Here’re 10 things humans do that annoy dogs (plus 15 more) that you might be guilty of:
1. Stare too long at a dog
For some dogs, staring could be misinterpreted as a sign of challenge, in responding, your dog might display submissive behaviors, such as looking away. Especially in the case of a new dog, it’s best to just stare at a new dog for only a few seconds since he could turn out to be an aggressive or scared dog.
2. Interrupted sleep
The chance is you’ll be angry all day long if you’re shocked up suddenly in the middle of a good dream so does your dog, it’s best to let him wake up naturally. If you really need to wake your dog, do it slowly and gently, don’t rush yourself and cause him to get shocked. And don’t forget to teach your children not to touch or disturb a sleeping dog.
3. Never hug dog too tightly and for too long.
While your dog may be able to tolerate gentle hugs from you, but he won’t feel the same things from strangers. For dogs grasping each other is an attempt to control or subdue each other. Unless your dog really enjoys a hug, it’s better to opt for cuddling and petting instead. Pay attention carefully to his body language to understand how’s feeling when someone hugs him.
4. Left alone for too long
Dogs are a social animal, and as a social animal, they can’t be left alone for too long. According to one study, leaving your dog alone in a home for ten or more hours each day can make him develop a myriad of psychological and behavioral issues which can include barking, digging, excessive whining, separation anxiety, or even escaping. The solution? You should spend as much time as you can with him when you are at home – play that tug o war games, walk together, or go to that dog park – anything that makes him happy. If possible, ask your friend, family or neighbor to stop by once each day during the day.
5. Strong smell
In case you forget, a dog’s sense of smell is 100,000 more sensitive than humans. Almost all dogs don’t like a strong smell coming out of fragrance products (perfume, hairspray, air fresheners, cleaners, etc). If you’ve to spray your perfume, it’s best to use a perfume that is not too strong and spray the perfume away from the dog. And don’t forget to make sure all fragrance products that you use are free from toxic chemicals.
6. Never yell (or shout) at your dog or punish him harshly
Many dog owners compulsively yell at their dogs when their dogs are making mistakes. Yelling is actually a poor training technique that should be avoided. The only thing that your dog will learn from your yelling is how nuts you are. And as such, he’ll do anything that he could to get away from you without learning his mistakes.
To correct unwanted behaviors, it’s better to resort to positive reinforcement instead of yelling or smacking him. Stay calm and assertive and you’ll get your dog’s attention without annoying or scaring him.
One of the best positive reinforcement techniques to correct unwanted behavior is a toning technique. With this technique, you adjust the tone in your voice depending on the message that you want to convey. A lighthearted tone means you’re happy, whilst a lower tone means you need his attention.
7. Don’t tease your dog
We’re all at one point guilty of this. Sometimes we don’t know when our teasing goes too far. As a responsible dog owner, you should know when you or your children’s teasing goes too far. Some jokes that dogs don’t like include pulling dogs’ tails or ears, barking back at them, teasing them with food, wrestling an unwilling dog, playing games without ever letting him win.
8. Playing dress-up
I hated it when my mom dressed me up with a bunch of different costumes when I was a kid. Reflecting back, I can see how my dog might have the same feeling when I dress him up. Some dogs will tolerate it just to make you happy. But the truth, getting your dog dressed up brings him more troubles (constricted movement, limited vision) than happiness. Once in a while, it might be okay to dress him up for certain occasions — taking a quick pic, or celebrating your kid’s birthday. Just make sure you watch your dog’s body language to know when he has had enough.
9. Changes to routine
Most dogs have been habitually taught to follow the same routine or stick to the script since he was a puppy: the same feeding schedules, the same potty schedules (potty training), the same sleeping hour, the same waking hour, the same playtime. This is the way your dog’s brain works, he needs to follow the same schedule over and over again without much variation. If you randomly change his regular schedules, he can feel irritated and stressed.
10. Getting in a dog’s face
Many dogs don’t like it when you get in their faces. It’s best to stay away from putting hands in a dog’s face, towering or rushing toward them. This is especially important when you meet a new dog. A new dog can perceive your actions as a threat and respond aggressively and bite you. If you need to poke and prod your dog, do it in a slow, gentle manner.
11. Lack of routine
Your dog needs structures or rules to follow. Routines and rules are what make your dog’s life become predictable and intact. The lack of routines or structures could actually lower his life quality. Therefore, it’s beneficial to establish a training routine or an exercise routine or feeding routine in your dog’s life. You will probably notice your dog is brimming with much more confidence after a few days of a structured training routine.
