Getting frustrated happens to the best of us. Many people consider their dogs their four-legged children and much like children, they can sometimes do things that make us see red or get us angry. The difference is that typically your children can understand why you are upset, angry, or frustrated.
Dogs, unfortunately, do not have the wherewithal to completely understand the situation. So, your options here are either, teaching your dog to have a full-on conversation with you, or teaching yourself to approach the entire situation in a better, more productive way. So what are some ways to not get angry at your dog?
When you are mad at your dog, you need to know that yelling or hitting will only make it worse and potentially lose the trust between you two. Instead, try to play a game with him or talk to him in a friendly tone. Temporarily separate for a few minutes and regroup when both of you are calm.
Do Dogs Know When You Are Mad?
Dogs are quite good at reading people, especially the humans that are close to them. They may not be able to understand exactly why you’re upset, however, they will know that they have done something wrong.
And that is just by evaluating your body language!
This is why you should never yell, scream, or stomp your feet to get your point across, it just frankly isn’t necessary and will wind up doing more harm than good.
The Dangers Of Losing Your Temper
Everyone has their moments, people lose their temper, it happens. The issue is that getting overworked can have long-lasting unintended consequences. Not only is it probably not going to be effective, but you are also taking the chance that you will lose your dog’s trust.
Fear is not a good motivator when it comes to dogs. It is unproductive and could have enduring negative effects on the special bond between pet and owner.
Why You Shouldn’t Get Angry At Your Dog
Other than the fact that it will not do either of you any good, getting angry at your dog can also have persistent, possibly permanent, effects. Your dog will learn to fear you which can lead to disobedience and even aggression. Dogs can read the situation just by the tone of your voice so a firm no, will likely suffice.
How To Not Get Angry At Your Dog
Okay, so anger is anger, and as we said, it happens, but what truly counts is how you decide to respond to that feeling. Yelling, being loud, or violent is only going to make things worse. We have compiled a list of the best alternatives to getting angry with your precious pup.
12. Complain – But In A Canine-Friendly Voice
Okay, so we’re not talking Scooby-Doo here, although that might make you forget about being frustrated. No, What this means is to have any success in getting your point across, you will need to speak in an even, but firm, tone. One that your dog can clearly understand.
11. Watch A Dog-Friendly Movie
Bear with us. When you have gotten to the point of frustration, it can be difficult to calm down and level yourself out. A distraction is always welcome and watching a movie that reminds you of the special bond between canine and humans, is a great way to reset the emotional buttons. Kick back, relax, and pop in Marley and Me or Homeward Bound.
10. Put Yourself In His Paws
Imagine this, the person you love the most, your entire world, is upset and angry with you. You cannot comprehend why, but it scares you. What do you do when you are scared and confused?
You shut down. When your dog shuts down, he can become despondent and/or destructive and combative. While some dogs get over this, some will continue the learned behavior which is not a good situation for you or your pet.
09. Know When To Stop
As with anything, there comes a time that you have to put our disgruntlement aside and take a break. Revisit the situation once you and the dog have a chance to calm. Knowing when to stop is imperative, especially if it is during a time when he needs to be focused.
When your dog senses anger in your voice, he will begin to associate the activity with a negative return. This means that if you get angry while trying to train, it will make the whole process a hundred times harder.
08. Reevaluate And Reattempt
Once you’ve taken a breather, it’s time to reevaluate and reattempt. Approach the situation from a different angle. Try to pinpoint exactly what it was that the dog did that frustrated you or made you angry, to begin with.
Once you’ve identified what set you off, attempt a different avenue. This is obviously to avoid whatever triggered your anger, but it can also help to reset your dog, so to speak.
07. Manage Your Expectations
Sometimes your frustration is coming from unrealistic expectations. Whatever it is that you are trying to accomplish with your dog, take a metaphorical step back and really take a long hard look at what your end goal is.
Are you demanding too much of him? Lower the bar and move at a slower pace or change the goal altogether.
06. Cuddle Time
There is really nothing better than a little cuddle time with your favorite furball. When you have become irritated or upset, a great way to reset the emotional clock is to have a bit of hug time with your pooch.
Not only will it help calm your nerves, but it will also help repair any damage done to the bond and/or relationship.
05. Remind Yourself Why You Initially Got Your Dog
People get stressed out, frustrated, angry, and exasperated, it is an unavoidable part of human nature. Take a moment to remember why you adopted your dog in the first place, the love, the excitement. Recalling these memories will help to make you forget the reasoning behind your anger.
He is in your life for a reason, maybe one of those reasons is to teach you a little patience.
04. Gaze Into His Eyes
Yes, we are totally serious. Did you know that when you gaze into your furry friend’s eyes, the levels of Oxytocin (also known as ‘the love hormone’) rise for both of you?
This is the same thing that happens between a human mother and her newborn baby. Sometimes, you have to be cautious and know when both of you are comfortable with eye contact. Some dogs find eye contact uneasy as it is a sign of dominance so proceed with caution. It is incredibly hard to stay upset with Oxytocin brimming. Let the love flow.
03. Treats For Two
Who doesn’t like a treat? While you have already likely thought of giving Fido a treat, what about you?
Grab a treat (preferably one suitable for humans for you) and have a bite together. Friends who eat together, stick together. You can’t stay angry if you’re busy chewing. Bon’ Appetit!
This is a personal favorite with regards to kids, but it can also work with your canine companion. Go your separate ways, even just for a few minutes. This will give both of you time to reset and regroup.
Let your dog out in the (fenced-in!) backyard while you read for 15 minutes. A temporary parting of ways can make a world of difference for you and the dog.
01. Play A Game With Him
What better way to redirect your anger and frustrations than a lovely game of fetch? It is not only the perfect way to distract both of you from the anger, but it can also help to repair the relationship.
A dog is happiest when spending time with his human and it is hard to be angry at a happy dog. Play the day away instead. Bonding is so much better than brooding, don’t you think?
How To ‘Apologize’ To Your Dog If You’ve Lost Your Temper
Okay, so you got angry, yelled at, or became upset with your favorite furball.
Now what? Will they forgive you?
Well, you’re going to have to make it up to him. Luckily, this is not hard to do, especially if this is not a regular occurrence.
- If he is scared, nervous, and not making eye contact, do not approach him. A scared and confused dog can lash out and bite if he feels cornered.
- Speak in a low, soft, even-toned voice and encourage him to come to you. You can also offer a treat.
- When he does allow contact, do not use fast and/or jerky movements. Pet him and talk to him in a soothing voice.
So long as this does not happen commonly, your dog should be able to move past this isolated incident. The more angry episodes you have, the more likely your dog will be conditioned to react in a fearful manner towards you.
What does getting angry with your dog actually accomplish?
While it may provide a small emotional release, there is a very real possibility that you could end up causing irreparable damage to the bond and relationship that you have with your faithful pooch. You also run the risk of causing emotional distress or trauma which can lead to behavioral changes. These issues can take a very long time to repair if you’re able to fix them at all.