Puppies are lovable and adorable…
But they could be a recipe for disaster.
That’s why, from time to time, you might lose your temper with your puppy.
The first thing I want to say is thank you…
It’s for taking your time and learning how to deal with this as a proper dog parent.
Continue reading to discover:
- 11 tips for dealing with your temper because of your puppy.
- How punishment and scolding could only make things worse.
- 10 puppy-proofing tips that could help decrease frustrating puppy behaviors.
- And many more…
Table of contents
- Is it normal to be frustrated with your puppy?
- I keep losing my temper with my puppy – 11 vital tips
- #1: Puppy-proof your house
- #2: See things from your pup’s perspective
- #3: Recognize your triggers
- #4: Use calming strategies
- #5: NEVER hit your puppy
- #6: Scolding them won’t do any better
- #7: Redirect your energy
- #8: Research about your new puppy
- #9: Continue spending a lot of time with your pup
- #10: Patience, training, and consistency
- #11: Don’t beat yourself up
Is it normal to be frustrated with your puppy?
It’s normal to be frustrated with your puppy. That’s because they take a lot of work to raise. They’re also on their exploring stage and don’t know what’s going on yet. That’s why the way you’ll react towards them could be vital to their development.
I keep losing my temper with my puppy – 11 vital tips
#1: Puppy-proof your house
Here, I’ll talk about how prevention could be equal to fewer disappointments.
I say so because you could prevent yourself from bursting your temper to your pup.
However, you might not totally prevent it, but lessen it. That’s why I phrased it the way I did…
Now to my main point:
Most of the time, you’d get angry with your pup because of their destructive behaviors.
Since they’re teething, they’re bound to chew here and there…
So, instead of constantly dealing with those, you could puppy-proof your house.
If there’s no reason to misbehave, there would be no reason for you to get angry.
That’s why puppy-proofing your place could create less chaos in the long run.
If you plan on taking this advice, here’s a checklist for you on puppy-proofing your indoors:
To-do #1: Hide the electrical cords. One effective way to do this is by using a cable canal. If you can’t hide them, just make sure they’re out of reach.
Your pup might chew on these cords.
If they do, they can get their tongue burnt. It will make them hypersalivate and it could develop into an infection.
Plus, they could get electrocuted, too.
To-do #2: Make sure medications are out of your pup’s reach.
Medicines that they don’t need could harm your dog.
So, don’t put meds on low tables or bathroom counters. To make sure, put them in a cabinet.
Examples of toxic medications in dogs:
To-do #3: Keep the cleaning solutions away from your pooch.
Chemical solutions are highly toxic for your pup. That’s why you must keep them in high cabinets.
If you choose to put it in a low compartment, you can install a childproof latch.
What to keep away from your pooch:
- Paint thinner.
- Toilet cleaners.
To-do #4: Close your windows and doors at all times.
The reason for this is your pup’s desire to explore. With that, they’ll be compelled to escape.
To-do #5: There should be no sharp objects around.
Once your puppy gets their paws on one, it might be troublesome. They can cut their mouth and other body parts.
To-do #6: Get a trash can with a lid. If you find one with a heavy lid, then that’s better.
That’s because puppies are attracted to the scent of garbage.
If they eat something from there, they might get food poisoning.
To-do #7: Put away objects that are choking hazards.
Your teething pup would chew anything. It could be big or small…
If they have access to the latter, they could choke. Such could lead to death.
Yes, you have to puppy-proof your outdoors, too.
Here’s a list of to-do’s that you could add to your checklist:
To-do #1: If possible, you must fence your yard.
This would prevent your pooch from wandering off. Like I mentioned before, puppies tend to escape.
If you have a pool, fence it if it’s possible, too.
Your naturally curious pooch might accidentally fall in the water.
To-do #2: Regularly clean up.
Pick their poop immediately. That’s because puppies might eat their poop.
Moreover, trim the grass regularly as well. By doing so, you won’t provide a hideout for ticks.
