HANDS ONLY FOR LOVE, NOT HITTING
One of the worst things you can do to a dog is to lay your hands on him or her to spank or hit. If your hands are on your dog, they are to show and emit love. Period. Love love love and more love.
The likelihood of being prosecuted for disciplining your animal in a humane and sensible fashion is low. Spanking dogs, however, is wrong.
This article addresses what I feel about dog abuse, what the law states, and what you can do about it. There will be no horrific images in this post and it will contain facts and experiences.
Putting your hand(s) on a dog as a form of punishment is not only wrong but as harmful to the relationship you want with your dog. Counterproductive in fact.
In her book, It’s Me or the Dog famed positive reinforcement trainer and star of her own dog behavior show on Animal Planet, Victoria Stilwell, writes, “When you hit a dog, you teach him to fear you, break his trust, and you weaken his confidence. Insecure dogs are the ones who are more likely to lash out in an aggressive display.”
Dogs (pets in general) are silent victims. They cannot tell anyone, they are someone’s punching bag, and millions of dogs will continue to live day in-day out, not knowing whether or not if the hand that feeds them will soon beat them.
Is a slap considered abuse? Is a tight neck jerk to inflict pain considered torture?
The bottom line is pets are considered property in many countries. You can be charged with animal cruelty, but that’s generally reserved for the more hard core cases and not the asshat who pretends to love a dog but slaps him when no one is looking.
If you know someone is causing psychological and/or physical abuse to a dog, what can you do?
This is a sticky one, and my answer might not be your answer but this is my reality and my truth: Act. Do something because if you don’t, remember that every other person in that pet’s life is doing nothing, too.
Dogs should never be exposed to harm. But if dogs are fed, a roof is over their heads, and their basic needs are met, the law is on the side of the perpetrator.
That won’t stop me nor should it stop you.
A few years ago, I was out walking my dog. I witnessed a man chasing his dog down the street.
The dog apparently got loose while on a walk and his owner was chasing after him. As he scooped the little guy up, he smacked the dog on the butt and repeatedly yelled over and over “No! No! No!” and jerked the dog close to him.
I yelled over “hey” and before a second word could float his way, he picked his dog up and quickly walked off, perhaps caught in the act or just not wanting to deal with an obviously stunned me.
I wonder if my words help or hurt that dog when the owner gets behind closed doors.
I can’t do nothing. That means I don’t care. I never do anything with half measures. And I won’t start now.
Here are three things you can do if you suspect a dog is being harmed. If you think it is true abuse, never take matters into your own hands. Report the suspected abuse to the authorities. If you can keep a log of dates, times, and any pictures, do that as well.
1 If you are the one doing the spanking, please stop. Dogs are not trying to get back at you for peeing or pooping on a floor. Dogs bark. Spanking a dog will stop the moment, but you instill fear and pain into a dog. This is not what humans are meant to do, and especially not to a loving family member. And if you do this and can sleep at night, eyes closed, resting peacefully, wake up. This is messed up and you need to knock it off.
2 If you have a friend or family member who spanks their dog – for any behavior – please encourage them to work with a behaviorist and explain why spanking is wrong. A dog, like a baby, should never be spanked for simply being who they are.
3 If a stranger is spanking or harming a dog, you need to intervene at a level that you feel comfortable. If you fear for your life, by all means do not step in but call the authorities. Cell phones are a great device for capturing a video of something that is plain wrong.
Join me, won’t you? Act and stop it the next time it happens.