Do You Think It Is Wrong to Spank a Dog When Disciplining Him (Or Her)?

Sorry this Question… is kind of all over the place, and i'm tried, and i want to go to sleep, but something is bothering me. So i'm going to try my best to say this in a way that it makes sense.

OK. So i Have a Chug (a pug/chihuahua). He is really close to me, well trained, and doesn't leave my side ever. He is an excellent dog and i did train him myself since he was a puppy. I have had him for 8 years and I thought i did an good job training him up until now.

I train dogs according to what seems most effective and best fitting for there personality, but you know the basics…. just teaching them right from wrong and lots of hugs and kisses. Ya… but this is what has been bothering me.

If my dog did something really bad i would spank him near his hind leg… of course i didn't like doing this. I love my dog, but he need to learn. I never really thought much of it until I recently saw how frowned upon spanking your dog for discipline seemed to be on this site. And sometimes people really will chew you out for spanking your dog. I thought it was ridiculous how people Chew you out and tell you are a bad trainer/terrible person for spanking your dog. I feel it is hypocritical too, almost everyone i know at one point has had to discipline a dog by spanking them and i never thought they were bad people or cruel to there animals because that was there way of discipline. BUT now i feel a little hurt to be honest. I usually what people think doesn't bother me but, i don't want people thinking I'm a cruel dog hater who is terrible at teaching her dog…

I don't know… i guess this really has been bugging me a little too much and i needed to get it off chest and i am seeking some incite from some people about this topic. Feel free to express your truthful opinion…

Just know I rarely spank my dog and I only spank my dog cause i love and care for him. I don't want him to have to learn by getting hurt. (like eating something dangerous, getting hit by a car, etc.) Because one time he wandered off (like he wasn't supposed to) and came back really hurt. It was really scary for me there was a possibility that he could have died. i just don't want that to happen again. Who Would!?

Spanking is frowned on because it is just not a good form of discipline for a dog, they don't associate it with what they did so it really doesn't do anything except show that you are angry. Unless it's timed exactly with what they did, they won't even know WHY you are angry. It's more frowned on because of that then anything. At least when you spank a child you can tell them why they are being spanked, you just can't do that with a dog.

Please don't beat yourself up over this, you love your dog and it sounds like you gave him a no more then an attention getting rap on the rump. He's as lucky to have you as you are to have him. I wish you many, many more companionable years together.

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20 Responses to “Do You Think It Is Wrong to Spank a Dog When Disciplining Him (Or Her)?”

  1. ~? Shih Tzu Lover ?~ says:

    "I feel it is hypocritical too, almost everyone i know at one point has had to discipline a dog by spanking them and i never thought they were bad people or cruel to there animals because that was there way of discipline."

    I have not ONCE spanked my dog, IMO it is totally unnecessary. My almost year old dog was trained through positive re-enforcement and commitment. I don't agree with spanking children and I don't agree with spanking dogs.
    References :

  2. Breezy <3 says:

    hello breezy

    i never really liked to spank my dog.. hes really sensitive… if i was punishing him i would just kinda scare him or spray him with water..

    because i kinda had the same thing happend except my dog was in our yard one night and a stray dog came into our yard and attacked him..

    for a few weeks he spend alot of his time inside and under our coffee table i was so scared for him..
    but hes pretty good now…
    References :

  3. eshires01 says:

    Ask yourself this question .. do these same "don't spank the dog" people spank their children when they do something wrong???

    The reason they say this is because we have come to the belief that the dog doesn't understand what it is being spanked for.

    We are now in the Positive Reinforcement era of dog training, so that's a method that has become outdated.

    Back in the old Negative Reinforcement era, spanking was more commonplace and was called a correction.

    Thank you, Dr. Spock!
    References :

  4. sorria86 says:

    I don't like to spank dogs either.

    You get much more out of positive reinforcement. Rewarding the dog when they do something good, instead of hitting them when they're bad. When the dog dose do something bad (like chew up something), I'd tell them "no" and give them something appropriate to chew on instead. They get the idea. If I don't catch them in the act of being bad, I just clean up the mess and don't say anything to the dog. Saying "bad" or "no" to a dog 5 hours after its done something wrong doesn't work, you have to catch the dog while he's in the act.

