Should I Hit My Dog? The Answer Is No.

In dog training (or in ANY interaction with ANY species, for that matter!), there is no room for direct angry contact of any human body part (e.g. hand, foot) to any part of the dog’s body. Of course, there IS room for kind contact of any kind: petting, patting, stroking, etc.

Hitting a dog.

Sorry – Only The Cat’s Allowed To Beat The Dog…

Hitting does not teach a dog anything…

Spanking only vents YOUR anger, YOUR frustration. Slapping only teaches a dog to shy away from your hand (become hand-shy). Smacking can result in your dog snapping back at you! What other recourse does he have? He can’t tell you or even ask you to stop. He can’t push your hand or foot away. A dog’s mouth is his hand, and he will use it similarly.

Rather Use Your Voice

TONE OF VOICE (see my related article) can accomplish SO much! A correct tone of voice can stop a dog in his tracks. Your tone of voice can quickly tell your dog that you are displeased. A dog that respects your leadership will understand. Your tone of voice is what will get your dog to listen, learn and pay attention to you.

I spank my dogs all the time – but I spank them when I tell them I love them! I grab their little butts and I give them a few swats as they turn around and try to kiss me, wagging their tails the entire time. I could not hit my dogs hard enough to hurt them “to teach them a lesson”. Their coats buffer blows just as it keeps most bites from causing wounds.

When Hitting Your Dog Is OK

If I hit my dog, it is to get their attention (“HEY!”) in an urgent situation. I make sure my voice carries more weight than my touch, and I praise when they turn to look at me. My swift swat is, at this point, punctuation to my words – kind of like what a collar and leash does. And because I RARELY swat my dogs, they have learned I mean business when this happens. “HEY! Get your face out of the garbage!” “HEY! You WAIT for me!” “HEY! Leave it!”

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Junior Watson

Junior is the resident "Top Dog". He enjoys walks in the park, chasing invisible cats, and of course... bacon strips!

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  • How do I train a dog to not harm other pets or livestock? I just got a dog, but she attacked my goat and my ferret. I punched her repeatedly to teach her that is wrong, but I guess that’s not what I’m supposed to do according to this website. I know that dogs have a hunting instinct, but as a multiple species pet owner, I absolutely HATE this instinct and want to train out of the dog.

  • Thanks for finally writing about >Should I Hit My
    Dog? The Answer Is No. – Dog Training Basics <Loved it!

  • My dog is 11. Mths and Fox terrier he can be naughty , my friends dog is Pomeranian and 5years old , my dog wants to play and is quite rough with friends dog , the other day my friend roughly hit my dog as he wouldn’t leave hers alone and boys in park had a go at her.

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