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13 Reasons Why You Should NEVER Punish Your Dog

Punishing Dog

As a parent, your Fido needs your guidance.

You have to teach them what’s right and wrong.

But sometimes…

Your sweet pup can be out of control and test your limited patience.

So to stop them, you may think of scolding or hitting them.

However, halt at once and…

Keep reading to discover:

  • What happens if you punish your dog.
  • How to discipline your dog more effectively.
  • 13 reasons why punishing your dog isn’t right.
  • And many more…

13 reasons why you should never punish your dog

#1: They’ll become fearful

First, nothing good ever comes of violence or any verbal punishment.

Yes, your pooch will follow you.

But they’re not being obedient.

They only do it out of fear.

Your Fido’s afraid of getting hit or yelled at again.

So they have no choice but to  follow you. 

And as a result, your pooch will be anxious at all times.

And as per PetMD, you’ll notice these common signs of fear: 

  • Hiding.
  • Pacing.
  • Panting.
  • Circling.
  • Trembling.
  • Chasing of tail.
  • Difficulty sleeping.
  • Biting themselves.

Thus, punishing your dog will only make them afraid of you or humans in general.

Check out also: My Dog Is Scared Of Me Because I Beat Him: 13 Tips

#2: You’ll stress them out

Aside from fear, your dog will also be under great stress.

Well,   you know it’s not a pleasant feeling.

They’ll always be tense even though there’s nothing to worry about.

And it’s because they’re scared you’ll punish them again.

A group of researchers proved this.

They studied the behavior of punished dogs versus rewarded Fidos.

And the results?

It says that the former showed signs of stress more than the latter, such as:

  • Panting.
  • Tensed body.
  • Frequent yawning.
  • Excessive lip licking.
  • High cortisol level (stress hormone).

So never punish your dog, as you’ll only make your Fido uneasy.

Note: Other common stress signals you should look out for are:

Learn more: 17 Clear Signs Of Dog Stress (Stressed Dog Body Language)

#3: They’ll be aggressive

Punishing Your Dog Will Make Them Aggressive

Next, a dog who’s stressed and scared of their life will protect themself.

It’s a survival instinct in animals. 

And experts even observed this in rodents.

So if punished, your Fido will also act aggressively towards you. 

As well as anyone who goes near them.

Based on a survey, 25% of dogs acted fiercely when their parents did threatening actions, like:

  • Hitting.
  • Kicking.
  • Staring down.
  • Growling back.
  • ‘Alpha roll’ or rolling a dog on their back by force.

Also, even when familiar people yelled at the Fidos, most canines showed aggression too.

#4: They may have bite accidents

According to vets, dogs show ‘calming signals’ first. 

Like a warning before they attack. 

And they’re as follows:

  • Growling.
  • Snapping. 
  • Stiffening.
  • Crouching.
  • Pinning of ears.

However, if you don’t notice these or if you keep punishing your Fido…

They might also bite you right away without any notice.

“But why would they do that?”

Every punishment will cause fear in your pooch.

Eventually, it can force them to defend themselves and act violently.

Also, if being aggressive worked for your dog in the past…

They’ll likely show fewer warnings. Which could make them snap in an instant.

A study on 111 dog bites in children found that hounds involved have high levels of:

  • Anxiety – 77%.
  • Resource guarding – 44%.
  • Territoriality aggression – 23%.

And among 103 dogs, disciplining methods caused 59% of the cases.

So this proves that punishments result in fear. Which then leads to aggression in canines.

Continue reading: Why would a dog bite its owner?

#5: They’ll associate pain with anyone

Let’s say your dog always gets hyper when meeting other people.

To stop your pooch from lunging…

You may scold or beat them.

Now, you might think this is effective.

However, you’ll only scare or hurt your dog.

Then they’ll start associating the bad memory with strangers.

And it’s because you always punish your Fido around them.

Moreover, if you use shock collars on your pooch when they meet children…

They may also have a fear of kids.

And this isn’t good. As your Fido can act aggressively toward a specific group of people.

#6: You’ll confuse them

If you always lay hands on your dog or if you hurt them once so badly…

They may get scared of you. And this can also cause confusion.

For instance, they could think of your hand as a dangerous threat – instead of a loving companion. .

So even though you’re only about to pet your Fido…

They might flinch or tremble due to fear.

Besides this, punishing your dog will also make training harder.

But how?

One research found that punishments indeed make Fidos nervous.

As a result, they perform worse than dogs trained using positive reward techniques.

In the study, punished Fidos had less confidence in going to unfamiliar places.

It’s because they don’t trust anyone enough. And this causes them to hesitate.

Both in following orders and exploring the world around them.

#7: You won’t teach them your desired behavior

Dogs forget things fast.