    Besides that positive reinforcement training is now considered the generally accepted method of training, harsher training methods that include spanking your dog have been proven to have the drawback of retalitory aggression. A lot of dogs will bite back if you spank them. Positive reinforcement training eliminates that possibility.

    I've trained one dog under negative reinforcement and two under positive reinforcement. All three were trained equally well but my negative reinforcement trained dog would take your fingers off the minute you laid a hand to his backside. My positive reinforcement trained dogs wouldn't even think about biting me.
    References :

  5. Marie says:

    Spanking is frowned on because it is just not a good form of discipline for a dog, they don't associate it with what they did so it really doesn't do anything except show that you are angry. Unless it's timed exactly with what they did, they won't even know WHY you are angry. It's more frowned on because of that then anything. At least when you spank a child you can tell them why they are being spanked, you just can't do that with a dog.

    Please don't beat yourself up over this, you love your dog and it sounds like you gave him a no more then an attention getting rap on the rump. He's as lucky to have you as you are to have him. I wish you many, many more companionable years together.
    References :
    Have had canine companions all of my adult life.

  6. Ruckus1 says:

    Discipline is training and education. Spanking is NOT discipline. It is punishment/abuse handed out by an owner who is frustrated and does not know what else to do but take those frustrations out on the dog. Spanking/hitting/yelling only teaches the dog to be fearful. Creating a fearful dog leads to more behavior problems and creates a dog who is more likely to bite someone because he is afraid. Go to a quality obedience class where you can learn to appropriately train your dog. Good luck.
    References :

  7. tammeka says:

    The answer to your question is YES it is wrong to spank your dog! It is ok though, I don't judge you. Most people are misled about how to teach a dog anything! I am a vet tech and when people bring in their pets for the first puppy visit I try to make sure I teach them how to "get along" with their pets. It is REALLY important to understand the dogs veiw of the world. They do not think like humans, therefore they do not learn effectively from human type punishment or training. You must see your dog views your entire family as it's pack. Dogs will always try to become the leader of that pack from the day you bring him home. They were doing this in their litter. I recommend reading Cesar Milan's books, he gets dogs and I have tremendous results from his way. I can't remember if you stated what your dog was doing to get a spanking, but if your dog is starting to urinate in the house when he never used too….take him to the vet, he may have a urinary tract infection. If he gets in the trash or chews on something of yours. First look at all of his chew toys..did you give him something to chew on that resembled the items he is chewing? if so, It is your fault they can not disginuish an old shoe from your favorite shoe. If he is starting to get in the trash, did you feed him people food? He may now think he can have what smells so good in the trash. If he gets in the trash, you have to either put it up or teach him not to get in the trash. Set him up and catch him getting into it…you can use a can of pennies to shake when you catch him the act of doing something inapprpriate or use a "AHHH" with your voice. make sure to do it consistantly. Also teach your dog who is the leader. There are simple things you can do through out the day/night. Make him sit/lay/stay before each meal. That way he is working for his food. Don't feed your pet before you eat dinner. The lead dog ALWAYS eats first. Never allow your pet to lie in the floor and you step over him, make him move. Try to walk through door ways before your pet. On walks…you have to be in the front, he must be a follower. And please make sure you are walking him. Sometimes dogs get bored and anxiety built up and take it out on your stuff. DOGS NEED EXERCISE. If you do your research on dog behavior you will understand more. Cesar Milan's books are a great way to understand this. GOOD LUCK, hope this helps!
    References :

  8. I Love Staffys! says:

    I am sorry, but I disagree with you. You see, dogs are dogs and they think differently to us - so you can't expect them to act like humans.

    Your dog lives in the present, and pretty much forgets the "un-important" things to him, (like running away and such).
    So when you spanked him, he didn't know why you were hitting him and probably got very emotionally and physically hurt.

    Remember, dogs cannot understand humans so well, but they are very intelligent.

