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5 reasons you should never yell at your dog

February 21, 2021

Let’s be honest. Everyone loves a pet that’s a lil’ bit naughty. As a parent, it may annoy you when your furball wrecks the bed for the millionth time or lays siege to that new cushion or paws the internet router right when you are in the middle of a meeting.

It’s all endearing, you realise in hindsight with a chuckle. After all, a little mischief never hurt anyone.

But in the moment, it’s possible for pet parents to get carried away and react strongly to their furbaby’s silly antics. You may manifest the anger or irritation you feel by shouting, yelling, screaming at them, or even punishing them.

However, will raising a finger up to their noses help? Or is it entirely counterproductive? What signal does it send out to your pup?

Barking is one of the languages your dog uses to communicate with you - about their tensions, fears, excitement, happiness, anxieties. But she doesn’t interpret misbehaviour the way humans do. You, on your part, should not reciprocate your feelings at the same loud pitch.

Here are five good reasons you should never ever yell at your dog:

  1. You may scare your pup: Studies have shown that yelling or punishment is not good for your dog’s mental health. Pets can sense negativity and will hence be hesitant to do what you’re asking of them.
  2. It’s not really helping solve the problem: Since dogs don’t view their actions as mistakes per se, in the way the parent does, they have no real motivation to correct their behaviour. So shouting isn’t a solution.
  3. It encourages fear and distrust: Your dog may become wary of you when you scream, and learn to be scared of you. It can lead to a distrustful pet-parent relationship.
  4. Your pet may get worked up: Yelling at your dog can lead them to believe it’s a shouting party! Your screams can be interpreted as barks, which tells them you’re actually enjoying the moment.
  5. It might make your pet naughtier: What do you know, yelling at your doggo can encourage them to become even naughtier! When you react sharply to something, they’ll just sneak a way around it next time.

What you can do instead, when your furry buddy stirs mischief, is talk to them. Speak calmly. Dogs understand. Adopt techniques of training them.

Keep them happy.

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Yelling and shouting at your dog can put him under stress which is bad for his health. Stress can manifest in dogs in a number of ways. Read more about why you should never yell at your dog.