Your dog did something you don’t like.
At that time, you were so affected that you felt like hitting them.
You just needed to take out your frustration…
But what if you hit them?
Is this the right response for their behavior?
And how will it reflect your relationship?
Continue reading to discover:
- 13 reasons why you should never hit your dog.
- Why hurting your canine can affect their overall well-being.
- What benefits fur parents get if they are more kind when it comes to their dogs.
- And this is just the beginning…
Table of contents
- Is it ok to hit your dog?
- 13 reasons why you should never hit your dog
- #1: They’ll get PTSD
- #2: You might injure them
- #3: They might bite you
- #4: They might run away
- #5: It can reinforce bad behavior
- #6: The training will only work if you’re around
- #7: They can get confused when you pet them
- #8: It is not a good training technique
- #9: Your other pets can also get scared of you
- #10: You might bring this behavior outside and hit other dogs
- #11: They will have changes in their behavior
- #12: They don’t want to socialize
- #13: They easily get scared with sounds and unfamiliar things
Is it ok to hit your dog?
It is not okay to hit your dog because there’s a great possibility they’ll get injured. Aside from physical pain, your canine will also suffer from emotional distress. Their mental health will be at a steady decline if you keep hitting them. Positive reinforcement is the best method of training canines.
13 reasons why you should never hit your dog
#1: They’ll get PTSD
Have you ever heard stories about U.S. troops coming back from war? How about people who have been in abusive relationships?
People who’ve been in traumatic incidents may suffer negative effects in their minds. Some have nightmares about their experiences. Others may even develop changes in their personalities.
And this doesn’t just happen to humans. It can affect canines, too. Especially those coming from abusive homes.
That’s why some dog adoption clinics impose strict rules. You can’t just easily choose and get any canine you like.
Adoption centers do an extensive background check for those who are interested to adopt. These clinics even go to the extent of checking your homes
All these processes are to make sure that the dogs will be housed in a safe home. Part of the reason for this is to avoid owners who’d give PTSD to dogs.
According to research, dogs experience post-traumatic stress disorder similarly to humans. In their case, it’s called canine PTSD or C-PTSD.
And just like humans, dogs develop this disorder because of distressing incidents. It can make them fearful. And some dogs may even exhibit signs of C-PTSD.
Examples of these behaviors are:
- Pacing around.
- Shivering and shaking.
- Getting aggressive towards you.
Now, if you employ punishments during your training, your dog may exhibit these things. And it can disturb your living conditions.
Instead of having a calm pooch, you’ll have more worries.
Read next: Revealed: 9 Real Reasons Why Dogs Whine When They See You
#2: You might injure them
Dogs, no matter how big and sturdy, get injured, too. And when they receive frequent hitting, it can affect their bodies negatively.
Wounds, bruises, and internal bleeding are only a few of the things your pooch might have. Making them “disciplined” isn’t worth all the pain you’ll cause them.
When dogs have injuries, their capacity to move is also limited. Their mobility will decrease due to the pain they’re experiencing.
And because of this, they won’t be able to properly do the tasks you’ll give them. Imagine all the work you’ve put into training them… goes down the drain.
Injuries can also cost a fortune if you’ll have your dog treated. Now I know this might seem like a selfish reason to not hit your dog, but think about it.
Hospitalization for canines is expensive. Here is a list of average costs for procedures your pooch might get if they get injured:
|Procedure||Small Canine||Big Canine|
|Examination and consultation fee||$100 to $150 (€87 to €131)||$100 to $150 (€87 to €131)|
|Treatment and repair of wounds||$800 to $2,000 (€698 to €1746)||$1000 to $2,500 (€873 to €2183)|
|Bloodwork||$80 to $200 (€70 to €175)||$80 to $200 (€70 to €175)|
|Ultrasound||$300 to $600 (€262 to €524)||$300 to $600 (€262 to €524)|
“Yikes, those prices look steep.”
Yes, they are. Not to mention the potential medications you’ll have to purchase for your dog. All these can add up to a higher price.
