Don't Get Angry At Your Dog

Don’t Get Mad at Your Dog

Getting mad at your dog for his bad behavior can be a recipe for disaster.


Maybe you even think it seems like willful disobedience. While problems may not surface immediately, they may surface later.

I’m not pointing a finger. If this sound familiar, it’s time to do things differently, because your present strategy is not working. Don’t think it’s too late to make those changes. But before we look at how to change, let’s look at this from your dog’s perspective.

Don't Get Angry With Your Dog

Stop Getting Angry at Your Dog

Part of the solution is to learn to project calm energy. Your dog will do much better with you being calm. Getting mad causes your dog to feel stressed and anxious.

When you get angry at your dog, you express your anger with action and emotions.
Your dog responds to your actions by freezing, running away or biting. The last thing you want is to cause your dog to bite you.
Let’s look at how you can set yourself and your dog up to succeed.

A Strategy to Stop Being Mad at Your Dog

  • Make your list of all the things your dog does you don’t like and you want to change.
  • Prioritize your list.
  • Next to each bad dog behavior you must write down what you would prefer your dog to do. This is the easy part.
  • You already know what you want, right?
  • Don’t jump, sit.
  • Don’t chew my stuff, chew your dog toys, and the list goes on.

Here’s an example of how to get good dog behavior:

  • Your dog jumps on the counter in the kitchen to get food. Let’s say you would prefer him to stay on his matt on the fringe of the kitchen while you are cooking.
  • Make “stay on matt” your preferred behavior.
  • Next, begin to teach your dog to go to his matt and finally lay down on his matt.
  • Another critical ingredient here is to practice every day.
  • Practice not only when you are cooking, but do practice set ups as separate training exercises.
  • This means mock cooking scenarios with food on the counter. This allows to concentrate on the training and not your cooking.

Quit getting ticked off at your dog – train your dog until you get the results you want

Then start on the next bad dog behavior on your list.

If you think about it you’ve spent a lot of wasted energy getting upset about your dog’s problems only to have them resurface and never really go away.

If you had taken all that energy and put it to training the good behavior, you’d be ahead of the game. It’s never too late to start. So, what are you waiting for?

Let’s do some list making and dog training! It really takes much less energy than getting mad at your dog.

Together We Can Raise A Happy and Obedient Dog

Jim Burwell, is Houston’s most respected dog trainer for 30 years, serving over 11,000 clients.  Jim works with you and your entire family  in helping your dog be the best dog ever.

14 replies
  1. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    I have a terrier. He definitely gets angry. When his goals are thwarted or the other dogs play too rough with him. He is not the dominant dog in the household, except for two brief glorious years (for him) when the Corso was growing up. He was raised with a mastiff, who would occasionally discipline him (persistence thy name is terrier), after which he would be appropriately submissive – Waggy tail, curvy body, but now that the mastiff is gone (osteosarcoma), and he lives with a younger, but now socially mature cane corso, when she disciplines him, he walks away, but straight bodied and grumbling as he goes. He accepts her leadership very grudgingly.

  2. Sarthak
    Sarthak says:

    Hy Jim, My (10 months) female lhasa apso dog is becoming too aggresive. Yesterday she bit me when I take her to bathroom. Nowadays she started bitting or barking at every thing which she won’t likes.

  3. Leo
    Leo says:

    Hi Jim

    I’ve got my dog when she was already 6yrs old. She behaves really well at home and she is really friendly towards people. However, I had several issues with her interacting with other dogs (getting better now, but she still slightly resentful towards them) and major issues due to her obsession for balls. She loses control and goes crazy around balls. She doesn’t listen when I call, she doesn’t obey at all. It can be even dangerous as she would throw herself of a building or just run to a busy road. Any advice on how I can get her to obey when she is chasing a ball?

  4. client care
    client care says:

    We suggest you hire a positive reinforcement trainer and speak with your vet about the eating fox poo. Personalized help is fee based and happy to help you via via coaching or in home

  5. Stevie Quinn
    Stevie Quinn says:

    Hi Jim, maybe you can help me too?

    My puppy (8 months cockapoo) is an absolute delight with just a few problems (namely attention barking and eating fox poo from the ground). I was walking him yesterday when he ate fox poo again, I got so angry and upset with him that I hit his snout and kept him on a short lead. I hate that I have acted in this way, I get so upset with him because in the past when he has eaten fox poo it has made him very unwell. I don’t hit him at all, and have only done it one other time again for eating something that will do him harm. I don’t want my actions to make him scared of me, be scared of hands or ruin our relationship. I do not want to ever hit him ever again, I always feel horrible afterwards and I know it does him no good at all and teaches him nothing. Do you have any tips to build back the trust I may have lost with him, and any tips other than working on “leave it” to prevent him from eating fox poo? Thanks

