When Is It Okay to Hit a Dog?

When is it okay to hit a dog?

What would you do if someone started smacking this dog?

What would you do if you saw someone hitting a dog?

I know how I would react, because I saw it go down yesterday — at the vet’s office, of all places.

First, some background. Sissy, my brown Labrador, started limping the other day. My first thought was a splinter, something stuck in her paw or a scratch or scrape.

Upon further inspection in the nooks and crannies of her paw with a flashlight, I came up empty. She consistently licked her paw and was limping considerably more the next day.

Another check of the paw, and I saw that what must have been a teeny tiny cut was licked to a now visible surface wound. I cleaned the wound and called the veterinarian’s office to see when they could squeeze us in. Luckily, they had an afternoon cancellation and we headed in.

Shortly after we checked in and sat down in the lobby, a woman came in and proceeded to the front desk. She explained that her dog was overheated and needed to see the vet right away.

The receptionist looked around the woman, then back at her. “Where is your dog?” she asked.

“In the car,” the woman replied.

Seriously? Your dog overheats, you take her to the vet and then leave her in the car — in 90-plus degree heat? Little did I know my silent seething would get worse…

Barking and Beating

The woman came back in with an extremely overweight miniature pinscher. It just so happened that a young woman was sitting across from me in the lobby with her own miniature pinscher. The contrast was appalling, but more shock was yet to come.

The woman sat down in the lobby just around the corner near the examination rooms. She was holding her dog in her lap, and the dog was constantly barking. In a vet’s office, barking is expected, so no one really pays it any mind — until the first WHACK was heard.

The woman had hit her dog so hard it could be heard throughout the entire (large) lobby from around the corner hallway.

At first I wasn’t exactly sure what I had heard. Then the next whack was followed with a “Shut up!” And another whack.

I looked across to the three people sitting opposite me, and their gazes went from her to me with a look that could only be explained as shock. The dog continued barking, and then yet another whack was heard. The dog cried out in pain at the last hit.

That’s when I lost my cool.

The Warning

The front desk employees were now watching the situation, and the vet had just walked out as I leaned forward to make sure my voice carried to where she was sitting:

“If you hit that dog one more time,” I announced, “I’m coming over there to see how you like it!”

The vet looked at me then back at her before taking the dog away from her and disappearing into one of the examination rooms.

Miss Hits-a-Lot was taken to a back room where people and patients don’t normally go, and I found out before I left that they were discussing if they would even let her leave with the dog.

I calmed down and our names were called, and I left hoping the overheated dog wouldn’t be sent home to be beaten further.

What Would You Do?

I don’t believe in hitting animals as a form of training or correcting unwanted behavior, especially in this case — where the dog was already overheated and stressed.

But what about regular training? Positive reinforcement and clicker-type training are praised by some, while others either support or criticize Cesar Millan‘s contact method, examples of which have shown him hitting dogs.

So let me pose this question to you: When is it okay to hit a dog? Would you have reacted differently in my situation?

Tell me in the comments below; let’s start a discussion.

Photo: Cordey/Flickr

From Around the Web

  • S_angel56

    I would have said the same thing thing to her and I would also tell her i was reporting her for animal cruelty where I live. taken a pic of her and the dog on my phone and tell her there are witnesses here to back it up and if the dog is lucky he won’t be going home with her today but will be with people who respect animals feelings and care for them properly.

    • therealtruthplse

      YOU weren’t there my dearest were you….Let’s not get too caried away then by what your reading , that which is written by some OTHER person…. How do you know this person( above) is correct, maybe the woman wasnt as bad as she was made out to be…..Perhaps our “witness” could possibly be exaggerating a little, NOT taking into reason ALL of the accuations she has made, against this woman….Too many folks nowadays are ready to quickly “point the finger at someone “… Just because she is an editor for a pets magazine dosen’ t make it right for her to accuse someone in the wrong, then PUBLICLY write about it! Did she even ask the woman why her dog was over weight? Did she ask the woman Why the dog was in the car? There could be perfectly plausible reasons to these questions. Regards hitting the dog…she could have merely only “slapped” the dog in a diciplining way, maybe the dog is hyper and hard to control….maybe the dog was spayed or neutered, hence its over- weight-ness….maybe the dog had to be brought by car (windows could have all been down if it were “90 degrees”, i think anyone s windows would have been down in this heat!!! Maybe the woman had no other way of getting to the vet’s, but by car??? All these” maybes”…… We need to have actually  been there and actually SEEN what happened,  before being fit to DEEM and JUDGE!!!! You only have a one sided version, based on what some Editor of a Pets Community, “saw”….Im certainly NOT defending animal cruety, definately NOT…. I am however extremel wary of “opinionated” one- sided versions of  a story… This is definately a tale where one would had to have been there, in order to make any  judgement on the “woman with the pinscher”……….

      • Michelle

        The topic was this woman abusing her dog, not how she got the dog there,  that is part of the story, If the three people in the waiting room and the staff at the desk were watching this, it wasn’t a light tap,  you should give your head a shake. If you feel you need to hit an animal to get the behaviour you desire, you should not own an animal!!! Period!!! If it were me, I would of walked over and smacked her and asked her how she liked it. That person should not own an animal! The dog was overheating, and she feels the need to hit the dog to “shut it up”? SHOULD NOT BE AN ANIMAL OWNER!!!!!

        • AmmoNit23

          Where you there? Period…..

        • AnneSeay

          It DOES NOT Matter whether we were there or not, if she hit the dog till it cried out, SHE WAS OUT OF LINE and I HOPE she DID NOT get that dog back!!! You people that always side with the human element, simply because “we weren’t there and don’t really know what happened” are always the ones that don’t see the lines or boundaries being crossed…….ever!!!

        • Micheal Vick

          How do you know it cried and it could have been just a small whimper. The lady that posted this feels like she was out of line and is trying to justify her actions and get others’ support to feel like she was in “the right”. If she’s taking it to the vet she obviously cares about its well-being. The vet could have just brought them back in an attempt to control his office. There’s nothing wrong with a little smack on the rear.

        • AnneSeay

          First of all, the article stated she hit the dog several times, the last time she smacked the dog it cried out in pain, so it’s pretty oblivious, if you had read the above article, you would know the facts. SECOND of all, and I cannot express this enough, dogs that are already stressed act out in different ways and don’t deserve to be punished simply because they are scared and Thirdly, given the name you are posting with, even though I highly doubt you are the real POS that abused all those dogs and sincerely hoping that you are NOT his name sake, how do you know it didn’t cry out? How do you know it wasn’t being abused? How do you know the vet didn’t contact authorities? None of us were there and yes, there always two sides to every story. It just so happens, I always side with the animals. PEOPLE can always control their actions and emotions…..they have free will to always do the right thing. Sadly, animals do not!!

        • Jebril

          Yeah and you would’ve went to jail and she wouldn’t, see in this world we live in dogs are less than our kids in the social ladder. (As it should be) And guess what it’s legal to hit your kid, not other people or other people’s kids.

      • Kristine

        I described the dog as extremely overweight because she was.  I did not state anything about the weight being an issue or declaring the woman an unsuitable owner because her dog was overweight. I did, however, have a problem with her trying to control the dog’s barking by repeatedly hitting her dog until she cried out in pain. I can’t stand by and watch an animal get hit repeatedly when they have no defense, especially a dog that’s overheated and already in distress.

        • therealtruthplse

          You compared the woman’s dog, to that of another owner, with an exact same breed. You give the reader the impression that this “woman” was just so completely awful an so cruel. “A build-up” to the climax” .
          Im dead against Animal cruelty period. i detest cruelty to animals or children. I can definately see your point but you need to be 100% certain in what you are saying. The way people “word” factual happenings can completely differ from one person to another. Thats all im saying.
          There is nothing as bad as someone “jumping” on the band wagon and others joining in, when most werent even there to judge the situation  themselves.

        • Concerned Pet Owner

          Honestly, I think that regardless of whether or not the author “exaggerated” how hard the dog was being hit, the fact of the matter is that the dog should not have been hit. PERIOD. Because of the circumstances they were in.

          Firstly, the lady came in saying her dog was overheated. The dogs barking could have been it’s way of communicating its pain/ distress. Would you spank your child if they were crying while having a heat stroke? I would hope not!

          Secondly, regardless of whether or not she brought the dog by car, it should not have been left in there while she went into the vet! If the windows were rolled up, that’s not only animal cruelty, but it could have killed her dog who was already suffering from heat exhaustion (and anyone with common sense shouldn’t leave a dog in the car with the windows rolled up, if they do? They have no business caring for another living thing.) And if the windows were rolled down, like you said, that is dangerous, as well! The dog could have potentially jumped out of the window and been hit by another car in the parking lot.

          As a pet owner, I just can’t see any reason as to why she would leave her dog in the car instead of carrying it into the vet, (as it was an emergency situation) and I also don’t see any reason for hitting an animal when it is already injured. If what this article says is true, then this woman does not have the common sense required to own and properly care for a pet.

          And I’m also curious as to how the dog got overheated to begin with, seeing as I live where it gets up to 110 degrees and my labs have never suffered from any type of heat-related condition.

