Why Hitting Dogs is Unacceptable

Battered Dogs do not Bloom rather they Grow Insecure and Fearful

The main reason why a dog should not be hit is because it is unjust. Dogs are loyal companions and unlike humans, they are not of a vindicative nature. When dogs upset owners it is very likely not because he or she is being unruly or straight forward naughty, rather dogs simply act as nature intended them to, and they will not stop engaging in a behavior simply because they do not understand our standards and rules.

It is up to the owner, therefore, to provide guidance and leadership, which can be accomplished effectively in a non-confrontational way through positive reinforcement training. This type of training basically focuses on praising for good behaviors and ignoring the bad behaviors. Owners that are unable to teach their dogs through effective training methods and resort to hitting dogs must be educated about the negative effects hitting has on the dog and the over all, dog owner relationship.

Why a Dog Should Not Be Hit

1) It hurts

There is unfortunately still a myth that dogs, in particular, ''bully dogs'' do not feel pain and that they should be hit to get 'tough'and learn manners. Dogs are equipped by a nervous system just as humans and as such, they feel pain in the same manner. Some dogs may not show their pain by yelping but they may suffer without showing it. Hitting a dog may also cause serious injuries and emotional scars.

2) It Induces Fear Biting

When dogs are hit they develop fear towards their owner. The hitting may ultimately backfire the owner once the dog becomes fearful and resorts to biting back in order to defend himself. At this point, congratulations for having created a fearful biter: this a major behavioral issue that may be difficult to eradicate (hundreds of dogs are put down by shelters each year because of being fearful biters).

3) It Causes Behavior Changes

Dogs that are hit will become insecure. They may cower, engage in submissive urination and have a low self esteem. They may no longer walk with their heads high, they will rather walk with their tail between their legs and their head carried low. They may become particularly apprehensive, nervous, excessively submissive and live their life in fear.

4) It Hurts the Bond

Dogs that are hit will not trust their owners. Owners should be the ultimate source of trust and guidance. Battered dogs instead may cower upon being pet and may get scared of sudden movements. They will not grow to their full potential because too much energy will be spent living in fear of their owners.

5) It is Misunderstood

If owners think that they are confirming their ''alpha status'' by hitting their dogs they are totally wrong. Rather, they are losing it. In nature, pack leaders are calm beings, basically family members that do not need to resort to force in order to demonstrate being higher in rank. David Mech, with his studies on wolves on Ellesmere Island proved this. Intrigued? You can read more about this here:

David Mech's Theory on the Alpha Role

On the contrary, force is used mostly by the middle rank members which engage in physical fights to climb up the ladder. Again, stable-minded pack leaders do not need to use force. Yet, nowadays, more modern training has debunked the alpha myth as we are not dogs, and dogs are not wolves. So if you really want to form a bond with your dog, you want to build trust not fear.

Hitting a dog is basically telling him/her "I am dog training illiterate, I am hitting you because I do not have the necessary skills to teach you in a positive, more acceptable manner''. Hitting a dog is also basically putting a dog to fail, dogs do not understand what is wanted from them and will grow in a fearful, unjust and often misunderstood world.

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l1blonde profile image

l1blonde 7 years ago

I totally agree. Dogs should not be hit. It is up to the owner to learn how to correct their dog and let them know who is in control. I took training lesson with my dog. People are always asking me why my dog doesn't get out of the yard. (we don't have a fence) Simple I trained her not to by a technique I learned. It was not by hitting her.

alexadry profile image

alexadry 7 years ago from USA Author

I will disregard the pool issues, evidently if the dog does not listen to the rules, there is really no leadership in the household.

Leadership once again is not attained by physical force. This is incorrect. You can read many books about wolf pack structures, and the only times where wolves will fight in a serious manner is between other packs or when a weak leader will not give away its position. This is always done in extreme situations for the safety of the pack.

If the need of force was so important to teach dogs, then all obedience trainers and dog behavior specialists would resort to force to attain results. Instead, they know better and use what dogs understand best: body language, voice and guidance.



''Dr. Ian Dunbar spent nine years working with Dr.Frank Beach (who spent 30 years on this study) researching dog on dog interactions, a subject that has surprisingly had little research in the past. He found the males to be more rigid, whereas the females were more variable. When together, the pack is variable as well, but the mid-ranking dogs were the most likely to squabble. Puppies are given a “puppy license” to do most anything outside of annoying until they reach a certain age at which their license is revoked. The dogs had many rituals to both harass and appease one another. The alpha dogs however do not use force, but remain benevolent and confident. If they become forceful in their leadership, the alphas are disposed of from the pack.''

By physically punishing dogs in a forceful matter therefore, you are simply telling the pack you do not have confidence and are giving up your leader role. As Ian Dunbar puts it ''you are disposed from the pack''.

So, beating up a dog leads to nowhere, other than giving up your leader role and showing weakness. If you must resort to being physical there is something really wrong in the way you are training dogs. Dogs need nothing less than guidance and leadership. It can be all easily attained with voice commands, body gestures and managing resources.

I am not one of those that will dress up their dogs, fuss over them or love them like babies. My furniture and beds are off limits and both my dogs were taught NILIF since they were 8 weeks old. I respect my dogs for being canines, and being both two 90 pounds Rottweilers they respect me and obey me with simply one look at my face of body gesture.

Beating up dogs leads ultimately to fearful aggression and insecurity. It is very unfortunate that every day dogs are euthanized simply because owners resorted to using their hands more than their head...

If you are comfortable with your dominant service relationship fine, but just so you know, in a real dog world, if you were in a pack, as Ian Dunbar puts it ''you would be the one to be disposed of''...

Karen 7 years ago

Excellent article.

Clint 6 years ago

Our puppy, a mix just like everything else out there under $1000 has been pooping and peeing in the house from day one whenever the hell it pleases. We tell him a firm no and put him outside right away after every acccident. he is given possitive reinforcement when he does his thing outside. He just will not learn! We can't stop him from barking, jumping up on furniture, running away from us and over all I think the dog is just not too swift. This dog needs a smack on the nose once in awhile. Worked for my old dog, he was great! just like you can not spank a child, hitting a dog is also taboo. A dog is entertainment and nothing else.

Pablo 6 years ago

I have hit my puppy a few times. I hit him to make him stop biting, and I popped him to make him stop whining when I left his pen. After both times I felt HORRIBLE. Then I read that instead of hitting you should hold your pup down for a couple of seconds and say NO NO firmly. That always made me feel like a first class jerk. I want to assert myself over the dog, but I don't ever want to see him fear me. Will we be able to fix the fact that I have hit him? How should I properly use negative reinforcement with my puppy?

SkipperTheBeagle 6 years ago

Alexa thank you for this hub. I am blessed with two loving owners who rescued me from the pound years ago and since them have showered me in hugs and love. Yes I have chewed a few things, but I have my time out kennel and I'm doing much better. Of course it could be just age slowing me down.

duke 6 years ago

wow for all the people who think you have to hit dogs need to take a positive reinforcement class and learn a little about there dogs and what motivates them if you can't control your dog you are not putting out leadership skills find a positive trainer that can help

garykwaters 6 years ago


I would be grateful for members comments regarding a recent incident.

My pommie/cross came to the front garden with me,and barked at a lady who stood near our wall.The lady then shoted at our pet and attempted to hit him with her handbag.

The dog responded by jumping the small wall and continued to bark.The lady then hit my dog with her handbag.

I asked her to stay still so I could take our pet inside,but the lady flapped about like a mad person,saying she did not like dogs,and that he had `nipped her`.

My wife took the lady home in our car,where the lady`s husband became quite abusive and said he would have `kicked the dog to death`had he been the victim.

My wife later offered further apologies,but was then

told that the incident had been reported to the local police.

It might be noted that the dog in question is a rescue

animal,and has been very badly treated,with deprivation,and

beatings.We have got him used to normality and he has not done this before.

Please let me know your comments,however harsh,for I fear for the well-being of our young dog,and believe sincerely that had he not been attacked by the said lady,he would not have `nipped` her as she claimed.I also believe that if she did not like dogs,she might have taken the chance to move along from our house,rather than hit out at the dog.

I also feel that she and her husband are `milking` the situation in their favour,and that she may well have done similar before.Please wtite.

garykwaters 6 years ago

This is in response to Bob(10 monthe ago)and his disgraceful

pool idea.

My dear friend,you DO NOT deserve to have a pet of any kind if this is how you treat them,and your girlfriend is not

innocent either if she is aware of your taste for animals


I suggest that you seek medical help to ease your dislike

of dogs,while at the same time apologising to everyone that

reads these pages,for it is clear that you are a jolly

bit of bad work,and I don`t see how anyone can say otherwise

Shan 6 years ago

Some of us don't have the patience for dogs who are a nuisance. I'm with Bob, he says it how it is. Dog's barking, whining, howling, squealing, growling and running up and down 24/7? No one wants to hear that. You cannot feed them words and think they know better, You got to be stupid.

alexadry profile image

alexadry 6 years ago from USA Author

Wow, then why get a dog in the first place if you can treat it fairly? Why not just get a stuffed animal you can punch in the face when you just get tired of it?

Iris 6 years ago

Hey, I just wanted to let you know that your hubpage is excellent. You bring up very good points about dog training and correction.

I, like others, am utterly appaled at some of the comments here. I realize that humans perceive things in different ways than dogs, but coming from a person who has been physically abused in the past, physical punishment does much more harm than good.

I'm dealing with a situation now that stems from my father using a dominance technique; namely, he made our puppy lie down on her back, pinned her to the floor, and used a shoe to pound the floor near her while shouting "Stay!" After that, she ahs become much more neurotic and growls at him when he walks past her crate.

If he makes any large movements, such as picking up chairs etc, she goes nuts and growls and barks. OK, mostly barks.

Prior to that, she had growled at him I'm guessing because he yelled at her and bopped her on the nose etc.

After that incident, he kicked her crate once out of frustration, and now, it's gotten worse.

I'm not privy to all the details simply because I'm not here for the majority of the year. I'm at college and can't be here.

I've tried to give them advice as to how to train her not to growl/bark (i.e. having him ignore her in terms of eye contact, speaking to her, or otherwise interacting with her and using desensitization techniques in terms of gradual exposure and rewarding calm behavior). However, I've been accused of sounding like a know-it-all, and when I bring up these ideas, they simply do not listen to me all the way through and defensively say, "So, what. You want her to ignore Dad for the rest of her life?"

There are so many underlying psychological issues going on in him and others here.

Please, stop perpetuating the myth that a good whooping is the answer to good manners. It's not. As a person who has lived under those circumstances as a human, I know the detrimental effects.

tinkles 6 years ago

I am discussed by Bob's and Shan's comments . Seriously guy, your girl friend should keep you FAR AWAY from her dogs, if she loves them that is. What is your definition of pampering? Cruelty?

Alexadry has some great points , thank you. I gave my dog a light slap on the behind to correct him. thought it was harmless. No way! he coward, and shrunk against the wall and tried to get to his kennel, where he feels safe. now, when i come to pet him, he cowers. So that puts his training a few steps back. Now, i am working on gaining his trust and HELL YAH! i will pamper him. why not, he loves me unconditionally.

