There are a lot of things you do that your dog really doesn’t like, and you’re probably not aware of them. Here are a few things you can do or stop doing that your dog will thank you for.
1. Hugs – That’s right, hugs. People, well most people anyway, love hugs. It’s how we show affection. When you see a dog putting a paw or a leg on another dogs back it is a considered an act of dominance. A dog does not know you are trying to show some love they think you are showing dominance. They are genetically hardwired to think that way. While some dogs will tolerate a hug a lot of dog bites come from this act of human kindness.
2. Petting on the face and head – I’m assuming that you like most people don’t like being petted on the head. Dogs don’t like it either. A personal space issue that is annoying at best and painful at worst that most dogs just don’t care for. Give them a gentle pat on the back or a pat or rub on the old butt. It’s a much better sign of affection to them.
3. Staring them in the eyes – This is bad, especially for a dog that does not know you and it can cause aggression. Most will see it as an act of dominance and look away but others….. well, you know what it can lead to. Let’s face it, it’s creepy when a stranger stares at you right? The best way to approach a new dog is to stand at a slight angle, speak in a calm manner and let the dog come to you if they wish. Sometime this doesn’t work and you have to trust that the human is in control or it can be bad. Trust me on this one, I have the scars to prove it.
4. Going for walks with out letting them explore – It is important to have an obedient dog that walk well on a leash but it is also important that the dog be allowed to explore while still being obedient. It’s a good thing to let them explore the area once in a while. Dog see with their noses and smelling a tree trunk is kinda like seeing a sunset to us or checking their messages to see who was there. Some trainers recommend that you use a different collar and leash set up for “smell” walks. Use a longer leash but one that you still have control with. Please don’t use those retractable leashes, they are dangerous and you have very little or no control. (sorry, soapbox over) So instead of just a short potty walk, take time once or twice a week to let Ol’ Fido sniff until he is all sniffed out. He’ll thank you for it.
5. Keeping the leash tight – First off it is important to teach your dog to walk on a slack leash. If your dogs pulls constantly he needs leash training. Dogs are very intuitive and can read your tension level even through the leash. If you keep the leash tight they will read you nervousness or tension as being ready for fight or flight. A dog on a slack leash however will know that everything is OK and will remain calm. It takes work but it is best for you and your dog.
6. Getting right in their face – This goes along with hugging. They see it as aggression and dominance and makes them uncomfortable.
7. Using word more than body language – Dogs don’t understand language. Sure they will pick up a command like sit or stay but that is because you have trained them to respond to them by rewarding them for doing it. They understand the result not the words. Dogs are smart and have evolved to read human body language. They can read how you are feeling or thinking probably before you think or feel it. For instance, when a dog jumps on you or you say stay and put out a hand they read it as though you want to play or come to you. Try not to confuse them in your body language. Try this experiment: Go an entire day without using any words with your dog. You will realize just how much body language you use and the importance of it. You will probably hear a giant sigh of relief from your dog as well.
8. Not providing rules and structure – Canines are pack animals and pack have rules, structure and a pecking order. By not providing the same to your dog he is likely to be confused. You are (or should be) the pack leader and they look to you to know right and wrong just like children. Children with rules and structure have better social skills and behave better, are more polite and generally behave better. Dogs are no different. The only exception is, well, the exception. Dogs don’t understand exceptions to the rules. If they are allowed on the furniture after being bathed and groomed but not after playing outside it is confusing to them. A rule is a rule and they are not made to be broken in a dogs eyes.
9. Dog clothes – There are situations when dogs may need clothing. Short haired or thin coated dogs may need a coat in cold environments. However I have never seen a time when a silly Santa hat or pumpkin outfit is necessary. Sure it can be cute but trust me your dog hates it. An occasional photo op is Ok but please don’t be one of THOSE people. Ok, Ok it’s a pet peeve but dogs still hate it.
These are just a few of the things dogs hate and I hope this makes you aware of how you act/react influences your dog and that you will try harder for your dogs sake.
Here’s are some fun things dogs hate. Hope the give you a chuckle like they did me!
#1 Yelling at me for barking… I’M A DOG FOR DOG’S SAKE!!
#2 Taking me for a walk, but not letting me check stuff out. Exactly whose walk is this anyway?
#3 Blaming your farts on me…not ok!
#4 Any haircut that involves bows or ribbons. Now you know why we chew your stuff up when you’re not home
#5 Dog sweaters. Have you noticed the fur?
#6 The sleight of hand, fake fetch throw. You fooled a dog! What a proud moment for the top of the food chain.
#7 Taking me to the vet for “the big snip,” then acting surprised when I freak out every time we go back.
#8 Any trick that involves balancing food on my nose… stop, just stop!
#9 Getting upset when I sniff the crotches of your guests. Sorry, but I haven’t quite mastered that handshake thing yet.
#10 How you act disgusted when I lick myself. Look, we both know the truth, you’re just jealous.
Nevertheless, I am a dog. So I still love you!
Until next time!