        • Maria Gonzalez

          I agree with you and what you did in this scenario. However, I do agree with someone’s comment stating that light to medium physical force once in a while is not a horrible offense against the dog. Dogs physically discipline each other because they can’t talk it out like people can and should do.

      • brigitte

        Too many excuses for a totally uncivilized behaviour! Too many “perhaps” and “maybes”. Bottom line: physical violence CAN NOT BE TOLERATED. Expanding some “boundaries” with lots of “exceptions” only leads to “forgiving” rapists and terrorists, child abusers and animal torturers!!!! The ANIMALS OF THIS BLOODY PLANET DO NOT BELONG TO US! And this “authority of Man over the beasts of the earth” taught by the “Holy” books is a big fat charade! If a person can not control himself UNDER PRESSURE and gets irrational on a creature, regardless of what this creature is, then he should be outcasted from society. A straightjacket would do too! If not a more severe and irriversible punishment.

        • Common behavior

          Really? I have tried to stay in the middle about this all..you speak about human physiology and the manner of controlling ones Behaviors under stress,i feel though you have no idea what your talking about,it sounds like you learned alot of big words and googled them and think your an expert on the matter and how one should act,in contrast somehow you have taken a subject about a woman who spanked her dog,yea maybe not the right place and maybe this woman doesnt have alot of xp to understand that her method wasnt working..you have taken all of that and compared it to terrorist and rapist,etc.,’there are quite stupid comments on here but yours ranks pretty high up there with your comparisons..nonetheless, nobody has the right to go saying that this woman should be locked up or not aloud to have a loving pet that she cares dearly for..and no nobody can say that is not true because 1 you dont know this woman,you cant give any type of description of who she is or what she looks like..so you judge her on one inncedent??? That Is Fairly Childish Behavior Problems..This Writer of this As well needs to go To Anger Managment,im not judging you,i believe you truely care for pers,however your manner on how to communicate with other people is lathargically poor..again idk the writer personally in any way..but you seem to have brought this subject to the internet to fill the guilt of stepping out of line and need reassurance from others to satisfy Or Justify your Actions..if she “WACKED” the dog instead of directly confronting her about it(solving nothing,but filling the ego of telling others off) consider this..instead of yelling at her,how about go up to the receptionist and ask if she had witnessed the problem and to please handle the situation or have the doctor talk one on one with the owner,and in if you think it was that bad,call the cops,i have saved many apon many Germwn shepherds from actual animal abuse,eyes gouged out by owner,or seeing physical abuse signs on the dog,under fed or starved..no offence,your entitled to what you believe but ive been confronted with seeing real animal abuse happen,my only place was to attempt to stop the abuse by asking the owner why he/she is doing what they are doing..the response doesnt matter,but you stay calm,while the police who are the ones who handle it will for a fact make sure things are handled right..and to clear something up..i think thwt this is common sense but i have left my past gsd female in truck,yea it was 90degreed or hotter,but guess what,maybe the truck is still on with AC running high,im confadent nobody will attempt to steal it while im inside ,very big mistake on their behalf if so,
          To anyone who thinks they shouldnt give thst pet back,consider you are that lady ..what if you did something you didnt know about or was misunderstood or others didnt agree with the way you handled your dog..they just take your loving companion and say cause we DISAGREE with your ways your never getting your dog back..put yourself in the others shoes before you jump to dumb comments and hoping terrible things..im sure that dog LOVES that lady and she loves her companion..ive never known a horrible owner who “BEATS”Their dog and abuses them to take the dog to the vet..trust me..unless you are a highly professional trainer whos connected to many rescues ,companies,organizations,etc. and have had this status for at least 30years working with dogs then i wouldnt protest to know more than i do about that and dissagree ..there is a fine line between passive Training,Discipline Training, and Animal Abuse..please ..know the difference between the three,i mainly fall into discipline is the way when needed..however each dog/breed is different..where as one Male Gsd i currently saved is somewhat stubborn and wont respond to passive Training and takes you as a joke,with a mix of discipline he now understands that ignoring is not gonna force me to use passive ways such as trying to give him treats ,he will get a moderate firm slap on the nose(rarely) most often i will slap at his ear hard to get his attention(extremly harmless ws gsd ears just flop) he doesnt cry,whimper or anything,he is not fearful at all,he has a “oh crap ,ok im paying attention to you now” ,i give all dogs as much attention as i can possibly give them as i like seeing happiness wnd bonding with my companion

      • Flint Stone

        So by your logic, none of the courts anywhere are fit to judge anything, because they didn’t see what happened?

      • AnneSeay

        I don’t know, I believe you are defending her actions. Praying you don’t have animals.

      • Titan

        Ummm… you were also not there,so you can’t honestly say that Kristine is exaggerating. The title of the article is “When is it okay to hit a dog”

        There is nothing wrong with the example she used, nor with making her opinion of what she observed public. She mentioned no names.

        I find myself wondering why you feel so obligated to defend this person when you yourself were not there….Or were you?

  • Debbie

    Some people don’t deserve to share their lives with dogs.  What a rotten person.  Thank goodness you spoke up.  I hope the vet office took this seriously and didn’t give her dog back, at least without some serious counseling and follow-through.

    The only time it’s okay to hit a dog?  The only time I can think of is if the dog were attacking another animal or child, and never as a general form of discipline.  No excuse for it!

    • Common behavior

      Soooooooo lets say this”poor” dog got “lucky” and didnt go home with her Loving Mother,(despite what the owner did,i assure you if she is tsking the dog to the vet she cares deeply for her pet.)the vet Has taken the “Saved” dog and ..hmm hey guess what..over population of dogs means no1s probably gonna step up and take thedog,In Fact what will happen is that dog now is twkin from her loving home and sent to a pound(sadly) or a shelter who cant support all of their dogs in the shelter and either you just got a dog who was already there put down to make room for a new dog due to the dog being there for awhile,or the “abused” dog will be put down..congrats you guys did a great deed!!Think before you speak..no actual physical abuse and you destroyed a family prob made some kids cry cause they lost their best friend ..yeaa reeaal smart thing to do..you act like the vet has a safe haven for the dog if they did..or wherever the dog did go..a unowned dog is always on the list..even no kill shelters are over poured with dogs..try to use your head

  • Talk Tothe

    You need to MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!!!!………….. actually……………

    • http://www.petsadviser.com/ David Deleon Baker

      That’s certainly a valid reaction. But where do you draw the line? Maybe when blood is drawn?

    • michelle

      Your definitely one of those people who feel it is ok to inflict pain to get the behaviour u desire, Do you hit your children? Positive reinforcement, not beat them into submission!

      • therealtruthplse

        I never mentioned anything about my being cruel to animals or children.

      • Jebril

        It’s okay to hit your kids and your dog, negative reinforcement is more responsive than positive, it’s been proven over and over. Positive however sticks longer, anyone who thinks you shouldn’t smack an animal or a kid every once in a while is an idiot.

  • INSPECTORCLUESO

    The woman came back in with an extremely overweight miniature pinscher. It just so happened that a young woman was sitting across from me in the lobby with her own miniature pinscher. The contrast was appalling, but more shock was yet to come.   “PERHAPS THE DOG WAS SPAYED OR NEUTERED, WHICH COULD EXPLAIN ITS “OVERWEIGHT”????????

    • http://www.petsadviser.com/ David Deleon Baker

      It’s actually a myth that spayed/neutered pets necessarily become overweight. They get overweight or obese from overfeeding.

      Kristine tells me this min pin was 4 times bigger than a normal min pin.

      But the point is: The pet owner hit her dog hard four times to get the dog to be quiet. Is that okay? Not by my book.

      I suspect most people would have kept quiet, though, in this situation. It’s very much like watching someone repeatedly spank his/her child…

      And that’s why Kristine asked for comments from all of you. We want to hear opinions from all sides. Thanks for writing in and sounding off.

      • Jim

        Hitting a dog, or any pet for that matter, under any circumstance is very simply unacceptable human behavior.  If roles could be reversed would we accept being bitten by our pets because we did something they thought was annoying.  I’m sure we do things everyday that in some way annoy our furry friends but they continue to reward us day in and day out with affection, comfort and pleasure.  Their loyalty to us should make us more compassionate to not only our pets but to each other.  Should the  woman who hit her dog be punished— yes, but to the extent that she’s aware of what she’s doing wrong and as we would correct out pets she should be corrected through training — Of course that training could be at the hands of a well endowed Drill Instructor. 

        • Common behavior

          Well if roles were reversed they would bite us and we wouldnt have much of a choice do to the fact that the “roles were changed..a better example is parents..almost everyone has beenspanked with a belt..yea i hated it as a kid more than anything but..to this day im thankful for teaching me that i wont get away with crap..not all dogs can be discpled i had a gentle soul gsd and i only had to do it a few times and i hated myself so badly for it..point though was that it had to be done to teach the lesson..if i didnt she would have eatin the poisonous frogs and died..its funny to think its “abuse to smaxk a dog on the nose but two large dogs in a random fight they are biting scratching/clawing..these things if they did to us would be horrible and FARRRRR worse then a slap on the nose ..i mean they stop fighting and almost right after the two fighting dogs sre now playing woth each other as if nothing happend at all..that didnt hurt them and yur telling me a slap is abuse..be realistic pleaseee..

