Intervene when you see abuse


So here I am, wondering why anyone would read my blog as any dog owner must already know about operant conditioning, the importance of positive stimuli in learning, how dogs’ senses and their perception of the world are different from ours and how science helps us work with all types of dogs, even the reactive, fearful or aggressive ones. I was sure nobody thought violence can make a dog obedient and that it’s been proven aggression can only cause aggression. I thought I was just showing that rescues are trainable and that they make wonderful pets. The days of people shouting at their dogs, slapping them, doing the idiotic ‘alpha rolls’ and other old-wives’-tales based ridiculous performances are long gone.

As you can guess, I’m upset. I’ve just witnessed a father calling his around 5 year-old son ‘a fucking idiot’. Having shaken and slapped him first. With all the shouting and swearing worth a cheap reality show.

If children are abused, what chance does a dog have?

When you see someone hurting someone else stop and do something. Phone the police if your safety might be at risk. Though sometimes it’s enough to say: ‘could you please stop doing that’ in a quiet voice. Don’t waste your time hating the abuser, just help the victim.


32 thoughts on “Intervene when you see abuse

    1. Told him to stop. And he did. I’m only 5’2” and not even 7 stone, but I was a teacher for 17 years. The quieter yo speak and the longer you stare the more people listen. I worked with young offenders and I don’t think people are really bad. They just don’t know better. He did tell me to ‘fuck off’ but got quiet and after a short while apologised and said the kid nearly got run over by a car.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I agree that it shouldn’t have happened. He needs to learn how to handle those situations in a calm manner. I would have been very upset to see that too. I’m glad you stood up for the child. You are a kind, brave woman!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I don’t think he’s willing to learn about parenthood, unfortunately. Well, I do hope I’m wrong about him. I’m not brave, but I have ‘fight’ rather than ‘flight’ response in stressful situations πŸ˜‰ Not always a good idea (especially when you’re my size!) x

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Since he did later apologize, maybe your words sunk in and he realized he was “over the top.” I think your experiences as a teacher probably has something to do with you having a fight rather than flight response. You can’t really flee from a stressful classroom situation. LOL

        Liked by 1 person

  1. You’re allowed to call child protective services, or the police, in a case like that. It may not change the situation, but at least they’ll have the case on the record for the future. Children and animals are so vulnerable, anything we can do to keep them safe, or let them know that the way they’re being treated isn’t okay, can help.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I am so with you on that! I would also tell him firmly to stop, and I have done just that, as I am sure you have, too. Unfortunately, calling child protective services does not always accomplish much as they have their own criteria for intervention. Ditto with the police. So yes, we have to intervene ourselves!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Shocking. Glad you intervened. What an idiot man. It may have been reaction shock but his own aggression was obviously already near the surface of his personality for it to explode so readily, frightening an already frightened child. Hope he doesn’t have any animals- and you know why I read your blog! Your endless kindness and patience with Lily is wonderful, and you’ve given us loads of helpful advice with Erin! : )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, that’s so lovely πŸ™‚ I can understand why he wanted to slap the boy. But he’s an adult, he needs to learn to control his impulses. And swearing, name-calling and all the shaking of the child is beyond anything I consider acceptable. I doubt his son understand it’s not safe to cross the road without looking, he might be more careful next time when the father is around, but not when he’s not.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A hard subject but the young, elderly, and animals need protection from abuse. Notify the authorities if you witness abuse. The Police, Social Services, or Animal Control folks can sort things out and hopefully prevent further abusive behavior.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s very sad to see people abusing animals and children. The unfortunate thing is that although there are laws protecting pets from abuse, children are the only entities that can still be hit (spanked) and that’s okay. Even convicted criminals have the right not to be hit, but not children. It has long been known that animals learn only fear from physical discipline. I still hear parents say, “I was hit and I turned out fine. So I’m going to continue to hit my child.” What a shame. This was an excellent post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, some people (and dogs) turn out fine despite being smacked/slapped. It still doesn’t mean it’s a method that helps to learn how to behave. Thank you for the comment, I’m so glad I’m not the only one who thinks this behaviour is insane!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I LOVE your blog. It doesn’t have to always be rocket science to be helpful, inspiring, comforting- just knowing what someone else is doing that works is a very good thing. One might think, indeed, that people know things they don’t seem to, anymore, about what works in life and what doesn’t. And dogs? I’ve noticed since our guy planted himself on our doorstep, that everyone acts like they Know It All, and dogs are a problem to be solved. Instead of a language to be learned. It is true that we have to go into the world with Love, challenging as it is. For me it is very nice to know someone else is out there with their dog, doing that.


    1. What a wonderful comment, thank you πŸ™‚ When I read or hear something like this, it cancels out all the bad comments πŸ™‚ I love your description of dogs as a language to be learnt not a problem to be solved. I will definitely quote you at some point!


  7. Wow, I am so glad you spoke up. I only stopped at this post because I love your dog’s photo here so much, but so glad you are raising awareness of situations like this – and what the right thing to do is.

    I would also like to ask your permission to post a drawing of your dog on my site, linking back to your blog for the reference photo? She’s so beautiful. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re quite welcome! Sometimes a partial face is enough for me if I start to see the animal in the eye. Love her face though, and thanks for permission to post a sketch of her with a link back to you. Take care, and have a great week.

        Liked by 1 person

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