December 31, 2012

Stop Abusing Your Dog, Stupid! The Right Way To Discipline Your Best Friend

It still boggles my mind how some dog owners, as loving as they may be, suck at actually raising their dog right. I swear we need to have a license in our society for pet owners and people who want to have children. We need a license to drive, hunt, hell we even need a license for fishing; but children and pets? No prob! Anyone can pop out a kid willy nilly or own a pet.

There are a lot of good dog and pet owners out there, but there are a lot of ignorant ones too. So for those that need a refresher on how dogs work and how to discipline them the right way and just as importantly what not to do, then here we go.

First of all a dog has a memory slightly better than that of a goldfish. This is why they can’t tell if you have been gone for five minutes or five hours. Another fun fact about our K9 friends, they don’t speak English or any other language, it’s true. So for the dog owners that come home and see that Rover has eaten your couch or taken a crap on your floor; scolding them after the fact does absolutely nothing. You may as well scold a squirrel while you are at it or try to train your hamster to do the YMCA dance.

I can’t tell you how many times I have seen owners say something to the effect of, “Look! He looks guilty, he knows what he did.” No, stupid, that’s just what your dog looks like when you bully them. You could go up to your dog while he is rescuing a child and yell at him and he will give you the same expression of guilt. Studies have shown that the lack of memory combined with the inability to communicate in a human language is directly tied to them being oblivious in this situation. This is why we have them as pets and not the other way around.

In essence if you are late to the scene of the crime, you can’t do squat about it unless you just want to abuse your dog. If you enjoy abusing your dog then I’m guessing you are an abusive person. If this is the case please seek help, if you won’t seek help, please stop breathing.

Now if you catch your dog during an act of an unpleasant action like crapping on the floor or chewing up your iPod; there is a right on wrong way to discipline them. Spanking and hitting don’t do anything except teach fear; if you are persistent in disciplining this way please see the previous paragraph.

Now the best way is to catch them before they commit the act, always use a strong dominant voice, but not yelling. No! Will work wonders and save juniors leg from being humped. When you say your command, i.e., No, Leave It, Stay, point at the dog while you speak. Dogs read body language very well. Dogs should never be frightened or yelled at much less hit, these methods don’t work but persistence and being firm, but not abusive, does.

If you catch them right before they do something, like whiz on grandma, and they stop; make sure you give them positive reinforcement. Tell them, “good boy/girl”, and pat them on the head or love on them however you do as long as it’s not creepy, don’t be creepy.

Dogs are special and they become part of the family. Sometimes I think some of us forget how unintelligent these animals are when compared to us. They need us to protect them, teach them, be patient with them, and love them. And part of loving them is learning about them and learning what to do and what not to do when disciplining them. Your dog is your best friend; we need to be their best friend as well.

Image Credit: Yuri Arcurs / Shutterstock

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