      • Common behavior

        Just stating that i dont think over feeding is good,it is badd..however,why should anyone be worried what the dogs weight is?that is between the vet and owner..and also to your friend who posted this..i dont understand why getting into others business just because she had a problem with her..i mean how would you feel if you just got randomly yelled at by some crazy lady(yes threating people in a vet when its unappropriat and not her place to say something directly to her that is abit crazy,thats vet workers job,informing the receptionst to please say something immediatly would be civil) and you have little clue what her deal is..on top of that your talking to your dogs vet and this woman is ease dropping on confidential information that was between owner and vet) which keeping the pet could have simply meant keeping the pet till pet was better ..especially in a case of over heating..how would you feel?? Idk if you have kids but imagine if it was yur kid at the docs and some lady did the same thing cause yur kid is screwming ..threatens you in front of everyone and child..embarrasing to say the least probably for this woman..then this lady is listening to what your and your doctor are talking about and goes off and uses it to write a article over it..idc if theres names or not its wrong and while speaking up to bullying and that kind of stuff is good..her case is far from that..thats someone thresting another person to either do it the way they would or else..yea…your friend is lucky ,this lady sounds nice to yur friend because yur frined threstned verbally in front of multiple witnesses and it was in a public building..on top of it all..yur friend wrote this article proving that she threatned to do harm to that woman..ohh theres distrubting orivate information avout dogs condition and what was said in the back by the vet….theres bullying

      • Common behavior

        Also despite your friend not using any names..accauinted people who might come across this thread that were there and now know the information,trust me,,this lady could of gotten here in jail ..easily..im with law Enforment and these are deff. Ways to end up in jail..as her friend advise her to keep her cool next time cause next person might press charges

  • Lisa-Huge Dog Luver

    I would have done the same thing as you did. It is NEVER ok  to hit your dog in ANY situation. I have had dogs most of my grown up life and I have NEVER, EVER laid a hand on any of them. As a matter of fact we have a dachshund named Sammie that constantly barks at the vets office and when we first take him into the pets store. we know it’s from either begin nervous or excited so we just try and calm him down by petting him and talking to him. Some time it works and some time it doesn’t.

  • http://www.petsadviser.com/ Pets Adviser

    A reminder, please. We welcome opinions from all sides, but your comments should be civil, on topic, and provide something of value beyond stuff like “you suck.” We’ll delete anything that doesn’t abide by these very fair rules. Let’s be adults.

  • Shanna

    Someone mentioned the ONE condition under which it might be okay to hit a dog. If the dog was attacking another dog or a person and there was no other way to restrain the dog, i might resort to violence to stop the attack. People first, animals second, possessions third. I can live with chewed furniture or excessive barking or whatever else the animal might do that is annoying, if I couldn’t find a way to train the animal using positive reinforcement. There is, however, a difference between annoying and dangerous behavior.

  • Jen@MyBrownNewfies

    Good for you for speaking up. Someone needs to speak up for the dog, who can’t speak for himself.We get this all the time at the vet, that is when me, a tech, or the vet steps in and takes the dog away from the owner, not out of the room, just at a safe distance and explain that hitting the dog is not getting any of us anywhere.Ask the person what they think they are accomplishing by hitting the dog. That usually leaves them speechless:) 

    • Common behavior

      I agree excesive hitting and such at the vets is wrong,though i will strongly put my own opinion that if i decide to discipline my Companion as i see fit, contin. Hitting the pet is getting you knowwhere,however if i do so and you try to take my Companion as if your FDC, however you are welcome to ask me any questions you like ,i however woulnt be speechless..Im the CareTaker and if anybody has a issue Please call the police,as i work with them all the time reporting actuall Animal Abuse and help save the unloved real abbused. Consider the school your child attends(Elementry level)disagrees with your parenting and takes your child away and says look you will parent your child as we see fit or we wont give you your kid back..for you soo called petlovers ,your Close Companion is just like your actuall born child.you dont like when people tell you how to things especiwlly with how to raise your kids, Just Take That Into Considerstion ..

  • Clarissa Fallis

    There was only one time I ever hit my dog. I live on a main highway and he bolted out of the door to chase a squirrel that ran across the road. I screamed his name and ran after him. Once I caught up to him, I gave him a whack on the butt for doing something that could cause his death in the future. This was before we had begun training within the first couple of months of his life with me. Needless to say, we started the next day! He now waits at the door for me to hook him up and to give him a release command.  I thank God that there were no cars on the road at that particular moment on that particular day.

    • http://www.petsadviser.com/ David Deleon Baker

      Total side note, but Clarissa’s story reminded me of one of my own:

      I once had a dog that pushed the screen door open one day (forgot to lock it) and immediately ran out into the street — which did not usually have traffic, but at that very moment had a car speeding past. The dog was struck, but she survived, thankfully. The car never stopped.

  • Cindy Thiel

    People are just awful. That’s why I prefer the company of my pet! Animals should NEVER, EVER be hit for any reason!! They probably don’t even know why it’s happening, so it’s not like the behavior will stop. It’s cruel and those people should never have the privilege of a pet companion.

    • Libertarianistical

      Tough, because i do it to my dog and people say she’s well behaved.

  • Sarah

    I admit that I have smacked my dog before. On the bum and not hard enough to make an audible sound. Dogs in packs discipline each other physically, I don’t think it is out of line for people to do the same. I won’t hesitate to spank my child either if that is what is required.

    The good news: My dog is extremely well behaved now and she knows that if I am upset enough to smack her bum, she must have done something really wrong. And she doesn’t do it again. Was it hard to do this when she was a puppy? Yes. Did I feel bad later? Yes. But not to long ago she went to a friend’s house. His wife, not a dog person, commented on what a pleasure she was to have around because she was so well behaved. However, in this instance in the article, clearly this dog had a problem with barking and this was not the first time the owner had hit the dog. Her solution was not working, and it is cruel to continue to punish a dog with methods that are not effective. In the same way I would not continue to spank my child for the same problem over and over again, I would not do this to my dog.

  • Liana GuitaBabe

    In resonse to David, Unfortunately that seems to be the case.  Tonight we dealt with a matter where the police was called due to one individual beating the crap out of another …same age…same gender…one has suffered head injury and facial trauma.  No charges were laid because the nose was not broken.  What kind of stupid world do we live in? 
    That is why I prefer the world of prevention.  We should not have to have broken anything for charges to be laid in an assault.  These were minors.
    Now when it comes to animals, we humans are supposed to be their protetors eventhough quite often they are our protectors.   Now in the case of an alleged “out of control” dog…well perhaps if one cannot deal with their animal then perhaps it’s time to take  a class on behavioural management  or adopt it out…
    I also encourage folks to take a first aid class for pets…having had this perhaps more people would be careful with not leaving their pets in hot cars or wacking them for being restless (usually a sign of medical distress). 
    Bottom line, let’s show more compassion to each other and respect and love the fact that we have been blessed with an opportunity to share a little uncoditional love. And it is NEVER ok to injure an animal.

    • http://www.petsadviser.com/ David Deleon Baker

      Good points, Liana. Thanks.

  • Ponigirl

    I would have stepped up and said something. I think the receptionist at the vets should have said something. That is not acceptable for any reason. If that had been a child would people have sat by and not said a word? I bet not. I am just appauled that someone would treat an animal like that. People like that should not have pets.

  • http://www.caninejournal.com/ Nikole Fairview

    This post illustrates the vast differences in attitudes that people have towards disciplining a dog. Personally, I think it is incredible that someone would even think about hitting their dog in such a public place as a vet office. Especially over something so silly as the dog barking. Of course a dog is going to make noise!

    While there are some people, even experts, who do advocate hitting a dog at certain times, it just does not seem like a good idea to me. There are much better ways to discipline and motivate a dog instead of using physical force.

  • SitsWithK9

    Just to start off I have raised many dogs and love them like family and from their actions they feel the same. While I do not agree with the reasoning behind the lady hitting her dog in this instance considering she at a vet with other dogs and they are going to bark especially if they are already uncomfortable. I do not like however how the OP set up the scenario since it was impressively biased even if if in some cases it wasnt explicitI do not agree that somehow hitting your dog or even your children is somehow evil or wrong when done in a disciplinary manner and within limits of what you would deal with yourself in their place. Hitting of your dogs in not for everyone, every animal, or every situation but in some cases it is warranted. In some cases this extreme coddling of animals and to a degree children(even though they are capable of understanding speech directly) causes more negative behavior than it stops in the long term. People always talk about how dogs will turn on you, fear you, ect. if you hit them and what not if you hit them but with how I do it I have never had my dog more than nip at me when I am doing something that annoys them(which makes me go oh sorry and stop).

