Let’s face it, being a dog owner can be a challenge at times. While we unconditionally love our four-legged friends, there’s no doubt that the chewing, toilet mishaps and letters being torn to shreds as soon as they’re pushed through your letterbox mean that our dogs sure do test our patience!

As a dog owner, you’ll no doubt want to teach your pet that this unsavoury behaviour is unacceptable and one of the ways some individuals choose to do that is with smacking. However, as well as being an ineffective way of training your dog, smacking could also create a bunch of separate issues for you and your pet.

Here, we’ll discuss why smacking your dog is always a bad idea, as well as offering some alternatives to help you properly discipline your animal without needing to hurt them.

Why Smacking Is A No-No

There are several reasons why getting physical with your pet is not advised. Firstly, smacking is neither an effective nor a humane approach to discipline. Instead of correcting undesirable behaviour, it can lead to a range of negative consequences. 

By demonstrating to your dog that violence is an effective way to communicate, this can result in them mimicking your behaviour, making them more likely to bite or show signs of aggression.

Additionally, smacking can also take an emotional toll on a dog when it’s subjected to intense or sustained physical punishment. Like us, dogs can experience anxiety, and physical beatings are a surefire way to increase it. 

Although you may know the reasons you’re sacking your dog, in some situations they may not, which is sure to create a stressful environment for the pet. This heightened anxiety can manifest in various ways, from signs of aggression to destructive behaviour, which will see them being punished again as the cycle repeats.

All of this is likely to instil fear and anxiety, which will impact your dog’s overall happiness and the way he or she sees the world. Over time, the emotional toll of all this smacking can lead to long-lasting effects on the dog’s mental wellbeing.

Lastly, we all want the best possible bond with our furry friends. After all, dogs aren’t just pets, they’re family. Dogs view their owners as their leaders and source of security, but smacking disrupts this view, causing confusion and fear, as well as eroding trust.

Once that trust is broken, it’s a challenge to mend and in many cases the damage is irreparable. So assuming you want your dog to love and trust you, feeling safe and secure in your company, you should avoid physically reprimanding your animal.

Positive Alternatives

Disciplining a dog doesn’t mean you have to resort to violence. Positive discipline focuses on reinforcing good behaviour and redirecting undesirable actions. Here are some effective and alternatives to smacking that won’t cause distress in your animal:

Positive Reinforcement: 

As well as punishing bad behaviour, on the opposite side of the spectrum is rewarding your dog for being good.

So reward good behaviour with treats, praise or toys. This creates a positive association with the desired actions, discouraging the behaviours that aren’t rewarded.

Consistency is Key: 

Establish clear rules and consistently enforce them. Dogs thrive on routine and clear expectations.

Redirecting Attention: 

If your dog engages in undesirable behaviour, you can prevent this from escalating by redirecting their attention to an appropriate activity. This helps them learn what is acceptable.

Obedience Training: 

Invest time in training sessions to teach your animal basic commands. This not only improves behaviour but also strengthens the bond between you and your dog.

If you’re short on time due to work or family commitments then you can always pay a professional to train your dog. Although this will cost you money, just think of the cash you’ll save on chewed-up shoes and furniture!

Patience and Understanding: 

Last but not least, try to remember that dogs may not immediately understand your expectations. Patience, positive reinforcement and understanding go a long way in shaping their behaviour and over time they should start to behave well.

So that’s why you shouldn’t smack your dog. What you also shouldn’t do is fail to have your dog chipped! Not only is this irresponsible but it’s also illegal!


So if your animal isn’t on the database, register their microchip with us today!

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