Violence [en]

On my walks with Cali, I meet a lot of other dog-owners. I’m often shocked at how many dog owners will actually hit their pets when they disobey. I mean, isn’t it an established fact for everybody here that praise-training works 100 times better than stick-training?

I was already appalled at the number of dogs I saw in Chennai which had most obviously been stick-raised, but I kept thinking “this is India, in Switzerland nobody would ever dream of hitting a dog – or in any case, those who do it are badly violent people”. Not so.

There is a double absurdity in stick-training. First, it is the “punishment” vs. “reward” thing. You will do something better if it is for a reward than if it is to avoid punishment. That goes for human beings as well as animals. Second, people who hit their dogs often do it after the dog has disobeyed and they have caught it. The poor dog doesn’t associate the punishment with the wrongdoing, because it is delayed. It will more probably be associated with the owner himself. Just think of how that must damage the relationship.

And somewhere, I suspect that people who find it right, or even “good” to hit a dog when he has done something wrong will be more prone to hitting children too. I mean, it’s just a question of education philosophy, isn’t it?

2 thoughts on “Violence [en]

  1. My roommate hits her dog when she misbehaves. Mostly when she plays too rough w/ the other dogs that live here. It startled me the first time I saw it, because the dog is so loving, and up until the point I saw her slap the dog, she was anything but cruel to it.

  2. I agree that if you can’t control your anger with a pet, how can you control your anger with your children, who can probably make you even more frustrated than an animal that can’t communicate with language? I used to get so frustrated with my two cats who were always playing in my little apartment and I remember clearly tending towards hitting them, something that was passed down to me from my dad. But, I also realized that if I’d do that with an innocent pet, who’s just playing with her sister, what would I do with a child? They both are equally innocent. Training a pet with violence has more to do with venting your own frustration than doing anything for the benefit of the animal, as far as I’m concerned. It’s selfish in the end.

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