Love86 6 years ago


What is wrong with you ? I hope you realize that the "pool idea" is basicly murdering the dog. And I wonder what your girlfriend will think about you killing your dog.

At a loss 6 years ago

I have a question, what if nothing else works?

I know it sounds horrible, but I recently adopted a young male rottie off of craigslist who was on his way to the pound due to his poor behavior. I was his fourth owner in two months because he was just too much for his previous owners. I've had him for almost two months now.

The problem is this. He is extremely dog-reactive and he will bolt, pull, jump, spin and become completely fixated whenever he sees another dog. At first I thought that he just needed time to chill out because the woman I adopted him from hadn't let him out of the back yard in nearly two months. So, I thought that he would relax as he got the energy out and I worked with him.

Although he has improved, his intense fixation with other dogs has not. I've tried ignoring it and going on with my walk, leash corrections, and a poke with my foot between his ribs and back legs like Cesar Milan does. Unfortunately, none of that will break his concentration. To get him to even acknowledge me when he's in that state I have to either whack him quite hard or forceably put him on his side and hold him there. Even then, his eyes are still straining to get a glimpse of the other dog.

Its become quite unmanageable. He nearly knocked over my 80 year old neighbor when he charged her dog and he's caused me to crash twice while biking with him when he bolted in front of the bike to get to a dog on the other side. After he knocked me off the bike I was quite frustrated with him and I whacked him pretty good with an open hand across the face, which I'm not proud of and feel bad about. But, it actually worked and he started paying more attention to me and didn't go into his fixated state the next time we encountered a dog on that ride.

I've had lots of dogs, but I've never had a dog with this level of fixation and reactivity (if that's a word). I don't want to hit him and I don't want him to be scared of me - he has not shown any fear of me whatsoever

yet, even after I whack him, he's the most non-sensitive dog I've ever had in that respect - but I cant let a 100lb rottie be aggressive and do whatever he wants.

I hate having to be so brutal with him, but its the only thing that worked.

So, I'd love to hear any ideas that people may have, because I don't want to hit him, but its the only thing that gets his attention.

alexadry profile image

alexadry 6 years ago from USA Author

At a Loss, I somewhat understand your situation as I have dealt with this type of dog and am currently still working on a dog like this. We are slowly getting progress.

It is frustrating and it really hurts to see a dog in that ''state of mind'' that you may feel the urge to just do anything to get him out of it. While pain may be a distraction, however, in the long run it will only have negative effects..(fear of you, aggressive reactions, bad associations--associating seeing the dog with pain which only increases the aggression and anxiety in the first place

Instead try positive reinforcement. If he is totally in his ''zone'' when you are passing dogs it means he is not ready to deal with dogs that up and close yet.... try to walk near a fence with dogs but not that close that he goes into his frenzy...

Show him treats.. may I suggest some effective ones? Sliced hot dogs, dry freezed liver or dry tripe (this is like a drug for dogs). Praise him ''Good boy!'' and give him the treat when you get his attention... Slowly and gradually walk closer to these fenced dogs.. tossing the treats to get his attention (not many dogs resist leaving a tossed treat on the ground)

You must always work on getting him ''before ''he becomes reactant. This is the key to success.. if you are very patient and go gradually... you will have a dog that starts drooling at the sight of barking dogs.. just as Isaac Pavlov had dogs drooling at the sound of the bell because they knew they were getting fed afterwards..this is called classical conditioning...

Practice.. practice ...practice.. with time,if you are good enough in this training since you will be getting him ''before'' he reacts and changing his state of mind from reactive to calmly eating food, the behavior will must be very, very, careful in not getting him to become reactive again... it takes one little mishap for a bad behavior to show its ugly head again...

May I also suggest a forum for Rottweiler lovers? I own rotties as well (even though the one I am training for a client has a lab) and often use this forum for advice and to help other users

kmo 6 years ago

By physically punishing dogs in a forceful matter therefore, you are simply telling the pack you do not have confidence and are giving up your leader role. As Ian Dunbar puts it ''you are disposed from the pack''.

Sorry, when that happens it is not the HUMAN PERSON but the DOG that gets disposed of from the "pack." On a farm this would involve taking a shotgun and shooting it in the head.

James 6 years ago

"There are so many underlying psychological issues going on in him and others here.

Please, stop perpetuating the myth that a good whooping is the answer to good manners. It's not. As a person who has lived under those circumstances as a human, I know the detrimental effects."

You do sound like a know it all. Also no one here is saying that a "good wooping" is what dogs need. But eliminating all physical discipline is ridiculous. When we talk about "hitting" we are obviously not punching the dog in the face a couple times.

Another thing is that there are many people on here who have no experience with large high energy dogs. You can't pick up a 200 pound dog by its front legs and tell him "NO NO," it just doesn’t work. Forcing yourself over the dog and the dog to the ground is a smart and legitimate way to show the dog who is boss. The same goes for using a prong collar. Neither of these causes “emotional scares.”

As for your own personal problems, don't bring them to the table and assume we all have them. I have used force on my dog and he turned out perfectly fine. I am also perfectly sane. But of course I never slap my dogs around, I do use force and a prong collar (which by the way is far more sensible then a choke chain). Its people like you who need a "good wooping," to be taught to mind your own businesses. If you want to raise dogs with no self-control do us all a favour and keep them on a very short leash.

Jen E 6 years ago

Im the same person as the "Jen" above, just adding some more info for the "unknowledgable":

A secondary thought: sometimes dogs even do these "bad" things because of medical issues. Which means they need Veterinarian attention. And if you think Veterinarian's just want your money, try thinking of this:

1) Its called Preventive care.

2) Veterinarians are a whole lot more intelligent than human physicians because they have to obtain all the knowledge there is to learn about several different species, not just one (human) species.

We have to learn to live w/each other. That is why there are behavior classes and counseling. (Counseling because men & women need to learn about each other {the way one thinks, interacts, talks. -Basically, one's behaviors, etc.} so that you can reap the benefits of being w/a man or woman as a partner.) Behavior classes for the human & dog can, also, be thought of as counseling for the human & dog- which is the equivalent to learning a new behavior (or skill) for yourself in counseling. Think of it as going to counseling w/your girlfriend, oh! wise person who needs to hit / murder / abuse a dog, except you're learning how to get along w/a dog & he's learning to get along w/a human. Classes are fun for him. He can learn to properly catch a ball & fun for you to take your agression out on throwing the ball & good exercise for him too.

These classes are good so you can work on how you can learn to live w/a dog & how that arrangement can be relieving once he learns how to live w/you.

Be the change we need to see, or you wish to see, in the world -Gandhi

Mark 5 years ago

I am always amazed how training experts speak so convincingly about the psychology of dogs, what they think and the structure of their memory, as if fact! Dogs have lived harmoniously in the service of man for thousands of years. The odd smack here and there to punish unacceptable behavior is not a bad thing; a fearless dog on the other hand...

Bemused 5 years ago

Positive reinforcement only works if the dog does something to reward. I've tried it and I spend way more time waiting for a positive behavior to reward with my dog than if I just correct him. Personally I would rather swat my dog's behind rather than have him eat something that's going to make him sick.

alexadry profile image

alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

Maybe you are not using it the correct way. If you find your dog eating something that it may make him sick, play the ''trade it'' game. Upon catching him, trade what he is about to eat with a potent food reward (liver treats work great). Then practice this over and over adding the word ''leave it'' when he is about to eat something he is not supposed to. Works wonders. I used it with my dogs and now I can say leave it for anything...people are often amazed when I use it with a bone, steak or anything else. I also taught my dogs 'drop it'', they spit out stuff they are not supposed to eat on command. I have even got my dogs to drop food out of their mouth on command. All this with positive reinforcement.

Swatting your dog teaches two things: that you cannot be trusted and that he may eat stuff when you are not around. Give positive reinforcement a try: it is not really surprising why trainers use this method primarily versus old fashioned training methods of decades ago.

Sahajo Nervarke 5 years ago

The vast majority of people should be taught not to use hitting, spanking, etc. to teach their animals, not because it is inherently wrong or ineffective, but rather because most people are unable to weild this powerful training tool effectively. They can be counted on to misuse it (accidentally or intentionally) and thus produce the results that the experts cite as being the reasons it should not be done.

I consider myself different and able to use it, as I am sure all those who engage in such methods do. However, I had a Norweigian (sp) Elkhound/Sheppard cross for 13 years, and some of her first lessons involved her being choke slammed against the wall for going to the bathroom right in front of me. I didn't do it too hard, taking into consideration neckbone tolerances, and degrees of force, and biophysical pressure tolerances and whatnot, but hard enough to no doubt be unpleasent. She would then be pulled out side with a bit of yelling along the way, and a final kick to see her off. But not too hard. At other times, she would get a few backhands for leaving the yard, picking up stuff from the ground (anti-poison training) and for the most part, she would get it for not coming when called when I meant it. After the first little while, the hitting fell off to an incident about every few months... consisting of no more then a neck-grab, a medium backhand, a finger in the face accompanied by a verbal reprimand, another light backhand (not meant to hurt but to reinforce the verbal rebuke, and a stern release... done never, during the last 7 years that I truly loved her to serve my own need for alphaness, but to correct situations that I interpreted as putting her in some form of harms way. She was never scared of me, and did not resent me. I also did other things that the experts highly recommend against:

I feed her at the table and taught her it was okay to snarl at me and take food off my plate. She would bark at me if she wanted something and I would respond right away. She was always given my hat, took or glove as soon we got home or when she was bored (and yes, I lost a few or at least had to have them repaired... part of the game!) If she had something that was "Hers" she was allowed to bit be to defend it. She would snarl and give some sort of bit many times per day, probably more then 99.999% of what other dogs are allowed to do. I would let her win in fights, falling down yelling as she attacked me, or backing away if she was trying to protect something (but she would have to give some sort of show of force to earn the win). She slept with the family in bed and had a special daytime bed on the couch during boring times. One of our tricks for a treat was "bite" in which she had to grab my hand. We would never walk on a leash, and words like "NO" were only used in extremem, last resort before being hit circumstances (and she would take the word seriously... that whole tone-of-voice thing, I guess.)

I did all the things that should have made her dangerious and afraid, but she never was. Her ears were always up, and she was always willing to growl and bit and tear apart the stuffed toys I would bring here. I was proud everytime I went downstairs or into my room and saw the garbage tipped over. We would go into the fields and hunt things that she could catch, sometimes treeing them while I climbed up or threw things to get them down so the chase could be on again. When I put my hand out to her head, she would not put her head down like scared dogs do. And even though I did all this, and many other things that the experts say are so-so-awful bad, she would not have arbitrarily bit me in the face, or hurt a visitor, a submissive urinate... unless something was done, of course, where anybody could not be expected to react otherwise. Fortunatly if these things ever happened, I was never aware of it, and due to the nature of the other people involved, I was probably the meanest person she knew.

There is much more to it all, but basically, I have three possible conclusions: The first is that I am an exellent dog owner, and can a good, happy, confidant dog that is safe for everybody by doing all the things one is alledgedly not supposed to do. The second is that she was some sort of freak of nature and totally failed to respond correctly to how she was brought up because she was insane or retarded from day one, but it just wasn't apparent because I was maybe biased against recognising it? The third is the experts are wrong.

