(Almost) Wordless Wednesday – Praising, not Shaming

The Dog Shaming Tumblr has everyone talking.

When one reporter and blogger dared to say he didn’t think much of it, some responses made me wonder if he had actually defended pedophilia and I missed it.

But I too worry that the site encourages people to set their dogs up for failure. So when Kong asked their Facebook fans to post their Dog Praising pictures, I just loved it! Here’s mine:

Honey and Cherie on couch

Share the Love. That’s my Golden rule.

What do you think of Dog Shaming? Is it harmless fun? Or do you think people are setting their dogs up to fail for the sake of a joke?

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  1. I love the dog shaming pictures! They make me laugh, I don’t think it’s setting anyone up for failure, it’s all in good fun!

  2. I don’t like it. If people did that to children, all would be upset. So, what’s the difference?

  3. I’m pretty sure you know where I stand on this side of the debate. :-) While I don’t think the dog knows or understands what it is all about, I still find it distasteful.

    I agree with Rumpy. If I put a picture of a four-year old up with a sign that said, “I still shit my pants” people would have a fit.

  4. Some of them are funny, but I can’t help but feel that some go too far and have more to do with the owner than the pet. And I know the owner of the Tumblr does say she realizes that. But 90% of the things my dog does are because I slipped up as pet parent, not because of her.

    Christie from lifewithbeagle.com

  5. I think some are taking it way too seriously. all of the photos I have seen have been funny. If any featured dog abuse that would be different. The photos all convey the quirks that we ALL have to admit our dogs have that DRIVE US CRAZY!

  6. Yesss I posted something similar to my facebook status (which I posted on your page so I won’t repeat it). Its sooo easy to look for the bad the dogs are doing, and I think these sights are helping owners focus on that instead of the good their dogs may be doing as well. Looking for the good is so much harder but exceptionally necessary.

  7. I find most of the dog shaming pictures funny. Yes, there are a few of them where the dog looks uncomfortable, but I think that is not BECAUSE of dog shaming but probably an uninformed owner in general. I don’t think it’s looking for the bad, I think it’s being able to laugh at otherwise frustrating situations with other people who “get” it. I know most of my dog’s mistakes are really my mistakes, but I can still laugh and then try to do better. And I don’t buy the argument that we wouldn’t do it to children so we can’t do it to dogs. Dogs are NOT children, they don’t care that we are “shaming” them, they can’t read, it won’t pop up on google later when they are in high school or looking for jobs. These owners can laugh at this stuff in good fun because they love their dogs. I doubt that people are setting their dogs up to get into the garbage just so they can take a picture and shame them and if these people DIDN’T love their dogs they would be more likely to be angry at them for chewing a new pair of shoes rather than joke about it.

  8. I think it started in the spirit of a little innocent fun, and it’s much better to have a sense of humour about our pets’ little foibles than to punish them. HOWEVER, I suspect programs like “America’s Funniest Videos” started the same way, but quickly deteriorated to “adults” staging ridiculous stunts to get noticed – I just hope Shaming doesn’t go the same way.

  9. My opinion of dog-shaming varies, honestly, post-to-post. Some of them are funny. Some of them are people “shaming” dogs for doing entirely natural things, or attributing malicious forethought to entirely natural things (like, how far from the house the dog uses the bathroom) which I really don’t like. A lot of them are owners “shaming” their dog when they should be shaming themselves. Newsflash, people: if your dog regularly eats the trash or has access to your underclothes, you are doing it wrong.

    I think the real problem is that it’s hard to see the motivation. If you read every post as being from an owner who is 1) deliberately making a joke out of something and 2) admitting that she is partially to blame for the problem, then the site becomes innocuous. If, on the other hand, you read it and think about all the dogs who tear things up and then get dumped at shelters, it’s terrifying. And there just isn’t enough context to pick one of those things or the other.

  10. We think it’s mostly for fun, but of course some probably “frame” their innocent pets, just for a laugh.
    Me, I’m always innocent, BOL!

  11. I think its good natured fun. I can’t believe people would set up their dogs for failure although I can see someone framing a dog for a laugh. Its given me some comedic relief while recovering from surgery due to a badly broken arm. And if there was a people shaming site my dogs would happily throw my photo up with a sign on my cast “she knows she is supposed to move the dog gate instead of stepping over it.”

  12. I think Jessica, who commented above, has it exactly right. And I’m actually really glad to hear (read?) people talking about it because honestly, the first time I saw a dog shaming photo I thought it was funny, but then I quickly became uncomfortable with it.

    Having worked in a shelter and through currently volunteering with a rescue organization, it’s often these little “foibles” that land dogs in shelters because their owner attribute these behaviours to being “revenge” or “pre-meditated” when that is farthest from the truth.

    I do, however, really like the idea of Pet Praising because I think it’s really important for us to pick out things that perhaps in the big picture seem small and insignificant, but are really important. Like, for a dog that has fear issues – praise them for an instance where they really shone and approached a person or strange object. Remembering how tough many of our dogs have it is really important. Because really, most owners don’t understand their dog or their dog’s actions at all. But there is something to say for being able to acknowledge and accept our dog’s idiosyncrasies.

