We all have been angry before. It isn’t a great emotional state to be in as we do and say hurtful things when we are mad. Things that we regret after we calm down.
You would have heard stories of dog owners hitting their dogs out of anger. You might have even smacked your dog out of anger and regretted it immediately.
Smacking or hitting your dog is never the right thing to do regardless of how angry you are. As much as we treat our dogs like family, they do not have the type of understanding as humans do.
Smacking your dog will only result in behavioral issues over time. There are better ways to discipline your dog.
What To Do If I Get Very Angry With My Dog?
Dogs are like kids and if you are a parent, you know how frustrating it can be when dealing with kids.
That being said, as a dog owner, losing your temper or cool with your pet is never the right thing to do.
I know of many dog owners that get very angry and frustrated with their puppies who just can’t seem to be house trained.
It is very easy to lose your temper when you puppy took a dump on your new and expensive bed sheet.
Here are some ways that can help you keep your cool when your dog is going from hero to zero.
Count To 10
Many of you might think that this technique sounds cliche but it actually works. By counting to 10, it gives you time to think before you react and allows the anger to dissipate.
The next time your dog breaks your favorite vase at home, just remember to count to 10 before having a serious talk with your dog.
Take Deep Breaths
When you are angry, your breathing tends to get shallower and quicker. This is your brain telling your body that something bad is going to happen.
In order to get your brain to tell your body to relax, take deeper and slower breaths which will help you relax quicker.
Know What Triggers You
We all have things that we do not like, things that make us angry very quickly.
For me, it is when my dog dashes into the house without getting a wipe down on the porch.
And when my cat sleeps on my pillow after taking a dump.
If you know of something which your pet does that triggers you, try to do what you can to minimize it or be mentally prepared when it does happen.
Manage Your Expectations
It is easy to humanize our pets after some time and we expect them to have the same understanding and realization as humans.
Our pets can make sense of certain things but do not expect them to react as how a human would to certain situations.
Love your dog like you would a family member but remember that it is still biologically a dog.
Why Is It Bad To Hit My Dog?
Some parents have a saying that if your spare your child the rod, your child will end up being spoilt.
That might be true many decades ago when using pain based aversive techniques to raise your child was the only way.
Not so much these days when there are other more effective techniques to instill disciple in young kids.
Using pain based aversive techniques to correct your dog’s behavior can have more cons than pros. Some of which can lead to long-term damage.
In the heat of the moment, it can be hard to tell how hard you might have smacked your dog. If a strong force was used, it can cause internal damage to your dog’s organ.
Hitting your dog on the head can lead to injuries to its brain and ear canal. Body blow can cause internal bleeding and damage major organs.
The injuries can even be more severe if a hard object was used or if the dog is just a puppy.
Increased Dog Aggression
You might think that smacking your dog is an effective form of dog training.
But it isn’t.
Inflicting pain on your dog will only lead to more bad behavior over time.
Would you like it if someone were to hit or slap you on a daily basis?
It’s only a matter of time before you snap and retaliate back.
Your dog might tolerate the abuse the first few times but there will come a day when the dog will snap and bite back.
Aggressive dogs are dangerous to be around as they are very unpredictable. They can bite you or your family members when feeling threatened.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Dogs that suffer from abuse can develop PTSD. Dogs that have PTSD tend to have severe anxiety from experiencing a traumatic event.
A traumatic event defers from dog to dog. For some dogs, even experiencing one smack to the face or body is enough to alter their behavior.
Dogs with PTSD tend to exhibit the following symptoms:
- Panic attacks
- Fear of certain people and places
If you suspect that your dog has PTSD, you need to see the veterinarian immediately. The longer your take to resolve this, the harder it will be as time goes on.
There are many certified dog trainers or pet behaviorist that are qualified to treat such a condition in dogs.
If need be, the vet might even prescribe anti-anxiety drugs for your dog to help with the anxiety while it undergoes behavioral therapy.
It Breaks The Bond
As a dog owner, you are your dog’s world and pack leader. Your dog looks up to you for guidance and trusts you.
By smacking your dog, you are breaking the bond and trust that you have developed with your dog over the years.
Hitting dogs can significantly increase stress levels when the owner is around. Such dogs won’t have a good quality of life and are more prone to health problems.
I Hit My Puppy For Biting Me
The best time to start training a dog is when they are still puppies.
They tend to adapt easier to dog training as compared to an older dog.
However, hitting your puppy can have serious consequences as they are still so physically small and the impact can cause a lot of harm.
How to Discipline My Dog The Right Way?
Living with a dog isn’t just all fun and games. You need to know how to discipline your dog when it starts to act up.
