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chyna's avatar

Why is it that after my dog gets away from me and runs in traffic, and survives that, that my first instinct is to beat the snot out of her for scaring me?

Asked by chyna (43914points) June 21st, 2009

My dog got out the door this morning and ran across a busy roadway, without looking either way and into the subdivision across the street. I run out after her, in my pajama’s, barefoot and looking foolish. Is your first instinct to hug or yell at your dog once you get them back? By the way, I didn’t beat her, just muttered unkind things under my breath.

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22 Answers

SirBailey's avatar

To hug the dog. She doesn’t understand what she did wrong. And I’m not sure if being mean to the animal isn’t actually pushing the blame on her, when in fact, it’s up to US to realize they’re animals and might do stuff like that.

sanari's avatar

You cannot teach a dog to look both ways, therefore it is cruel to punish it for what it cannot learn.

casheroo's avatar

Same thing happens with my son. I get so scared and then so angry that he would do something so stupid. (My son ran into the road a couple weeks ago, I was walking the dog with him and he just booked. I was so, so angry.)

SirBailey's avatar

If you had a canary and, while cleaning the cage, the bird flies out and almost goes into the electric fan. Do you punish the canary?

marinelife's avatar

The anger is a cover emotion for your terrible fear of losing the dog.

Since the dog cannot understand the consequences (Do not run in street=Might be hit by car), you need to suppress that instinct hard.

chyna's avatar

Well, after hugging her (and muttering under my breath), I do realize I did not secure the door properly, so it was entirely my own fault.
I think that made me even madder, that I had put her at risk.

marinelife's avatar

@chyna I think you are right. I have found that to be true in my own case.

kheredia's avatar

My dog just did this the other day. Luckily it wasn’t a busy highway but it still scared me. I just told him no and bad boy. The usual correction when he does something he’s not suppose to do. It really surprised me because he usually just follows me around but I guess I need to be more careful.

mcbealer's avatar

You never, ever yell at a dog for not coming to you when called, or for returning – even in this type of situation. It undermines the trust in your relationship. This is just how dog pack mentality works. It’s really hard being patient, as you know. Yet if you stick to this rule you will be able to recall your dog from most anything, from a distance. Because as we all know, most of them think with their nose – regardless of what dangers lay ahead.

Darwin's avatar

As has already been said, your instinctual anger is in response to the fear of loss as well as guilt for letting it happen. Especially with a dog or a child too young to understand, you need to repress it and opt for the big hug.

SirBailey's avatar

Ah, but a child, I very well MIGHT give them a swat on the behind if they did this because they will remember the swat and understand (better then the dog will) it’s for going in the street. It’s better they associate the action with the pain of a swat then with the pain of a car running them over.

Darwin's avatar

@SirBailey – But that assumes the child is old enough to understand and to link the swat with the running across the street and not with the returning to the parent.

casheroo's avatar

@SirBailey My son is too young for that, what he needs is to learn to hold hands with an adult, so any time we cross the street, we look both ways and hold hands. You have to teach them first.

SirBailey's avatar

@Darwin, the child WON’T be expected to cross the street again to return to the parent. The parent will run to him, no?

@casheroo, but if your son darted into the street? My daughter was taught to stay close to me in a mall parking lot, nevertheless, one day, she darted and almost got hit by a car. I felt the swat was necessary to keep her from doing it again and getting killed. She had to know to NEVER do that again. Once again, I felt my swat was better then getting pain from a car.

cak's avatar

@Chyna – It’s the fear, that’s all. The emotions coming flood back and anger covers for the fear.

I had a wonderful dog (mutt) that escaped my car through a partially rolled down window, when I lived in Florida. A major road and there my dog ran down the middle of the road, horns blaring. Like you, when I recovered my dog, I was angry, but I realized I was just really scared. I hugged him, picked him up and told him never to run again…or I’d make him deal with our cat! ;~)

chyna's avatar

@cak It didn’t help that she ran, stopped, looked back at me, ran again. I do know it was a game with her, but I was not laughing. I was in my pj’s for pete’s sake! But yes, it scared the life out of me when she ran across the busy intersection.

cdwccrn's avatar

Some people have the impressive that dogs and kids learn from being beaten.
In truth, all they learn is to fear and hate the beater.

cak's avatar

@chyna—oh! The nerve! ;) Bless her heart, she was playing, but it was a very scary game!

@cdwccrn good to see you!

Swervy's avatar

Do not say unkind things under your breath because you could regret it one day. Do not hit it only give it a big hug and give it a firm NO and next time call its name to call it back to you do not get angry with it because dogs are very sensitive when that happens, so just watch your dog and be calm with it.

chyna's avatar

@Swervy For the record, I was not mean to my dog. If you read my post, I said “why is it my first instinct” to do something. This was a “tongue in cheek” type of post.

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