12. Strange dogs
It’s just natural for your dog to protect his home from strange persons or animals. To avoid any breakout fight that might occur, you should introduce your dog to any new dog that comes to your house and let them socialize. It’s as easy as bringing them to a backyard and let them interact, reward them with treats once they can calmly interact.
13. Forcing your dog to play with other dogs or people
There are just some people or dogs that your dog couldn’t care less. Forcing your dog to play with other dogs just because you think he’ll love it is a huge mistake as he could react badly and end up in a fight. Read his body language, and see if he’s happy or not. Take him away immediately if he’s unhappy.
14. Walking on a tight leash
A tight leash is not only proven to be detrimental to your dog’s health but also to your dog’s mental state. Walking on a tight leash creates a tension that annoys him and makes him uncomfortable, and as a result, makes him more likely becomes reactive.
The solution? Teach him to walk on a loose leash. You can start by changing your speed and direction when you walk with him while keeping the leash as loose as possible. Reward him with treats when he is able to follow your speed and position. Seek advice from a professional dog trainer if you’re unsure of what you’re doing.
15. Not allowing your dog to sniff
Sniffing is a way for dogs to explore their environment. Your dog learns about his surroundings through scent just like humans explore the world first through sight. So don’t rush your dog and give him a chance to sniff around to explore his environment.
16. Hurrying up potty time
Some dog owners like to hurry up their dogs to go potty. You may think to save time but it’s irritating for dogs when their owners nag him to go potty, you will not like when someone hurrying you up while you’re doing your business. Be patient, and let him sniff to find that perfect spot when you take him outside to go potty.
17. Loud noises
Dogs can hear sounds up to 46 kHz. This means every sound that they hear is 400 times louder for them than it is for us. One sound that dogs really hate is a human sneeze sound. Loud noises irritate and shock them. So the next time after you have sneezed, be sure to calm your dog. Other sounds that dogs hate include sounds of firework, thunder, vacuum cleaner, blow dryer, cries of the newborn baby, and so on.
18. Patting the head
Sometimes it’s okay to pat your own dog on his head to show appreciation but you shouldn’t do it too often. For many dogs patting in their heads are annoying. They tolerate it because you’re the parent. But if you meet new dogs, I wouldn’t recommend you to pat their heads as they could respond negatively.
19. Over and under exercise
A regular exercise is useful to keep your dog healthy and stay fit. However, you shouldn’t over-exercised him since an over-exercise can annoy or even harm your dog, depending on your dog’s age, breed type and temperament. For example, an older dog shouldn’t be forced to run more than a mile or two.
Lack of exercise can also create a problem in itself. Sometimes we are too busy with our lives and skip these exercise sessions. Without these exercise sessions, your dog can become bored and overweight which leads to destructive behavior and a myriad of health problems.
Finding a nice balance of exercise is the key to making your dog’s life happy and healthy.
20. New year celebration
Some dogs could be frightened of a new year celebration especially during the firework show. They can hide under the bed, or jump over high fences backyard just to escape the noise. During the firework show, keep him inside the house and help him to calm down.
21. Too many baths
Dogs are not the same as humans, they can’t be bathed as often as we are. Over bathing can cause dry skin which leads to many skin problems such as chronic scratching, hot spots, or full-on dermatitis. Also, for many dogs, getting a bath is an uncomfortable experience since most dogs don’t like the feeling of getting their bodies soaked and handled, Even more, some dog owners do a terrible job washing their dogs; they don’t use warm enough water or getting soap in their dogs’ eyes.
If you have to bath your dog, make sure you do it because he smells or clearly dirty not just because you think it’s bath time. It’s better to brush and comb your dog daily rather than bathing him too often.
Stick to the rules that you make and follow them through. If you don’t like your dog to jump around the kitchen, then you must never tolerate it no matter what. If you don’t like your dog to beg for food, then never give food from your plate. Make up your mind and stick to it. Don’t confuse your dog with what you want or don’t want.
23. Asking for kisses
If dogs want to submit to other dogs, they will give a lick or kiss the other dogs as a sign of submission. If you kiss your dog, he might be confused and thinking that you submit to him. Rather than giving a kiss it’s better to pet or belly rub him.
While vacuuming is a normal housekeeping chore that you do a lot, for most dogs it’s frightening. They can hear the motoric noises coming from the vacuum cleaner with much higher volume, not forget to mention the intense vibration that they feel through their sensitive paw pads. To avoid stressing your dog, you should put your dog outside before you do vacuuming.
25. Communicate with words
Dogs’ capacity to understand human language is limited. This is the reason why you must never shout or yell at your dog. Instead of shouting or yelling, you should learn how to communicate with your dog with clues that he understands through proper body language and behavior methods.
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