I’m not sure if my parents are hurting my dog mentally (and/or) physically I had a dog at around 1 year and I think my parents may be harming her. At the start of getting her she was doing fine until a little bit. She was well trained and I am concerned if I am doing something bad to her and making her untrained. My parents started hitting her if she peed or pooped inside but they didn’t pay attention to her while she was telling them she needed to potty. My mom yelled at the dog if my dog did anything little like jumping on her or licking her a bit much. I’ve been trying to hint to my parents that these things in fact hurt my dog more and make her less trained but they don’t listen. I told my mom that I didn’t like how my dad treated the dog and she said it was my fault and I was untraining her by simply letting her on the couch. It’s been a few months and now they are trying to play victim and pretend to not know that my dog is in fact scared of them.
- Thank you for reaching out to the Teen Central community. It can be very upsetting to feel your not being heard by your parents. Let’s think of some ways you can work on your problem.
- How much have you already learned about how to properly train a dog? Maybe you can learn more techniques that will help to re-train her. This will show your parents that you really care about her. You may also find information that discourages hitting and yelling at the dog when your dog has an accident or jumps on people. Would you feel comfortable sharing that information with your parents and maybe asking them if together you can make a plan on how you all will train your dog?
- If you feel the abuse to your pet has gotten to an emergency level and you’d like some immediate help, we would recommend visiting this website: Report Cruelty to Animals | PETA PETA is a group that will have lots of information on their website about this topic and might be helpful to you if your situation spins out of control.
- If you feel that it will be uncomfortable to have a conversation, is there another trusted adult that you could talk to? Maybe an Aunt/Uncle, Brother or Sister, Guidance Counselor, or family friend? Try to get the perspective of someone else, maybe they can help you with approaching your parents about your valid concerns.
- Find some paper or a notebook and start writing your thoughts down. Writing can be an excellent tool when we are in a tough situation and want to find the best way to talk about it. After you write your thoughts down, pick out the things that you would like to see your parents do differently when your dog makes a mistake. Be sure to write about your feelings too!!! I’m sure your very upset feeling that your dog is being treated badly. Journal your feelings about the situation, know that is ok to have these feelings. Next, make a plan on how you can address your feeling with your parents. Let them know that it’s not only about how they treat your dog. Let them, or your trusted adult friend know how it makes you feel.
- Give yourself some time to take care of yourself. Take a look on TC under “what’s new”. There you will find articles about Journaling as a coping skill and helping to alleviate anxiety through breathing techniques. Sometimes we feel that things are out of our control and this creates a lot of stress. Try to give yourself a break and work on lessening that stress.
- Under the “Tools” section there is information on how to use positive self talk. Some of these ideas along with getting some exercise, even if it’s a 20 minute brisk walk will help you with some of your anxiety and fear about your situation. You can do this!!!