When I Have to Get Physical with a Dog I’m Training… #dogtraining #dogtrainer #positivedogtraining

Welcome to my latest blog post about dog training. Today’s topic, “When I Have to Get Physical with a Dog I’m Training,” is a sensitive yet important issue that most dog trainers and pet owners face at some point in their journey. As a professional dog trainer, I have witnessed and experienced situations where physical interaction was necessary for a dog’s safety and well-being. Through this article, I aim to provide you with insights into positive dog training techniques and the appropriate occasions for physical intervention. So, let’s dive into the world of dog training and learn how to train our furry friends with care and compassion.

When I Have to Get Physical with a Dog I’m Training…

As a dog trainer, I always strive to use positive reinforcement methods in my training sessions. I believe that with patience, consistency, and the right motivation, any dog can learn new tricks and correct undesirable behaviors. However, there are times when a dog may become overly aggressive or stubborn, and physical intervention becomes necessary for both the dog’s safety and the trainer’s well-being. In this article, I will share some insights on when and how to get physical with a dog during training sessions.

Understanding the Dog’s Behavior

Before resorting to physical means of correction, it is important to understand why the dog is behaving aggressively or resisting training. Some common reasons may include fear, trauma, lack of socialization, pain, or hunger. It is also important to remember that not all dogs respond the same way to physical contact. Some may cower in fear, while others may become more aggressive. Therefore, it is crucial to read the dog’s body language and respond accordingly.

When to Get Physical

Physical intervention should only be used as a last resort and after all other methods have been exhausted. Some situations that may require physical contact include:

  • Aggressive behavior towards humans or other animals.
  • Displays of dominance or territoriality.
  • Chewing or biting on furniture or personal possessions.
  • Pulling or lunging on walks, endangering the dog or others.
  • Refusal to obey basic commands, such as sit or stay.

In such circumstances, it is important to act quickly and decisively, as hesitation or indecision may exacerbate the situation.

How to Get Physical

When getting physical with a dog, it is important to use the right amount of force and avoid inflicting any harm or pain. Some safe methods of physical contact may include:

  • Using a firm and assertive tone to command the dog to stop the unwanted behavior.
  • Using a leash or a harness to control the dog’s movement.
  • Using a water spray or an air horn to startle the dog and interrupt its behavior.
  • Using a mild form of physical contact, such as tapping or nudging, to redirect the dog’s attention.
  • Using a crate or a designated area to isolate the dog temporarily.

It is important to remember that physical intervention should never include hitting, punching, or choking the dog, as these methods are not only cruel but also counterproductive in the long run.


In conclusion, getting physical with a dog during training sessions should be a last resort, used only in situations that pose a significant threat to the dog’s safety or the trainer’s well-being. It is important to first understand the dog’s behavior and motivations and to use positive reinforcement methods as much as possible. When physical intervention is necessary, it should be done safely, humanely, and with the right amount of force. With patience, consistency, and a deep understanding of the dog’s needs, any dog can learn to overcome undesirable behaviors and become a well-mannered companion.


Q: Is it okay to use physical correction on a dog during training?
A: Physical correction should only be used as a last resort when other methods have failed, and when there is a risk of harm to the dog or oneself. It should be done safely, humanely, and with the right amount of force.

Q: Can physical correction worsen a dog’s behavior?
A: Yes, physical correction done improperly or excessively can lead to heightened aggression, fear, or anxiety in the dog. It is important to use positive reinforcement methods as much as possible and to understand the dog’s motivations and reactions.

Q: What are some alternatives to physical correction in dog training?
A: Positive reinforcement methods such as treats, praise, and clicker training can be effective in teaching new behaviors and correcting unwanted ones. It is also important to understand the dog’s temperament, exercise and socialization needs, and to establish clear boundaries and routines.

Q: How can I tell if a dog is becoming aggressive during training?
A: Signs of aggression in dogs may include growling, showing teeth, biting, barking excessively, or stiffening the body. If you notice any of these signs, it is important to stop the training session immediately and seek professional help.

Q: Can aggressive or stubborn dogs be trained effectively?
A: Yes, with patience, consistency, and the right motivation, even aggressive or stubborn dogs can be trained effectively. It is important to understand the dog’s needs and to work with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist to develop a personalized training plan.