There are many things that people do to show their dogs affection, or to make them part of the family, that dogs don’t necessarily enjoy. They are bothered and annoyed by many things that people do, and these are things that most people enjoy or would not have a problem with.
While there are some things that must be maintained even though they are not enjoyed, such as regular dog vet visits, immunizations, nail clipping, and grooming, there are several other things that can be stopped to create a happier environment for your dog. Even the most laid-back dog will be irritated by some behaviors, and ten of those are listed here.
Most dogs do not enjoy being hugged. This is a way that humans share affection and show love, however for a dog, it can be a display of power or control. The feelings that a dog gets when compared to the feelings that people get when they are hugged are very different, and even calm dogs may feel threatened by having someone put their arms around their neck or head. A sad dog may want to be comforted and can approach for hugs when they are ready.
An alternative that may be preferred by your dog is to let them approach and cuddle you. Often children and trusted people can hug a dog and it will tolerate it, or even enjoy short hugs, so loose and gentle hugs that pay attention to how the dog response is one option for children who are too young to avoid it completely. Dogs who enjoy hugs will lean in when offered one, so holding arms open to allow them to lean in or to back away is helpful.
9- Being Too Near a Dogs Face
Most dogs do not enjoy having anyone’s face too close to theirs. This can feel threatening, or restrictive to their movements. This is especially important to be careful of with new dogs or those that are not familiar to you. A scary dog especially should be allowed to approach people first, at their own pace, and should not be approached.
To avoid this, allow the dog to come to you, and let them determine how close they get to your face. Many will become more comfortable over time and accept kisses on or around their face, and even cuddle with their face near yours. This must be on their own terms though rather than the person deciding.
8- Limiting Their Exploring on Walks
Walks are not just for dogs, but walking your dog is mostly for their benefit. When a dog is on a walk, they are exploring its surroundings and learning about the world around them.
By stopping them from sniffing and smelling spaces, from going off a little to wander the sidewalk or the trail, you are limiting their experience of the world, and this can make them less comfortable.
Let your dog smell the trees and the poles, they are gathering information about other animals and pets. This is how they learn their way around the neighborhood and find their place in the community. It can help a dog to remain calm and confident.
7- Unstructured Days and Too Much Freedom
Dogs need to have routines in order to feel safe and to be able to predict what is next in their day. By having only unstructured time and full days without any structure they can become bored, destructive, and uncertain. Creating a plan, schedule, and routine that includes rules for how they should behave provides consistency and comfort to your pet.
Rules are a necessary part of any family life and your dog needs rules as well. This helps them to feel cared about and safe. It will also help to prevent injuries for both the dog and the people around them and will help to decrease damages and breakage within the home. Having the right rules in place keeps everyone safe.
Yelling, either in anger or intended to be happy and fun yelling, is frightening and scary to a dog. This is disturbing for any dog and can create a scary situation and feelings of not being safe within the home.
Where there are consequences for breaking rules, they should also be calm, without yelling, and not involve severe punishments at all. Fair consequences include moving them away from where they shouldn’t be, saying any in a deep tone, or reminding them that is not appropriate. However, using positive reinforcements and distraction from negative behaviors is the most effective method of training.
Any harsh punishments that include slapping or hitting are not useful for creating a safe and calm dog. They can add to the volatile nature of any dog and increase the likelihood it will become scared, sketchy, and unpredictable, and can lead to biting.
5- Dog Clothes
Some dogs need sweaters, and dog boots are recommended for some climates, however, for the most part, dogs do not enjoy being dressed up and the dog smile that you see is not one of joy.
Dogs particularly do not like to have things on their heads, or tied around their head, such as hats, or even capes that tie around the neck. If your dog pulls away or shakes off clothing items, they do not like them and do not want to wear them. They may give in sometimes, but it is making your dog miserable.
In cold climates, short hair dogs will require sweaters or jackets, but they should be removed upon arriving home or going inside. Dog boots can protect their paws from freezing in the winter.
4- Wearing a Strong Fragrance
A dog’s sense of smell is significantly stronger than that of people. This makes any strong smell harder for the dog, and not just for dogs but for other pets as well. Strong perfumes, cleansers, self-care products, and even air fresheners should be avoided.
When using sprays around a pet, ensure that the spray is not near their face or nose. This can cause damage to their nose and become uncomfortable avoid spraying near dog food or water dishes as well.
3- Leaving Them Alone
Dogs are social animals and prefer to be around their people, families, and even caretakers as much as possible. While it is ok to leave them for work or to go out, they should not be ignored when you are home and should have lots of time with people to balance the times they are alone.
Some dogs prefer to be in their crate when they are alone. It can provide a sense of security and familiarity for them to be in their kennel with their favorite toy. Develop a pet plan for how they are cared for when they are walked and can have extra time with their owner to make up for any times that they are alone for work or other tasks.
2- Pushing Them Into Situations That Are Uncomfortable
If a dog feels uncomfortable or is unhappy in a situation it will pull away. When a dog pulls away or begins to back away from a situation, it is important to allow them to move back and not force them any further. Most often a safety issue, they can begin to panic and even hurt themselves trying to leave a situation they find uncomfortable.
Exceptions include vet appointments, which are necessary, and even getting them into a car to go to the vet. Dog treats can sometimes help to ease a dog into a position in the car or onto a vet table as needed, however, the solution is most often to get to their level and allow them to adjust. This provides them confidence in their ability to handle the situation and feels that you are helping them to stay safe, reducing nervous reactions and fear rather than adding to it.
1- Showing Strong Emotions
Animals become very in tune with the people they are around and can sense when someone is upset. While you can not, and should not, try and stop all your emotions, it is helpful to process them and to find safe outlets that allow you to return to calm.
Dogs will often try and soothe someone who is scared or sad and will cuddle to affirm that they are safe and to care for you as well. However, strong emotions that become overwhelming can cause a dog to feel you are not in control or in charge, and that is frightening for them.
While occasionally this can not be avoided, it is best to make some plans for how to handle it in a way that does not frighten the animals as best you can. Yoga, meditation, going for a run, and venting to a friend are all helpful tools to calm your emotions.
Avoiding these things that dogs do not like can help to create a strong and healthy bond between you and your dog. They will remain happy, healthy, and safe in your home and the rewards of a dog’s love are endless.