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:
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.
For further reading
- What makes a Dog Dangerous?
Understanding the real reasons for aggression in dogs often takes a good level of experience in dog behavior and an attentive analysis of the circumstances that trigger such aggressive behaviors. It is too...
- Dog Dominance: Myth or Truth?
Dominance is often a misunderstood, yet, overused word. It is just too easy to watch a dog and label it as ''dominant'' upon observing its behavior. It is almost as if a dog can be either ''dominant'' or...
- How Dogs Use Body Posture to Communicate Assertivene...
Dogs are generally natural conflict solvers, in other words, they will most likely try to avoid a fight as much as they can without resorting to aggression. In the wild, it takes too much energy to fight when there are more important priorities...
- Differences and Similarities Between Dogs and Wolves
wolves and dog similarities, jak, morguefile.com Dog and wolf: two different species but yet, so much in common. Dogs were originally classified as ''Canis familiaris '' by Linnaeus in 1758. However, later in 1993, dogs were reclassified as a...
- David Mech's Theory on the Alpha Role
David Mech wolf studies,kabir, morguefile.com One of the main theories regarding the structure of a wolf pack relies on the fact that the leader role is carried out by a determined dominant wolf, known as the ''alpha wolf''. This hard earned...