And even after these medical procedures, your dog can still live in pain. From limp legs to blind eyes, all these can decrease their quality of life.
But the bigger price you’ll pay here is the loss of trust from your pooch. This is something that you don’t easily gain.
#3: They might bite you
When your dog started their lives out with you, they expected a life filled with love. And when fur parents betray this trust, it’s sometimes met with aggression.
I mean, this is pretty normal for dogs who are being hurt. They retaliate mainly to protect themselves from wounds and injuries.
A dog’s mouth is the most powerful weapon they have. And some canines will use it against their abusers.
Usually, before dogs bite, they send a warning signal first. Especially if they’re your fur baby and still have some restraints.
However, when it comes to strangers who agitate dogs, there are some who just go for the bite.
Going back, here are a few actions that your fur baby might do if they’re getting pissed off:
- Low growl.
- Showing of teeth.
- Placing their head close to the ground.
When they start showing these actions, it’d be better if you back off. And stop what you were doing.
Some dog owners say that they’ll be safe because they hit their dogs with sticks. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Using sticks can be more harmful to dogs. And one can hit canines from afar. But they seem to forget that some dogs have quicker reflexes than humans.
And if canines jump and run after you, they’ll most likely bite. Here are some of the things you can avoid if your dog doesn’t bite you out of abuse:
- Severed fingers and limbs.
- Deep wounds that require stitches.
- Damage of major arteries and veins.
In the case that your dog bites you even if you weren’t harmful to them, here’s what you can do:
Step #1: Clean the wound with soap and let the warm water flow over it for 10 minutes.
Step #2: Help stop the flow of blood with a clean cloth.
Step #3: Put an antibiotic topical cream on the wound.
Step #4: Cover the cut with a bandage.
Step #5: Consult your doctor regarding the medications and shots you might need.
Step #6: Always clean the wound and replace the bandage. Check if it got worse with swelling, redness, and infections.
You may also wonder: 25 Best Ways To Calm An Aggressive Dog (#1 Works Instantly)
#4: They might run away
Most people would understand why humans would run away from something that hurt them. It’s part of our fight or flight response. And when we do decide to run away, we usually don’t come back.
I’ve seen people who’ve been in abusive homes who went their own way. Some make it, while others don’t but one common thing I hear from them is, “It was freeing.”
Our dogs might feel the same way about getting hit, too. Constant abuse, pain, and trauma can make them want to escape your home.
Even if the initial purpose why you hit them was “for their own good”, they won’t understand it. You use the rod to make them come inside at night for safety? Humans may get your reason, but your dog won’t.
They’ll only see a person who hurt them and it scares them. They might even show signs of fear just seeing your presence.
Some dogs even flinch when they see their owners move quickly. Like when they raise their hand or stand in a fast manner.
Canines get fearful around abusers because they have excellent memories. A study shows that dogs remember what you did. Even small, insignificant events are part of those that dogs remember.
That’s why it’s still better to spare them from punishments. Even if it’s for their “own good” to prevent them from running away.
There are also several things that can happen to your dog when they’re outside. Most of which will be harmful to them such as:
- Getting into fights with other dogs.
- Contracting rabies from stray animals.
- Having injuries from car and motorcycle accidents.
Read also: 7 Weird Reasons Why Your Dog Is Acting Scared + Tips
#5: It can reinforce bad behavior
Dogs love getting attention and it’s a major part of creating a good training routine. Showing your dog regard can seem like a reward for them.
And when your pooch is misbehaving, it can make them repeat the behavior. Instead of making them follow your command, they’d just be “disobedient.”
Remember that this is usually applicable to light spanking. But if you hit them in such a way that they get hurt and cry, it won’t reinforce any behavior.
However, punishments like lightly hitting your dog can seem like pushing them away. And this is attention that your canine sees as a reward.
This is going to be counterproductive and won’t help you out in the long run. Giving them potty training will not be successful.