To-do #3: Remove objects that are bad for your pooch.
I’m talking about the following:
- Sharp tools.
- Poisonous houseplants.
- Fertilizers, which are toxic for dogs.
#2: See things from your pup’s perspective
You might have heard this phrase once or more than twice.
It goes like this:
“Put yourself in their shoes…”
‘Their’ is a person who might be misbehaving or acting peculiar.
You could apply the same thought in your puppy’s situation…
Yes, they might not wear shoes…
Regardless, it’s the idea that matters. You must see things from your pup’s perspective.
For your little dog, every behavior could be natural. At the same time, everything’s new to them, and they’re exploring…
Remember: Your dog’s intention is genuine. They don’t show unwanted behaviors to rebel or spite you. On behalf of your dog, I’m here to say that all they want is to please you.
Yes, their way of showing that might be annoying. But they don’t know that you feel that way.
Let me help you see it from your dog’s perspective even further. Here are 3 angles to look at:
Puppies have high energy
Have you ever heard of the term ‘zoomies’?
It’s often associated with puppies. That’s because puppies are often seen running like they’re in a marathon.
They go from point to point around your house.
Note: AKC says that dogs of all ages could display zoomies. However, it’s more common in young canines.
Going back, the main reason for zoomies is high energy.
Understand your puppy’s energy levels. Check this table out that’s built from experts from PURINA:
|Puppy age||What goes on|
|Birth to 10 weeks||Their ‘baby’ age. Here, it seems like they have limitless energy. They will play all day.|
|10 to 16 weeks||They’re still full of playful energy. In this stage, they test their boundaries even further. They might forget a few rules on the way.|
|4 to 6 months||This is the time where your dog starts showing fear. That fear helps with limiting their curiosity sometimes.|
|6 to 12 months||Don’t be fooled! They might look big enough already but they’re still a puppy. Bursts of energy and testing of their limits are still displayed.|
|1 to 2 years||It’s the end of puppyhood! Congrats to you, dog parent, for surviving it with your pup. Starting here, your canine would act more mature.|
The curious nature of puppies
Think of your puppy as a detective. Then, consider their mouth as their partner.
Together, they investigate the environment around them…
What exactly are they investigating?
Anything they want!
In the dog world, there are no assigned cases to investigate.
As long as something stimulates their curiosity…
Expect your pooch to put the oddity on their mouth.
Your pup is teething
It’s safe to say that you’ve experienced losing teeth.
You might or might not remember it…
But, losing teeth as a child could be itchy and painful. That’s why kids are often given something to chew on for teething…
Well, your dog experiences the same wonder.
Puppies develop milk teeth first. It’s also called deciduous teeth and it’s 28 in total.
The teething process begins in 3 weeks of their age.
Then, it will take 6 months for their milk teeth to be replaced by permanent teeth.
During that process, your pup chews and nibbles on objects like your clothes.
You’re not safe from this behavior as well. If they can reach your ears, they will nibble on them.
Vets believe that puppies chew to relieve discomfort from teething. As I said, it could be itchy and painful.
You can redirect this teething desire into a chew toy. Try this dog-parent-recommended Kong wobbler for puppies.
#3: Recognize your triggers
Self-awareness is highly essential for humans.
In this situation, you can make use of it.
You have to recognize your triggers.
Ask yourself this question first:
“What behavior makes me lose my temper?”
Once you answer that question, there’s still the next step.
It’s because it’s kind of wrong to be aware but to remain ignorant…
So, you must analyze that trigger next. Ask yourself:
“Why do I react this way towards the behavior?”
And the most important of all:
“What can I do to improve my reaction towards the behavior?”
Reading this article is one of the answers to the last question.
That’s why self-awareness is important here.
You recognize your triggers, and you get to work on them.
With that, you’d learn how to react properly next time. Moreover, you’d also be assisted on how you could improve the situation.
Note: After recognizing triggers, experts suggest avoiding those events or situations. However, that advice might be impossible if you’re dealing with a puppy.