    Dogs, like humans, are animals and arent so mentally and physically fragile that they will become overly aggressive or freak out towards you if you pop them a few times for doing something they shouldnt be doing. If they were truly that fragile then there would be no way dogs could interact with each other on the scale they do since even dogs who are close to each other will fight over something random from time to time without one dog even knowing what started it and then 30 minutes later be playing again. Positive reinforcement is all well and good in many cases but some dogs just like some people do not understand limitations without physical discomfort. Again I do accept that with humans that line is placed differently because they will understand their form of entertainment disappearing for a few days on a deeper level than a similar action taken against the dog.

    It is just ignorant in my opinion to label an act that causes no lasting or great physical or mental damage wrong when we know for a fact that different minds(dog, cat, human, ape, ect.) react to different stimuli differently and learn differently. It is even more ridiculous considering we as humans give each other time outs that last for years and that time out itself generally involves large amounts of assault if not getting beaten or worse.

  • brigitte

    Nobody, I repeat NOBODY should ever, ever hit a dog. I agree with Debbie; Some people not only do not deserve to share their lives with a dog, they do not deserve to live at all. At least not “unleashed” in society. They should be put under psychiatric monitoring and drugs-to be as fair as I can.

  • Beerahdihlow

    I would have calmly, without saying a word, walked over and smashed the lady’s cranius against the nearest super-hard surface I could find (i.e., a desk corner, particularly sturdy wall shelf etc.). Upon making sure her thick skull had received a lesson (not to mistreat a dog, cats and badly/untrained/self-righteous women are acceptable targets, canines are not) through kinetic energy (or two, or three; not everyone is as smart and learns as fast, so I am forced to provide remedial help, curse the No Idiot Left Behind Act). I would then, still silently, smack you upside the face and tell you loudly to “MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS AND STOP BEING SO UPPITY, AND LEARN YOUR PLACE, WOMAN!”

    Part 2: A dog should never be hit with a large amount of force, ever. It should be a crime to maliciously assault an animal (dogs, cats do not count) with a penalty equal to or greater than doing so to a human. Some application of physical contact to correct behaviour in a dog is okay, but never should it be more than light, constant pressure in certain locations such as lightly pinning the dog on its back; lightly “nipping” the back of a dog’s neck like a mother or alpha would do is acceptable. Rapid and impulsive (violent too) strikes should never be used against a canine (woman and cats excepted).

    I realize that some dogs are large and light pressure may not be enough. A “choke-chain” may be necessary, but only in the most extreme aggressive dog cases where the animal is too large to control by hand should a chain be warranted and only for possibly dangerous behaviours (i.e., not benign ones that are merely annoying; such as barking or excessive licking) and only after all other options have been exhausted. Shock collars are simply disgusting and should be illegal for canine use (check out the show “Kenny vs. Spenny” where they challenge each other to “who can wear an electric bark collar the longest?”… Yea they are awful and borderline torture). However, shock collars and choke chains make acceptable, mostly safe and effective training aids for women and cats (good ways to stop nagging, whining, general b***hiness [censored for being improper for polite, ladylike company also reading this] as well as feelings of self-righteousness, and frequent double-standard setting, entitlement, constant attention seeking and finally: victim complex.)

    Long story short; if ANYONE (even Obama mixed with Jesus, mixed with God, mixed with Michael Jordan) laid so much as a baby finger on my little girl, my Lakeland Terrier, I would make them feel such pain that they would be offering anything just to die. And ain’t no buddy gon’ find them once they get put inna’ dem’ swamp.

    • Shino Kyoko

      Because beating someone is better then beating a dog.How you gonna’ teach someone it’s wrong to hit a dog when your doing it to someone else instead.Think about what your write before you wrote it.More violence certainly isn’t going to solve any problem.It’ll just breed more violence.

  • MarleysMom

    Hi, i have a 3 month old husky, (mixture of siberian/malamute) and for the past two days when we leave for an hour to two hours, hes been chewing holes in the wall (drywall). the holes are usually 2 inches in diameter and not even and inch in depth. but we cannot get him to stop. My boyfriend hits him about 3-4 times (slap kinda). Today I lost it…. Marley (puppy), chewed an electrical cord(thank god hes okay!) and my boyfriend had already hit him for the hole and once he saw the cord, he hit him once on the head and three times in the side. I blew up and said that he shouldnt even be hitting our puppy at all, and it caused a big arguement! He says thaat he’s raised more dogs than I have, and i believe it, but I just dont feel like hitting is right. is there anything i can do so he stops chewwing on cords and the wall? i know its teething and he had tons of toys, i give him a frozen bone when we leave, is he chewing cause he misses us, or is teething? i just want another way of punishment so my poor baby Marley doesnt get hit numerous times anymore.

    • Clarissa Fallis

      Hi there, im the trainer here at PetsAdviser. First off, your boyfriend isnt helping the situation at all when he hits the dog. If you don’t catch the behavior in the act, you cannot efficiently punish the dog. Poor Marley doesnt understand that the chewing is causing him to be hit. If your boyfriend continues to hit the dog when he comes in the door, you are setting the dog up to be terrified of your boyfriend which could escalate into fear based aggression. aka, he may -and probaby will- get bitten. It may be true that he has raised many dogs but the way he is working with the dog is very outdated and has proven to cause more harm and damage than good.

      The first thing you need to understand is that both Huskys and Malamutes are working breeds. It sounds like your dog is having a reaction to being understimulated over top of possible separation anxiety. To stop this problem, I highly, HIGHLY suggest getting Marley into a group puppy class in your area. A trainer that is right there with you can help you address any behavior problem. If he is chewing through electrical wires and the wall, and you are only gone for a few hours, crate him! Dogs can be crated comfortably for up to 8 hours as long as they are getting the needed excersie. I suggest getting a plastic that is just big enough for him to lay down, sit down, and turn around. He will feel much more comfortable, I promise. Dogs are den animals and if you introduce the crate correctly and create a positive association with the crate, I bet he will be going into the crate on his own. DO NOT use the crate as a punishment location, remember, you want to create a positive association.

      Other than crating him while you are gone, address the fact that he is a working breed. Adequate exercise is essential. Give him a good walk before you leave so he will be ready for a nap. You need to also stimulate his brain by getting him games that he can play with. I suggest the Premier Busy Buddy Magic Mushroom as well as a KONG. Feed him his morning food in the Mushroom and give him a peanut butter filled KONG while you are gone.

      To address the separation anxiety, you could try a Thundershirt. They are proven to help dogs with anxiety and calm them down.

      Though you absolutely need, I cant stress this enough, you NEED to get him into a puppy class. Puppy class will help socialize him, stimulate his brain, and the trainer can you with this problem. This is such a critical time in his learning, if your boyfriend continues to hit him, there will be extreme damage that will cause you to have a boat load more of behavior problems in the future.

      Its much better to avoid the problem than to punish it after its happened. If you want to punish him, you would have to catch him in the act.

      Please let me know how things go, Im happy to help in anyway I can.

      Clarissa Fallis

      fallisc172@gmail.com

      • Lis

        KONGs are great! My family’s only dog at the moment just turned 13. We’ve given her a KONG with a treat in it every morning (after she does her business) since she was 3 months old. She still goes nuts and gets so excited! If we forget, she will follow us around and stare at us until we remember!

  • Magistra Ygraine Mitchell

    If someone is so oblivious to the rules of public civilized behavior, we can only imagine, in terror, what they are like in private.
    As for the poster who feels we all need to see everything before we judge, the world they live in would be full of empty prisons and bereft of justice for victims. Deduction, reason, and judgment are nature’s gifts.

  • Babymama

    I am new to this site. I came to find answers. I have a 3month old puppy. I admit to “hitting” my dog. I do not condone beating, hitting out of anger, or excessive force. I usually use my finger or flick of the wrist to let her know I mean business. And it usually works. In the case of the woman in the office, it obviously did not. If it did not work the first time, it won’t work the second, third…etc. Find a different way to discipline THAT WORKS!

    As a comment, many of you responded. I read most of all your posts, but did not get much help. Most responded a reaction to the story (not actually answering the question). Some were apparently here to complain about others response.

  • bentleyboo68

    it is NEVER okay to hit a dog in my opinion. that is the number one sign of an inexperienced or just plain cruel dog owner. it doesn’t teach the dog not to bark, it simply makes it terrified of it’s owner. concerning the person in the comments who is defending the woman… even if some of the details of this story are opinionated, one fact that cant be overlooked is that this woman slapped the dog until it cried out in pain. that is wrong. it makes me SO mad. the vast majority of society are idiots when it comes to animal care, thats why there are so many dogs in shelters and on the streets. if they arent taken care of properly, they will have behavioral problems. they are living creatures. this story just ticks me off. i hope she didnt keep the dog- didnt sound like she cared for it very much anyway. a loving dog owner would never slap their pooch.

    • Jebril

      It taught my dog not to bark, I can put him in a room alone and leave him there when there’s company for however it long it takes and it’s fine. In fact now that I recall I didn’t even have to hit him for barking just other things that made him realize he wasn’t going to get his way by doing what he wanted that it was my rules. On the other hand I know many people like you who have dogs that cannot be put in the room alone without them going absolutely insane breaking down the door to get out. It is OKAY to hit a dog, if you look at how dogs play 90% of the time they play is ROUGHER than when we smack them, the smack is only to make them understand that it’s wrong, the smack barely hurts them trust me, it’s the intention that creates results.

