In most cases, frustration with a dog stems from the owner’s ignorance of how to train or simply discipline their pet.
So if you’re wondering why you get so angry at your dog, it may be time to put away those anger management pills and work on that relationship.
This article is going to cover some tips on how to handle that canine companion in a positive way!
You might just find out it becomes less difficult the more you use these tactics — which means less pent-up anger for both of you! ?
Table of Contents
26 Tactics To Help
Before we get started with the tips, let’s take a minute to explore what you can do when you’re feeling angry at your dog.
I’m guessing you’ve already tried the obvious: some yelling, some throwing things, some spanking — or even running away!
Problems become much more obvious when you get angry at your pup and you don’t feel better.
You’re probably so angry that you just want to take out all your anger on your pet. But that doesn’t help anyone.
You’ve probably learned how to read your dog’s emotions before now — so why not use them to your advantage?
Dogs are very intuitive, and they know when you’re angry.
If you can learn how to control it, you’ll be one step ahead of the game.
If you know there’s a way to get around your anger, you’ll have an easier time being a positive and loving role model for your dog.
Being angry makes you dog-aggressive.
If you know how to control your anger towards dogs, you’re more likely to get a reaction out your dog that will benefit your pet and your relationship.
Here are 10 tactics you can use to handle your anger and teach your dog, rather than punish it.
Tactics In Detail
In a calm voice, inform your dog calmly, “Your behavior displeases me.”
Even if you’re yelling or using an aggressive tone, you’ll find that many dogs understand how to respond to instructions and punishment.
After all, they were born with the ability to understand human language in accordance with our spoken words — sometimes even before we can speak (babies do it).
But not every dog will react when you tell them what to do.
Some dogs will pay attention to the tone in your voice, and some won’t.
Treats are a great substitute for punishment if you’re looking to avoid anger. And no matter what you use as your reward, treats — food and dog toys — are always a good motivator!
But remember: treat training doesn’t work in all cases.
If you have an aggressive dog, it might not be effective for you because many aggressive dogs won’t respond well to treats either!
This is the process of teaching your dog to look forward to something that you’re offering in order to reduce his or her anxiety.
Imagine this: you have a young puppy who is always anxious when the family leaves for vacation.
You could try crating him for an entire week, or simply put up a gate on the bedroom door and leave him alone for a few hours every day.
Soon enough, he’ll get used to being alone (and will probably sleep quite well).
Instead of being terrified by your absence from his life, he’ll be happy because it means that he doesn’t have to worry about leaving your home and ending up in the backyard on the end of a leash!
For many dogs, a friendly touch is more valuable than a treat.
Take advantage of your pet’s proclivity for this kind of positive reinforcement and pet him when you’re feeling angry.
This will help calm you down, and it will probably make your dog feel better too!
Touch is a proven method for reducing stress and relieving anxiety, so it’s a great alternative to punishment.
5. Off-leash exercise
Most dogs need a daily amount of exercise that is equivalent to about an hour per day (depending on the breed).
This intense activity can be mentally stimulating for your dog, and it can also relieve some of the pent-up energy that may be causing you to get angry at your dog in the first place!
Let him run around with you and walk him to work or play with him every day. You’ll both be happy in the long run!
6. Positive punishment
This is also known as negative reinforcement.
If you’re wondering why do I get so angry at my dog, and you want a long-term solution to this problem, positive punishment may be the right choice for you.
This approach involves giving your dog a mild tap as a deterrent for all negative behavior.
Of course, this option is best used with small dogs or those that are not aggressive.
7. Negative reinforcement
The aim of negative reinforcement is to discourage bad behavior by removing something pleasant from your dog’s life when he behaves in an undesirable way — i.e. punishing it.
For example, if you want to keep your dog from jumping on visitors, you could remove his favorite toy every time he does so.
But please note that this method is best used with dogs that are trained (or at least can be) not to engage in certain behaviors.
8. Aversion therapy
Another option is to use a substance that your dog dislikes to make him stop doing certain things.
Maybe he gets angry because you’re punishing him for doing something and he doesn’t understand why that’s happening.
Aversion therapy can sometimes be helpful in this case — but please, please avoid using this method on aggressive dogs!
9. Classical conditioning
This method involves pairing your pet’s bad behavior with something unpleasant in his environment, such as a tap on the nose or a shrill sound.
It is important to let your dog know what you’re going to do so that he associates the bad behavior with the unpleasant consequence.
This may take some time and effort on your part (but it’s less likely to cause you anger!).
10. Clicker training
The clicker method of dog training is based on positive reinforcement and is usually a simple, effective, non-violent method that even beginners can quickly learn.
The clicker trainer uses a small device known as a clicker (or a tongue-click) to communicate to the dog what it did right.
Once the dog has learned the desired response, you can then get rid of the device.
11. Take deep breaths
When you’re feeling angry and stressed, take a few deep breaths to make yourself feel better.
Let go of your anxiety and stress and allow a positive emotion to overtake you.
12. Take a walk
Sometimes all you have to do is take a walk to let the stress of a day melt away. Just seeing your dog get excited about the idea of running on leash will help reduce your anger too!
13. Play fetch
Dogs love to play fetch. Try getting a hold of their favorite toy or a ball and try to get them to chase after it for a while.
14. Put on your favorite music that you know lifts your spirits
Music is scientifically proven to affect a dog’s mood, so it’s a good idea to put on some music that lifts your spirits.
15. Have some fun
Sometimes an hour of playtime will help you forget about the stress in your life and get into the right frame of mind to deal with the next fight.
Just make sure you don’t get too competitive with your dog while playing!
16. Get a massage
You can get a massage from someone else, or you can do it yourself (there are plenty of videos online to help!).
Massage is a proven method for reducing stress and anxiety.
17. Go outside on a walk
Fresh air does wonders for your body and mind, so it’s natural to want to go outside when you’re angry.
Fresh air is the perfect remedy for anger! Just make sure that if you go outside, be sure to leave your dog safely inside.
18. Play tug of war
Tug of war is a great way to alleviate anger and stress.
Find your dog’s favorite tug of war toy and play with them for a while. It will help you both feel better!
19. Play hide and seek
Another fun game to play with your dogs is hide and seek.
Hide treats around the house, or sneak up on them and scare them to see how they react. Dogs love this kind of game!
Use a diffuser to fill your home with the smell of an essential oil that’s known to lift your mood, such as basil, peppermint, or lavender.
21. Take a hot shower
Taking a hot shower is another great way to relieve stress, anger and anxiety.
It’s proven to help you feel better and more relaxed! Just make sure not to spend too long in the shower — your dog might think you got lost!
22. Go to a dog park
Take your dog to the local dog park or take him for a walk around the neighborhood.
Some dogs need more socialization than others, but be careful if you have an aggressive breed!
23. Give your pup some exercise time
Take your dog to the park and let them run around and play with other dogs for a while.
This will help them relieve both their physical and mental energy.
24. Go to the beach
Going to the beach is a great way to de-stress, especially when you’re with your pup!
Just make sure your dog is leashed so that you can avoid any confrontations with other dogs.
25. Massage your dog
Give your dog a massage by rubbing his back or behind his ears, which are two of his most sensitive areas.
This will make him feel relaxed and good!
26. Go to bed
If it has been a long day and your dog is getting tired, it might be a good idea to go to bed early.
If you have been struggling with why you get so angry with your dog, I hope that one of these methods has provided you with some fresh information and practical solutions.
There is no magic pill to fix all dog behavior problems, but there is hope!