It’s likely that you’re going to see them still go potty inside your home. Which will be a huge hassle for you.
Another common behavior fur parents want to stop is barking and howling. Especially when there’s noise outside your home.
Some dogs go crazy and act wild when they see cars and strangers outside. And if you lightly spank them, it can make your canine act crazier.
We definitely don’t want this, right?
If you want to have a peaceful and loving relationship with your pooch, stay away from hitting them. Not only will it traumatize them, but it can also make your training routine more difficult.
The time you should’ve spent working on the behavior of your dog will be extended. And this can eat up time for your other things such as work and other important tasks.
#6: The training will only work if you’re around
Doggie behavior can be altered with the proper training. But when you use punishments, it can decrease the effectiveness of the whole routine.
Your pooch will associate the behavior with bad experiences such as getting hit. And when this happens, they’ll most likely just try to avoid getting hurt.
There is a huge difference between the two. Doing something because your pooch likes doing it is better. However, behavior done out of fear isn’t ideal.
The reason for this is simple: your pooch will only be obedient when you’re around. When you leave, they’ll continue doing the undesired behavior.
Your dog will then quickly realize that the action they do isn’t necessarily bad. And it can make them do the behavior in secret.
This can be one of the reasons why your canine still poops inside your home at night. Because you are asleep and can’t punish them, they’ll still go potty.
Undesired behavior in your dogs can also come out when you’re outside for work. Some fur parents will see their dogs damage their things.
Have you ever come home to your pooch destroying your shoes? It can get confusing especially if they’re obedient when you’re around.
Situations like these happen when your dog is just afraid of the punishment. Which means their training isn’t that good. As mentioned earlier, this will cause you to train them again.
And instead of having a worry-free life, you’ll always be thinking about what your dog is doing back home.
Don’t forget to check out: 13 Reasons Why Dogs Poop / Pee Inside After Being Outside
#7: They can get confused when you pet them
Hitting your dog involves using your hand when disciplining them. But on the contrary, when you show them love you’ll also reach out to them to pet your fur baby.
And when your dog is used to you hitting them, it can get them confused. Your hand can mean both love and pain – and this can stress them out.
And even if you just want to cuddle with them on cold days, they’d be scared of you. This is pretty normal when your pooch grows in an abusive environment.
And sometimes, this fear can also translate to other people. When a friend tries to pet your pooch, they might get aggressive.
Your visitors can also get bit or be barked at which can cause fear in them. And you know how some non-dog people are – they get scared easily when they hear a bark.
And when your friends encounter situations like this, some of them might not know what to do. Others might run away which can cause your dog to run after them.
#8: It is not a good training technique
One of the main reasons why fur parent hit their dog is because they got unruly. Or maybe they did something they’re not supposed to.
Are you one of these people too? I’m not sure how people got the idea that hitting them would be good in training. But there really are fur parents who do this.
According to the VCA, using positive reinforcement is the best method to train dogs. Especially if you refrain from punishments while doing it.
Through positive reinforcement, your canine will associate wanted behavior with rewards. And they’ll naturally do it even without your presence.
Your dog might follow your commands for the reward alone. And not because they understand that it’s what you want.
I mean, dogs don’t really fully understand human emotions and actions. What they do comprehend are rewards and punishment.
Here are a few rewards you can use to train your dog:
- Positive words.
- Giving them attention.
Try using these when you want your pooch to follow you. And hold back on the punishments like hitting them.
#9: Your other pets can also get scared of you
Does your home have a number of pets? It’s pretty common for fur parents to have multiple dogs at once.
And maybe not just dogs – cats, birds, rabbits are also animals that people have. And sometimes, they stay in one place inside the house.
If this is the case in your house, then #9 can apply to you. And you might want to avoid hitting your dog so as not to agitate your other pets.
Have you ever seen siblings who are being scolded by their parents? It’s not a pretty sight, but it’s needed for discipline.
In some cases, the other sibling would make fun of the one being scolded. However, there are others who would also get scared because their parents are mad.