Unless the memory’s crucial for food and survival. Or the event had a huge impact on them.

So, your Fido won’t remember they peed on your bed 30 minutes ago.

Or, they chewed your shoes 2 hours earlier.

Thus, if you punished them late…

Your dog won’t make the connection. As they don’t understand why you’re upset at the moment.

Also, our furry friends learn through trial and error.

If your pooch earned a reward after doing something…

They’ll realize it’s a good one. So they’ll likely do it again.

But if your dog gets a negative reaction from you right away…

They’ll learn it’s not the behavior you want.

However, you’re not telling them the right thing to do either.

In short, you’ll only make your pooch lost.

Thus, they may try other things to see if it works. Or repeat the same mischief they did.

So, punishing your dog isn’t effective in stopping unwanted behaviors.

Note: Your dog may also learn not to do the behavior around you. But continue doing it when you’re not present.

#8: You’ll reinforce the bad behavior

In some cases, punishing your dog might also do the opposite.

Your pooch may think of your scolding or eye contact as a form of attention.

And most dogs crave this from their humans.

So instead of stopping your Fido from doing the behavior…

They’ll do it all over again. As they thought you rewarded them for it.

#9: They may run away from home

Dogs are loyal.

That’s why they’re called “man’s best friend.”

But they’re creatures with feelings too.

So they may not hesitate to leave their humans when they feel unsafe or unloved.

And this could be due to:

  • Pain.
  • Trauma.
  • Frequent abuse.

#10: They might have ‘submissive urination’

“Wait. What does it mean?”

It’s when a dog pees a small amount in response to fear.

Like when you yelled at them. Or if they suddenly heard a loud noise.

In their world, it’s a way to tell someone they’re not a threat.

So if your pooch’s afraid of you, they might pee on you purposely.

Or, take a leak whenever you raise your hand, as it may remind them of a hitting gesture.

Based on experts, most Fidos submissively urinate due to punishments and scolding.

But some dogs can also be naturally timid. Which makes them more prone to this behavior.

Other signs that your Fido’s being submissive are the following:

Warning: As dogs grow old, the muscles that hold their pee also weaken. So if your senior Fido often has accidents at home, they may have urinary problems. And you need to bring them to the vet at once.

#11: You might injure them

Punishing your dog won’t only harm them emotionally.

If you’ve been too harsh , you may also hurt them physically.

And it’s a form of animal cruelty.

This is why in some places, hitting a dog’s illegal.

For example, in Canada, the fine might even be as high as $1 million, depending on the case.

But apart from hitting or kicking your pooch when they misbehave…

Some people also use electronic collars, a.k.a. ‘e-collars.’

 They’ll send electrical signals that can shock your dog once turned on.

So these collars may stop them from barking for a while.

However, a study says that they put dogs at risk of pain or injuries.

Also, wearing one will only bring discomfort to your Fido.

Plus, it poses a choking hazard and might cause burns or punctures too.

Reading tip: 5 Hidden Ways How E-Collars Can Ruin Your Dog

#12: You can traumatize them

As I said earlier, punishing your dog may only cause the following:

  • Fear.
  • Stress.
  • Physical pain.

And these can all result in trauma.

If you’re familiar with posttraumatic stress disorder, a.k.a. PTSD in humans…

Dogs have a condition equal to it as well.

But vets say they don’t get PTSD if you hit their snout or yell at them once.

It’s an illness caused by physical and emotional abuse.

As well as other serious reasons, such as:

  • Military battles.
  • Natural disasters.
  • Severe accidents.
  • Loss of a companion or parent.

“What are signs of PTSD in dogs?”

Besides stress and fear signals, a Fido with trauma may also be:

  • Clingier.
  • Aggressive.
  • Highly alert.

#13: You’ll break their trust

Lastly, this is one of the main reasons why you should never punish your dog.

Our furry pals are social.

But a Fido could take weeks, months, or even years to settle in a new home.

Moreover, fully trust someone.

However, punishments can break this bond in one snap.

If it happens more than once, your pooch may associate you with pain or fear.

As a result, your dog, who once looked at you with love…

Now trembles in fear in sight of you.

They’ll trust you less. 

And they might also cower or tense if you’re around.

One study even shows that yelling at your dog won’t make them follow you.

Based on it, a canine’s trust in their parent depends on the person’s mood.

For example, if you ask your Fido to do a command in an angry tone…

They’ll be less willing to perform it. 

As well as if you have a frowning face. Which suggests that you’re mad.

And in your Fido’s dictionary, an angry person isn’t trustworthy.

So, instead of punishing your pooch…

Studies say to reward them every time they did the right thing.

Then ignore all their bad behavior.

By doing so, you’ll encourage your dog to behave well. And slowly unlearn their naughty deeds.