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Why You Should Never Spank Your Dog
Posted by Abby Rosenberg on February 3, 2012
Filed under PetMeds Spotlight

Let’s face it, most dogs misbehave from time to time.  While it may be tempting to correct the bad behavior with a spank, you should never discipline your dog physically.  Spanking is confusing to your dog, may cause your dog to become hand-shy or fearful of you, and most importantly, doesn’t teach him the desired behavior.

If your dog is misbehaving, what is a better method of correcting him? Any unpleasant stimulus will work to let your dog know his behavior is unwanted.  A negative stimulus may be something such as a loud noise (shaking a can of coins, for example), or a brief tug on the leash.  The negative result teaches him to avoid the behavior.  Your dog must receive the negative stimulus at the same time the bad behavior occurs; otherwise, he will not associate the negative result with the behavior.  A stern voice is oftentimes all that is necessary to correct many dogs.

The best way to teach your dog the desired behavior is with positive reinforcement when he behaves correctly.  For example, rather than spanking a dog for urinating in the house, provide an opportunity for him to relieve himself in an appropriate place and then praise him lavishly when he performs.

Remember, your dog loves physical contact, as long as it is not done in anger. Most dogs even enjoy light spanking done playfully. Avoid physical punishment and you can ensure your dog always looks forward to your touch.

What are your thoughts on spanking a pet?

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12 Responses to “Why You Should Never Spank Your Dog”

  1. Jan Schlecht on 03 Feb 2012 at 11:06 pm #

    I love this!!! You guys are so good at posting great articals.

  2. Lily on 02 Aug 2012 at 2:35 pm #

    I kind of agree with spanking to show some discipline because sometimes your dog/puppy won’t listen to you. But as long as you are not doing it out of anger and doing it for every little thing. My mom and sister just got two puppies both are sisters and both are pittbulls and we got them when they were 6 weeks old and they are soon to be 8 weeks. They are teething and I only pop them lightly once if they try to bite on me or things that they are not suppose to chew on. Besides that, if they pee in the house, I rub their noses in it and pop them once (a little hard, but not hard enough to really hurt them) and say “NO” in a firm voice. Even though they are not mine, I take care of them and love them. They always try to crawl in my lap, follow me around and give me puppy kisses lol My mom is usually busy with work but she always makes time to play with the puppies and give attention to her other dog (a seberian husky who is about 4 years old (he doesn’t like the puppies because they are trying to rough house with him)). Anyways, my sister is horrible with them… I mean, when she first got her puppy I thought she wasn’t going to take care of her as well. I mean she didn’t took care of her last pitt who died recently from old age and having too many seizures… But anyways, my sister is way too strict to the puppies. I mean yes they’ve got to learn at a young age and I’m in no position to do anything because they aren’t mine but still they are only puppies. She pops them for wanting to be on the couch and cuddle with her (they jump up there for attention that she rarely gives and she pops them), she pops them if they pee in the house (they have theses puppy sheets they can pee on and they are trying to get the hang of peeing on there but she should take them out on time instead of worrying about the mess they made) she pops them if they are playing too rough (it’s they’re breed, they always play rough and it’s not a bad thing) she pops them for chewing on her shoes (she should know better than to just leave her shoes around the pups, and complains that they keep chewing on them. Don’t leave your fucking shitty shoes around the house then bitch!) she pops them for not listening to her (when she’s trying to come inside they are puppies and like to play and she pops them for not listening to her when she wants to come inside and they dont’) Whenever I take them out, I let them play, let them use the bathroom, play some more and when I want or think it’s time to come inside, I just call out to them nicely, start to come in the house without telling them or go picking them up to carry them inside and they listen to me and follow me around. My sister puts them in their beds/cage when she wants to record on of her songs on the family computer and gets mad when they whine during her recording (they want to keep playing but she won’t let them)
    So tell me, is she strict or am I just a softie? Or are we both wrong?

  3. megan w on 24 Dec 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    I don’t believe you should rub a puppies nose in pee. It’s kind of ridiculous since I’m sure when you were being potty trained your mom didn’t rub your face in it when you had accidents so why do that to a pup that isn’t even 2 months old?

  4. Mel on 14 Jan 2013 at 1:31 am #

    Rubbing your pups nose in pee is not only ineffective, its unsanitary. You should stop that asap.

  5. Julius on 14 Feb 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    I have a pit bull puppy who is 3 months old. I just got him a week ago and he is picking up on many of the commands I give him but potty training doesnt seem to get any better. When he pees in the house I show him what he did and I pop him 2 times. Once I pop him I then take him outside to show him this is where he should use the bathroom. I feel terrible popping him but I was told this is the best method for training a pitbull because they are so stubborn. Im going to try to get him on a good schedule starting today and hopefully this will help a lot. Ill be getting him a crate tomorrow as well so hopefully this will help my pup out a lot.

