Dogs are loving, loyal, and lovely. Having one is nothing short of a blessing. Unfortunately, however, these charming animals can occasionally drive us insane.
They pull a quick one on you now and again, or they severely scratch you. Maybe they ended up eating your sandwich without your knowledge while you were very hungry. You catch yourself losing your calm and start hitting your furry friend.
The guilt trip starts a few moments later. You start regretting your action and wonder if they will ever forgive you. So, would your dog forgive you if you hit him? We will answer this question in this blog and a further look at dog behavior in detail.
Does Your Dog Have Emotions?
Anyone who has ever had a dog knows that dogs have emotions (1). Although they may be unable to express their emotions verbally, they can communicate their feelings via their actions and body language (2). Certain activities are linked to feelings of happiness, relaxation, fear, worry, and even pain. By studying his body language, you can better comprehend your pup’s emotional state.
They have feelings, although they are not as complicated as humans. Love, fear, pain, and happiness are some of the feelings that dogs experience. They don’t understand concepts like guilt or forgiveness. Their mental capacities are similar to that of a baby.
When you shout at your dog for tearing up your carpet, he will most likely back off and appear submissive.
Do not believe even for a moment that they are expressing guilt.
Read More: Maltese Dog Training Tips
Do Dogs Forgive?
While a dog may not forgive you, they will just forget about it.
They’ll have moved on by the time the guilt sensations have passed through your system.
If you offer them attention again, they’ll wag their tail, hop all across you, and lick you as if nothing happened.
Everything appears black and white to dogs: their universe is governed by cause and consequence, and if they have a negative experience, they want to avert it in the future.
Dogs do not understand good and bad. If they are caught doing something wrong, they will very certainly face your rage. And if you shout at them or hit them for something, they might see the link, but it won’t necessarily deter them from doing it again.
So, if you’re scared that your dog will never forgive you, don’t worry. They are made to forget the bad stuff that happens to them.
In short, dogs forgive, but not in the literal sense.
However, as soon as you call your pup a good boy or girl, everything will be as good as before.
Dogs are sensitive beings who constantly pick up on our feelings. So regardless of the words you choose, the voice tone has the most impact.
After getting smacked, your furry best buddy may initially be hesitant to approach you, but they’ll soon be wagging their tail and kissing you.
Do not Make Hitting a Habit
A dog will not harbor resentment towards you even though for hitting them; the narrative changes if the habit of hitting is repeated.
According to research, a dog can remember past events and places and the feelings associated with them. If you smack your dog frequently, they’ll remember it for a long time.
Have you ever rescued a shelter dog only to discover he’s afraid?
Perhaps he is not interested in knowing you. He will resist or refuse to step through the door until you carry him. This is an excellent example of a dog recalling negative situations that occurred in his past at some time.
According to Applied Animal Behavior Science, kicking a dog, punching him, and holding him by the jowls elicited an aggressive response in a quarter of the dogs.
All of this indicates that while you might get away with hitting once in a while, you might not be so fortunate if you do it all the time.
When you hit your dog repeatedly, he will develop a sense of fear toward you. As a result, he will bite back, snarl, or become hostile as a defense tactic. Unfortunately, these are behaviors that are difficult to break.
In addition to instilling fear and hostility in your dog, beating him may create behavioral changes like insecurity. Urination may be used to express submission and fear and will result in poor self-esteem.
Some of the behaviors might continue indefinitely.
How would it make you feel if your dog was never able to walk confidently? It will crush your heart to see him stroll about with his tail between his legs.
Finally, hitting your dog will do damage to your relationship. He would never again trust you. He will be alarmed by sudden movements. Because he spends so much of his energy feeling terrified of you, he may never reach his full potential.
How to Regain Their Trust?
Your dog has taken your favorite outfit. Then, right before your eyes, he’s ripping it apart. In a fit of wrath, you scream and holler at the dog. You even shut him out.
You’ve calmed down and feel bad about what you’ve done after a few minutes. Did you sabotage your dog’s excellent relationship? So, what are your options?
The smartest thing to do is unlock the door and allow the dog in this situation. Then, speak to them calmly and reassuringly once inside.
Dogs don’t comprehend the fuss over apologizing, but they can read your tone of voice, body language, and facial expressions.
Please express your regret. Although your dog will not understand, it will bring you happiness. But avoid the urge to jump all over the dog.
You want him to acknowledge that he did something wrong. Instead, allow him to approach you.
Offer him soft words and compassion when he does. That alone will reassure him how you still adore him and that whatever happened previously was a one-time occurrence.
In fact, he might not even remember that by now. In a matter of minutes, everything will be back on track.
Also Read: 10 Big Dog Breeds That Don’t Shed
Positive Reinforcement Vs. Physical Punishment
Positive training approaches have shown to be significantly more successful than physical violence.
Old-fashioned dog instructors and breeders still advocate beating dogs as a kind of training that is outmoded, brutal, and ineffective.
Repeated punishing almost always leads to behavioral changes, and never for the better! While it may produce short-term effects, it can inflict significant psychological harm. It has even resulted in the owner being bitten in rare circumstances.
Dogs were once thought to revere the leader of the pack and to expect some amount of wrath and hostility from him. Therefore, smacking a dog, particularly on the nose, was considered appropriate punishment.
Most people believe that rewarding good conduct rather than penalizing poor behavior is the best way ahead. If you want to earn your dog’s trust, use positive reinforcement training techniques. Negative reinforcement and physical punishment should be relegated to the past.
Hitting is Not the Answer
It’s worth noting that dogs seldom refrain from doing the offense again regardless of the punishment! So this is a compelling case against physical violence.
As previously said, dogs are quick to ‘forgive’ and ignore unless they encounter the same situation that led to hitting the last time.
Dogs Are Sentient
Although dogs are clever, as previously said, they seldom link the offense to the punishment. Instead, because they are responsive to our emotional fluctuations, they pick up on your emotions. Their body language frequently reacts to your emotional reactions and reaction to the incident.
On the other hand, dogs don’t always recall what occurred; they simply know you’re upset about something. So they’d be eager to avoid another smack if they got one the last time.
Yes, your beloved dog will forgive you and come over for a cuddle as soon as they sense you’re no longer furious.
If this was a unique incident, do not be harsh on yourself. Many pet owners face similar challenges, and stress may take its toll. It’s never right to strike out and smack your dog when you’re angry, but it does happen. Take what you’ve learned and move on — your furry best buddy has probably already done so!
Nevertheless, if this really is a recurring trend, you should get help since something is clearly wrong. Maybe your dog’s constant bad behavior is driving you mad. Consider consulting a professional dog instructor or animal behaviorist for assistance.
Remember that the most effective way of dog training is positive reinforcement. Send your dog to sleep for a time-out if they are truly testing your tolerance. This will let you relax and be sufficient punishment for the dog, as they’ll be without your company.
For any reason, dogs do not deserve to be hit. However, stuff happens, and you may wind up being the culprit. Don’t be worried if this occurs. Simply speak to your dog and express your affection for him. Try everything that you can to avoid such behavior in the future. If you hit them out of frustration, take note of what happened and use positive training methods for teaching your dog how to behave.
Meet John Patterson, an accomplished Dog Trainer and a dedicated advocate for building strong human-canine relationships.With years of experience as a Professional Dog Trainer, John firmly believes that well-trained dogs are a reflection of patient guidance and unwavering care. Beyond his training skills, he finds solace in grooming and playing with dogs, nurturing their physical and emotional well-being.