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snowberry's avatar

Do pets have the cognitive ability to 'punish' their owners? Has your dog (or other pet) ever punished you?

Asked by snowberry (17434 points ) April 22nd, 2010

One of our dogs would punish us when we left her too long by planting a big poop in front of the door, so when we opened it, it would spread across the carpet. (EEWWWww!)

She also was good at shredding the trash to punish us.

I don’t want a yes or no answer. If you have a pet that has actually punished you in some way tell me about it.

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38 Answers

janbb's avatar

Gormless Prince would chew his bed to bits if we left him alone in the evening. I eventually stopped buying beds for him and would give him an old pillow to sleep on. I do think it was probably anxiety rather than punishment but I could be wrong.

MrGV's avatar

Yeah I remember after I yelled “no” to my 10 weeks puppy, he would turn his head away from me whenever I come near it; he knew it would make me feel bad theni would bribe him with tummy scratches til he forgives me. lol

Cruiser's avatar

I had a pound puppy that clawed up a brand new cross buck door, a couch, 3 throw pillows and chewed through the kitchen dry wall and almost got through the redwood siding. I miss Chopper!

filmfann's avatar

When left alone in the house all day, the dog (Luv, and no reflection on his character) pulled down the drapes, and shredded them.

DrBill's avatar

Dogs don’t punish.

@janbb Separation anxiety

@MrGV Submission

@Cruiser Separation anxiety mixed with tooth pain

@filmfann Separation anxiety

Dog earned the title of “man’s best friend” by being the most forgiving animal in the world

janbb's avatar

@DrBill I thought so too – read my last sentence

mrentropy's avatar

If I spend too much time on the computer my cat will lie on the desk and rest his head on the wrist of my mousing hand.

Cruiser's avatar

@DrBill I quickly found that out and should have put 2 and 2 together as when we got him he had no front claws or pads on his feet should have been a warning sign of things to come.

Trillian's avatar

My cat used to go out of her way to pee in my ex SO’s slippers. She threatened to leave a more solid present on his pillow, but never actually did it.

janbb's avatar

@Trillian I love the image of a cat threatening to poop.

Jadesfire's avatar

If we leave our cat alone in the house too long, she will follow us around but stay just out of reach, pointedly ignoring any attempt to show affection.

Trillian's avatar

@janbb She was pretty adamant about it too. She hovered her butt and kind of arched her back, and she kept saying “I’m gonna drop it! I’m gonna drop it! ”

Trillian's avatar

Really? Then I guess I shouldn’t mention her “tootsie roll” theory.
@kevbo, that’s hilarious.

kevbo's avatar

My grandpa used to tell a story about a day when he was hunting with his dog. The dog flushed out the quail (or whatever bird it was, I don’t remember) and my grandpa missed his shots completely. He said the dog looked at him and then just walked home.

janbb's avatar

@Trillian Consider it said. :-)

OneMoreMinute's avatar

How could you possibly know the pets intent as punishing you?
I would say they are bringing to your attention a health matter, or dirty litter box, or tummy ache, urinary tract infection, marking territory, anxiety etc…

BoBo1946's avatar

Not me, but a g/f of mine many years ago! Had a minature Dachshund named Putter and she did not like my g/f and if she took her shoes off, Putter would pee in her shoes!

downtide's avatar

When I was a kid we had a cat, that would spend some of her time in next-door’s house because the lady next door would feed her treats. So when we went on holiday for a week we decided that it would be a good idea to let this lady take care of our cat while we were away. This went very well. Until we came home and the cat completely ignored us and refused to come home, for precisely one more week. It was like she was getting revenge for us abandoning her, by abandoning us for the same amount of time.

majorrich's avatar

I have a cat that lets us know his litter box is dirty by pooping at the bottom of the basement steps so we can see it. He will also do it when we piss him off, like after a bath.

snowberry's avatar

@majorrich Ha ha he ha! That’s a great one! Now I’d say you’ve been properly chastised!

anartist's avatar

Of course. Jillycat pisses the bed when she is angry [or did long ago]. My sister had a dog who used to crap in unwelcome guests’ shoes while they were sleeping.
Excretion is the easiest way for pets to express anger.

