Dog Not Listening

The dog isn’t listening for a few reasons

You haven’t exercised them enough (twice a day).

You aren’t correcting at the right time (prevention).

You aren’t using enough of a physical correction to get their attention.

After using each one of these methods without any doubt I can assure you that the dog will listen.

Again, you need to become a better dog owner and not increase the abuse. When you use strength to get a point across and some point you became lost.

Intentions

My intentions are to give you the truth. You must take responsibility for everything that is and isn’t happening without fail. YOU have control and that’s what this section is about.

Most Common Mistakes

  1. Poor Timing
  2. Poor Escalation of Force
  3. Getting Frustrated with Dog

The most common mistake everyone makes is a lack of timing of the correction. Once the timing is correct you can almost eliminate a lot of the headache with the dog ignoring corrections.

Poor escalation of force is an incredible fail most of the time. When the correction is too soft you will get no response when it is strong enough you will get a response. Keep it simple.

Getting frustrated is unnecessary because it is hardly ever the dog. Continue to read information and watch videos from the best dog trainers and add on to your tools. At some point you will take full responsibility for everything that happens and become a great dog owner or trainer.

Conclusion

Corrections aren’t bad and they have a simple mission. That mission is to gain the dog’s attention. In order to get that attention, you may have to use a physical touch, but it will be needed less and less the more you train.

The timing is something you must master. Preventing your dog from eating off the plate by correcting him for looking at the plate. Correcting him for taking a step towards the plate is the perfect timing. After the dog has ate is not the time to correct but reflect on how you put yourself in that position.

In addition, continue to correct and make the dog sit or lay after. The list of what you need to know is very short but sweet. Keep practicing all of these methods and your dog will listen like a champ.

Additional Resources