Maybe I’m just a little too snarky for my own good…but lately there has been a lot of negative buzz over the site Dog Shaming, and I just don’t get it.
Dog Shaming is a Tumblr, the ever popular micro-blogging site, devoted to dogs that have done wrong. Each dog is given a sign telling us of their misdeed, usually at the scene of the crime, to document the mishap.
Some people find this amusing (me, and half of the Today show).
Other people find it awful and spout out comments like “The owners should be shamed instead!” and whatnot (majority of pet bloggers I’ve seen comment on the issue, and the other half of the Today show).
Here are most of the reasons I’ve heard from people objecting to the website, including a few from my peers in the Nutro Knowledge Network, as well as many from my friends on Twitter and Facebook:
- These behaviors have been learned from the owners; most are training issues that aren’t funny, but instead something to be remedied
- The owners are usually the cause of these behaviors, so the dog should not be the one being shamed
- Some of the behaviors exhibited could be caused by major health problems…let’s not laugh at the sick puppies.
Here’s the thing: I agree with every single one of these points. At the same time, I don’t think Dog Shaming is as sinister as some people have made it out to be. Let’s face it: We’ve all had that moment. Dog training is a process, and there are always mishaps along the way. In the moment, as a pet parent, you have no option but to deal with the issue, reinforce your training, and move forward, often laughing about what happened after it’s over. To me, this is what Dog Shaming is.
Should owners be ignoring the negative behavior? No. Should they be working on their training? Yes. Are medical problems funny? No. Does humor help you deal with hard situations, like a pet having a serious illness? Sometimes, yes. I think most of how you enjoy this site is based on your perception of it and how you approach it. Are some of the post harsh? Of course–but so are many on various humor sites across the web. Some of them are just meant to be funny, and don’t comment on issues with the dog’s behavior, like this one:
While I love the site, I think it would do well to do an area for bragging rights as well. Perhaps a previously shamed dog could brag about a behavior being corrected after training was completed. After all, balance is the healthiest way, right?
What are your thoughts on Dog Shaming? Do you think it’s a truly negative thing, or all in good fun? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
This website was discussed within the Nutro Network and inspired this blog post, though the opinions contained within are solely my own. This post was written by a Nutro Knowledge Network Member and sponsored by the Nutro Company, though the opinions contained within do not belong to or represent the Nutro Company.