You Don’t Have To Be Cruel To Be Kind

Common does not make true

There is a very commonly used phrase that most of us have heard. In fact some of us many have used, which goes as follows: “You have to be cruel to be kind”.

Others among us will look at that phrase or hear it said, and point out the inherent flaw in it. You do not have to be cruel to be kind. You have to be “cruel to be cruel” and “kind to be kind.”

In actual fact, cruelty and kindness are very rarely mutually applicable. Getting that straight will sort out a lot of problems, in life and when training your dog. Cruelty always gets a response, but rarely a good one.

You may need to be stern

Now, certainly, there are times when you will need to be stern with your dog. Sometimes it will exhibit behaviors that you would really rather it did not.

Some owners will tend towards the cruel side of things when punishing these behaviors, often punishing their dog with a physical blow. This should never happen.

Punishing a dog consistently with physical reprimands will lead simply to a hostile dog who will lash out without warning. Or on the other hand, a lifeless dog scared to do anything for fear of reprisal.

Rarely you may need a harder response

You never have to be cruel but you may need to reprimand your dog physically. A quick tap, not a blow, can often suffice when it is behaving in a threatening manner without good reason. Restraining it by the collar when it goes to attack a person or another animal is fine.

But by beating your dog, all you are doing is removing the essential element of all pet-owner relationships – friendship.


Treat your dog with respect and use the proper incentives to persuade it to do what you want. Your dog wants to please you and will love you and obey you with a little coaching.

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