#4: Use calming strategies
As a human, it’s normal to “lose it” from time to time.
However, because of our rationality, we recognize that we may have reacted poorly. Such feelings brought you to this article…
You being here shows you’re willing to improve yourself and the situation.
So, here are 3 strategies to calm down when you’re on another episode of:
‘My pup is acting up. How could I calm myself down?’
Hit pause for a while
In the middle of a conflict with your pooch?
Before you go on, you might want to hit pause for a while.
You could use this pause to think about things like I mentioned in reason #2.
Use this short time by putting yourself in your dog’s (hypothetical) shoes.
Another way to spend this short pause is to reflect. Use what you’ve learned from recognizing your triggers.
Lastly, you could think of how you’d respond. By doing so, you won’t react immediately then regret it after.
Take deep breaths
According to professionals, taking deep breaths is effective in stressful situations.
It’s because it prompts your body to relax.
As you relax, you can begin to think clearly. Then you’ll recognize how to react appropriately.
Moreover, this study suggests that deep breaths can even improve your mood.
Count to ten
Doing this technique is quite similar to taking deep breaths.
In the span of ten counts, you can push your body to relax.
It also distracts you from the frustration. All you’re going to think of is counting to ten.
Next thing you know, you could be calmer.
Then, you could deal with your puppy properly.
#5: NEVER hit your puppy
I’d be clear…
Using forceful punishment on your dog could be an effective method.
You’d probably see it being used on TV.
According to vets, it’s only effective if you use proper timing.
So, punishing your pooch within 1 or 2 seconds could help. It might decrease unwanted behavior.
But do you really want to hurt your pooch?
Especially a little puppy? Who might not know what’s going on yet?
Moreover, the explanation isn’t done…
Vets also say that punishment could complicate things even more.
That’s because it could lead to defensive aggression.
The ASPCA describes that type of aggression as:
Your dog’s attempt to play offense. They think that if they do, they can prevent you from harming them.
Signs of aggression are:
- Showing their teeth.
- Sudden stiffening of the body.
Aside from aggression, your pup would also develop fear.
They might be ready to fight for their protection, but they’re still scared.
That’s because punishment creates fear. They would be scared of:
- Being hit.
- Repeating the behavior.
That’s not all. Actually, your puppy could develop fear for almost everything due to punishment.
Lastly, hitting your puppy could give them bruises and injuries.
So, you should cut your puppy some slack.
They don’t deserve being hit because of behavior they might not understand. So, remember… Never hit your dog.
Note: According to research, most professional behaviorists and vets don’t advocate punishment. Instead, they recommend positive reinforcement and counterconditioning.
#6: Scolding them won’t do any better
Scolding your puppy might be your initial reaction.
But when they started to really get on your nerves…
You might have let go of a loud, angry, or firm “NO!”
Even that act of scolding already feels bad, both for you and your dog.
But, sometimes, dog parents think it’s acceptable to scold their dog loudly.
It’s because it doesn’t involve any force or physicality…
However, it could still cause fear in your dog.
It’s also not any better than punishment. That’s because it might not really curb unwanted behavior…
Your dog could feel 3 things from scolding.
I already mentioned the first one: fear.
Your pup doesn’t speak the language that you speak. So, they don’t reason the way that you do.
However, they use cues from your voice’s tone and loudness.
They might misinterpret this scolding as excitement from you. With that, they begin to feel enthusiastic, too.
They misinterpreted the interaction as play…
And nope, that’s not all…
For your puppy, the unwanted behavior was effective in making you pay attention.
And so, the behavior becomes encouraged.
They’d likely do it again next time as they’re motivated by your validation.
You know where that leads…
More display of unwanted behaviors.
Therefore, more challenges regarding your temper.
#7: Redirect your energy
Frustration and anger are normal emotions in humans.
Those could work as a motivation to create improvements in your daily life…
However, such emotions could be powerful.
They could fill you with negative energy. Such a drive makes you react in ways that you didn’t intend at first.