    • Common behavior

      I use discpline to teach my GSD’s,guess im a SOB who rescued them and took them in and showed them a life with love instead of abuse..i can promise you i have more certification training than you have and have a much deeper passion for dogs..i do everything in my power to spend alot of personal time with them to help get them past things….soo dont tell me im not a loving dog owner just cause i slap them on their hind or nose when they need it..just because i dont do things the way you do doesnt mean i am horrible and couldnt possibly love my gsds ..they have been brutaly abused..close to death and being starved ..and yet they understand the discpline they recieve ..wnd NEVER SHOW FEAR during so..id you mom smacked you on the mouth for cussing..thwt mean she cant love you..yeaa! Stop spotting crap about things you dont even stop to think about..your to busy running your mouth ..my parent have spanked me all as a kid when i needed it..they are wonderful parents and they love me and would die to me..and im sure many other parents who spank their kids would too!

  • dogsneverlie

    If someone has to hit, strike, paddle, spank, pop or any other word you want to use the truth is you do it because you think it’s the right way to train or punish your dog. And it’s not right. Since the age of the internet no one has any good excuse why they continue to do that other then either ignorance, laziness or irreverence for their dog. There are so many tapes, books, or my choice is a good training group or club. And they are everywhere and the classes are so much different and progressive then long ago. And before any of you get on your excuse band wagon, let me tell you this . I use to hit my dogs, what seams like a life time ago. I started out as a very “heavy handed person with my dogs back in the 70s. But, I didnt like the way my dogs looked at me. So I began searching for better ways in 1980. I can tell you I can’t remember the last time I even raised my hand to one of my dogs let alone followed through. Four of my 5 dogs are rescues and came with all types of baggage directly associated to being hit by past owners. The time spent with me ranges from 10 yrs to 1 year. I find it interesting watching the associations to what my “hand” means slowly fade with time and lots of re-conditioning. This last poor boy I took on had been hit or had his nose twisted so many times that anytime you touch him from his shoulders forward he’d put his mouth on your forearm and hold it so light I never it was his way of letting you know, ‘if you hurt me, I’m ready’ so you know his behavior has improved enough to have earned his Good Canine Citizen Title and 2 addition obedience titles. And I’ve not only never hit him, i had to undo all the times someone else did.
    It’s a good thing that woman in the waiting room didn’t run into me. I do love what Kristine said to her. Very classic. Don’t hit your dogs! Period the end.

    • Robin Miura

      I agree! My Akita has never been struck by me since I rescued him at about 18 months old. He also has his Canine Good Citizen certification and gets complimented everywhere we go on how well behaved he is.

    • Common behavior

      Perhaps maybe not all Owners who Discpline their dogs are “heavy handed” i dicplined every pet ive ever saved and ive saved to many to count on toes n fingers..not one..and i swear to it have they ever shown fear of me ..they dont act like im a tyrant..they act as if im boss and i support them wnd i am the one who changed their (real) abused lifes into a life experncing what love is..each pet has been loved like they were my children,they arent people and thats a fact but i treat them with the same amount of respect as if they were..they adore me ..tho i discipline them?point is its how you discpline them..if you just yell wnd scream and expect the dog to know english and repeatly hit them till they get it ..thats abuse..i wouldnt even say that,its horrible ..but the owner simply needs to be informed that you can discpline but thats exxcessive ..though i do agree with all of what you recommended about classes ..nothing is wrong with passive training..my opinion i think the dog does not see you as much as a fullfilled leader who is on top and never to be tried..thats not for all dogs but majority thats how i feel ..but do what you want,thats not my business..instead of trying to look for those who slap their dogs butt or nose ..go out wnd look for Dogs who are Being beat half to death ..those owns

      • Common behavior

        Those owners who beat their dogs half to death are the ones who dont deserve to have someone who only wanted to be loved and love someone..take this “anger out on them!not not nose nippin owners!

  • chwang1982

    I experienced similar situation once. But I was the
    victim of verbal abuse by another person, so forgive me for not siding with you
    to make such comment. I have a golden retriever, one day I took him out for a
    walk and he stay on the grass and eat the poop nearby, so my friend use two
    piece of mental click sound to scare him from eating the poop. The dog was frightened like every dog would be frightened when we open umbrella. Then I heard a really loud sound from far distance and a woman screamed, don’t do that, don’t’ ever do that. As we walk quietly passing them, she continues to verbal abuse us and saying things like : “how do you feel if I use a gun to scare you or train you. “We knew it wasn’t the most considerate way to teach my dog not to eat the poop,but we certainly don’t want to put up with her continues verbal abuse especially when she said that she knew where we live so we call the cop on her.I just wish people wouldn’t jump into conclusion so quickly. If you are verbally insulting a woman who mistreated his dog then you are no better person. If you really felt the dog was mistreated you should call the police or have an authority to deal with that. Don’t start heated conversation or say something hurtful.

  • LabLove

    I hit my dog, it doesn’t happen often, but sometimes dogs need a quick smack to get their heads straight. As one poster said, dogs discipline other dogs with physical force, so to say the dog has no idea whats going on is really quite ridiculous. Sorry not all of us are super experienced dog trainers with super compliant animals. Dogs can be stubborn and hard headed no matter how hard you work with them, but a good nip can put them in their place right quick. Beating any animal on the other hand is unacceptable, and if you can’t recognize the line between discipline and abuse then you shouldn’t be hitting anything ever.

  • ajax4ever

    I am hesitant to say that it is okay to hit a dog to correct its behavior. Generally, hitting anything (be it animal, person, or object) is borne out of anger and/or frustration. If I am angry enough at a dog’s behavior that I physically want to strike it then I step back and take a few deep breaths before approaching the issue again. I have, however, grabbed a dog by it’s collar more than once and brought it down to the ground on its’ side, or back until it calmed down enough to be released. Generally, if one of my dogs or fosters are not responding to verbal commands, simply touching them is enough to get their attention and to stop their behavior. Or even spraying a water bottle to deter unwanted behaviors.

    My family fosters nine dogs at a time for a rescue, and I can honestly say that we have had dogs with all sort of issues from destructive behaviors to dog aggression. Never has the answer to correct these behaviors been to hit the dog….especially not to the point where it verbally cries out in pain. Hitting the dog to correct a behavior, repeatedly when it has not stopped or deterred the behavior simply shows ignorance and hitting borne out of frustration.

    All of our personal dogs and fosters have been spayed or neutered, and only one of them is overweight (because of back problems and exercise restrictions). It is an annoying myth that spaying and neutering causes obesity in pets. The same thing that causes the vast majority of obesity in humans is the same thing that causes it in animals; lack of exercise and overeating.

    Some of the comments have criticized the author for pointing out that the dog was overweight as if it was damning evidence that she is a bad pet owner. I am not saying that the woman was willfully abusing her dog because it was obese, but such a degree of obesity shows ignorance or at least indifference to the dog’s overall health. It appears more likely than not that the dog’s weight was not caused by medical issues when you consider the woman’s other behaviors at the office. Either the lady was ignorant, severely lacking common sense, or willfully negligent and abusive. The first can be corrected, and the last I cannot stand.

  • writepro

    First off, Cesar Milan DOESN’T HIT DOGS! He corrects their behavior by touch; when you see him use his foot with that behind the body ‘kick’ it’s not hurting the animal; it’s a method to instantly bring the dogs attention “away” from what is making then anxious, nervous or insecure.
    There are no times to actually “hit” any animal in the sense of hitting to hurt or correct because the animal doesn’t understand it anyway- it could lead to having a fearful pet. But, in behavior modification/training a young pup, horse or other large animal, respect must be taught and that may sometimes mean being forceful otherwise the animal will not respect you and might even think you prey.
    So as there is no time to hit an animal in anger like the lady you mention, there are time when a little forcefulness is necessary.
    I show Collies and have a Chihuahua who thinks he his trainer, but large or small, an animal learns and behaves because you have “taught” them from a young age what is and what is not acceptable, and they as “your pack” respect you for it as their “Pack Leader.”

    • Jayne FireDreamer Matthews Mis

      As a qualified dog trainer and canine behaviourist I do agree to some extend with Cesar, as in being calm and confident when handling dogs. However, I have also gained a Diploma with Distinction in Canine Aggression and the way he treats fearful aggression is totally wrong! He insists on ‘so called’ submission and yet everything that dog is trying to say with his body, eyes, ears, facial expressions and whole body posture is saying ‘you’re scaring me, I’m not going to offer any behaviour because anything I do may be wrong. It’s therefore safer for me to pretend you’re not there and get involved in anything other than making eye contact with you!’ That’s why the dog looks away or walks away, not because he’s decided that Cesar is the ‘pack leader’ which is a total myth anyway. Please read Raymond and Lorna Coppinger’s book ‘Dogs: A Startling New Understanding of Canine Origin, Behaviour and Evolution’ or even David Mech’s latest offering on the ranking system of a ‘true’ wild roaming wolf pack, rather than one that has been put together by humans in a ‘so called’ wild wolf pack, bearing in mind that these are always in enclosures, regardless of how big they are and the fact that they generally are not related in any way, shape or form. A true wild roaming wolf pack consists of family and any ‘submission’ is offered, not demanded. The true ‘Alphas’ being the parents, do not need to force anything, because their ‘children’ respect them and offer it anyway. The most an Alpha wolf will sometimes do is ‘muzzle’ a member of the pack. Muzzling means gently placing their mouth over another wolf’s mouth, not with any force and certainly not to prove anything.