    Take it like this way…
    Humans are allowed to get angry at dogs, but when dogs get angry at humans, they call them "aggressive" and "violent", but you really need to stop spanking you dog, even though it may seem only twice, it still makes a difference.

    be glad that your dog didn't get run over, that your dog didn't pass over. hug him and love him, don't spank him because he ALMOST passed.

    good luck, sorry if i've been mean but i'm truly against animal cruelty
    References :

  9. puplovetft says:

    It's not that spanking is bad because, unless it's actual beating of the dog, it's not. It's just that it's counter productive because it's not a correction that dogs understand. You'll never see mama dog turning her puppies over her knee and spanking them for disobeying her rules. What you will see is her correcting them verbally, with growls and physically with correction bites.

    If your dog needs to be corrected, you need to imitate mama dog in a sense. This means doing things like saying "No" in a low, growly-sounding voice. Or, if more is needed, giving a young pup a scruff shake or an adolescent or adult dog a leash or collar correction.

    The one danger with spankings is that your dog could become fearful of your hands and become a fear biter primarily because it it would not understand that it was being corrected using that method. So, from now on, instead of hitting use a more appropriate method of correcting the dog when needed.
    References :
    http://www.dogproblems.com/

  10. Tam says:

    I don't spank. I kind of tap them with 2 or 3 fingers on the top of his leg and say 'no'. I never hit them, its more like for show, no pain but it affects him cause it's an unpleasant feeling for them to have someone tap them there.

    I think spanking is bad, a tap or 1 piece of rolled up paper barely touching them is better.
    References :

  11. Fields of Gold says:

    Well, I have had dogs for over 36 years and I have never spanked them.
    It doesn't get you anywhere, you just vent your own anger on the dog by lashing out. I have found that dogs know when you are displeased with them by the tone of your voice and your body language so there really is no need to smack a dog no matter how angry you feel.

    The hand should be used for loving not for smacking.
    References :
    Golden Retriever Breeder 36 yrs experience
    Own 8 Goldens & 1 Springer

  12. jennifer K says:

    the reason why allot of trainers don't think spanking is a good idea. is because the dog might not even understand why you are spanking him if he had an accident in the house and you spank him who knows when he did it. if he even remembers he had an accident. the best thing to do is just clean it up and forget that accident. you only punish if you find them in the act. Even than he will learn not to do it in front of you but become sneaky. Do it when your not looking. so when you catch them in the act your just suppose to put them out side and praise them. when they go out side than he wont hide and hell learn when hes being good.
    References :

  13. kasd22 says:

    my question is does a dog understand what spanking means??? yeah it may hurt them, but can they really connect the relationship that what they were doing was wrong and therefore got a swat. . . i swear by a water bottle spritz and a verbal reprimand and of course eye contact.
    References :

  14. maggie s says:

    most dogs u see are not prefectly trained i know a lot of poeple who would spank their dog, not that hard so it would cry out. its mearly to give a warning. Also it should only b done while the act is playing out.

    lots of dogs are strong willed and i think need a smack every now and then but lot of dogs u can stop what they are doing with a growling tone.

    my dog is strong willed and growling at her to stop chashing the birds and jumping all over my mums bird aviry will not work but if i give her a smack with a thin stick that will stop her. She has a strong spirit and i think i could honestly beat her (not tht i ever would cause i love her so much to the point where i forked over heaps of money keeping her in kennels for a while when i was homeless and did need extra money for myself) we would still come back to me she is that loyal.

    but there are dogs u should not smack cause of their personalites it will just damage the dog and make it become timed and cowar

    there are always going to be ppl in the world that smack their dogs
    References :

  15. yourpetnme1 says:

    Congratulations! It takes guts to be able to open up, as you just did, to a forum like this.

    All of us at one time or another have lost control and done something that we regret. As a trainer, as much as I control myself, I've lost it with one of my own dogs when she attacked her sister over a piece of food.

    I picked her up and dropped her away from her sister and she fell quite hard. As I was doing it I knew it was wrong and it was contrary to everything that I had ever been taught.

