7 Ways You May Be Breaking Your Dog’s Spirit

No and stop it! Get off and sit down! Shut up and stop barking! 

If that’s all you heard day and day out, just how low would your spirits sink? We know beyond a reasonable doubt that dogs feel sorrow, they get depressed, and the very essence of who they are as a species is threatened by a very common predator: Mankind. Here then are seven things that are guaranteed to destroy the spirit of your dog.

Best advice ever: Do none of these, but read on to see how many you hear about, read about, or engage in daily.

Scold/Yell/Rubbing a Dog’s Nose in Waste For Relieving Himself In the House: Dogs know we are mad at them when we yell for their “peeing or pooping” in the house is a myth. Finding a puddle of piddle in the house may not be pleasant for humans, but dogs do not feel guilt when humans disapprove. Instead, they are reacting to the emotional response of their owner, regardless of when the accident occurred. Screaming or yelling reinforces bullying and because it is happening long after the accident, the dog is left confused and afraid of you. Never ever “rub a dog’s nose” in poo or pee, as this is disgusting, an old school mentality, and just plain mean.

Hitting a Dog: Long gone are the days of dominance and animal submission and this is a very outdated belief and training method. All hitting does is teach the dog is that you are to be feared. If you need something to hit, take up a punching bag at the gym or seek anger management. Do not, however, bring a dog into your life. He or she does not deserve this treatment.


Punish a Dog in a “Kennel” Time Out: If a puppy is not cooperating or not doing the desired behavior during training, it isn’t that he is being “spiteful” or defiant: He is just being a puppy and your behavior needs to be modified. Consider the task at hand and reconsider how you are training. Also, it could be the puppy isn’t ready for that task or is distracted. The same holds true for adult dogs. If an adult dog does something you are not pleased about, never “punish” or “banish” them to a kennel.

Take Your Dog’s Food or Treats Away While Eating: Not only is this ridiculous, but it serves nothing more than to assert what a grand bully you are. Though there is something to be said for having a pack leader, dogs should be left alone when eating. If a dog is kind, accepting of strangers, and loving when not eating, then let good enough alone.  Many people view a dog who growls when eating as being greedy, but this is just a dog being a dog. Some dogs will bite out of fear or confusion, so let dogs be dogs and let them eat in peace.

Dog_in_animal_shelter_in_Washington,_IowaDon’t Walk Your Dog or Engage in Quality Time: If you want something that lives yet requires no attention other than to give it water and occasional sunlight, get a houseplant and not a pet.  Dogs thrive on companionship, and without mental and physical stimulation, they slowly wither away. Have you ever seen a dog in a shelter who gets little to no interaction and how sad and destroyed his spirit becomes? Do not let this happen to your dog. We are all busy, but our pets rely on us. Walk away from the electronic devices and walk with your dog instead. No matter a dog’s age, they need interaction with you.

Let the Dog Alone for Inordinate Amounts of Time: Again, this is time for a houseplant  and not a pet. Dogs need companionship: Not just for the emotional connection and to truly thrive but for their physical well being, too. Would you like to hold your pee in for 10 to 12 hours a day? In fact, some dogs will do so as not to upset their owner. Other dogs will pee inside and then the owner gets made upon return. Seek the services of a family member, friend, neighbor, pet sitter, or doggy day care if you must leave the dog for long hours at a time. Nothing destroys a dog’s spirit like emptiness, so don’t do it.

Allowing  a Dog to Suffer: If an animal is hurt or injured, please seek veterinary care. Allowing an animal to suffer in pain (and dogs are known to hide their symptoms) serves no one. Yes, veterinary care can be expensive, and yes, sometimes we as pet parents don’t want to hear our dogs are aging and showing signs of it. We owe it to our dogs to give back the unconditional love and dedication they provide to us.

Though these are not pleasant reminders to read, they are all too true. If a dog you know is being harmed, speak up, do something, and/or tell someone. A dog’s life just might depend on it.

From Pet MD