I think it is a combination of the first and third conclusions. It takes a special person to raise an average dag in all the wrong ways, to hit her, spoil her, love her, and let her do pretty much as she please, as as I interpreted her as wanting to do, with few rules and retrictions, and have her turn out OK.

The reason the experts advise against what they advise against is because most PEOPLE are the ones that need the training of how to train, not for the limitations of the dog, but because of the persons limitations to be able to meaningfully connect with another living thing. I have seen many other peoples dogs, and the first impression I usually get is "This dog is neglected and subserviant in this household to these people." The dog is not nessesary abused, per say, but the dog is not respected because it is so easy for the people to subjugate with rules and NO NO NO NNNOOOOO!!!!! STOP IT! NO HEY!

I am not sure what my point is. I just wish people would have less of a slavemaster-like attitude, and not be so offended when their beloved pooch DARES do something that THEY THE MIGHTY HUMAN has the power to say NO to. That's not the guy I want to look at as I brush my teeth before work. I want to look at the guy in mirror and wonder what freedoms he is going to grant to his dog THIS day.

That's all I have to say for now... I believe hitting is a good part of a relationship if used responsibly. But you have to let the dog win too, and sleep on your bed and hunt and kill and rip apart stuffed toys to compensate. Teach her to growl and bite, and feed her crumbs from the masters table.

But what the hey, its only a dog. With all the pedophiles, bombs, slaughterhouses, hunters, lions and tiger and bears oh my! Out there, isn't an occasional love-slap better then a poisoned needle?

What do I know.

marrisathebitch 5 years ago

I beat my dog daily. He loves it and I love seeing him piss himself. He walks with his head down everywhere and when try's to bite I beat him harder with broomsticks and then he stops biting. I have the control of these stupid animals.

Jade18 5 years ago

The comments from the people who hit their pets of any type reconfirm my hatrid toward people. All the above people who hit their pets ought to be hit. I would love to go do to these people what they do to their pets. If you have a pet that doesn't listen well or is hard to train then take a damn class.

Also weather you pamper your pet or use it as a service animal they don't need to be abused. I currently have 2 dachshunds who I read before I got them that they are hard to house train. Well one of them had to use the bathroom and while my husband put his harness on him the dog peed on my new couch. He spanked the dog and yelled at him. When I got home my kids told me what happened. Well ya know what I did? I yelled at my husband and hit him in the arm a few times. I cleaned the couch. From then on any time he goes to put the harness on our dog he pees on the tile a bit and cowers. My son and I tell him its because of what he did that one time. So now the kids or I have to put the harness on that one for my husband when its his turn to take the dogs out. Also I to this day I remind my husband of why the dog does this.

As for the guy with the pool. You are a moron and a dog abuser and I hope you end up in jail soon. If your girlfriend had any brains she would leave your dumbass or put you in jail.

To the moron who beats their dog with a broom stick. What goes around comes around. You will get yours soon, you sick person you. I would love to beat you with a broom stick to show you how it feels and so you piss yourself. Idiot. Sick!

Like I said before reading the above stories and comments reconfirms why I can't stand people.

Know what, if a dog and a person were both drowning, I would save the dog first. I can't stand stupid people. Although I do know not all people are like this but most of the population is stupid and ignorant and needs to be educated. I am 38 and have spent my life in a police family and have seen it all.

I also think anyone who gets an animal especially a dog or cat should have to take a class with their pet to obtain knowledge, care and proper training. Make it mandatory for anyone who gats a dog be more than a day. It should also be free because the more people know, the less abuse they will use towards their pets and that will lead to less animal abuse in the world.

alexadry profile image

alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

Well said Jade, at times, I wonder who is the real trainer Cesar Millan unfortunately, is further contributing to the trend to mistreat dogs with his over use of alpha rolls and ''bites'' and ''kicks''. People are not able to measure their actions and end up beating up their canine rather than delivering a ''correction''.

You can read more about this here:

Joe 5 years ago

I have a husky /malamute cross.

guardianatthegate 5 years ago

I have a husky/ malamute cross of about 12 months old. She comes to work with me every day, I work in construction. There is a massive difference in a physical reprimand and a beating, a lot of do gooder liberals can't see that. But then these are probably the very same people who say smacking an un-ruly child is abuse. They elivate the dog to human status, and the child to adult status. I have given praise and punishment in equal measure, and I feel she has become quite well behaved for a working dog that are renowned for bad behavior. The husky has in no way become scared of my open hand or pointed finger, but has done for the word NO. She now understands through physical re-enforcement what the word NO means. If I have to say it twice she knows what's coming. Its a joke if you want to hand out treats for destroyed furniture!! And remember weaklings, there is a difference between an open hand and a closed fist. Besides I very much doubt If you will put this post up.

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

Yes, I put up posts like these to add to my collection of owners who use their hands too easily because they do not know better training methods or are too lazy to try alternatives...and FYI working dogs are not ''renowned'' for bad behaviors, I own 2 rottweilers that were trained with positive methods are they are better than the average lab or goldens..

steve 5 years ago

After many months of me and my wife using verbal commands with positive reinforcement the dog still disobeys. After all that i realized id rather strike the fear of god in its sorry retarded butt and guess what it works she sure as the heck minds me now all i gotta do is look and she knows.

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

Find a reputable dog trainer to show you how to effectively train your dog...

Kim 5 years ago

Alexadry, you and other "dog experts" if I can even use those eloquent words to describe you, annoy me!

Like Mark, I find it comical that you all speak so confidently about the psychology and memory of dogs!

I studied psychology and memory in school and even Freud (Who is known as the godfather of the science) didn't comprehend psychology and not much progress has been made since then. So how can we believe the crap about dogs not remembering?

I'm not brutal to my dog in anyway. I do smack him on the nose(Rarely!) or grab him by the scuff when he deserves it and he sure as HELL remembers what he's done wrong.

Don'e believe me? Here's a scenario:

My dog steals food from the counter, table, stove top and he even figured out how to open the oven and steals food!

I know when he's done something wrong because he acts guilty and he doesn't greet me when I come home.

If there's nothing for him to steal and I come home, he's super happy to see me and he jumps and wags his tail!

If he steals food when I'm away, as soon as I walk through the door he runs under the table. Even if I haven't been to the kitchen! From that reaction, I know he's done something and I usually walk into the kitchen and find what's he's done. He knows what he did was unacceptable and that I would not be pleased.

So Miss dog expert, how the heck did you come up with this ridiculous "Dogs don't remember crap?!".

My dog must be special because he sure as hell remembers he did something wrong during the day that I'd be upset about at night!

Like kids, dogs need to be reprimanded when they do something wrong. I little smack on the nose or grab him by the scuff and show him what he's done. I usually do the latter because hitting him makes me very upset..i feel so damn guilty.

You dog BS-perts need to cut the BS and stop telling dog owners their pets have no memory! Its bullshit! Dogs are smart and have good memory!

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

Please quote the section of my article where I claim ''Dogs do not remember crap''. As a dog trainer and dog behavior specialist re-habilitating shelter dogs, I sure know how WELL DOGS REMEMBER all the harm owners have undo all the harm it takes months and even years of work..

I never said dogs should never be told when they do something wrong..I only claimed that owners must try to use their brains more and figure out how to be good trainers.. I see most people that hit their dogs is simply because they are dog training illiterate, lack patience, want fast results, and cannot figure out a good way to tell the dog it is doing something wrong without resorting to their hands.

Trust me, as a dog trainer I know you can tell a dog has done wrong without ever touching the dog, voice and body postures alone can do wonders and your dog will respect you much more as the benevolent leaders we all should be to our dogs..

beretta92 5 years ago

Look hitting a dog with a stick is taking it a little to far. But from time to time using a news papper works well. If any of you hippies have a problem with using a News paper to disciple your dog you should be smacked.

Potatoes Potatohs 5 years ago

I don't think the reinforcement thing works all the time. I have a bernese mountain dog, I have been nothing but patience with her, have her on a schedule for feedings, and going out, just like a baby, you need to have a set schedule with your dog if you want to successfully, however she insists to still pee & poop on my floors after many "Daisy, NO" "bad Daisy" holding her down and telling her no, I got fed up and took a newspaper and smacked her 2x, and lord and behold, it has been a whole week of no accidents in the house. For my dog the beating worked, No she is not afraid of me or insecure. The beating and me ignoring worked. A couple of hrs later, she was fine and still cuddling and playing with me. The pooping became a 2-3 a day even after I walked her and she went outside. Dogs want to please their owners, once they see an owner is upset enough to beat it, the dog will come to its senses.

Jennipher L 5 years ago

Listen, it is wrong to beat, hit or fist a dog. But a little hit on the bum, or a flick on the nose won't do harm. I sure as hell know I'd rather strike fear into him, then be a "do-gooder" and watch him digest anything that could quite possibly kill him? I know for a fact not ALL of the millions of dogs in the world will listen to every command. Just like a person, when a dog wants something, they will take it! I try to train my dog, he always jumps over the gate I put up at night, and we wake up to him on the other side, no matter how stern or "rewarding" we are. So don't dare reply to this saying there isn't enough leadership in the household. I'm sick and tired of this miss daisy bull-crap you have been feeding everyone. Everyone has a method, you don't KNOW what dogs think, you just assume. People, just like dogs get fed up, and VICE VERSA. Dogs need stability, good and bad. If my dog dares do something bad infront of me, like go in the cat litter, or jump on the table to eat my cats food (YES, HE REALLY DOES THIS!!), or even reach up on the counter behind my back to grab scraps! I will surely, and undoubtedly, give him a light slap on the tush!I'm sure if you had kids, or if you do, you would give them spanking on the bottom, or even a slap on the wrist. It's no different for animals! Dogs have great memories, but they forget things too, just like humans, I know if I get a reply it will be all the same crap you have dished out for the rest of these ACTUAL realistic people going against your angelic little opinion. You can try and make me look like a bad person or dog beater or even just a full blown dumb ass all you want, but just like humans, dogs need discipline too , need be verbal AND a bit of light physical training! ;) Enjoy trying to make me look like a bad guy with your go-gooder words! :D

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alexadry 5 years ago from USA Author

I will not make you look bad, all I think is your dogs really just need some obedience training that's all, go to your local Petsmart they will help you find a way to manage your dog's behaviors, and no need to get fed up or frustrated, they will train you how to train your dog and prevent unwanted behaviors. I have the most obedient dogs ever and I use them as demo dogs in classes and people are surprised how easy it is to train dogs using positive reinforcement only and get results that last longer and are far better than ''a lil spanking'' or a ''butt kick''

co_dobe 5 years ago

Under no circumstance should one ever abuse a dog, however there are certain situations in which a swat with a newspaper (or something of the sort) is perfectly acceptable. Many large, high energy breeds (I have a 100lb doberman, and have had several in the past)do not always respond to positive reinforcement. People that abuse animals are the lowest forms of life on the earth, but swatting a dog with a newspaper if being unruly does by no means constitute abuse.

I take my dog to run at a large fenced in park several times a day, and we are generally the only ones there. As an example, if the dog runs after people or other dogs passing by the park, how do you teach him this is not ok, using only positive reinforcement? If he is rewarded with a treat every time he runs away but then comes back, he has no incentive to heed my calls.

