We often hear stories about people punishing dogs for growling at a child…
And while we understand that this can be scary…
PUNISHING a dog for a growl creates a dog who STOPS warning when they’re uncomfortable.
Think of it this way.
I hate being tickled.
If you stop me from TELLING you that I hate being tickled, and instead you keep tickling but slap tape over my mouth…
The next thing I’ll probably do is a quick punch to the throat.
JK…my violent days are behind me.
BUT…we have seen terrible situations in rescue where dogs, PUNISHED for communicating their discomfort or requests…
STOP communicating, and go DIRECTLY to a bite because they’ve LEARNED that they will be punished or not listened to when they ask for space.
ESPECIALLY with children, teach them even the most subtle signs from your dog (or anyone else’s) that they’re uncomfortable.
Never leave young children supervised with dogs.
Don’t allow your kids to go up to a dog in public without getting permission from the human attached to the dog.
And PLEASE, don’t punish your dog for expressing their discomfort. Thank them, and pay attention to how they want to be interacted with.