7 Things You CAN Say To Your Dog That Won’t Hurt Her Feelings

Dogs understand a lot.

They get meaning from our body language, inflections, and even our words. But if we’re creative, we can hurl insults at them when they act like stinkers without hurting their feelings.

I have a few choice favorites.

Golden Retriever grinning

Me, annoying? Surely you jest.

Things I Say To Dogs

Let’s face it. Sometimes our dogs are annoying.

But we have to set them up for success. We have to realize that when they make a mistake it’s all our fault. And we have to keep our relationship positive.

What can a girl do to get some frustration out?

Honey the golden retriever in a kayak.

What do you mean if I’m not going to paddle I should lie down and shut up?

In my sweetest voice, I sometimes say the following:

You’re a stinky little turd blossom and I hate you with the heat of a thousand suns. (For a puppy who just had a long walk and a visit to the backyard before coming inside and peeing on Honey’s pillow.)

You little woofy so and so. Why do you hate me so much? (To Honey after barking incessantly to go outside to roll in the snow while I was on a work conference call.)

Curses, you little fuzzy butt. I damn you to the third level of hell where there are no dog biscuits. (To Honey who has decided she doesn’t want to walk home after leaving my husband at the door of his office. Oh, and it’s raining. And the temperature is dropping.)

Honey the golden retrievers makes allowances for a foster puppy.

I have a few choice insults myself, Sally. You foster puppies get away with everything.

You’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny. (To the neighbor’s dog who lets out a woof and riles up Honey for the next twenty minutes.)

Thank you for putting me on the friction diet. I feel so much lighter after losing all that blood and skin. (To Shadow after pulling me down to the ground while walking on icy sidewalks.)

Why couldn’t you have been born a cat? (To Honey right now when she’s demanding to go for a walk before I finish my post.)

You are cursed demon spawn with the destructive power of a satanic cyclone filled with knives. (To Agatha and Christie after they ate my couch. And my other couch. And my kitchen floor. And my cookbook collection….)

Of course, none of these things ever hurt a dog’s feelings. As long as I sound happy and stroke their chest at the same time, they don’t seem to mind a bit.

Honey the golden retriever is timid.

What’s a few insults among friends? Keep the cookies coming and you’ll never have to worry about hurting my feelings.

Other Things I Say To Dogs

If I have to be honest, I rarely hurl insults at dogs. Even in a sweet voice.

I’m more likely to say

You’re the best puppy ever. (To every dog I ever meet.)

I love you so much it hurts to breathe. (To Honey or whichever dog lives with me at the time.)

Who made you so perfect? (Definitely to Honey.)

But it’s nice to know that if I really have to get a little stress out, I can hurl insults at dogs in the nicest voice possible and not hurt their feelings one little bit.

Honey the golden retriever plays in the snow.

Ahhhh, finally I get to make snow puppy angels. Thank you for writing a short post.

We Have A Winner!

Thank you to everyone who took time to answer my survey about Something Wagging This Way Comes. I’m so thankful for your suggestions, kind words, and the stories you shared.

Our lucky winner of the $20 Amazon gift card, drawn at random, is Beth Patterson who blogs at The Daily Dog Tag.

The Daily Dog Tag might be the prettiest blog I know and it’s filled with beautiful photography and happy rescue stories. So stop by to congratulate her and stay for the sweet tales we can’t get enough of.

Your Turn: Do you insult your dogs when they act like stinkers? Does it seem to hurt their feelings?


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  1. HAHA!!! That was hilarious!!!
    I know one main insult I use…..often!
    “Oh Koda! What crawled up you butt and died???”
    This comes after one of his stinky farts! BOL!
    ღ Happy Howlidays! ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  2. If said with love in your voice and heart, words/phrases aren’t insults. Sam & I have called Callie & Shadow “little stinkers” since they first came to live with us at seven weeks of age. And Ducky has been “demon dog” since her first day with us. And no matter what we call them, they all answer us with wagging tails and wriggly-wiggly bodies. It’s only when our impatience gets the better of us that they get their feelings hurt.

  3. I do…and mostly I just call them big stinkers…I’m not as creative with my insults as I could be. Maggie I call a stubborn miss…and sometimes I call Jack a lunkhead.

  4. We often hear get your &)*$#( furry butt over here, NOW! or Mom used to tell Katie she wanted to hit her over the head with a cast iron frying pan because she was so mad, but normally, stinker or dirty bird are about the only bad things we hear ourselves called, but you are right, we don’t care one bit.

  5. I love your insults so much better than mine! I usually just say “get your stupid ugly face over here” or “your ears look ridiculous.” Yeah, it’s always an insult about Laika’s ears.

  6. They don’t often insult me now – apart from calling me the Hair Factory, but they used to make up silly names that weren’t repeatable when I was a pup!

  7. That is one of the fun things about having dogs over children. You can say whatever you want to them, as long as it’s in a nice voice, and you don’t have to worry about scarring them for life! LOL

  8. Mainly I stick to numnuts – but I use it as a term of endearment so it’s not too bad. However I may have to steal “why can’t you be a cat” and use that if my two are playing up!

    • Although I have remembered that when Mity is being a pain I remind him that he should be thankful for us and show us some respect, you see Mity was destined for a life as a show dog, where he would have lived in a kennel and been groomed on a daily basis (ok, he’d have probably kept his nuts) but he would be in an household with lots of other dogs, which for most dogs is no bad things. But Mity is definitely a one dog dog, will kick me if I am taking up too much room on the settee, and if the fire isn’t on glare daggers at whomever is in the vicinity until his fire is turned on!

  9. I can say ANYTHING at all to my Scottie — as long as I SING it :-)

  10. I don’t insult our dogs, but I do tell them how naughty they are – I think it’s my tone that makes them seem sad so I give them 2 minutes to sulk then alls forgiven until they do it again – in about 10 minutes. LOL