We tried training our first doberman using the "positive reinforcement" technique, however it did not have a significant impact on his behavior. Training using only positive reinforcement, simply is not very effective for many dogs. It is logical to think that having both rewards for good behavior, and consequences for bad behavior, would teach the rules effectively.

If one never physically confronts their dog, how are they supposed to respect that you are stronger than them? While hitting a puppy for peeing in the house is probably the dumbest thing I've ever heard of (dogs do respond well to positive reinforcement for pody training), there are certain behaviors that must be dealt with using negative feedback. (If they run off and ignore you while at the park, any sort of aggressive behavior, jumping up on the counter and taking food, etc.) Positive feedback for these things while possible, would be much more difficult than giving them a mild swat on the but and telling them "no" while in the act. Hitting them an hour after they do something would be pointless.

As with anything in the world, its good to do things in moderation. Reward good behavior. Punish bad behavior right when it happens, or else don't punish them at all. (because they wont understand what they did wrong)

co_dobe 5 years ago

Sorry for the double post! Gotta love internet explorer!

Jack Luedtke 4 years ago

My dog is a lab mix. He's pretty smart. But I really think hitting him has helped a lot in his training. I am very affectionate with my dog also, most of the time. If his instincts take over and he fixates on another dog or a smell or something, he loses all attention for my commands. I smack him across the face not too hard kind of pushing his head to the side to get his attention. It takes like 1-3 smacks before he listens. I also slap the side of his torso. This kind hitting certainly must hurt to some degree, but I believe its entirely positive in influence. He doesn't like it, but it shows I mean business and that I'm the boss - what I say is wrong is wrong. I don't wait too long to give him a chance to complete a simple task for treat or ear scratching or a tummy rub to let him know he is still in my favor. But he sure as hell remembers getting hit. The sex-hormone-fueled charge toward other dogs is becoming less aggressive. He knows he has to stay near me when I call but eventually succumbs. He's not fixed. He sits and stays very well now. He wouldn't know that fidgeting around and crawling on the ground aren't part of "sit" unless I smacked his dumbass face a few times. Lots of positive reinforcement was also necessary. Lots of treats. Constantly making him listen and respond to get his food.

If he gets the chance off the leash, he runs off wildly at top speed ignoring any call from me, chasing who knows what. Usually running to neighborhood dogs' yards. He must be so happy and euphoric running free like that. Its sad that I have to smack him to quell that instinct, but obviously it is dangerous for him, living in a city. It's also kind of funny to see his reaction after I get his attention with a smack.

Why Hitting a dog is acceptable 4 years ago

To the person that said killing a dog is murder: Please show me the applicable statute. Good luck finding it because it does not exist. It is illegal (and I am not advocating it), but it is not murder because the law and society treat humans and animals differently for a reason.

Animals can sense fear, confidence, and dominance. This is what really matters. People who are weak, insecure or too emotional will not get good results from hitting a dog. I have a hybrid that is part siberian husky, coyote, and grey wolf. I hit him for a while when he was younger, but I have not had to lay a hand on him in years because I have gotten him to the point where his behavior is flawless. He is very loyal and always extremely happy to see me.

Most "dog experts" would simply suggest that he should not exist and should be put down immediately because he can never be like a normal dog. Alternatively they would suggest that he be treated like a wild animal and kept in a chain link enclosure basically 24/7. This is because hybrids are very difficult to socialize correctly, and PC training techniques are ineffective. They will not come to you, they will always run away, they will not obey commands and they will destroy everything and kill other animals. My dog no longer exhibits any of this behavior thanks to earlier intervention with negative reinforcement (ie hitting). In terms of positive reinforcement, I only use verbal and have never relied on treats. If he does something really impressive I might throw him a whole chicken, or something; but a dog should not need to expect a treat to behave properly. He can come in and out of the house as he pleases and does whatever I tell him. He is very happy.

I have seen people spend thousands on training only to put a dog down because he could not be properly socialized. A strong alpha with a firm hand is all that is necessary. A strong alpha only hits when required and does not let emotion dictate how they treat the animal.

My dog stayed with my mom for a week a couple years ago and his behavior was very telling. She had a great time with him, but he clearly dominated her. He would bark right in her face to demand food, and she would give it to him. He chased a rabbit into her bedroom and tore it to shreds right in front of her on her carpet. He even pissed in the house even though he has been house broken for years. He was just showing his dominance. Obviously he would never do these things with me around. I can even take meat out of his mouth and he will not act at all aggressive (this is a big no no according to "dog experts") If someone like my mom or a "dog expert" had tried to socialize him he would have been put down a long time ago. Whoever put him down would justify it by saying it was the best thing for him. I think hitting him when he was young in order to properly socialize him was the better alternative.

I know this post will be disregarded because he is a hybrid, but in my experience this also applies to certain "difficult" breeds. Many people will not use the hitting technique properly, and the results will be poor. This is why it is easier for people to say hitting dogs is unacceptable. To say that hitting a dog (if done properly) is not effective is just plain wrong. In some cases it is necessary. There is a difference between hitting a dog and abusing a dog. The dog understands this difference and it is all about the owners personality, demeanor, emotional state, and actions.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

I wanted to point out and precise that hitting a dog is not negative reinforcement, rather it is positive punishment.This is a common mistake dog owners make. The differences between the two are enormous. I agree that the ''dog experts'' who told you to put the dog down or chain him up are morons. Wolf hybrids are challenging dogs to train and are not for the inexperienced. The most experienced trainers with knowledge in this breed can effectively train them with positive reinforcement. I recommend all owners of wolf hybrids to read Nicole Wilde's books. I have noticed that people who hit dogs generally do not have the patience or will to try other methods which may take longer but increase the bond. My Rottweilers are trained with +reinforcement and I can not only take away meat out of their mouths but also have them spit it out on command. You do not need harsh methods to have a well trained dog no matter the breed, you just need the knowledge, will and patience to endure kinder methods. Once I show people that have hit their dogs for years these kinder and more effective methods, it is as if a whole new language and communication means has opened and they are grateful their dogs now no longer fear them or sense them as ''unpredictable beings''. In nature wolves have been discovered to be benevolent leaders, no longer ''alphas'' as studies in captivity suggested. I recommend reading David Mech's studies on wolves that clearly notes that leaders are not as previously thought. The leaders of the pack are the ''alpha pair'' simply parents who raise their pups. They do not ''alpha roll'' and exert ''dominance'' any chance they have as previously thought. Real pack leaders simply control resources, and as owners we can successfully accomplish this using the ''no free lunch'' training method.

Yes, hitting a dog may be effective in a way that the dog stops behaving because it is fearful of the consequences, but this is an old fashioned way to train that has been buried by the many + reinforcement trainers out there today. I am one of them (CPDT-KA) and these are the latest, scientifically proven methods that are taught in the most qualified dog training schools.

great response 4 years ago

I am the one who posted about the hybrid. I was impressed by your response. You seem to have more knowledge and a more pragmatic philosophy then the "dog experts" I have dealt with.

That said, I have a great relationship and bond with my dog. I have not hit him in over 5 years because it has not been necessary. The most I ever have to do now is change the tone of my voice. My dog is always very happy to see me and approaches me all the time to hang out or be petted without being called. He knows he has no reason to fear me if he does not do anything wrong, and I don't think that he considers me unpredictable. I also make eye contact with him, even though some say this is a bad idea, and I think we have great communication.

I believe that both of our approaches have drawbacks. Hitting can cause real problems if done incorrectly. However the flip side is that many dog owners don't have the "knowledge, will and patience" to use your method. You would probably respond that these people should not own difficult breeds. That is probably true, but in the real world many of these people do own difficult breeds. People have demanding jobs and busy lives. The lack of time and patience often leads to dogs being given up and put down. I believe that some hitting when young is the lesser of these two evils.

I am familiar with modern research on wild packs and alpha pairs. The pups generally get a free pass because wolves don't have to deal with issues like urinating on carpets or destroyed furniture. However, other pack member (the alpha pair or other pack members who act as caregivers for the alpha pair's pups) will snap (meaning a quick bite not meant to cause any real damage) at pups or adolescents that get out of line. Generally they give the pups more leeway and are a little harsher on the adolescents. To me this is kind of analogous to the type of hitting I am talking about.

An alpha is firm and confident, but not a tyrant like some of the old captivity studies may suggest. Animals in captivity generally have much higher stress levels which adversely effects the entire pack. It seems to me that rough play between adolescents can cause more physical pain then a little hitting.

In a perfect world your method is probably more desirable. In the real world I think my method (if done correctly) is fine and can prevent some dogs from being put down by owner who do not have the time or patience for yours. I have a demanding job and a busy life, but I am happy that my hybrid is a part of it. I probably would not have the time for you method (to be fair I am not familiar enough with you method to be sure of this), but I still want my dog. Some may think this makes me a bad person who is selfish and a bad dog owner, but I disagree.

My point is that your method is likely preferable in most cases, but mine can be fine if done correctly under the right circumstances. I understand that your goal is to stop dog abuse, which I believe is a noble one. However, I believe that the blanket statement "hitting dogs is unacceptable" is overreaching. I am sure you are a great dog trainer and an animal lover. My intention is not to dismiss your method, just to offer my opinion based on my experience.

Knowbetter 4 years ago

If you know better, you can do better. If you don't know any better, you just do the only thing you know to do. Invest some time in yourself. Get educated on Man's best friend, the dog. I grew up always hearing the term "breaking" colts. I learned from a wonderful cowboy how to gently get a horse to do pretty much anything you wanted without using any force or trauma. If you can do it the easier way, why would you want to go through all of the drama to do it the old way which takes much longer and is far more dangerous. Dogs are the very same way. Just a different set of skills we try to teach them.

John Reese 4 years ago

Dogs can and should be hit for wrongful behavour! Use a newspaper and give the dog a good smack for bad behavour. Always rewarding a dog with treats is just stupid and you will never have control of the dog fully. A dog can snap at any time and when you raised it on damn treats for good behavour and ignore bad then you will have zero power to stop your dog if he one day attacks someone for no reason as dogs do and can as they are just animals. But if he fears your reaction and the sound of a forceful voice he will stop dead in his tracks. FACT. They are animal and are completely reliant on animal instincts. Behavior modification needs a negative reaction to bad behavior!! Never let your animal be equal to you. Its a dog. End of!!

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Fact: if your dog fears you, your dog will learn to not behave bad when around you, but the moment you turn around, the dog will revert back to the bad behavior. Hitting teaches nothing, it just shows the dog you are bully that has no other way to train. Fact: David Mech's studies show that the real leaders in a wolf pack are benevolent leaders the ''alpha pair'' which rarely use aggression as other studies in captivity suggested. Fact: as a CPDT-KA, I train dogs using using positive reinforcement and it WORKS and it is scientifically proven. I have dogs that went out to compete using only kind training methods. FACT: I have two Rottweilers and they are the best behaved dogs and I can stop them in their tracks if need be, just by using my voice.

