Why You Should Never Yell at Your Dog

Do you find yourself yelling at your dog to try to get them to do something, or stop doing something?

While there is a chance that your dog will stop and pay attention to you for a bit, they will most likely repeat the behavior sooner or later. This is because they have not learned the lesson.

Yelling at your dog might seem like it is working in the moment, but it really has no positive effect on your dog’s behavior. In fact, it can actually make your job more difficult.

Let’s take a look at some reasons why you shouldn’t yell at your dog, and then we will give you some suggestions on what you can do instead.

This site is reader-supported and we earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from our site. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We thank you for your support.
why you should never yell at your dog

6 Reasons Why You Should Never Yell at Your Dog

  1. Your dog won’t learn from it. They don’t understand what you are yelling. They can sense your anger but can’t understand what you are yelling or why you are angry. Particularly if you are yelling over something you have just found, but that your dog did hours ago. Even if you are shouting about something that your dog just did, the yelling is not addressing the problem behavior.
  2. Your dog may become fearful of you. Just like with us, your dog can sense negativity when someone is yelling at them. If your dog senses anger in you, they may become scared of you. This will weaken any bond you have formed already with your dog and make it more difficult to get them to obey you in the future. If your dog is afraid of you, they will have trouble focusing when you are trying to train them.
  3. Dog’s respond differently to angry people. This study by Flom indicates that dogs can not only tell when people are angry, they also respond more slowly than they do when someone is being positive. It makes them more hesitant to do what is being asked of them.
  4. You may encourage and excite your dog. If your dog is barking and you start yelling at them your dog will think you are barking just like they are. That will make them excited and bark even more. If your dog is chasing something and you start yelling, they think you are encouraging them or joining them in the chase. Just like another pack member might do. Making a lot of noise will often excite and encourage your dog when in fact you want to do the opposite.
  5. It may make your dog sneaky. If you yell at or scold your dog for doing something wrong, like peeing in the wrong spot, it may make them fearful of doing it in front of you. This will only ensure that next time they may do it when you are not around instead. You will end up finding their surprises in unexpected places.
  6. It is not good for your dog’s health. Yelling and shouting at your dog can put them under stress which is bad for their health. Stress can manifest in dogs in a number of ways, from loss of appetite and changes in bowel movements to isolation or aggression. It can lead to anxiety issues and can affect your dog’s physical well being.

Recommended Reading: Puppy Potty Training Tips You Must Know

What to Do Instead of Yelling at Your Dog

There are several approaches you can take to correct your dog’s bad behavior that don’t involve any yelling or raising your voice. Depending on the situation, try one of these tips and see how your dog responds.

what to do instead of yelling at your dog

1. Ignore your dog.

I know this sounds counterintuitive but punishing your dog when they do something wrong is a less effective way to change their behavior than rewarding them when they do something right.

For example, when your dog is barking you should ignore them. But when they are quiet you should praise and reward them for being quiet.

The quicker you reward your dog, the quicker they will learn the lesson. Continue to do this and over time they will eventually get it that they will receive no attention for barking.

You should also find out the reason your dog is barking and fix it.

2. Check your attitude first.

Dogs respond more quickly when they sense that you are happy. Any kind of training or behavior correcting for your dog will be more successful when you are in a good mood.

Don’t try to discipline your dog when you are angry or frustrated. Your dog will sense it.

Take a few deep breaths first, and then try to correct their behavior.

3. Remain calm.

If you are yelling at your dog it is probably because you are feeling irritated, frustrated, or angry. This is your problem, not your dog’s. Take a minute and calm down.

You can still use an authoritative tone if you feel it is necessary, but do it in a composed manner to get your point across.

Be consistent with your reprimands. A firm strong “No” can be used to let your dog know they are doing something wrong, but make sure you use the same command every time or your dog will get confused.

4. Learn some positive dog training techniques.

Positive reinforcement is one of the most effective training techniques for dogs.

Reward your dog for good behavior, rather than punishing them for bad behavior.

Rewards can include treats, praise, or playtime.

You should never yell at your dog as it will only create more problems. They will become scared of you and the bond between you will be damaged. They won’t learn the right behavior from your angry words.

If you can learn to ignore bad behavior, remain calm, and reward the correct behavior, you will never want to yell at your dog again.

Don’t worry too much. Whatever your dog did can be fixed with training, love, and time. And some patience on your part.

If you want some expert advice, this free video series by an expert dog trainer teaches you the five rules that will change everything when it comes to training your pup. 

If you can put in the time and train your puppy from a young age and you will never have to yell at your dog for misbehaving.