Physical Punishment For Your Pet

Physical Punishment For Your Pet?


Published August 27, 2013 | By Terry

Even though in this article I focus on dogs, this material definitely applies to your beloved cat also.  Cats are a little more independent and situations are a little different but overall, this information applies to both dogs and cats.

Your dog thinks the world of you.  In your dog’s eyes, you make the sun rise and set.  Pleasing you is his main goal in life.  Even when he does things that make you less than happy – when he chews your shoes or pees in the house – he does not do it because he wants to take revenge on you or punish you.  He may have a behavioral problem of some kind, but your dog still thinks you’re practically a god.

For these reasons it is never a wise move to physically punish your dog.  Hitting, spanking, slapping or smacking your dog will not help him obey you.  Your dog is not being willfully bad.  Your dog is a sensitive animal who wants to please you to the best of his ability.  When you physically punish a dog, in fact, it is likely to produce the opposite result from the one you want.

Physically punishing a dog will make him mistrust you.  He may want to hide from you.  He may come to fear you.  All of these reactions will make it even harder to teach him good behavior.

The best way to teach a dog is with positive reinforcement.  You should train your dog with calmness and a positive approach.  If you feel yourself getting angry or frustrated you should end any lesson.  If you become angry or frustrated with your dog in the home you should call a time-out for yourself.  You shouldn’t try to deal with your dog while you are in anger.

Even if you walk into a room and your dog has destroyed everything in sight you can’t punish a dog After The Fact.  It doesn’t do any good at all.  After a dog has already done something he forgets about it.  If you come into a room three hours later and find your dog asleep he has no idea why you are punishing him for something he has already forgotten about.  He doesn’t look around and associate the punishment with the destroyed item(s).  It’s pointless and cruel to punish an animal when they don’t know why you’re punishing them.

The only proper time to punish a dog is when they are caught in the act and they know why they are being punished.  BUT, even at that time, physical punishment is not the answer.  You can scold your dog.  You can give him a time-out.  But physical punishment is off the table.  It’s like reacting to a B-B gun incident with a nuclear weapon.

Whether you have a puppy or an adult dog, physical punishment is not the answer.  Physical punishment for a puppy can leave him with emotional problems that lead to later behavior problems.

You and your dog have a relationship that, with good health, will last many years.  Physical punishments leave scars in that relationship.  Instead, treat your dog with love and respect.  Teach him with positive reinforcement.  If you treat your dog well and train him with love then the two of you will have a much better relationship for his entire life.

Yours in Health, Michael Goldman


About the Author: Michael Goldman is an entrepreneur, teacher, writer/author, & animal care provider, who along with his wife Terry are best known as the founders of the Healthy Pet Network. As  respected authorities and consultants regarding Animal Health & Longevity, they help people with their pets health & well being. Their “passion” is the continued development of the Healthy Pet Network Animal Rescue and  Sanctuary. The Rescue and Sanctuary provides a home, food, medical attention and love for homeless or injured animals. For more information, or to reach Michael, please visit the main site @ or through their informational blog @

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