It’s like your anger and stress can transfer to your other pets. This scenario is especially true in canines. Since they are able to match our cortisol levels.
A study shows that your dog’s stress levels increase if you’re also stressed. And if you frequently get angry and hit your canine, they’ll always feel emotional distress.
But this doesn’t affect the dog you got mad at and hit. Their siblings will also feel stressed. And this can make your household a place of fear.
You might also want to read: 9 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Avoiding You (All Of A Sudden)
#10: You might bring this behavior outside and hit other dogs
Have you ever seen the unusual habits of other people when they’re outside? Makes you think that they always do those behaviors at home, yeah?
I always think about this when I see people who are extremely loud in public. Or those who don’t have any manners when talking to waiters in restaurants.
These people probably tolerate this kind of behavior in their homes. Maybe even encourage it.
And this is also true for fur parents and how we act towards other dogs. If we are used to treating dogs with love and care, we bring this behavior outside.
When we meet dogs who are being unruly, we’ll most likely be more understanding. Some fur parents are used to showing acts of kindness towards their dogs. And they don’t have an immediate urge to hit a “disobedient” dog.
However, if you’re one who would spank your canines, then you might do it to other pooches, too. This isn’t ideal since you’ll be causing stress towards other dogs.
And you might also encounter fur parents who would be mad at you for hitting their canine.
#11: They will have changes in their behavior
Some humans who are scared exhibit certain behavior that shows what they feel. Personally, I usually fiddle with my thumbs when I get anxious.
Others sweat a lot and there are some who talk frequently when they’re scared. These behaviors only come out when we feel anxious but this isn’t exclusive to humans.
Dogs show changes in their behavior when they’re around people who hit them. This is because they are always in fear of getting hurt.
It’s natural for them to try and protect themselves from getting hit. And they’re always anticipating that you’ll hurt them when you’re around.
According to the VCA, here are a few actions that dogs do when they feel anxious:
Behavior #1: They try to shy away from you and hide.
Behavior #2: Dogs will lower their body and their heads when you are around them.
Behavior #3: Their eyes are wider than usual. Kinda like they’re always on the lookout
Behavior #4: Your canine’s tail will be tucked under their bodies. Instead of the typical wagging when they’re happy.
Behavior #5: They pull their ears back close to their head.
If you see these in your pooch, then it’s a sign that they’re scared. And when they show it whenever you’re around, you could be the cause of their fear.
“But these behaviors don’t have any negative impact on me.”
True, however, some dogs show alterations in their behavior that can make your life harder. Take for example potty training.
When dogs are stressed, there’s a chance they start pooping inside your home. Canines who are always in an unsafe place may refuse to go potty.
And when they’re inside and nobody’s around, accidents can happen. This is just one behavior that could change in your pooch.
I’ll discuss 2 more in #12 and #13.
Check out next: Dog Pooping On Carpet: 15 Reasons + 15 Tips To Stop ASAP
As mentioned earlier, scared dogs are prone to hiding. They are already fearful of what will happen outside so their tendency is to cower.
When this happens, your pooch will soon hate socializing. Going out to meet other people will be too much for them and it can stress them out.
Seeing other dogs can also scare them, or even make them aggressive. This is because they’re not used to being in their presence.
Going on walks with an anxious and undersocialized canine can be a hassle for you. There will be lots of pulling and restraining them from barking. Some dogs might even attack others while out.
You’ll often see canines bark at others through a gate, too. Just look at this clip:
#13: They easily get scared with sounds and unfamiliar things
It’s normal for dogs to be frightened by noise Especially if it’s really loud.
But when your pooch is already flinching at every sound that they hear, it can become a problem.
Seeing unfamiliar things can also frighten an abused dog. Flickering lights, shadows, and random floating objects can scare them.
And because of this fear, it’ll be harder to keep them inside your home. Some canines will act out and be unnecessarily rowdy.
You might also be interested in: 7 Alarming Reasons Why Dogs Flinch All Of A Sudden + Tips