  6. John on 01 May 2013 at 2:32 am #

    This is ridiculous. Spanking is negative reinforcement, which happens, the dog will also come to understand, when he pees inside. There is a difference between spanking and beating. The dogs do not get hurt and they learn who’s boss. I have not known of any dogs, including my own, who have become aggressive or “hand shy” after an appropriate spanking. People just don’t like the idea of physical punishment.

  7. Russell on 23 Jun 2013 at 10:40 am #

    I have to agree. Too many people place dogs on the same level as a human. Yes they are a living thing, but they’re animals. Use whatever methods you want to train your dog, and if it works, good, but if not, try something else. People don’t like physical punishment like John said. That’s just this soft environment we live in now. All my dogs get whipped and were potty trained by getting their noses in the pee, and faces NEAR the poo as well as spanked once. Best training method I’ve ever used and will always use.

  8. No on 19 Aug 2013 at 3:50 pm #

    You people clearly don’t own dogs.

    Or you own a dog who is extremely obedient.

    If any of you dealt with a breed that is stubborn or does not listen *at all* you would see what a joke it is to read these comments about never scolding your dog. Its ridiculous. Everyone learns from scolding, and when words or clapping are completely ignored, a little pat on the butt in combination with those will work wonders. Even Cesar Millan will use contact – just like the mother dog uses contact, and just like other dogs in a pack use (sometimes vicious, angry contact) to warn eachother away. It does not “scar” the dog unless you are mercilessly beating him. I have had a puppy for a couple weeks who listens to nothing. English Bulldog. You people who sit there and comment that its so easy to train a dog without light spankings don’t have an English Bulldog. And don’t tell me all breeds are the same because you’d be showing your ignorance. I keep reading these articles and shaking my head at the nonsense talk about positive reinforcement. Yes, giving treats works when they do right. But they draw *no* negative association when they do wrong, and that is *not* how you train a dog. There is a world of difference between a light slap on the butt and what you people are thinking of. Yet none of you want to draw the distinction. You categorize any and every bit of contact as “abuse” which is utterly ridiculous. I can only wish upon you all a dog that ignores every word you say, no matter how you say it, and learns nothing from only positive reinforcement. Then you’ll see how silly the suggestions are.

  9. Joel on 22 Aug 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    I have to agree with NO and John, spanking is part of dog obedience. There is a difference between spanking, which for me is a firm pat on the side/back of their leg where there’s no danger of actually hurting the animal, and beating the poor creature.

    I’ve raised two dogs since about 6 weeks old, one is an 8 year old beagle/lab and the other is a 2 year old welsh corgi. both were spanked, noses in pee, hard discipline when they were puppies and now they’re some of the most loving, passive, and obedient dogs i’ve ever known. Both of them just melt around children, which is the best part for me, because they learned during their formative years that aggressive behavior was not going to be tolerated. both housebroken, no separation anxiety, and well adjusted to new dogs/people.

    sure, i didn’t like to spank them, i love them both dearly, but i wasn’t trying to hurt them, but teach them.

  10. Tripod on 26 Apr 2014 at 9:42 pm #

    As a puppy myself, I find a good spanking is effective when I’ve been disobedient. I find that it corrects poor behavior and puts me in my place. Though I’ve been punished, I know my owner still loves me and life continues better than before. Woof!

  11. Ryan Reddell on 27 Apr 2014 at 12:27 am #

    LOL Yes, we need to sit the dog down and talk to them. Give them a timeout. It works SOOOO WELL because they KNOW WHAT YOU ARE SAYING.

    The liberals in this country are destroying it. If you are over 35, ask your grandparents if they got spanked. Most did, and the kids today DO NOT.

    Strange that school violence and violence among kids are higher today than ever.

    I know, I know, we are ALL WINNERS in this world, nobody is a loser. Positive reinforcement blah blah blah.

  12. darion on 01 Jul 2014 at 6:57 pm #

    I am glad that there are people here who honestly know how to train their puppies. And nothing, nothing, works like a pop on the booty and the face placed close to the site of the crime. Indeed you have to catch them in the act, indeed you have to be verbal and you have to mean it. Surely you didnt think the mother dog was joking when she snatched up lil pup pup, it’s not a joke. But if you believe that spanking a puppy is wrong, clearly you have never seen the Male dog as he disiplines the children in the pack. Many of you would say he was being abusive.

    I have been raising pups for 16yrs no aggression issues and I have seen em all, from Minis to Dobermans and back again.

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