The most effective way to discipline a dog is to provide clear corrections for negative behavior, rather than punishment. Corrections must occur immediately after the negative action and be directly related to the misdeed. Punishments that occur long after a negative action confuse the animal and instill fear and distrust.
Positive reinforcement, vocal commands and consistency are the keys to humanely training a dog and eliminating bad behavior. Teach the dog simple verbal commands, including "sit," "stay," "down," "off," and "leave it." Use treats to reward good behavior when the dog follows commands. Using a clicker can also help a dog understand appropriate behaviors. Hitting or yelling at a dog is never appropriate.