We all know that most dogs hate fireworks, baths, vet visits, and dressing up for Halloween. But here are some other things your dog hates that might not be as obvious to you. Could you be irritating your dog and not even know it? How many of these things do you do?
14 Things Your Dog Hates
Even though we humans like hugs, most dogs don’t. They may tolerant them if they trust you, but many dogs feel threatened when hugged. They might turn their heads away, lick their lips, struggle to get away or even lash out aggressively. Stick to belly rubs if you want to show affection. It’s especially important to teach young children not to hug dogs.
Dogs don’t understand why you’re raising your voice and will only feel intimidated by loud vocal reprimands. Instead of yelling, put that energy into training your pup and you’ll both be much happier. Another good reason not to yell at your dog is, they’ll eventually ignore you and if you need to yell at them one day to get their attention in an emergency situation, it won’t be effective. I shouldn’t need to say this, but you should also never hit or be physically abusive to your dog. Sadly, we’ve all seen it happen.
3. Face or Head Touching
I’m not sure why we humans tend to pet or pat dogs on the head or get right in their faces, but they really don’t like it. Just imagine how you would feel if someone approached you and started touching your face or bonking you on top of your head. Yep, that’s pretty much how dogs feel too. They prefer to be petted on their chests or backs instead.
Dogs like routine and they also like to know what the rules are and what’s expected of them. They’re big on the concept of fairness and can get confused or frustrated when a behavior is allowed one day and chastised the next. If you’re not consistent in how you treat your dog, they may lose trust in you or ignore you completely. Be fair and consistent with the rules and ask all family members to do the same.
If you put yourself in your dog’s paws, you might realize just how boring their day might be. Are you providing enough exercise, mental stimulation and playtime? A bored dog with excess energy may become a destructive dog as they create their own form of entertainment. Make sure daily walks don’t become boring by ensuring your pooch has time to sniff around and explore interesting scents. Don’t always follow the same route on daily walks; switch things up by walking in different locations or try some hiking trails. Challenge your dog by training new commands or find interesting activities for them.
6. Too Much Talk
We all talk to our dogs, but rambling and baby talk can be irritating to them. Maybe it’s similar to how we feel when listening to someone speaking in a foreign language or when a dog barks endlessly for no apparent reason. Dogs prefer clear hand signals, gestures or reading our body language over trying to decipher our words. I’ve actually seen a few people try to logically reason with their dogs verbally, as if they could possibly understand complex sentences and concepts. Too much talk or repeatedly shouting commands will cause your dog to ignore you.
7. Being Alone
Dogs are social animals, so being alone can be stressful for them. Whether they’re left alone in the home all day or isolated from the family by being kept outside, they’re sure to get lonely. There’s a reason dogs go a little nuts when you ask “Do you want to go for a ride?”
. They want to be with us and they love exploring new environments. Take your pup along with you when you can!
8. Intense Eye Contact
We find it intimidating or threatening when someone stares at us too long or gets in our face. Dogs feel the same way. If you use direct eye contact or stare at a dog when greeting them for the first time, it could be perceived as a threat and may provoke an aggressive response. Avert your gaze and turn your body slightly sideways (away from the dog) for a less threatening posture.
9. Being Pressured
If your pup is uncomfortable in any situation, look for ways to reduce the pressure. Don’t force your dog to play with other dogs when they’re resistant and never force a dog to face their fears, which will likely be counterproductive. If a dog doesn’t seem receptive to meet you, give them some space to approach if and when they’re ready.
10. Bad Moods
It’s stressful being around someone when they’re upset or angry, right? Our dogs feel the same way. They sense the tension and it generates a certain level of stress within them too. We obviously can’t avoid getting annoyed or agitated once in a while, but if it causes a noticeable negative effect on your dog, it’s time to work on relaxation or de-stressing techniques. You and your dog will both be healthier!
11. Tight Leashes
Tension on the leash creates tension in the dog. Tight leashes can definitely have an adverse effect on our dog’s behavior. It can cause frustration and anxiety, especially if you’re constantly pulling back or sideways in attempt to get your dog under control. I absolutely know how frustrating it is to train your dog to walk on a loose leash
(I’m talking about you Haley!) but it’s an important technique to keep working on, since it can prevent your dog from becoming defensive or reactive when on leash. Remember to keep the leash slack when your pup’s meeting another dog so they don’t feel tense or trapped.
12. Offensive Aromas
Since a dog’s sense of smell is so much stronger than ours, certain aromas can be overwhelming to them. Unfortunately those nasty things they discover in the yard and like to roll around in aren’t offensive to dogs, but strong fragrances, cleaning products and other household sprays do irritate them. Avoid spraying anything directly on your dog, especially around their face.
Light teasing during playtime is fine, as long as it’s not excessive or too frustrating for your pooch. Mean-spirited teasing for human amusement isn’t fine or funny. This is usually more of an issue with kids that might not realize that pulling a dog’s tail, ears, or poking them could provoke a dog to react aggressively.
14. Being Woken Up
We like to wake up gradually and dogs feel the same way. Remember the adage “Let sleeping dogs lie”
? Suddenly jolting a dog from their sleep is like being startled by an obnoxious, blaring alarm clock. A common dog bite scenario happens when a young child suddenly touches or grabs a sleeping dog, especially if the dog is a little older. Keep an eye on the little ones and teach older children to respect sleeping dogs and allow them to wake up on their own.
Sometimes it’s not all that obvious to us humans when our pups are annoyed. They may tolerate some of these things, but they might not be happy about it. I’m guilty of giving Haley hugs and sometimes I balance a treat on her nose, even though I know she doesn’t like it. It’s a good thing that most dogs are pretty tolerant of our antics!
Did I miss any of the things your dog hates? Share them in the comments below!