  • seentomuch

    having seen true animal cruelty more times then i can count in my life, i have these questions.

    was the air conditioning left on in the car? If the dog is animal aggressive bringing it into the lobby with other animals will only excite the dog more, thus raising the body temp more.

    When the dog yelped was it pained or startled? It could of been extremely focused on the other animals.

    This person did care she was seeking help for her pet. You admitted to playing vet and waiting until you seen a wound on your pet. Your pet had to wait 24 hrs for medical care.

    Did anyone in the office offer the pet a distraction, ie snacks, water, or a cool towel to drape over the dog.

    If being overwieght was cruelty, alot of parents would be in jail.

    Let’s no judge people

    • Common behavior

      1st person to bring up AC in car,kinda figured that was common since ..

  • Jenna

    I think dogs should be treated like children, it’s alright to spank them but it’s not alright to beat them and yell at them. People often mistake animal cruelty with initiating leadership with your dog, and yes sometimes a not-so-hard pat is what some dogs need to fully understand their owner is the boss. In my mind spanking a dog does a lot less damage than yelling and screaming at it.

    • Robin Miura

      I do agree with you! I researched Akitas before I rescued one and know they are sensitive to loud voices/tones and they are (at least mine is). My mom was yelling at Kobe Bryant on TV (my dog’s name is Kodi) and he was so upset because he thought she was screaming at him…poor thing. I do not hit my dog ever but I have used my touch to get his attention if he is hyper-focused on something.

  • Marie Campbell

    I think it would be O.K. to hit a dog if they were biting someone or another animal and you were trying to get them to stop. I mean seriously biting – not play biting.

    • Common behavior

      No that is when you DONT. Hit the dog,when a dog is attackingsomeone better yet with another dog ..the intensity level of your dog is so high hes really only focused on the wttacking or fighting he is in ..its like your dog has blacked out and fist are just swinging..imagine this is you ..you are in a real intense fight..while you and the otherone are fighting out of nowhere you take a blow ..your adrenlin is so high it doesnt hurt so bad at the moment..soo what do you do?stop turn around see who it is?no..you naturally turn around swinging at whoever just hit you because in yur mind yur in a fight and if someone hit you ,they must be trying to fight you to…next thing you know it was a family member or close friend trying to pull you off to stop the fight..inturn you just puched them..sooooo you punch your dog,your dog isnt thinking clearly its in “fight mode” and all hes thinking is someone else is gonna try to fight him and turns around and bites you ..or most likely the dog (who has never been discplined) doesnt know how to react to someone hitting him or slapping him,thus he becomes scared lessding to even much higher aggressiveness and are not paying attention to who(YOU the owner)they are attacking and can do life threating damage to you..if your gonna hit your dog you hit your dog with your palm and you slap their rib cage in the front with not hard but decent force,this will put your dog out of breath and force them to temporarily stop,however,to undiscplined dogs,the readtion might not be great

      • Common behavior

        Point is to never do this,if you dont believe me go watch a video of to large breeds fighting..not for sport but randomly of coarse..you will see that provoking a never provoked dog is a unwanted thing to do

  • ConcernedForAnimals

    THANK GOD YOU TOLD HER OFF! SHE DEFINITELY SHOULDN’T EVER OWN ANY ANIMALS OF ANY KIND. ACTUALLY WHAT SHE DID IS A FELONY IN MANY STATES. WE ALL NEED TO STEP UP AND TAKE ACTION WHEN WE SEE THESE HORRIBLE THINGS HAPPEN!

  • GetAGrip

    Why do several of you make the generalization that if you spank your dog that makes a you a “cruel pet owner”? You wouldn’t say that about or to a parent of a human child. Spanking your pet is not animal cruelty in the slightest. Beating, torturing, and otherwise abusing an animal for whatever sick, twisted reason is cruelty. You can’t just jump to the conclusion that a pet owner doesn’t love and take care of their animal simply because they spank their pet and you don’t agree with it…

    I don’t agree with the woman with the overheated pet, but I do think that most of you need to mind your own business and leave parenting to the parent; no matter if they walk on two legs or four.

    • Bianca Arlette

      You might feel differently if you were the child or pet on the receiving end of said “parenting” skills.

      • Common behavior

        Hmmmm..yeeaaa i think ALOT. Of people have been on the other end..lol its called these things..mom dad ..and mr belt..yea as a kid i hated the belt and i cried ,but my parents are great people ..theyarent dictative but i can say id get the belt alot..ill tell you this..i would not be th pe person i am today..i can honestly say im thankful for discipline..so these skills are healthy and work great..staying in the bounds of not letting your emotions get the best of you and beat the dog is how it should be done..beating is horrible..its same with sports ..are coaches all passive nice cheerful/gleefully and always makes positive comments no matter what???hell no!lol complete opposite and they put you in physical pain from the drills..but months down the road your a stronger more resilent person and that same coach during your game is there to support you and he has from the start ,called tough love ..same thing with training your dog with discipline..yea the dog doesnt like it and yea its no fun doing the discpline thats a fact,i hate it,but down the road,your dog is trained,and now its time for using everything he learned in what he does from there on..in the end discpline isnt needed wlmost ever!!from that point on its trust that your dog knows whats right and wrong and respects you ..owners who discpline there pets dont mean everytime the dog doesnt respond we take to using force..just stop and think about that

        • Bianca Arlette

          There is a lot wrong with this statement:
          A, your parents beating you with belts does not make them great, it makes them abusive. And what did it achieve? You now think that this is not only acceptable but the best way to rear children.

          B) Dogs are not humans. They do not reason the same way humans can when they are trying to explain abuse away.

          C) Studies have shown that dogs raised/trained with abusive methods are overall less balanced and significantly more likely to show aggression.

          D) Why do people always think that you have to use force to instill discipline? (Apart from because that was the way it was done to you) You can teach a dog the rules of the house without physical force and intimidation. Start reading about positive reinforcement. You might be amazed by what you find.

    • Jayne FireDreamer Matthews Mis

      As a qualified Dog Trainer and Behaviourist, hitting a dog should only be acceptable in the most extreme of circumstances, such as if the dog is attacking a child! You may think you know why your dog is being spanked,but does your dog? If you spank your dog because it’s chewed something it shouldn’t, your timing may be off to the extent that you have actually hit him for no longer chewing the item! Timing is of the essence with any form of training, but physical punishment during training to change behaviour is just ignorance. It’s called anthropomorphism guys, putting human emotions onto an animal. I get clients all the time saying that their dog knows what they want, but refuses to obey! NEWSFLASH: Look up generalisation and you’ll realise that the dog actually doesn’t have a clue what you want of him.

      • Common behavior

        Just to state ,in the most extreme situation that your dog has totaly broke the rules of what you taught them through passive teaching ,this particularly shows a lack of respect or complete lack of control of what they are doing (basically blacking out) and since you have NEVER used discplinary actions in training,your dog Has no idea what being slapped is,soo when you go to hit ,slap,punch,kick,or very forcfully pull or whatever it takes.. that dog who is attacking a child or whomever it is,iss..well in “Attack Mode” so when you go to do one of those ,your dog comprehends you anps trying to hurt it and lets just say the dog is able to comprehend that it is you who is doing this to them,they will take that as a sign of betrayal,but thats a fat chance,what almost gauranteeingly eill happen is your dog will turn around while still in a rage and begin attacking you not even realizing it is their own owner..all they know is someone is hitting me fight back..once a dogs in attack mode they arent focused ..soo please do not inform uneducated owners who will listen just because your throwing your title around ,i mean no disrespect to what you are qualified in but rethink that one about hitting a dog who hasnt been discplined ever and is in attack mode,insight..even a discplined dog can be in attack mode and bite their owner without realizing it..please re-inform your “followers/listeners as to them im a animal hater/abuser,when in fact ive saved more animals from real abuse that put them close to actual death..

    • Common behavior

      Well put

  • Kimberly Diamond

    i wolud got up and started hitting her

  • Leslie

    I only hit my dog once. My grandma played with him and it took her quite long to throw the ball, so he got impatient and attacked her. She wasn’t badly injured, but I got really angry and hit him several times (I didn’t hit him hard, though). He never did it again.

  • dg

    i wouldn’t have waited for the last smack to come i would a gotten up yelled at the lady then smacked her back and see she likes pain

  • Kevin

    I don’t like animal cruelty at all… but surely a firm hand is sometimes required? If this woman was beating her dog just because the dog was barking then thats out of order – but I wouldn’t go over and intervene unless it was really out of hand. It upsets me to see any dog upset, but how can one truely say you should never hit an animal? We are humans – and we are an arrogant race who think we know what dogs think. Is positive training really better than punishment based? And pls don’t point me to “scientific studies” which as far as Im concerned are inconclusive. NASA still get things wrong everyday!

