(Closed) Would you punish your dog for running away?

posted 8 years ago in Pets
Post # 3
1068 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

Do they mean punish like, hit your dog? Because that is the worst thing you can do. NEVER punish your dog for running away, or they will think that you did not want them to come back. They aren’t people. They won’t put it together that you’re mad that they left. That was too long ago. They’ll think you’re punishing them for coming back.

To “punish” my dog, I make him do a “down” in the living room for an hour or up to 1 1/2 hours at a time. It’s not really a punishment, but a way to assert my dominance over him. It reminds him whose boss.

Post # 4
5496 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2010

No, I definitely would not punish a dog. Dogs don’t understand these things as a child would! And they don’t think like humans do. I only believe in punishing dogs (no physical touching, though, just verbal) when they are caught in the moment doing something bad. Not after the fact…I don’t see how they would know what you mean.

Post # 5
3617 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I definitely would not. For one thing dogs have very short term memory and they will not associate the punishment with the act of running away since she doesn’t even remember running away at this point. So you’re right that your dog would think she is being punished for coming home.

Post # 6
1357 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

View original reply
@Tangled:  Agreed. I don’t punish my dog for something after the fact, because it just confuses them and can produce an unintended response. In order to punish him, I think you’d have to catch him in the act of trying to get out of your yard.

Post # 8
4272 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2012


Post # 9
9878 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

I would never punish a dog for allowing me to catch her. If she’s that smart next time she will remember something bad happened and good look getting her then!

Post # 10
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Dogs don’t understand punishment at this level. While giving a dog a “time out” by isolating it from the rest of the “pack” (meaning YOU) is a very good way to discourage bad behavior, the attention span of a dog is so short that it would be very likely for the dog to associate coming back with being isolated, rather than running away. That is just how their brains work. You need to reward their good behavior to train them. You cannot punish them if they’ve done something “good” after something “bad.”

Post # 11
1900 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Never punish your dog for something that happened more than a minute ago – dogs can’t reason and think “I’m getting punished for what I did earlier today!” It sounds as though you’ve got a pretty smart dog though, so maybe look at some literature on why dogs do these kinds of things – generally it’s a dominance thing (I’m the top dog, so I need to explore/hunt/mark territory for the rest of the pack). Martin McKenna wrote some really good books on dog training and dealing with problem behaviours, if the running away is a regular occurence.

Post # 13
997 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@roxy821:  I think you are 100% rigHt. your dog would think it was being punished for coming home. 

Post # 15
1495 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

No. Dogs aren’t able to associate punishment after the fact. She wouldn’t have been able to correlate a punishment with running away, just with finding her.

Dogs run away for different reasons. Sometimes its attention but a lot of times its just that something smells exciting. Dogs do not understand that fences are there to keep them inside and safe. Fences are just another part of the scenery.

We have three dogs. One will definitely run away if there is an opportunity but 100% of the time, its because she’s nosey. We have woods around our house with all sorts of woodsy animals that have new and exciting smells. She will chase after a squirrel or raccoon in a heartbeat. The same goes if she sees kids playing nearby. Kids = new smells, and fun stuff! I must go over there!! Another one of our dogs will occasionally get out but she isn’t interested in any other animals or smells. She always makes a bee line up the road to my mom’s house. She goes visiting. If ever she gets out of the fence, we don’t go out looking for her. We just call up to my mom’s house and let her know the dog is on the way. Our third dog has never made a break for it so we’re not sure what she would do if that ever happened.

Post # 16
13094 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

Nope – I wouldn’t punish. I’d just be happy she was back and try to figure out how she got out so I could prevent it from happening again.

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