Fact: real trainers are capable of using the kindest training methods because they know what they are doing. If you find yourself having to resort to hitting it just means that you lack good training skills (anybody can train a dog by hitting it and scaring the crap out of it)and not have the patience to try alternate methods which take longer but bring more reliable results. Fact: positive reinforcement does NOT make your dog equal to you, if you can and know how to control your dog's resources, your dog will see you as a leader. And last but not least, let's debunk this common myth FACT: you do not ALWAYS reward with treats, the treats are weaned off as the dog learns the behavior and learns to respond to simple praise.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

I am really annoyed by those who whoop their dogs and do not even take the time to train their dogs alternative behaviors. Good trainers can use only their tone of voice to prevent a dog from getting into trouble. Say my ham and cheese sandwich fell on the floor? All I need to say is ''leave it!'' and my dogs will leave it there. No need to whoop whatsoever...

Heidi Lowe 4 years ago

This is so lame. Dogs have to have a reason not to do something. If my dog is jumping on the glass door in my backyard scratching it and I just "ignore" the behavior he's going to keep doing it. If he does it and then I give him a little spanking he won't do it anymore. Positive reinforcement only goes so far. And to the person who said alpha dogs don't show aggression, wow are you kidding me? The alpha wolf everyday shows aggression to his pack members. This establishes dominance among the members, if one doesn't lay down to his advances they die. I'm not saying beat your dog but a spanking here and there isn't hurting anything. I have 2 German Rotts and they have been spanked plenty of times. They also sleep in the bed with me. Best dogs ever. Check the facts before you write something.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Heidi, I am the author of this hub, and as a CPDT-KA certified dog trainer I can attest that the alpha dog myth is hard to get over with. Dogs are not behaving out as dominance as thought years ago. Please educate yourself on the most up-to-date studies on wolves. Read David Mech's studies, here is a helpful hub I made a while back:

If you want to further check facts this is an up-do-date read on the hard to die alpha dog myth.

amy 4 years ago

Bob.. i know you posted that 2 years ago and I am just now seeing this feed, but you are disgusting!! What kind of human being would ever say something like that! you're obviously an IDIOT!! I have a dog, yes he doesn't listen sometimes and everyone we knew would tell us to hit him, the first time we ever did I felt horrible after, he looked so scared and upset and when we tried to pet him he pulled back because he probably thought we were going to hit him again. We have not done it since. He listens when we say no, hes only 10 months so he still acts crazy sometimes. I will admit we don't ignore him when he does something wrong, we say no or down when he jumps. I haven't read all of the responses on this, I just got to Bob's and was disgusted! that's admitting to wanting to kill the dog, just wrong!! Also, why would you want the dog to fear you, my dog listens to me more then he listens to my husband and my husband yells at him more then I do. He follows me around the house and sits at my feet and listens when i tell him not too and I don't hit him.

Jim 4 years ago

Listen, I grew up seeing my parents use "the old method" and I told myself I would only be as harsh as necessary and as nice as possible. I've been trying possitive reenforcement because spanking made me feel terrible. I love my new dog so much, it kills me to think he hates me for it.

I've gotten him to the point where he's had no accidents for a week, then for whatever reason when I'm taking him out and the leash is on and we're going to the door, he just pees right in front of me. He knows he's not supposed to do it, I have disciplined him for it in the past, (we've gone accident free before only to have him relapse for some reason and its like starting all over) and rewarded him excessively for doing it outside and he seems happy to please. But eventually, he just seems like he wants to be lazy about it and try to see how much he can get away with. Well, tonight this happened after a great week together. (He's a just over 3 month year old Siberian Husky).

Well, after watching with pride and satisfaction how well he was doing compared to other horror stories I've heard of with owners of the breed, he pissed right in front of me while I was opening the door. I'll admit, I was very upset and dissapointed and thought "we were past this." I had gloves on and spanked him on the butt multiple times and he yelped and I stared him in the face and yelled NO! very loud.

Well, I mush on taking him outside to re-set the example that that's where he goes and he pranced happily down the hall like usual and outside and went on the grass, then turned to me like usual to see that he has pleased me and get his treat. Well, after that something went differently. He didn't want to go back inside and I had to coax him to walk back with me. When we got inside and past one door in the apt hallway, he sat and wouldn't walk further the 3 doors down to the condo. So, I thought maybe I'd walk ahead without him (being it's enclosed) and see if he'd follow rather than force him. At this point I was feeling terrible for hitting him. I went inside and waited a few minutes and nothing. I then peeked around the corner and saw him sitting at the other end of the hall still. I called him a bunch and he started to come one of the times, then turned and went back after he got close to me. I ended up having to go down and put myself between him and the door and start pushing him up the hall to my door. He kept trying to dart around me or under my legs but I kept blocking him. Once in front of the door he refused to go in so I grabbed his collar to pull him in. (He tends to scream when you do this even though it doesn't hurt nor is it meant to) Well this time he screamed and bared his teeth and tried to bite my hand. (recently trained him to stop biting this week too so he knows not to do it) I was shocked at this being I wasn't hurting him that he'd do that so I wacked him on the ass for biting me yelling "NO BITE!" He yelpted on the way inside and went under the kitchen chair. There he stays and doesn't want to come when called now. It's heartbreaking. He'll let me pet him and pick him up and put him on my lap while on the floor like I do sometimes and pet him and hold him without showing signs of being afraid, and he seems to like it. But he's definitely keeping to himself unlike before. I'm worried I've scarred him emotionally for life or something and am terrified to be honest. We were doing so well and everything was going so good. During Vet visits they commented on how great a job I was doing and how he wasn't a "problem husky" like a lot of the ones they see going in there. They just said the biting was the last real behavioral issie I had to work out (wich I had accomplished this week by grabbing the scruff and saying "no bite" with a light shake). The shake also is never violent or painful to him, but gets the point across. Sure enough, after a few of those grabs he stopped and now only occasionaly tests by putting his teeth lightly on your hand, but when you say NO he immediately takes them off. So, I'm rambling but it's cause I feel terrible due to all the progress we've made and we spent so much time this week bonding and it was all going great. Now I'm just terrified he'll hate me and I can't bare the thought. I'm quite attached to him at this point and was only trying to do what was in both our best interests looking long term but this was unexpected.

If you could tell me anything that may help I'm willing to listen. I'm googling the hell out of this right now trying to figure out if any damage was done. (It only happened a few hours ago) Thank for any help you can share.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Jim, as a positive reinforcement dog trainer, I can say that most owners who spank/hit/grab scruffs, do so because they were not taught otherwise. They are often desperate to solve their dog's behavioral problems but just don't know the way. Being physical therefore becomes the easiest way out, it is fast, it make people feel better, but it scares the heck out of dogs and especially puppies. It does not matter whether what is done hurts or not, it does scare and may lead to worse problems than before.

What you are seeing is defensive aggression, your puppy is scared of you and its environment. Your puppy sees you as unpredictable, and is trying to protect itself, this makes him stressed and in a high state of alertness. He does not want to walk in the hallway, because very likely he has associated that place with punishment.

Grabbing by the collar is a big no-no and you will now have to work on undoing the damage. From now on, you need to make touching his collar pleasant, otherwise he will get defensive every time you need to snap the leash on. Start by quickly tapping his collar and giving him immediately a treat. Repeat, repeat, repeat, until every time you touch the collar he looks for his treat. Then hold on to the collar and deliver a small pile of treats in front of him and hold on to the collar while he eats, once done eating release. This is teaching him that good things start when you touch the collar and good things end when you release him. Practice, practice practice.

Make a trail of treats in the hallway he can follow and you must feed him lure him to pass the hallway before giving him his bowl. No more spanking, grabbing collars, shaking scruff, these are outdated methods. Luckily, puppies can recover but you need to make a drastic change in your training methods to help him out and trust you again.

I will give you some links on how to solve the biting and help with potty training, these are all positive methods where there is no need to be physical.

Best wishes!

Jim 4 years ago

Hey, thanks a lot for your reply. It appears the next morning he is back to being his normal stuff and it wasn't as worse as I feared. Still, It was a wake-up call and I don't ever want to see him be like that for any more of an extended period of time.

I suppose it's frustrating because I know how smart he is. He knows a lot for his age in my opinion and it's impressive. I figured the scruff grab wasn't harmful since it wasn't being done hard enough to harm and it did stop his biting within like 2 days when it used to be a constant occurrence. That one bite from grabbing his collar was probably out of fear like you were saying cause he thought I was going to spank him again being that it just had happened a few minutes prior.

Either way, I'll read through the links you posted and attempt a different approach. It just sucks when you feel you've come so far only to seeminly pushed back to square 1. Although, today he seems to be behaving again, but its worth nothing that he did pee again last night even after hitting him so apparently as scared as he was at the time, it wasn't enough to keep him from doing it again... Ahhhhhh. Yet today he wants to play by the rules for some reason. I'm telling you, he does know what's going on. It's either to be lazy or to continually test boundries or something. He seems to do better when I take the house back and restrict his area. I gradually give the privledgs back as he does well going outside, but it seems once he gets to earning back the living room within a day of that is when he'll pee on the floor. Perhaps I'm not denying him the space for a long enough time. Eh, I digress.

Again, thanks for the links and I'll be reading them for sure!

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Jim, it is also worth mentioning that puppies also urinate out of submission, so if he is peeing when you are angry this will likely continue and create a vicious cycle, here is a link about this:

jack 4 years ago

i used to hit my puppy alot bu i stop doing it so will my dog ever get over it?

kita 4 years ago

hey i ave a 5 month old rotwieler he as learnt to mess outside and not do it throught the night but the problem i have is he always messes in my house threw the day yet i always et him out and ideas ??

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Jack, puppies are fortunately very forgiving,but you will need to train your puppy to trust you again. No more hitting, and if he tends to cower upon touching him, let him trust your hands again by giving a treat every time you make contact.

Kita,here is a helpful hub, both my Rotts started keeping it a bit longer after 6 months

kita 4 years ago

thanks alot ive looked on that defo gunna try it hopefully it works

kita 4 years ago

hey i have also got a staffy that has a bald patch on his head it is not red or irratating him but i just wondered wot could b the cause of it x

amanda 4 years ago

hi i was wondering for all the trainers out there, i have a question. i didn't honestly know it was wrong to spank. my parents did with all our dogs and i didn't know, so my question is i have spanked my dog, thinkin i was being ALPHA to her, and not knowing any better she has slowly gotten more aggressive. its when she goes under my daughters bed. she is great any other time and i never have any problems with her unless she goes under my kids bed then she is growling and snapping. PLEASE HELP ME! i love my baby she is a good dog and don't want her to be aggressive. please let me know what i can do i love my dog and want her to be good and not aggressive.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

The alpha theory is all a myth hard to debunk. Here is a great read:

Your dog is going under the bed because she is very likely fearful and defensive. the bed has become a place to go when she is afraid. By attempting to getting her out she has no place to further escape and therefore she goes into fight mode. She may going there if the kids are too hyper or if she knows you have to do something unpleasant like trim her nails or give a bath. Don't force her out, rather lure her with a treat or toy if need be, you really need to address what is causing her to become fearful and go under the bed. More details of why she heads under the bed will be helpful to better assess the situation, best wishes!

newage bullshit 4 years ago

Not hitting your dogs is like the all the new-age bullshit where every kid in the classroom has to win a prize for something.