    Rant over… and again, I hate animal cruelty but I hate it more that some people think they know it all.

    What I really wanted to say is this… what would you had a big dog who sunk his teeth into you or your child and would not let go? Is that still a non-physical situation where you try a no-mark? I think not. We are humans, they are animals, and sometimes they require to be treated like so.

    • Bianca Arlette

      Is positive training really better than punishment based? YES. Not just because results are long-lasting but also because the relationship that is built during training is based on trust rather than pain and fear. Surely any compassionate person should see that?

  • Lauren

    People are disgusting. My heart breaks for that fat little Doxie and all the others like it. As far as when it’s ok to hit a dog: when I first read the headline of this story, I thought “That must be the shortest article ever – because the answer is ‘NEVER’. End of story.” It breaks my heart that so many people out there (Cesár Milan included!) just don’t understand that. Kudos to you for calling that woman out, and letting her know just how angry you were about the situation. In situations like that, people should NEVER be afraid to speak up and take any action necessary (I’m so glad to hear your vet got involved & took control!)
    All that being said, I’m aware that this article is well over a year old, and I noticed a link on the page entitled “A Tribute To Sissy” – I’m so sorry to hear that you lost your baby girl. I didn’t click to read the story (it would just break my heart) but I wanted to send my condolences. Nothing hurts more than losing a loved one, but dogs are worth it, because nothing makes you feel better than the unconditional love they share.

    • http://petsadviser.com/ Kristine Lacoste

      Hi Lauren,

      I agree the answer should have been never, but judging by the replies some people feel differently. I am glad the article gave people a chance to discuss the issue further.

      I appreciate your comment about Sissy. It was difficult to say goodbye to her, but I am glad I returned in time so we could spend her last days together. Thank you for your reply and kind words.

  • BlueNosePerfect

    You’re all acting like children

  • moose

    when is ok? never

  • Woofus

    I don’t at all like the behavior you’ve described. But 3 times in my life, I’ve stood up to bullies for others who couldn’t. EVERY time, I’ve been told I overreacted and only made things worse. Since you were in the vet’s office, let them take care of it. You’ll find yourself in less trouble in the long run. Now if you were in the dog park, by all means have a group discussion with everyone around. But sadly, it’s her right to train her dog.

  • Erik Nielsen

    Ive slapped my German Shepherd a couple of times. Nothing to the extreme of beating him, but I have given him a firm tap on the cheek when, for instance, I bring him to my uncles house and he tries to bully Knuckle (my uncles pug). Knuckle is clearly scared of Salem and Salem recognizes this and bullies him. When he paws Knuckle, I will give him a firm whack and let him know his behavior is unacceptable. Having said that, I love my dog. I cuddle with him. I play with him all day. I take him everywhere with me. I come home on my short break to just hang out with him. Does he piss me off? Yes. Do I discipline him? Yes. He is a big dog and I have a bigger responsibility in making sure he is brought up right. Its also not going to break him, or hurt him, to give him a love tap across the cheek every now and again when he steps out of line. The punishment fits the crime.

  • mack

    I pop my dog if he’s out of line and being aggressive at home or in public and I also reward his good behavior with treats but He’s mostly spoiled.. I’d also pop you right in the face if you got close to me and my family and in my business you quack.

  • Raej

    I don’t generally hit my dogs but I have before as a last resort. For example my female Standard Poodle is super smart and rather devious and she would steal my shoes and try to eat them every so often because she just loves them so much. She knows it’s wrong and waits a couple months before going at it again. I caught her one day and grabbed the shoe and smacked her nose with it. Not hard enough to actually be considered violent but enough to let her know bite the shoe and something bad can happen like the shoe will bite you back… she hasn’t chewed on any since so I’d say it worked. That’s a last resort and I would never strike them to inflict pain… infact, right after I smacked her nose with the shoe she gave me the “oops” face and looked at me for a sign. I said “come here”, gave a nice ear rub and she fallowed be around the house being a sweety as if to undo her mess-up. I think it really depends on the relationship you have with your dog. With my female standard, it would have been far more evil to make her walk on the left side of the stairs where there is no wall then to smack her nose with a shoe as ever since she was puppy she absolutely dreads stairs with no wall on the sides. She plays very rough with my other standard so I’ve seen her willing handle a good play fight. My male standard would never touch anything of mine as a chew toy, he’s super sensitive to verbal commands. He learned at a young age not to when I made him sit next to the toy for a half hour without touching it. She also underwent that process but it didn’t work if I wasn’t in the room to say the command “no” if she tried to go at it. To answer the “what would I do in that situation?”, well, I’d probably just try to talk with her about it. Some people just don’t know any better and I’d rather help them out so they become better owners first. If they truly are horrible dog owners I don’t think they’d be at the vet attempting to care for their dog. When my dogs bark I say “no bark” and they usually stop. Sometimes my two will get too excited though and won’t listen to me so I’ll poke their side to make their attention go back to me and I’ll turn them around and give them something better to do whether it be a good belly rub or a fun toy to chew on. Distraction, I find, is the best method when their attention is on something else and they are either barking or acting in an unwanted behavior towards whatever their attention happens to be on. For anyone who is completely against hitting an animal, please know that their is a HUGE difference as “smacking to enforce correction” and “hitting violently out of frustration”. When I worked with horses, as youngers they like to bite and nibble like dogs which is horrible if they happen to do it to say… your back. So you smack their nose every time they do it. Do you hit them upside the head? no…. however, I have had an instance where a horse would rear to try to turn around and go back to the barn (and I mean, just simply riding away from the barn… away from his food). Typically you would just kindly urge them onward, give them head room in the reins and squeeze to go forwards because they can’t rear if they are moving forwards. Well, he didn’t care and got more aggressive about it which isn’t safe. Rearing is never safe, he could lose balance, fall backwards and land on you and/or break his back. Next time I was prepared with a crop .. So when he reared I hit between his ears with the crop when he was at his highest from on his back. He never reared again. So you see, there are instances where a hit is the best option but it should NEVER be abused. Ever.

  • Oh Brother

    If you want to change somebody’s behavior don’t be come across as self righteous. When you do, you just seem like you are salving your own wounds and coverig your own sins and failures by being holier than the next guy. You don’t change behaviour of a person by publicly humiliating them. That is people abuse. If you thought that she shouldn’t hit her dog, you should have been persuasive and offered her alternatives with kindness. A loud smack does not animal cruelty make but a fierce public attack that humiliates a person who doesn’t know better is cruelty to people. Cruelty is cruelty.

  • Lexi

    I love my cat sooooo much! I mean hes a little devil…. A lot but I still love him and I admit I tap him on the butt but very lightly and nicely tell him “don’t do that Leo” but he still pees on the floor right next to his little box…. But I would never! No matter what he did do what that lady did

    • http://www.petsadviser.com/ David Deleon Baker

      Keep in mind that urinating outside the litter box could be a sign of a health problem.

  • Lexi

    Litter box not little box oops Lol!

  • Bob

    It took me one time with my dog. (Rottweiler) He chewed my shoes up when he was about 5 months old. I grabbed him very sternly and shook him once to show him that he was powerless, and I smacked him twice as hard as I could with an open hand. I have never had to hit him again. He comes instantly when I call him, he listens to every command I give him. If I have a cook out or something and we are eating I can bring him outside, and he will lay down exactly where I tell him to and stay there and not bother any guests by begging for food. He is not fearful of me, because I am very kind to him. Anyone who ridicules me I don’t care I can guarantee my dog is better behaved than yours. He comes directly to me no matter what; I can walk him without a leash. (I don’t, but I know that I could), and I am kind to him. He goes fishing with me, hiking, and running. Other people may have there tactics for training their dogs that’s good for you my technique works for me. He is my dog a valued member of my family. I don’t mean to write offensively, but I already know I will receive a barrage of messages from people who will want my head. Anyone who has a problem with my training I would love to challenge them to see whose dog is more obedient. We could put steaks infront of our dogs tell them to sit and stay. I promise you mine won’t eat the steak unless I tell him to. Well yours probably wouldn’t either because you probably “trained” your dog to be a vegetarian.

    • darcy

      Sounds like your relationship is based on pain and fear instead of love and trust. ( to quote another poster). Wow. You are the epitome of “Master “.

      • Common behavior

        Or his dog learned his lesson and said wow never chewing that again..and Bob took alot of time out of his own to spend training his dog to be very obediant..just cause the dog doesnt get to do what it wants alwys doesnt mesn its fear and pain..if that dog was fearful and pain..his large dog would have snapped at this point and bit him..maybe dog is just a good dog..

  • Cade

    The only way my dogs have learned is being hit with newspaper, you are blowing this way out of proportion, its none of your business what she does with her dog

  • dalek1099dw

    If you want to consider dogs like humans like how it wouldn’t be seen OK to hit a human and would usually be considered assault, then they must behave like a human and if a human started yelling very loudly and wouldn’t stop they would be removed from the premises and possibly arrested for causing public nuisance and yet you were OK with the dog barking loudly?