  6. Jim
    Jim says:

    Candace: There is something lacking in how you are setting your puppy up to be potty trained. Dogs are not spiteful and she’s not doing this out of spite. 99.9% of the time it is owner error on one of many factors OR there “may” be something medical. But it sounds like owner error to me. Two options for you. I have no idea where you live but if you are in Houston TX and an area I service we can do private lessons. If you do not live near me we can do this:

  7. Candace
    Candace says:

    Hi, I’m hoping you can give me some suggestions for working with my three month old Australian Shepherd. She has a good heart, but I am rapidly reaching my wits end on several fronts, one of the biggest issues being potty training. I take her out every hour or more when I’m home, and I’m fortunate enough to be able to come home on lunch. I come home every single day Monday through Friday to take her out to potty. And every single day, she will have Peed, pooped or both in her crate both between breakfast and lunch, and then again between when I leave to go back to the office and when I come home.. I’m trying to be patient with her, because I know she is still young, but we are in obedience class with the other two puppies from her litter, and both of them have had hardly any issue with potty training even though their owners are not home all the time.

    This is all leaving me really frustrated and angry, and I’m starting to take my frustration out on her. I’ve tried being loving and patient, as well as being strict, and nothing seems to make a difference. I really don’t know what else to do. I love her with all of my heart, but I’m having a lot of difficulties with her and I can’t seem to overcome any of them.

  8. Jim
    Jim says:

    You don’t say how old your “puppy” is. My strongest suggestion to you is to get a positive reinforcement trainer out to help you ASAP as unfortunately you are
    making some very serious mistakes that will have a major lifelong impact on how well your dog listens to you and how it will learn to live in your human world.

  9. Csy
    Csy says:

    Hey Jim! I know this post is a few years old, and I do t know if you still check on it, but, I’m having some potty training frustrations in my own accepting that my puppy can’t understand my feelings and what I want from her.
    I wasn’t given a good example on how to train dogs, and don’t want her to be subjected to spankings because I know that she has no idea what a spanking is, or how to react to it.
    I realized this after a week of showing her nothing but love and affection and patience; she started out very intuitive about the potty pads, but she slipped up more and more frequently, and I slipped, and spanked her bottom, and told her, “No! Bad potty.” She looked at me so betrayed, and now I think has a slight trepidation when going potty.
    So, after almost two weeks of frustrating pad training, and some shouting and that spanking, I am at a loss on how to show her I am displeased with these certain actions without further intimidating her. I want her to know she’s good, and let her know I just want to show her how to be the goodest girl she can be.

  10. Jim
    Jim says:

    Nisa: how are you managing his energy? are you doing walks with him, do you do 3 minute rapid fire sits/downs? How are you managing his intelligence.
    Also check what food you are feeding. If you get it at a grocery store it is junk. is a link I did on what to look for in your food.
    You have to set your dog up to succeed at living with you. Put structure into his life, exercise etc and you should make progress.

  11. nisa Ramirez
    nisa Ramirez says:

    Hello Jim, my dog is a Boxer Mix from the Humane Society got him at 3 months old. Pretty big too for a puppy. He chews absolutely everything, to shoes, clothes and really expensive jackets. I don’t get what his deal is I buy him plenty on dog toys; which never last a day or two.

  12. Jim Burwell
    Jim Burwell says:

    Svetlana: I don’t know where you live so if you live in Houston I can help you in private lessons. If you don’t live in Houston we can do live, face to face using Google Hangouts. Happy to help you in either or both
    of these 2 venues.

  13. Svetlana
    Svetlana says:

    Hi Jim,

    I have a huge problem on my hands i have 7 dogs, 5 Pits (2 Female and 3 Male) a female Rottweiler and my little Maltese Diva.

    Diva will be 3 in Sept.(Female)
    Sybil (Rotti) is 2 (Female)
    Blu (blunose Pit) is 2 (male)
    Diamond – Rednose female will be 3 Oct 30th
    And then Diamonds puppies, Djay (male),Splash (male)& Tini(Female) there 17months old.
    My problem is they’ve started fighting all of them accept Diva And Tini have participated in a fight and there really bad fights.
    I am living in a basement i have a vet that visits us often to ensure the health of my babies ive had them all since 2 months or birth. I understand why this is happening and so now im considering giving up 3 of my babies because i cant handle the way i have to live now Blu and Diamond seem to be the instigators and they both want to be the Alpha so there in cages most of the time unless im home then there in the yard. I am at my wits end and terrified that they might fight again i know they sense my fear but i am working on controlling that now. Its so difficult letting them out at seperate times but this is the only way i know it works. The biggest problem is that when one runs after a bird or squirrel or to the gate because someone might be walking there dog thats where the fights begin fighting for that alpha position once they reach what there running towards. Im thinking if i keep 4 including little diva ill be able to control them more and maybe train them to get along? Are you able to offer me any of your expert advise PLEASE?

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