If you have a difficult dog, you need discipline to correct it not treats all the time.

Sorry but all your qualifications mean shit. Would like to see you adopt and foster strays like me that were all due to be put down soon. I rather hit them and make them obedient and see them live rather than be termed unmanageable and be culled in the shelters.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Sorry, but not only you have NO qualifications but worse, you have no desire to educate yourself on the latest scientifically based training methods. I have fostered many dogs as well, many on death row for serious behavioral issues and I have done that ALL with positive reinforcement. If you know how to train, you can do it without resorting to physical corrections. Your ZERO qualifications and rude way to approach, gives me a good amount of ideas of what type of person you are. I feel for the dogs you are fostering. I hope a better trainer comes along that resorts to better training methods or that you educate yourself on how to better approach dogs. And who told you I give treats all time? Positive does not mean permissive, I can train a dog effectively using EXCLUSIVELY life rewards.. too bad you are lacking knowledge and are not skilled enough to do so.

Chris 4 years ago

Wow, all I can say is wow! I have fostered dogs since 2008 and hitting them is the last thing that would come to my mind. These are dogs that were neglected, mistreated and surrendered and all they need is a bad foster mom like that! I am no trainer but common sense! These dogs need trust, love and lots of care and positive training methods and encouragement is what they really need to come out of their shell. I can't see how a shelter dog could benefit from harsh training methods. I hope the shelter finds out this foster mom mistreats them and bans her from fostering. Alexadry keep up the good work!

amanda 4 years ago

thanks for the feedback i just am going to try to keep my daughters room closed so this doesn't happen anymore. she is usually chewiing on shoes under my kids bed

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Amanda, you are very welcome! Since you mention she is chewing on shoes when under the bed, I am wondering if she may be resource guarding them, if so, here is a helpful hub:

Wow 4 years ago

I read a good amount of these comments and I'd say the first 2/3 of them were completely biased in one way or the other to the degree that the authors appear very narrow minded. There is a HUGE difference between physical abuse and a physical reprimand. But what the hell does body language have to do with training? Do you tower over your dog or raise an eyebrow? Using body language makes no sense unless there is a learned association with that specific body language... and neither does positive reinforcement make any sense directly after a dog makes a mistake... that's just stupid... giving your dog a treat instead of it eating poison?... what if you're not around to say "leave it"? Dogs, like other living creatures, need to learn what is safe and what is not... and if you own a dog, you are that dogs teacher (unless you pass that responsibility on to another ofcourse) and you must teach your student right from wrong both for safety and for etiquette.

Now I don't advocate physical punishment (just like the author of this page who claims to have used spike collars). But, I just found an 11 pound dog and decided to adopt her since the owners didn't want her. I have absolutely no knowledge of the past history of this dog (never spoke to the original owners directly) but she was clearly never potty trained and I doubt she was ever reprimanded. In the two weeks I've had her she has gotten incredibly good at not relieving herself indoors and I do believe it has a lot to do with all the praise she gets for doing her business outside. However she still makes mistakes inside every other day or so. Sometimes words just don't work... she doesn't understand the word no and she doesn't understand harsh voices. No matter how loud or deep or threatening a voice you use to correct her, she does not get it. She just wags her tail happy as can be. I've had other dogs and this is not an "I'm sorry let's be friends again" wag. This is a "I'll take any attention I can get" wag. And she absolutely gets her full share of attention. I'm not about to hit or beat her but I will certainly grab her scruff or lightly hit her butt to let her know that I'm not happy and that my angry voice means I'm unhappy. Maybe I'm narrow minded and wrong, but I don't think that she would ever understand the word no and the angry voice without some form of physical reaction to link the two.

P.s. How do wolves gain the alpha position? I've been studying different types of animals for over 20 years and I don't believe for a second that pack leaders never had to tussle to gain their position. That goes for wolves, elephants, lions, anything with a leader. The leader must be both caring and strong. Too much of either and they will be demoted or forced to leave the group.- Joel

Wow2 4 years ago

I just left a comment and..

after reading all of the comments now, I can certainly say that I respect your stance alexadry. I can't say that I agree with you on every issue brought about but I appreciate that you take time to read and answer peoples comments. I also really enjoyed the comments left by the hybrid owner and your response to the initial comment. I did not mean to attack you in any way but I do feel that more clarification on your methods would avoid a lot of the unfounded assaults posted throughout the replies.

I have no degree and no plans for obtaining a degree so i can freely study what I wish. I've covered a lot of information but I'm no specialist in any field and I've barely researched domestic canine behavior. So I'm sure you know more than I do and so I'd like to know what you do when dogs don't respond to verbal negativity? Also... my new dog doesn't like treats. She spits out pretty much anything you hand feed her (maybe with time that will change). Strangely, besides relieving herself indoors occasionally, she is extremely well behaved. She's right around 1 year old and she's learning verbal commands very quickly. She has never shown fear or aggression towards anyone since I've been taking care of her (and like I said before I have ABSOLUTELY no knowledge of her past life... I can only assume how she lived based on her personality).

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

I am sorry I got a bit late to this, did not mean to ignore your post. I am not offended, nor feel attacked from you, or any other person posting here. I am here just to help dog owners and their dogs;) I could really write a book about why physical punishment does not work in dogs. To answer your question ''what to do if verbal negativity does not work?'' I would answer that a lot of problems can be avoided through proper management, especially when it comes to a dog that has house training issues. Here is a hub about this:

A new dog that has just been rescued may take some time to become perfectly potty-trained (one of my fosters took 3 months before she was completely reliable) here is a guide on potty training. It is for puppies, but a lot can apply to older dogs:

Finally, since she is one year old (is she fixed?) it could be she is marking versus urinating, if urine is the main problem, you can read about it here:

And now, why saying no too much may be counter productive:

Best wishes! And try to train positively to better bond with this new rescue, kind regards!

Virginia 4 years ago

We just got a puppy less than a week ago. She the sweetest thing, but our nights are sleepless :-) We have a dome home so we can hear her very well...too well. She refuses to be crated, put in the bathroom, etc...and so we have been letting her run around the house and taking her out several times to relieve herself.

Is there an easier way in this? We can't watch her 24/7 since we have to care for ourselves too, so I decided to put her in a puppy pen and I'm going to leave her there all througout the day, with us taking her out in small times to relieve herself outside or to hang out with us on the floor to play with toys.....but she will be spending her puppy times in the pen, in the living room.....any other suggestions? I would appreciate it very much. I thinkletting her have run of the house to begin with was not a good idea.


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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

No, she should not have run of the house, this article should help you manage better:

Marcus 4 years ago

I hear u guys saying don't hit ur did and I understand why. But, do u understand the frustration coming home and your things are chewed up. its kind of hard to just say no give him the right thing to chew on and say good boy. Answer me this. One comes home and finds distruction. The dog has sence went and chilled out. Just because I didn't catch my dog I cant discipline her.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Marcus, you need to figure out why your dog is doing this. He may be suffering from separation anxiety or you may be putting him up for fail by leaving stuff around to chew on. How old is he? If your dog has separation anxiety he is suffering and chewing is his way to get relief.Punishing will only make things worse. Here are some helpful articles:

Please try to go to the root of the problem. Best wishes and feel free to contact me for help.

Julia 4 years ago

I know this is quite an old thread and that the person who posted this particular comment did so a long time ago, but, James, I have spent all of my 22 years around Irish wolfhounds (You know what an Irish wolfhound is, right? It is a very, very large breed of dog. Normally I wouldn't take the time to point that out, but you seem of rather low intellect, as do all of the other posters here claiming it's excusable to abuse an animal) and never have I had to "force one to the ground" and/or "force myself over it".

I'm a very small woman (152 cm., 41 kg.)and I've had no problem obtaining the respect of my very big dogs without using any kind of force. Positive reinforcement is ALWAYS the best way to gain a dog's respect. This doesn't mean praising him and giving him treats for every little thing he does and never correcting him like someone else mentioned. Correcting your dog when he does wrong is very important, but the best way to do it is with a FIRM but KIND attitude.

As a side note, since I saw several people mention this as well, yelling at a dog is never helpful either. It might stop the bad behaviour temporarily, but it won't fix it. It will simply cause your dog to become fearful and aggressive around you.

I am NOT an expert on dog behavior in any way and I would never claim to be. These things are bloody good COMMON SENSE. Poor methods don't reap good results.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Julia, thank you for posting this. Hopefully it will help people understand why hitting is never the right way. I own 2 Rottweilers which have a reputation for being "stubborn" and bossy, but all I use with them is positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement does not mean permissive it means that you put your dog up for success by rewarding the good.. as opportunistic beings, it is scientifically proven that dogs repeat behaviors that are rewarded whether good or bad!

SeLene 4 years ago

I don't think you should ever go to far and hurt or abuse your dog, but honestly i cant fully agree here with not to hit your dog either.

any time my dog has done a Bad Deed, i smack his tush slightly and yell at him, he goes to his bed, and it has not happened again.. my dog listens to me and as result if he did do it again, he would give the guilty face cuz he knows he did something bad, so clearly dogs have good enough memory..

I don't beat my babies and i don't abuse them, but i do believe that Discipline is necessary.

I spoil and love my babies to no end, they run to me every time i come home and they're happy they play and are always excited so i don't understand why this article is saying that a dog will fear you and will "Fear bite" You..

My babies have never Growled at me not even once, and never snapped at me.

I smack them slightly on the butt when ever they do something bad but i do not beat them or abuse them, and i do it right when they perform the act of a bad deed so they know exactly why they got punished. and they don't repeat the mistake so i have to disagree on some level here.

My Best friend has the same views as this article, when her dog does something Bad she gives a stern voice and says "NO." and her dog doesn't listen, he still does the same bad stuff.. he barks all the time, he Snaps at her and growls at her, he wont even let her brush his coat.

so yes i im not agreeing with this article..

i just feel that an owner should not exagerate or go heavy handed when punishing their pet. But i don't think its right to Judge someone for trying a different method that includes hitting their dog for results cuz i don't hit my babies hard and i don't abuse them, i love them very much and they love me, they're not afraid of me they run to me all the time and they even cry when they see im about to leave..

and besides i give them more hugs and treats then i ever had to discipline them so i don't think its so bad depending how you do it..

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

There are dogs and dogs... no generalizations can be made. While your dogs take your light smacking well (for now) because they have good threshold levels, some weaker dogs will even growl and bite if you just raise your voice. This stems from defensive aggression, the dog is simply growling to defend itself from a perceived threat. If your dog goes to his bed every time you smack him, it means he is afraid of you...there is no changing the facts about this... yes, this fear is temporary and your dog forgives you for this...but why not use better ways? I own two 93 pounds Rottweilers and never had to smack them once. people often claim the breed is stubborn, but they really want to please you and all you need to do is provide gentle guidance. Because I rarely raise my voice, any slight change in tonality and body postures puts them into place. They know leave it, drop it and off and these commands keep them out of trouble. Yes, I am a dog trainer and yes, I always used positive reinforcement as my first choice of action. I can train dogs to behave without ever touching them. I find that many dog owners focus more on telling a dog what not to do, rather than what to do. This puts the dog up to fail. By hitting owners are only conveying "I am dog training illiterate and so will hit you because I do not know any better way to make you obey". In my classes, people who usually hit their dogs started realizing how much they could increase their bond once they gave up smacking and yelling like crazy. The potential for being better trainers is there; it's just up to us to give it a try...