An example is losing temper on your innocent pup…
What you can do is redirect that energy into something healthy. Examples are:
- Taking a walk.
- Starting your workout.
- Some people will even clean to distract themselves (it calms me down).
So, when your pup annoys you, practice the calming strategies from tip #4.
If the feeling persists, you could redirect your energy healthily to something else.
#8: Research about your new puppy
If you haven’t done this before getting your pup, then it’s time to do so.
Learning more about your dog can help you understand things even better.
It also sets your expectations on how your puppy will behave.
This is essential because dogs differ from each other.
However, some factors predict some of your dog’s behavior. Examples of those factors are their breed and dog group.
So, those 2 occupy the top of your research requirements. You might also want to research the following:
- Living costs.
- Activity needs.
- Healthcare costs.
- Feeding schedules.
- Nutritional requirements.
- Whether they’re child-friendly or not.
- Time requirements. This is if they need to be under constant supervision or not.
For further reading: The Ideal “Puppy Harness Age” (9 Benefits & 9 Tips)
#9: Continue spending a lot of time with your pup
You might understand how spending time with a person can let you know them even better…
Well, the same goes for your little pooch.
Yes, they might make you lose your temper from time to time…
But you love them. And you’re willing to work through that.
If you spend time with your puppy, you both learn from each other.
|What your puppy learns from you||They’ll be familiar with your expectations and the way you behave. Once they are, they can frustrate you less often.|
|What you learn from your puppy||You’ll discover why they behave this or that way. With that, you’ll learn to be patient and kind toward a developing being.|
Wanna know what both of you learn from this?
You both grow to love each other.
And with love, there’s patience and kindness as well.
So, spending time with your pup could lessen future frustrations.
Think of it as:
Knowing a person and getting familiar with their buttons…
Ways of spending time with your puppy:
- Playing with them.
- Taking them on walks.
- Accompanying them on puppy play dates.
Warning: As much as quality time is important, there are still risks. You have to teach your pup how to be alone, too. This is essential.
If your pup isn’t trained on being alone, here’s what could happen:
With that, here’s the exact rule to follow.
Regularly spend time with your pup.
When you do, make it last for up to 1 to 2 hours. During that interaction, focus solely on your pupper.
After that, you can concentrate on something else.
You can put your puppy on their crate for a while. Or if you don’t worry much, just let them be around the house.
But, if you’re totally leaving your puppy alone, experts say not to leave them for more than 6 hours.
#10: Patience, training, and consistency
You’ve probably heard of this:
“Practice makes perfect.”
In this situation, it’s valid and applicable.
But let me tweak it a little bit. It’ll go like:
“Training makes perfect.”
That’s because, with enough training, your pup’s unwanted behavior could change.
Trying to teach your pup something new? Think of it this way…
In every beginning, you start with a blank canvas.
Your canvas, in this case, is your puppy…
They won’t understand what you’re trying to teach them at first.
It can remain that way even until the 3rd or 7th time of teaching them something…
But, you and your pup will get there.
With enough patience and practice, you and your pup can achieve success.
It doesn’t stop there.
Once you achieve success, you must keep it and let it grow.
With that, the next step is to remain consistent.
By doing so, you won’t confuse your pup.
It would also make sure that your pooch remembers their training.
#11: Don’t beat yourself up
Recognizing that you lost your temper with your pup is already something.
Like I said before, it shows your willingness. You know that you have to make things better for you and your pup.
You also know that you need to be kind towards your puppy. And that your burst could’ve caused fear or issues in your pooch’s training and well-being.
So, for this last one, I remind you to be kind to yourself as well.
Feeling bad for losing your temper could only add fuel to the fire…
Moreover, professionals say that sometimes that can cause more problems.
You might project the regret and frustration further in your puppy…
So, remember, take deep breaths and understand that you’re human, too. Both you and your pup have your limits…
And dog parent to parent, thank you for taking this step on making things better. Yet again, don’t forget to be kind to yourself…
You and your pup will survive puppyhood soon!