Me, my sister, Mom and Dad have just got ourselves a puppy 3 months ago.
She’s just turned 5 months old and I’m currently training her as I work with dogs and I wanted to see what the skills I’ve learnt actually do.
My parents were happy for me to be in charge of our puppy with feeding regimes, walking & training.
Time passed and my parents wanted to be more involved with her training and walks, so I happily allowed it. Within days I could see that they were un-training her as she would be less responsive with her name being called, overly excited and would constantly try and jump up on people. This isn’t a behavior I want and it also isn’t a behavior my parents wanted but that’s what their “training” and scolding the dog has resulted in.
It was when I walked in the room one day when she was misbehaving (she was overly stimulated from play) by nipping my dad’s hands. I saw him strike her across the face and shouted at her. I told him off for it as I saw that he was the one that was play fighting with her and the result he got from the dog was his fault as she thought it was game. He promised he wouldn’t do it again, so I brushed it aside.
Now for 2 months straight I keep catching both my parents physical slapping, hitting and biting her ears when she nips them. I keep saying the same thing and they say the same thing to me back. But it’s a rinse and repeat process.
I overheard them talking behind my back about me that I’m at fault for being “too soft” with the dog, and the reason why she doesn’t bite, jump up or misbehave when I’m around is because I’m “weak” and dogs don’t mess around with weak people. This really upset me and I confronted them about it, which they denied. (This is a common theme with my parents).
How do I get them to stop hitting our dog as they believe that’s the only and best way to train a dog? (They used to do it with a dog we owned years ago and they said it worked. It actually didn’t because she became fear aggressive and would bite me for no reason, which again my dad denies ever happened).
I’m scared to call the RSPCA, or anything to do with animals’ rights activists because I know the results of what will happen to me if my parents find out an organization like that was called on them. I would be kicked out my house, everyone would believe my dad’s lies and block me out of their family (this has happened before several years ago and we all forgot about it).
Thank you. Sorry if some of what I said doesn’t make sense. I have dyslexia and sometimes I either repeat myself or I don’t explain things that well.
- It sounds like you’re very concerned for your puppy. She is lucky to have an owner like you who takes her safety seriously enough to reach out for help for her. Thank you for reaching out to us and telling your story.
- Have you thought about reaching out to another person/ group that specializes in training dogs? Unfortunately, it may be that your family needs to hear these recommendations from someone outside of the family. They may be seeing you as their child and are overlooking your experience with animals on a more professional basis.
- You can also contact your local Humane Society and tell them that you have witnessed your family dog being repeatedly beaten, hit, and abused by your parents. Let them know that you are making an anonymous request for help and intervention because you fear repercussions should your family find out that you are the reporter.
- One more thing – for yourself – if this situation ever just gets to be too much to handle you could always contact the 24/7 Crisis Textline by texting “Hello” to 741741 to start a conversation. They help individuals in different types of crisis and could help you process through your situation.
- Please consider looking through some of our old stories/posts to see what other people are experiencing and some of the recommendations they have received. It’s important to know that you aren’t alone in this, and not only can you benefit from help others have received, but others will also be able to benefit from you in the future as well.
- Have you thought about looking into some kind of presentation/ class/ seminar, etc. that focuses on training or working with pets? You may be able to make a suggestion to your family to attend one with you since you don’t see eye to eye on the way to discipline your puppy. Ask them to attend as you really want to learn more along with them- see what they say. You could even leave a pamphlet or 2 around the house that they may express an interest in.
- Continue to love your puppy unconditionally. It sounds like you have a great relationship with her. Keep playing, taking her for walks- whatever makes the 2 of you happy. Be proud of the efforts you’re putting into keeping her safe and healthy- both physically and emotionally. She’s a lucky puppy.