Jefferson Faudan 4 years ago

"SOMETIMES" you need to hit a dog really hard at least once or twice in its entire lifetime that it will remember not messing up with you... try having 4 male dogs and one female in heat and putting them in chains separately if it's going to stop anything... even the female dog gets really annoyed being humped every now and then while it's trying to have a sleep or having its meals. even putting a muzzle shield to prevent each of them fighting wouldn't work at all. positive reinforcement works for minor problems like tearing the sheets or whatever...

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Sorry to be blunt, but your dogs are put up for failure and you are punishing them unjustly for what is poor management... First of all why are 4 male dogs with a female in heat? this could cause serious fights, and unless you are a reputable breeder (which you do not sound like since you own all these dogs living in the same household)your dogs should be spayed and neutered and not hit for doing what comes natural in such a situation and your female dog should not be annoyed by a male dog humping her! I use positive reinforcement and my dogs are getting titles on Rallyo and canine freestyle, what titles do your dogs have?

ninaa555 4 years ago

I have a 4 year old Belgium Shepherd who is so sensitive to any form of punishment. He chewed my boots when he was a puppy and I gave him a smack on the nose, he hid under my bed for hours. It took me hours afterwards to regain his trust. I've never smacked him again after that.

Believe me my dog is a handful, loves to chase, plays 'over the top' rough with other dogs and on and on..He's brought me to tears with frustration more than once. I do realise though it is in his nature and he is getting better behaved with age and training..

He knows when I'm mad at him just by my voice and body language. I don't know very much about dog training but I know if I kept on hitting him he would be a cowering fearful, dangerous dog.

I feel sorry for dogs, so many people don't have the mental capablitly to raise a dog properly..sad ..They're just stuck with who they get.

a real dog owner 4 years ago

My wife just got this little runt of a puppy. It's pisses all over the place, it bites everyone except me. I'll tell that little dog to bring it on. And it miss behaves so, instead of beating the hell out of the thing, I let my German shepard "play" with the other dog. Now she curls in a ball and shakes. I guess my wife was wrong for getting my dog a friend

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

By exposing the puppy to your other dog, you are ruining his social skills since he appears to be very afraid. A puppy should be interacting with balanced older dogs that do not cause extreme fear, they should only "correct" the puppy slightly and the puppy should be able to learn and get over it within seconds. Such intense fear may cause social problem behaviors in the future with other dogs which may lead to fear biting. If your puppy is peeing everywhere it needs to be potty trained. Here is a guide:

chris 4 years ago

I have a 2really year old alaskan malamute with who i have used nothing but positive reinforcment traning with. He listens, is my best friend and my 5 year old daughter can walk him.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Great job Chris! I am happy to were able to train your dog this way and have seen brilliant results! you sound like an awesome trainer!

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

If you are a good trainer and know what you are doing you never will find a need to hit your dog. I don't call a person as such a loser; rather an awesome owner with great skills.

tigerlilli 4 years ago

I have to pop my dog with a flip flop, that's the only way he shuts up. I have a Pom that wont behave with a leash, doesn't play well with other dogs, growls and barks at everybody and marks every thing if given the opportunity. He is put in a pen in my room and if not given attention, rattles the pen with his paws very annoyingly. the only way I can get him to calm down, be quiet is to slap his behind with a flip flop. I have 2 roomates and he howls like crazy and it drives me up a roof. I took him to training and he was the worst erratic dog ever. I don't enjoy playing with him anymore as his actions are overboard and he never listens to a command unless a treat is behind it. Trust me I bought all kinds of toys, filled kongs with all kinds of yummy treats, he doesn't even want to play with it. Sorry, some dogs need to be spanked, like th saying, you want to cry, ill give u something to cry about.

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

I am sorry to hear no trainer was able to help you out and only a flip flop works to makes him stop. Sounds like you punish a lot for what he does wrong, but what about rewarding what he does good and teaching alternate behaviors? You say he does not like filled Kongs, what do you fill them up with? Your dog must eat something in his life! Stop leaving food out all day, make him work for it, stuff his kong with his kibble, add layers of peanut butter, cream cheese etc, liver treats etc. I have yet to find a dog who doesn't care about a Kong, if a dog eats, he will use a Kong. Let him earn every piece of kibble. Pushy behaviors are never rewarded, calm is only rewarded. If your dog is listening to command only if a treat is there you are bribing not training. I think these articles will be helpful:

I am sorry, I truly believe a dog can be trained (and I have trained many) without the need of being hit with a flip-flop. Your flip flip may work to stop a behavior but it does not do anything to teach what other behaviors are acceptable so your dog will do more and more of them and make good choices. Kind regards.

James 4 years ago

I am having major problems with my Siberian Husky. He has thus far gotten me evicted due to his howling, and he has killed my neighbor's cat as well as my cat. He is 5 months old, he is potty trained and listens well otherwise. However, the INSTANT I am out the door he begins to howl. Nothing has work to correct this: positive reinforcment when he stays quiet, or hitting when he begins to become vocal. If he continues, I will have to give him up. I can't leave for ONE SECOND! He has horrible separation anxiety. What can I do?

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alexadry 4 years ago from USA Author

Killing cats is common in this breed, Google "husky killed cat" and you will get an enormous quantity of stories. This breed comes from siberia where the harsh conditions made them hunters and they were also left in the summer loose so they would kill all sorts of critters. He should always be on leash and in a fenced area. I wanted to adopt a husky from a rescue once and they denied cause my fence was not enough high. This breed will escape and, for a good reason they are known as houdini. Separation anxiety is not easy to deal with. Your best bet is to get a professional to help you out. Here is an article I wrote, watch the video of how a dog can be clicker trained to accept brief departures. Best wishes!

tessa connorton 3 years ago

I found this site very helpful, I feel so bad that I never read that anyone never shouted REALLY LOUD at their puppy to stop bad habits though, my beautiful JR puppyb 15 weeks old is so sweet but I shout at her so much when she is bad, I never hit her, never. I take her out for good runs on a long lead on the beacj or park 3 times a day to exercise her and then when In have walked my older dog the same separately and (myself worked) I am tired at night and she crys for my attention and I have to eat and rest! I shout and tooke her out in the dark night on her lead and made her walk, walk walk, and kept saying to her, this is what you want, cold wet and dark! of course she never understood, I was tired and hungry myself and felt it was my time now, any how she went into her crate, all warm and dried off but I had made her shake with fear at my constant shouting, what can I do, should I find my lovely puppy a better mum? I am so upset at how I have treated her .

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alexadry 3 years ago from USA Author

Tessa, you own a breed that needs loads of exercise and mental stimulation. Taking her out three times a day sounds like a good program but when she's home it looks like she wants your attention. Shouting at her, looking at her, and taking her out for a walk. are all forms of attention that reinforce the barking. If her exercise needs are met, once home before she even starts barking, you can try to give her some interactive toys to help keep her mind stimulated. For instance, you can stuff a Kong in a challenging way, invest in Nina Ottoson puzzle, get a bully stick for her to chew and relax. For some sensitive dogs shouting at them may have the same effect as hitting them. So it may help to take a more direct approach and instead of yelling at her for doing things you don't want, try to give her opportunities to behave well and reward her for engaging in these alternate activities. If you work all day, she may have been waiting all day for you so perhaps it may help to hire a pet sitter or a dog walker to help take the edge off a bit? If you are upset at how you are treating her you have two options: find a more productive way to mentally stimulate her in the evening, or re-homing her to a family that is home for most of the day and have the time to exercise and mentally stimulate her. I hope this helps, let me know if you have other questions, best wishes!

mythical and old studies 3 years ago

the myth that dogs have short memories is a conclusion that old studies from years back had come up with..just like the study that decided dogs don't see color o only r recognize peopl via their scent..all three of those are old beliefs and in the past several years have proven dog recognizes the color of certain things as well as recognizing animals in television.he won't budge when he sees people or an other images onscreen..but any animal he'll notice immediately and begin watching tv until the animal isn't being shown anymoe.he's sit watchijg and waiting but if the animal doesn't come back onscreen within three or four seconds he's not interested anymore.he still monentraily confuses his leash (at a distance)with a something else that looks similar in the hous due to the fact they're both the same exact color.he's run over to the item and realize its' not what he thought it was from across the room and then he'll look and find his leash./he remember fully what Christmas is and remembers where he hid a treat in the house two nights previous. the dog knows what "let's go to the coke machine" means and leads me straiht to the laundry room here at the complex as that's exactly where it is..same with the pool..tell him let's go to the pool and guess where ou wind up? no memory? how can anyone be so daft to even think it.if I were most people,i'd disregard a lot of this 'pack' talk .some og it i'm sure is true.but I don't believe that everything dogs do is based on the pack theory.some dogs just plain thing they're human..period.i believe many have developed this pack notion to the degree that they truly believe that treating your dog like family is absolutely wrong and treating him/her like a dog means excluding treating like another human.sorry..but my jack Russell sleeps right beside me on the same pillow,sits in my lap both at home and in the car.on the other hand he won't even touch his rawhide bone when I buy him one,until I've got all the groceries put away and i'm in the living room with him sitting on the couch..once i'm there with him sitting down near him is when he pickes it up and begins..never understood's not a pack thing as he only behan doing this when we began eating in the same room.i figure it' some kind of bonding.the few times he got a big head and bit me he was on the couch trying to get something off the nearby table(he's got a thing about eating napkins and paper in general) I told him no and put him off the couch and he got right back up there and grabbed it and I tried to take it from him..he growled and bit me..,i grabbed his harness ,forced him off the couch,i said "i told you no and you bit me..see?" I showed it the woumd to me.he knew..he laid down on the floor(as I wouldn't let him get back on the couch with me)and he laid there for a good while before being all happy and all Richard simmonsly with him.anyway.i believe it's okay to treat them like family but with discipline -it doesn't confuse them,trust me.i have always treated my dogs like family members that have dogs have always been the happiest dogs in the world./one advantage I have and I admit it IS an advantage that most don't have.i'm on 100% disability and have been since i'm conveneiently with the dogs I 've had 98% of each day.i'm a night person.if the temp is comfortable outside at night the dog goes with me .if however,i tell him going to walmart or dennys he'll tug on the lesh to stay home.he won't budge off the couch.i'd have to drag him.he doesn't like the fact that I leave him on the car once I get to either place.but if I say well let's go to grandmother's,he's at the door faster than snot and of course that's right where he heads (she lives around the corner from me in the same complex I live in).he goes right to her door.he's picked up on tons of commands .I throw his toy and he knows what I say when i say "it's in the kictchen" or it's by the fridge" or "it's under the table".like a sreak of lightening he'll head straight to wherever I claim I threw it./ this theory or story tha"t dogs only know right now" or that dogs understand tone of voice but not actual words is so easy to defeat and prove incorrect,i'm surprised anyone continues to voice those old beliefs

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alexadry 3 years ago from USA Author

I agree with you and think pack theory is outdated and that dogs have a very good memory. You own a very smart dog! thanks for sharing your story, kind regards~!