    Harsh punishment, of any kind, is old school mentality in training. It use to be that you trained a dog to be afraid of you and therefore, he would be obedient because of fear of punishment. The problem with that is that it didn't create cohesion, it created fear.

    I know I'm going to get a lot of flack about this, but I see people using prong collars and thinking that they are properly training their dogs. They are still using fear and punishment to train. How would you like to have one of those things around your neck and every time you said "Boo" someone jerked the leash and those prongs dug into your neck.

    All that being said, punishment does not add to a psychologically sound companion. In addition, depending upon how long it is between the time that, in your mind, your dog did something wrong and when you spank him, he may or may not have a clue as to why you are hitting him.

    What's more is that your dog may not even know that he is doing something wrong. Unless he has been previously taught that, that behavior is wrong he is only doing what is natural to a dog. If he hasn't been taught the rules of the house, that's your fault.

    Today's way of training is with the use of positive reinforcement. That reinforcement may be with the use of food or treats, or toys, or caresses, or whatever your dog loves to do.

    If he is doing something that you don't like he doesn't get any sort of reward. Another way, assuming he is properly trained, is to put him on a "Sit Stay" or "Time Out", either in his bed or a gated area. But this has to be done immediately in order for him to understand that this negative reinforcement relates to the behavior.

    There are volumes written upon this subject. Training and teaching methods have changed from "Punishment" to "Behavior Modification".

    Just a couple of good books you can look into are:

    Don't Shoot the Dog! by, Karen Pryor
    How Dogs Learn. by Mary Burch & Jon Bailey

    Good Luck and don't feel bad, but don't do it again! (LOL)
    References :
    Your Pet N Me is a Pet Sitting and Dog Obedience Training company in Bergen County, NJ. We try to help with any information and advice to anyone that asks. http://www.yourpetnme.com

  16. honeypot says:

    Well, when my puppy did something really bad, i spank him lightly with a newspaper and say bad dog. He knows that i am unhappy with him and he understands that he has done something wrong
    References :

  17. Julie G says:

    Personally I don't have a problem with it as long as it's reserved from when you dog is doing something really dangerous instead of generally misbehaving ie. sniffing at something poisonous and you realise that there is a strict line between discipline and hurting your dog. I would never condone beating a dog.

    Actually, I think a quick tap on the bum can be a good idea. Positive reinforceation (is that the word? Sorry can't spell) won't do much good when you dog is sniffing at the poisons on the bottom shelf, not that they should be within their reach anyway, but you get what I mean (although I admit PR has it's place when training generally). A short sharp shock could save their life.

    I know I'm going to get lots of thumbs down for this but it is just my opinion. You have to understand I love my dog to bits and would never intentionally hurt him. It's not even like I hit him, he just gets a very quick tap, which I reckon is more uncomfortable than painful.
    References :

  18. ainawgsd says:

    The thing is, "spanking" (hitting, slapping, whatever you want to call it) is an old out-dated way of training. People also used to say you had to wait until a puppy was 6 months old to start training because training involved strangling the dog with a chain collar around the neck and could actually hurt a young puppy. Times change, our understanding of how dogs learn has improved, and there are more effective and less cruel techniques available now. A lot of people still do it because they don't know any better way and it seems to work. And for many dogs it probably doesn't do any horrible damage to the relationship. But there are better ways now and people need to realize this. Most of the time, when people "spank" their dog for doing something wrong the dog has no idea what they are actually getting hit for. The timing has to be 100% perfect (ie you have to deliver the punishment at the exact second that the dog is performing the unwanted behavior) and that is very very rarely possible. This lack of timing can lead a dog to be mistrustful of people, even people they very clearly love, because people randomly become scary for no apparent reason.
    References :

  19. cocker luv says:

    Duh. That is the most cruel thing to do to a dog
    References :

  20. [...] At least when you spank a child you can tell them why they are being spanked, you just can’t do that with a dog. Please don’t beat yourself up over this, you love your dog and it sounds like you gave him a no more then an attention …Continue Reading [...]

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