But my Jackycat also used to slowly carefully pick at the silk lampshade next to the bed if I didn’t get up after he stamped on the radio button. He knew it made me furious—and I didn’t let him train me, either. I yelled at him and chucked him off the table and didn’t get up until after he slunk away and forgot about it. But he still did it to make me mad sometimes anyway.

btw I usually DID get up if he turned on the radio at a reasonable time in the morning because that was a GOOD way of communicating. And kissed him on the head and went out to get their breakfast.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I feel they do those things like pee on the floor or poop on purpose. My dog has done these things before when there was arguing in my old home and I remember as a kid our family cats would pee specifically on things belonging to my stepdad and I always thought it was because they knew he was an asshole. Right now, my bf’s dogs pee and poop on his apt. carpets and I think it’s because they’re unhappy in an upstairs enclosed small place and don’t get walked outside on a schedule.

YARNLADY's avatar

My Uncle brought his new girlfriend to a barbecue at our house. She hated dogs, but we assured her he was very friendly. Sure enough, he went up to greet her with his tail wagging and his nose and ears up to be pet, but suddenly lifted his leg and peed on her.
P.S. She married my Uncle anyway.

anartist's avatar

@YARNLADY did she learn to love his dog?

YARNLADY's avatar

@anartist It was my dog that did the deed.

mattbrowne's avatar

Our cat does by peeing in our study.

anartist's avatar

@YARNLADY Well, did she learn to love your dog? After all, he was family.

YARNLADY's avatar

@anartist No, she and my dog avoided each other. : – )

anartist's avatar

@YARNLADY To both their losses I am sure.

Pandora's avatar

I had a neigbor who had a pomeranian who would poop in her slippers whenever she kicked him out of the bed. She got smart and made sure that she would not step into her slipper in the dark, so he would then sneak around the bathroom door that was left ajar and poop so as he opened the door and stepped in then she would hit it bare footed. He would never poop inside unless she kicked him out of the bed because he would get close and she was afraid of rolling on him. He even went up and pooped on her favorite chair one day because she wouldn’t give him what she was eating. She said he barked at her and ran off to the living room and then ran under the bed. When she went to sit down she saw he had pooed her chair.
Oh, and my dog when he was not even a year old was begging for food from my husband. My husband told him to go away. He barked at him for a while till my husband yelled at him. Then he stepped back a few feet away from him and stared right at him and lifted his leg and peed. He didn’t even run off. My husband wanted to kill him.
He did end up swatting him and scarring him away and he learned after that not to mess with the bigger dog. (FYI, he didn’t hurt him. He mostly startled him.)
After he ran to another room we all busted out laughing. He look like a tiny white bull ready to fight for what was his. (hes a maltese)

GeorgeGee's avatar

I’ve known cats that would punish their owners. One favorite was to reach through the bars of the railing as you walk down stairs, scratch your legs (or try to trip you?) and then run. Another was the old hairball in the shoe trick. People who don’t know animals might say “oh, that must have been an accident,” but cat owners know better. Cats are smart enough to watch your eyes when they’re planning something. They won’t be caught in the act, they want you to be surprised.

tigress3681's avatar

Your dog did not punish you for not taking it out to potty, it merely needed to go potty and you were not available to take it out. The trash shredding is again not punishment but a symptom of boredom.

snowberry's avatar

@tigress3681 Actually, a dog pooping or peeing on someone or something that they own, such as in the shoes of a human is a way of asserting dominance over them. I had it happen one time to me when I was taking a walk. A dog came out from its house into the middle of the street, and peed on my leg. It was totally purposeful and a way to assert dominance over me. I called animal control, because the man was being a total jerk.

Most house pets, unless they have dominance issues such as above or health problems, will go close to an exit door, or somewhere there is the tell-tale scent of another dog having already gone there. It’s pretty hard to get rid of that scent.

tigress3681's avatar

@snowberry pretty sure we were discussing defecation on the floor by the front door, not on the owner’s foot.

snowberry's avatar

@tigress3681 I was referring to the dog poop in the woman’s shoe. I have also heard of a dog or cat pooping on someone’s bed. Unless the animal is sick, this would also be a way to assert dominance.

tigress3681's avatar

@snowberry Oh, since you are not talking about what I was talking about, then I am free to agree with you. And I do, not that I am any kind of expert on canine dominance.

Scream1's avatar

Yeah, he’s punished me before… by clawing my hands off

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