    Another important point to remember is that dogs need to know their place as part of a pack and human owners must establish themselves as the Alpha of the pack and the dog was disobeying their owner so punishment must be administered so that the dog understands its not the Alpha.

    Anyone who says that the Dog won’t understand not to bark anymore is talking rubbish, chillis are hot so that predators will remember not to eat them because it hurts them so in the animal kingdom it can be shown that pain can be associated ,with learning not to do that action otherwise chills would never have developed this adaptation.

  • Jebril

    Hitting a dog is fine, it’s a form of correction. I think doing it in public is the same thing like smacking your kid in public…you shouldn’t do it.

    That being said if you do it right in private the dog will listen to you, if you want to say it’s because of fear…that’s fine. From my personal experience with my dog, my dog is not afraid of me, my dog loves still. When my hand approaches my dog he doesn’t bite it or get scared he licks it. My dog and most dogs are smart enough to tell when you are angry at them and when you are not, dogs are very empathetic they are not stupid. A dog who bites people has learned he can get away with it and the owners themselves have gotten scared of their dog.

    Hitting is only form of many corrections for example in public a quick snap or stop command is usually sufficient if you have already shown your dog that you are serious beforehand about said behavior. Also doing it early at puppy age teaches the dog that he is learning approved from not approved behavior generally after the dog has become an adult you will not find yourself ever hitting the dog. I know I don’t anymore, there’s pretty much no reason to because he listens to everything I say when I’m serious enough.

    The fear mongering on these pet lover sites is insane, not everyone who smacks their dog in the form of a correction is abusing their dog till they can’t walk. I know some SOBs are and that’s not correction or any kind of training, but for the rest of us and I know many of you have experienced this sometimes your dog can get so aggravating that you just need to take control of the situation. At this time you should do what you think needs to be done to take control of the situation and not have to deal with people shaking their heads at you or claiming you are an animal abuser.

  • cesar

    You are definitely not a poet

  • Gisselle

    I think you should have minded your own business all dogs have different temperaments and just like kids sometimes they need to get spanked to learn. If she was hitting her dog in the office then I’m sure it wasn’t anything overly abusive. I don’t believe in mistreating an animal but spanking it to show it bad behaviors I agree with. I’ve seen one too many bad trained dogs by owners who don’t know how to train their dogs. Now I wasn’t there to see how hard the smack was but since the vets didn’t immediately kick her out our confiscate her dog from her I’m going to assume this was something taken out of proportion. I have 3 dogs, a German Shepherd and two toy Pomeranians and anyone who ever comes into contact with them says they are the best behaved dogs. I am a believer in spankings but also extra treats for good behavior.

  • deedee

    I especially wouldn’t have hit my dog hard if they were suffering. May be a tap in the nose and a shh. One or my digs won’t shut no matter what. She barks if she likes. Lol I dint see spanking as wrong. Just a sting to keep them in line. A sting to the butt cheek region , but not the sort if hitting that would leave a bruise. I’d like to know these new strategies and maybe they work, but so does proper physical discipline. My dogs mind very well. I show them a switch or if they’re not listening I say” do you want a spanking” “you’re gonna get in trouble” and they already know how they’re being naught and the straighten up. My dogs live me and they are happy with lots of energy.

  • Rookie

    This is an old thread, but I hope it still works.

    I believe dog training is situational. If you raise a dog from a pup, you should not only had ever hit your dog, but if fortunate never even shown the dog aggression.

    I had a 225 pound English Mastiff from a pup, that never experienced aggression or anger. In public he only wore a collar when it was legally required. He was the epitome of a gentle giant. A few years after he passed, I was duped into fostering/adopting a 2 year old, possibly older, German Shepard. The Shepard was completely un-socialized, dangerous around any size animals, and unfortunately, extreme dangerous around children; I literally had to snap his leash back as I saw him walk behind a boy and attempt to bite him. The boy hand had a fang scrap instead of a puncture.

    Anyhow, I was going to put the dog down, but thought it really was not his fault. He was locked inside a house for over two years, and didn’t know. I did give up taking him to public places, but thought he will make a good watch dog and learn how to be walked by anyone.

    Now for the question, twice while walking him, he saw another dog being walked and snapped. For only being 75 pounds, this guy has put me on my back, he is so strong! I could not get his attention away from wanting to attack those two dogs. His demeanor and strength were impressively scary! He came with those collars that dig in and a shock collar, but they seem to harmful. Anyhow, I felt at the time my only recourse was to kick him in his side, with the top flat portion of my foot, to get his attention, because nothing else was working! I then had him lie submissively on his side, as the dogs walked off. I felt guilty, but also felt it was needed? Thoughts?

    • Rookie

      This is an old thread, but I hope it still works.

      I believe dog training is situational. If you raise a dog from a pup, you should not only had ever hit your dog, but if fortunate never even shown the dog aggression.

      I had a 225 pound English Mastiff from a pup, that never experienced aggression or anger. In public he only wore a collar when it was legally required. He was the epitome of a gentle giant. A few years after he passed, I was duped into fostering/adopting a 2 year old, possibly older, German Shepard. The Shepard was completely un-socialized, dangerous around any size animals, and unfortunately, extreme dangerous around children; I literally had to snap his leash back as I saw him walk behind a boy and attempt to bite him. The boy hand had a fang scrap instead of a puncture.

      Anyhow, I was going to put the dog down, but thought it really was not his fault. He was locked inside a house for over two years, and didn’t know. I did give up taking him to public places, but thought he will make a good watch dog and learn how to be walked by anyone.

      Now for the question, twice while walking him, he saw another dog being walked and snapped. For only being 75 pounds, this guy has put me on my back, he is so strong! I could not get his attention away from wanting to attack those two dogs. His demeanor and strength were impressively scary! He came with those collars that dig in and a shock collar, but they seem to harmful. Anyhow, I felt at the time my only recourse was to kick him in his side, with the top flat portion of my foot, to get his attention, because nothing else was working! I then had him lie submissively on his side, as the dogs walked off. I felt guilty, but also felt it was needed? Thoughts?

      I forgot to state this this, but was it okay for me to kick the dog to get his attention?

      Also, I wanted to add, these events happened months ago. He also used to run if the door was left open, and if he got out, he would bounce away like a rabbit and I had to be tracked down. Now I can leave the door open and he won’t go out, but if he does, he immediately comes back in when called. Also, if I am walking him, and I see another dog coming, I can control him so he doesn’t want to eat it, but his breathing deepens, he does get ruffled, but I can almost get him to ignore the dog … he is getting better. I still will keep him away from children and elderly women; oddly, he goes after elderly women, but not men? However, if anyone else walks him, all bets are off. I wish I had Ceasar’s phone number!

  • shepalutes

    I wouldn’t have waited so long. I also would have requested that the vet take her over heated dog at once to cool him down. Miss treating a dog is not only hitting a dog, but over feeding dogs. too much love sometimes kills. This lady needs education not sending her to the gallows. Most folks need more education on pet ownership. #

  • TimMc

    As a parent and a long time pet owner, it never ceases to amaze me when people insist that you never “hit” a dog or a child for that matter. In reality what they are really doing is equating anything of a physical nature with regard to punishment or behavior modification to a vicious beating. Now that makes about as much sense as saying jaywalking is the same as tire slashing. Sure they are both illegal but hardly interchangeable. Same is true with physical punishment. How anybody can look at me with a sincere look on their face and tell me a pop on the rump is at all equatable to a brutal beating with a stick has, quite frankly, gone over the edge.

    Of course nobody is saying hitting a dog is a preferred way to punish or modify abhorrent behavior. I will be the first to say phyical punishment should be only used as a last resort and rarely. There is no situation in dealing with animals on a behavior modification level that should be 100% no hitting ever. If in fact animals themselves use it who are we trying to kid by fooling ourselves into believing that he use of physical punishmrnt isn’t an appropriate technique if used properly? Moderation and proper mindset is the key. Equating physical punishment to beatings is an agenda item.

  • Duchess

    I’ll make this short and sweet. I’ve owned and have been around dogs pretty much my entire life. I personally have never “whacked” any of my dogs hard enough to constitute a cry of pain.
    Since I owned Great Danes, and we all know what big puppies they are, sometimes an attention getting rebuff from me was all that was needed. Think of getting your friends attention by giving them a light slap on the arm. If I EVER got so frustrated to the point of possibly being overly rough, then it was time to remove myself from the situation and calm down.
    No I’m not perfect, far from it, but my animal companions have educated me and made me a better owner. Why would I want to cause my heart, my pet, physical pain? I have and do intervene when I see an animal being unnecessarily roughed up, and I’ve been threatened for it. I’ll continue to stand up for them though.
    And oh, final thought, that lady hitting her min-pin would of never got to the second hit if I were there. I’ve done it before and I’m sure I’ll do it again, someone needs to be these mistreated creatures’ voice at times. I just hope I don’t get shot…eeek!! ;~)