Bad Dog!!! We've all said it at one point or anther to our beloved pooches, unless you don't own a dog, in which case I have one thing to say....GET A DOG!!! They are great. Seriously though, you've at least heard someone say it. In fact it's probably the most common phrase directed towards canines next to "good dog". I have used the phrase many times myself. It dawned on me though that maybe my dog understood what I was saying. I mean I would certainly hope that she did, after all I am speaking to her as if she does, expecting her to listen and to be obedient.
One day when I uttered the phrase, Bad Dog, she lowered her head in shame and pouted. I couldn't help but to reevaluate what it was I was actually saying to her. The precursor to her scolding was really not that big of a deal. She got excited and knocked a glass from the table next to my couch. I reflexively barked at her with those two words that no dog wants to hear. I didn't tell her she did something wrong, didn't show my dog her mistake, nope, I just flat out told her, you are a bad dog.
Imagine if you made a mistake at work and someone came to you and said, you are a bad person. I mean that's really harsh to be told you are not a good person because you made a mistake. I know that dogs don't think like we do and they operate on a different level than humans, but its something to consider. If you think your dog understands what your saying, maybe it's not the best way to say it.