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epbooks 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

Another great hub. I can't stand to see owners hitting their dogs. I've never seen it do any good. Yes, it may temporarily stop them from what they are doing but they won't forget. Similar to children, if you use violence with a dog, you are in essence, teaching them violence as well. There's no reason for it. Thanks so much for posting.

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alexadry 3 years ago from USA Author

Thanks for stopping by epbooks and commenting, it's so true!

deedee 2 years ago

The majority if this article ie untrue. If you beat your dog abusivly then this sounds bout right. I spank my dogs just Like I do my kid. I don't do it all the time, I spank the butt, and you should never use excessive force. Ppl do this w horses and everything else. It keeps em in line. They're nit stupid as some ppl make them from not working w them. I agree they're not on a human level but I have had many dogs and they understand commands and know when they're doing bad. They're as sneaky as children.

My dogs think I'm the greatest thing oh two legs, they respect me but they're not scared. The leader of the pack usually bites the under dogs into submisd. My bite is a sting to the rear. Everyone comments how well they listen, and I can get a dog to do anything. There's a certain way to discipline though. For me the Bible has the last say not the new trends in the world I don't care what anyone says. Don't let ppl guilt you into letting you have unruly children that don't listen. If they dint listen to you, are they going to listen to GOD or be rebellious like fallen angels. People that let their dogs run the neighborhood unruly are a burden to others. My neighbors dog is a spin in the butt, and shouldn't be my problem.

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alexadry 2 years ago from USA Author

Your dogs aren't likely well behaved, they are suppressed dogs who are scared to do or try anything. I see many of these dogs who are deeply inhibited and it takes quite some time to get them out of their shells. I know because I rehabilitate several dogs like this and when I try clicker training, they are scared to try anything and need loads of encouragement. Are these dogs well behaved? Yes,they may be, but they are strongly inhibited. The sneaky behavior you talk about is typical of dogs who are fearful of their owners. They misbehave when you are not around because they have associated your presence with punishment. You can have well behaved dogs without the need to spank them or treat them in a militaristic manner. All you need is consistency, some rules and consequences , but the consequences do not need to be aversive. Look up the many force-free training websites. Your dogs have a lot of patience to take your spanking, and you are lucky that they are so nice to not bite back defensively--believe me, many dogs do at some point. There are better ways....

Kayla 16 months ago

Hello! I don't know if you are still responding to this thread, but anything is worth a shot by now.

So, my mother recently took a German Shepard puppy into her home, or more specifically, her apartment. I believe he is no more than 3 months old at the moment. I didn't live with my mother when she lived in her apartment, but just a couple weeks ago she moved into my grandparent's house, where I am currently staying until I can afford an apartment. Why I bring that up is because I wasn't sure of how she was training the dog as I wasn't living with her, but now that I am, I've realized some pretty shocking things not only coming from my Mom but my other relatives as well.

I'll say now that in the current household, there lives myself, my partner, my grandmother, grandfather, my three younger sisters (18, 12, and 10), my mother, the German Shepard puppy whose name is Coal, and my grandparent's adult Australian Shepard whose name is Sammi.

Some background on the pup for when he lived at the apartment: My mom left the house for work around 6 every morning and didn't come back until around 5 pm. My sisters were at school until my mom brought them home at the same time, so the puppy was alone at home for nearly 12 hours each day. My mom would leave pee pads on the carpet for him to use, and he learned to use them surprisingly quickly, that is until she ran out and never bought any more. I'm sure this confused him, as not only was he inside for 12 hours so he couldn't be let outside to go potty during that time, but now what he had learned to use to go to the bathroom on was taken away, yet he was scolded verbally for toiletting on the carpet. This frustrated me, because how is he supposed to learn to go outside when no one is home to take him out?

Now back to our current residence. I'm not sure if any hitting of the pup was involved at the apartment, but the treatment Coal receives now is even worse. He barks at Sammi, the other dog, almost immediately upon spotting her and does not stop. I believe what he wants is to play with her, but she ignores him and seeks to hide behind people or chairs when he barks. He is hit for barking at her, told to shut up, and is called annoying.

How I fix this: I read some articles that said a good way to show a German Shepard in particular that they are expressing bad behavior is to ignore them, and something that is effective is putting them in an isolated room for a few seconds to a minute or so. Then let them back out, and if the behavior persists, repeat. I have tried this when I can, and it seems to be effective. Usually once I let him back in after the first isolation, he will maybe approach Sammi, but not bark, and soon leave her alone. I also like to distract him and show him that I want to play when Sammi doesn't.

Another problem that has continued from the apartment is his using the house as his toilet. I am not always at the house, therefore am not always there to take him out (not that it's always my responsibility). He both urinates and defecates on the hard wood floors. Usually, my family finds out after the fact, finds him, and spanks him for it.

How I fix it: I've read that punishing a dog, letting alone hitting, after they have acted badly does not teach them what they did wrong, rather confuses them. Not only that, but he doesn't learn not to go in the house at all, rather to go in a different area or when no one is looking. When I'm home I try to take him out as frequently as possible, every hour, sometimes more often. What I do is take him to a spot where Sammi has peed, and when he smells it he will go there too. I have done this frequently enough to where he instantly knows to go potty in the same spot. I give him very endearing pets and tell him he's a good boy, then I play with him for a while outside so he doesn't associate going to the bathroom as "time to go in", and once we go in I'll give him a treat (as I forget to bring treats outside to give to him as soon as he goes potty, my bad!). This has proven effective. The only time he ever toilets in the house now is when I'm not home, but others are and are obviously not taking him out enough.

Another big problem he has is "rough" play. It's not rough to my standards as I'm aware he's an energetic little creature, however to my elderly grandparents and young sisters his play is too violent. He jumps and his claws can hurt, and he often use his teeth. He has broken skin several times. They hit him for this behavior and yell "NO!"

How I fix it: When he seems too rough with his mouth, I give him a toy instead of my hand. If he persists on targeting me, I will say no sternly, put him in the other room as mentioned before, then let him out and if he's gentler reward him with pets and such.

Another issue is that my grandparents insist that when they aren't there to hit him for bad behavior, he needs to be in the other room (the one I isolate him in for no longer that a few minutes at a time) in order to not bother Sammi. I don't like this because I think it confuses him. I use that room to discipline Coal for bad behavior, but if they keep him in there for hours for no reason apparent to him, then I fear he will no longer associate the room with punishment and it will not be effective, or he will feel he's being punished all the time for nothing.

Something else I do for Coal is train him with treats, such as telling him to sit, shake, and lay down. I have effectively taught him all three, and while sometimes he has trouble remembering what the commands are supposed to mean, he soon catches on. He seems so smart for his age, and it's a shame that my family confuses him with unjust punishment.

Getting on to the point of the matter.... I thought when they were punishing him, it was a slight pat on the behind and a firm no.

Kayla 16 months ago

(Sorry, I accidentally posted one half without finishing! Continued...)

Getting on to the point of the matter.... I thought when they were punishing him, it was a slight pat on the behind and a firm no. As if any physical punishment is necessary, I found out their punishments actually evolved and worsened. My grandpa introduced to the family what he refers to as (if I recall correctly) the Pavlov Method, he says in which the dog associates pain with the word "no", so in the future the dog will hear "no", be reminded of the pain and therefore respond to the word "no" alone. This method which is abusive but I'm sure also outdated has brought more turmoil for poor Coal from every member of the household except me and my partner, who have never laid a hand on him in an unloving way. Not only have my grandparents and mom conditioned my younger sisters into thinking hitting a dog is righteous punishment, they often tell my sisters (12 and 10, if I may remind you) that they aren't hitting hard enough! Plus, rather than the butt they hit his face and chest now (and he had confirmed heart problems too, I forgot to mention). The same people who hit him never give him any treats for good behavior (except my mom) and instead hit him when he is "annoying" them or doing something a puppy normally does. Not only are they hitting him with their hands, but my grandmother had taped together a special weapon (two wooden paint-stirring slabs of wood) to slap him with when he barks or nips.

I was already appalled that they resorted to hitting him as the easy way out in the first place, but I am furious upon discovering that they are teaching my young sisters to abuse animals! Not only this, but because of his barking and intense play my mother had suggested leaving him outside on the chain! It's like they've already given up on him.

I feel as though all my family wants to do is control this dog and terrify him into submission in the process. They really don't deserve to have him in the house, but I can't simply remove him from the home or I'm sure I'll be kicked out. I've told them that it isn't right to hit Coal and doesn't teach him anything but to be hateful, aggressive and afraid, but they tell me to mind my own business and worry about my own problems. But I'm the one who takes him out, plays with him, makes sure he gets food and water, rewards him for good behavior, and I feel I love him the most. Therefore, how is his well-being not my business? They are thick-skulled people stuck in the fifties I tell you.

Sorry for rambling, but I thought you should have some background on the situation.

So after all this, I have a few things to ask of you. I'd really appreciate it if you would provide some sources (unless there are some in the article) that lead to hitting dogs as punishment being a disproven method. I fear the only way my grandfather will stop promoting the abuse of this puppy is if he knows there are more effective ways to fix good behavior. Also, if you could provide links for appropriate puppy training when it comes to going to the bathroom, biting, and barking at another dog, that would be great! Also, how could I improve what I've already been doing to train him? And what if they don't stop hitting him? Will my positive reinforcement be enough to properly guide him, or will their improper punishment confuse him? I feel I'll have a difficult time making my family take this issue seriously, but I desperately want them to realize that they are permanently damaging Coal!

I know these people aren't patient enough to raise a puppy, and I'd love to put him in a better home where he'll be loved like he deserves, but there's nothing I can do at this point except try to convince everyone that there are more effective ways to teach Coal. I fear they only want the easy way, but it's worth a try to help this puppy from becoming aggressive. I'm sick of finding him hiding from everyone and I just want him to be happy.

alexadry profile image

alexadry 16 months ago from USA Author

Hello, sorry this answer comes a bit late, I am catching up on comments. Thank you for seeking help on this matter. I admire your will to help this dog out by embracing positive methods. You are on the right path, and hopefully you'll be able to undo some damage. Here is a great read on how coercion-based methods create the grounds for aggressive behaviors:

I have many, many articles on dog behavior, puppy potty training, barking etc using gentle training techniques.. There are too many to list. If you go on my profile page here on hubpages, you can visit my pinterest page where you'll find all my articles on barking, house training, nipping all in one place.

abby 14 months ago

We have a pit bull, we got her last September 2014, she was about 3 mos old. My husband allowed her to urinate and poop in the garage. Now he the garage floor poxied and things just because he tells her to use it outside the garage door she is suppose too. Now he beats her every time she uses it in the garage. I mean he beats her with a garden hose that he cut and made just for her. He has been doing this for quite a while now even when she was eating up things. I feel so sorry for her because she cries and isn't a happy dog anymore. I was doing to call the police and act like a concern neighbor. My husband is very mean

Kylie 5 months ago

People make me sick. The only reason I found this is my boyfriend I have been living with for a year decided to hit my dog last night, my 12 year old rescue beagle. I didn't sleep with him last night and am seriously considering leaving him and will if he ever does it again. I just cant believe people think this is okay. I think some people are jealous of the love and affection we have for our pets.

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