  13. Woof! Woof! YES mom been guilty of the shamming but we do agree sharing good behaviors and LOVE of course. Happy Blog Paws WW Hop. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  14. Hi! I came over from the WW blog-hop. Great post! I can’t agree with you more. Although I know the dog shaming is meant as good-natured fun, it bugs me that so many things the dogs are being shamed for are really the fault of the owner. I think we need a website where people hold up signs….”I left the trash out and my dog got a chicken bone”, “I made my dog wait too long for a potty break and he pooped on the rug”, “I left a loaf of bread on the counter and my dog ate the whole thing”

    • You have just made my very favorite comment of the day! If you start a shaming dog people blog on Tumbler, let me know. I’ll definitely pose for a picture. :)

  15. I kind of liked the dog shaming pictures. I even contemplated taking one of my cat to share one of his many misdeeds but haven’t got around to it. If it’s all in good fun and said with love, I don’t see the harm. But it could just be my sense of humour talking.

    I definitely understand the discomfort of others and agree that a little positivity goes a long way. Maybe you’ll start a dog praising revolution!

  16. I’ve posted some dog shaming photos of my dogs. Dogs do funny and frustrating things sometimes, and I find that the dog shaming thing is a funny way to share those. One of Pallo’s signs reads: I poop in the flyball ring… regularly. Do I encourage that behavior? Absolutely not. I do everything possible to prevent it, in fact. I spend ridiculous amounts of time walking him before going into the ring, praising him like crazy when he goes when walked, and simply ignore him for a minute when it does happen in the ring. I would be happy if he never pooped in the flyball ring again. But is it funny to post a picture of him in front of a sign saying he does it? Yes.

  17. Depends on the intent of the pic. Some are harmless fun and others seem cruel. I’d rather not shame Blueberry. No need for it and she is just so sweet and loving it’s not my style to pick on dogs. They get picked on enough – let’s just love them and care for them and set them up to succeed!

  18. Some of them are funny, and some of them make me worry for the dog that’s pictured. It’s a mixed bag.

    I do like the praising!

  19. I thought the Dog Shaming website was hilarious – and I still do! I hope to see my own submission posted some day.
    Those lecturing about “learned behaviours” and “lack of training” need to relax and take things a little less seriously once in a while. Sometimes stuff happens and you just have to sit back and laugh.
    I defy anyone here to find me one dog that has never gotten into something or chewed on something – as dog owners, it’s something we can all collectively sympathize with, understand, and laugh at.
    Better laughter than anger.

  20. I had never heard of that blog, but I went over and took a peak and it looks like cute harmless fun to me. Although, I love the idea of dog praising too. Actually, I just love cute dog photos. :-)

  21. I thought it was amusing, but I had mixed emotions as well. I definitely prefer the praising!!

    • okay, I just went back to look (it had been a while) and I think they are all pretty funny! I don’t think the dogs have any clue what’s going on and it gives the humans a good laugh. Nothing wrong with giving people a reason to laugh :)

  22. Last time I checked, dogs can’t read, so what do they care? The pictures are all in good fun.

  23. We think it is mainly for fun. Have a great day.
    Best wishes Molly

  24. I haven’t been brave enough to click over. I just know that, years ago, my mother-in-law had a bichon that she shaved for summer. The entire family laughed at that poor little thing and it started peeing in the house.

  25. I have to admit that I loved both ideas. The dog shaming pics were hilarious. If you looked at most of the dogs, they did not look shamed, but in a resting position. I’m pretty sure they can’t read the signs, so I think it’s pretty harmless.
    However, I also love the idea of sharing positive dog behavior as well. Now if only I could come up with one as cute as the one with the girls. They look so cute together Pamela!

  26. I just can’t believe this is such a big debate?! I don’t think for one second any of these people think they’re “shaming” their dog or that their dogs care in any way what they’re dong with that photo.

    The fact of the matter is sometimes dogs drive us crazy. I’d much rather have a dog in the kind of home that takes ridiculous behavior in stride and *laughs* about it, rather than the kind of home that gets upset and punishes the dog or surrenders it for bad behavior. These are owners who obviously love their dogs. (Seriously. Would anyone other than “dog people” take the time and effort to take a photo and submit it? I think not.)

    Even if some of these “shameful” moments sound like an owner who should have trained better, how many of us can claim 100% perfection in our dogs? Are we so judgey that we can’t giggle at the fact that (even despite our best efforts), sometimes our dogs are just little shits? How many of us bloggers haven’t poked fun at our dogs and their foibles? (Kol’s Notes was built on this and I think Kol does a fair amount of “Mama Shaming” in return.)

    My dilemma isn’t whether or not this site is morally acceptable; it’s whether the picture of my chewed up antique dresser nobs from Koly’s teething days or the destuffed couch cushion which was a gift from an anxious Felix would make a better submission.

  27. Aw… we totally need to make this one viral! Let’s have a dog bragging hop. :)


  1. […] wasn’t until I read Pamela’s post from Something Wagging This Way Comes on Wednesday, that I realized that not all people find these photos amusing. Actually,  some […]