Not all aversive methods are made equal.
Too harsh or physical punishment is bad for dogs and so is the lack of discipline. Your dog needs to know what not to do like biting other dogs or chasing after small kids.
You don’t have to be the next dog whisperer like Cesar Millan to instill good discipline in your dog.
Here are some effective methods.
Be Firm But Not Harsh
You don’t need to turn into the Incredible Hulk to let your dog know that it has done something wrong.
All you need to do is to be firm.
When your dog is doing something wrong, a firm “No”, “Stop” or “Leave It” is sufficient to make your dog stop what it is doing.
You don’t have to yell or scream at your dog which will only make matters worse.
Your dog won’t understand the meaning of the word but your firm and unhappy tone will make it realize that it’s being a bad doggie.
Catch Your Dog Red Handed
The best way to let your dog know what it is doing wrong is to correct the behavior as it happens.
If you see your dog biting your shoe, don’t wait till after you have taken your shower to tell it to stop.
Walk up to your dog and give it a stern “No”.
If you wait too long to discipline your dog, your dog won’t understand what is going on. Make sure to do it there and then for the positive training to be most effective.
Redirect Your Dog’s Behavior
Sometimes, you need to do more than just vocalize your displeasure to discourage bad behaviors.
If your dog still persists with its action even after you say “No”, take your dog by the collar and move it somewhere away from the object.
Learn how to redirect your dog’s attention to your voice or body. This will train your dog to know that you should be the main focus and not what’s happening elsewhere.
Positive reinforcement is a very important component of having well behaved dogs. You also need to know when to be gentle and soft after being firm with your dog.
For example, if you tell your dog to stop biting your shoes and it obeys, give your dog a treat or cuddles.
Learn how to create a positive association when your dog does something right. Positive reinforcement works and should be used frequently in dog training.
Is Smacking A Dog Illegal?
Technically yes if the smacking leads to harming or injuring the dog. Such an act is punishable in many states in the USA and globally.
The punishment for such a crime can be a fine and jail time.
Is It Ok If I Slap My Dog?
It is never OK to slap your dog. It is inappropriate and will have the opposite effect of what your desire to teach.
Being abusive towards your dog can lead to aggression and health issues over time.
Do Dogs Forgive When You Hit Them?
Dogs do not necessarily understand the concept of ‘forgive and forget’ when you hit them.
They will still offer you their unconditional love. However, do not expect your dog to always be nice to you if you are a serial abuser.
The fear will eventually turn to aggression one day.
How Do I Apologize To My Dog?
If you have done something that might have upset your dog, the best way to apologize is to speak to it in a gentle and calm voice. Tell your dog that all is good and that you still love it to bits. You can cuddle your dog or have some playtime before moving on.
I Smacked My Dog And Feel Bad
If you have smacked your dog out of anger before, it is completely natural to feel bad and apologetic toward your dog after the incident.
If you do not show any sense of remorse, your need to rehome your dog to a better family before you cause serious harm to your dog.
Being abusive is a crime in many countries and animal cruelty laws will punish such abusers severely.
For the majority of dog owners, smacking their dogs usually happens due to bad dog behavior.
I remember the first and last time that I smacked my dog, Bongo, out of frustration. I spent a good few hours baking some cupcakes and muffins for a house party.
Baking to me is as foreign as trying to fly a plane but I decided to get adventurous and get my hands dirty.
After more than five hours and six failed attempts, I finally made something that I deemed to be edible.
I left the finished products on the kitchen counter to cool down and tended to a phone call.
When I got back to the kitchen, I caught sight of Bongo standing on his hind legs and wolfing down the muffins.
Not only that.
He accidentally knocked down all the cupcakes on the floor which ruined them.
I could just feel my anger rising when I saw what happened.
My hand reached out and smacked him on the butt. The sudden contact gave him a shock and he jumped five feet in the air before running away.
I felt so horrible and remorseful after that I just stood there for a good minute.
It wasn’t a hard smack to my dog’s butt but the fact that I did something like this out of anger just disgusted me.
I spent the rest of the day cuddling Bongo and telling him how sorry I was.
It was a good learning lesson for me when it came to laying hands on one’s pet and never to do it again.
As dog owners, the onus is on us to train and discipline our dogs properly. If you have been hitting your dog out of anger, it needs to stop before things get out of hand. You need to speak to a qualified dog trainer to understand proper dog training.
It isn’t the end of the world if you smacked your dog once before. Your dog has probably brushed it off and moved on. But you owe it to your dog to be calm and collected the next time it misbehaves.
Train your dog the right way.