I Yelled At My Dog, Will He Forgive Me?

I Yelled At My Dog; Will He Forgive Me?

Sometimes you are disappointed with your dog, no matter how much you love him. Perhaps it’s for something as simple as failing to sit or stand when you ask him to. Maybe he’s barking at your best friend because he’s having a bad day. 

If that is the case, you might be worrying thinking, I yelled at my dog; will he forgive me? It is one of the main questions many dog parents encounter after they yell at their dog. Don’t worry, many dogs are very good and will forgive you for scaring them by yelling at them. But, it is always better to be more sincere and play nice with your dog because some dogs get terrified or keep grudges when you yell or hit them. 

For whatever reason, having rough days with your dog is perfectly natural. It’s also normal to want to let him know how you feel about his actions.

However, as soon as you yell at him, the dog will get sad, and you will feel bad about the whole situation. What’s next in your mind is the thought, “I yelled at my dog; will he forgive me?”

Will My Dog Forgive Me For Yelling At Him?

We constantly compare human emotions to those of dogs, but it is not the same. There are indeed some things like love, fear, and pain but dogs, in general, do not feel complex emotions like forgiveness.

So, I have often wondered if I yelled at my dog would he forgive me? 

I have a bright and adorable dog who’s a dachshund. He’s got a lot of energy and doesn’t always listen to me! I yelled at him when it once chewed on my shoe out of boredom.

But soon after I did it, I felt terrible because of his sad reaction. He stood back from me, looked like he was surrendering, and refused to look up.

The first thing I got was cuddling and hugging him. Tell him I’m sorry and that he will not be yelled at again. But it was a bad idea, and I didn’t go for it because I didn’t know if he’d get defensive. However, he turned around and became friendly with me a few days or so later.

I’m sure you’ve had similar experiences, where you’re constantly wondering, “will my dog forgive me for yelling at him?”

If you notice your dog moving away from you, staring down, or peeing after being yelled at, it is always best to give your dog some space to be by himself.

If it is only a one-time yelling, he will soon come around. He’ll be puzzled by what’s happening, but it won’t last long.

Repeated yelling should be avoided, as it can make the dog extremely uncomfortable, leading to aggressive behavior.

Do Dogs Remember If You Yelled At Them?

It is crucial to remember that animals do not react to situations the same way humans do. Humans, unlike dogs, remember when other people yell at them and keep that memory.

Then there are the terrible grudges and violent behaviors, which can be verbal or physical, depending on the situation.

While a dog might not understand what yelling means, a human does. Then it is safe to assume that dogs don’t have to hold grudges by remembering how you yelled at them.

But, while that may be true, there could also be some intelligent dogs who will get aggressive and do something in return to get back at you. Yet this feeling won’t be permanent. Yet if you scare the dog continuously, it will negatively affect your relationship. 

Then to answer your question, “will my dog forgive me for yelling at him?” – yes, of course! Because your dog will know you love him even if they don’t fully understand the nature of the apology or the incident for which you yelled.

Dogs could indeed forgive you, and you can see this if they lick your hand. Dogs lack emotional intelligence, but that doesn’t mean they don’t experience emotions. 

They do get hurt. They can feel pain and fear just as we humans do. But we will never honestly know if dogs are capable of forgiving us. You can only tell the dog forgave you if they quickly return to normal after an incident.

What Can I Do For Apologizing After I Yelled At My Dog?

Dogs can read your body language, voice tone, and facial expressions, but they cannot understand the words you use to apologize. So, after a yelling incident, you might notice they are a little reserved. 

You might feel worried thinking I yelled at my dog and will he forgive me, but if it were a one-time thing, everything would soon be forgotten. 

Here are some ways to apologize for yelling at your dog.

  • Dogs may not understand your apology, so make sure to apologize immediately after he is yelled at, and then he will understand that you are sorry.
  • Dogs commonly use body language, voice tone, and facial expressions to figure out what you’re saying. When you talk calmly, slowly, and comfortingly, he will understand that you are simply trying to apologize to him. 
  • If you believe that all the yelling hurts your dog badly, don’t go straight for the hugs when you apologize. He may react negatively and become aggressive. Allow him some space before approaching calmly after a few minutes.
  • Dogs enjoy receiving lots of attention from their owners. So occasionally, they misbehave to get your attention, and you might yell at them later. Always be cautious of these behaviors, and if you yell at them, try to make up by giving them all the attention, playtime, etc., they need.

You will also believe that giving treats is the best way to apologize to your dog. For example, he barks at your friend.

After yelling at him to stop barking, you reward him with a pet treat because you feel bad about it.

But now, your dog believes he is being awarded for barking and will repeat it the next time your friend visits you. So, don’t use treats to apologize after yelling at your dog.

Given how much you care for your dog, worrying about such yelling incidents is okay. 

You will worry that your dog will be upset with you forever. Or whether he’ll remember how you yelled and avoid you in the future.

Nothing else will cross your mind at this time. I yelled at my dog; will he forgive me, is the only repeating thought.

But as the owner of an extremely naughty dog, I’m sure I had that thought running in my mind more than you!

So, I will repeat it: dogs probably won’t understand the apology. But they will be touched by your affection and effort to regain their trust after yelling at them. And they will quickly decide to forgive you, one way or another.

Thank you for reading this post. Stay tuned with Jack Russell Owner for more interesting posts.


  • Sofia Williams

    Sofia W. is a professional dog trainer who completed Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA and CPDT-KSA) certifications. Also, she has completed the Pet Nutrition Coach Certification. Sofia is interested in creating nutritious food formulas for dogs to give them a longer and healthier life. She believes food and training are a collective combination of a healthy dog. So, she is with us to share her expertise and knowledge with other dog parents.

    [email protected]

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