We love our pups so much that it hurts to think we could be doing something that our dogs dislike. Or that makes them uncomfortable, sad, or scared. They love us so much in return that sometimes, they don’t make it obvious when we’re doing something they hate.
Since they can’t tell us, we’ve compiled a list of 13 things that humans do that dogs don’t actually like. But lucky for us, our favorite fuzzballs always find a way to forgive us–because that’s just who they are.
1. No Hugging (If They Feel Restrained)
This is not to say that all dogs dislike hugs. Some affectionate dogs will happily bask in any love that comes their way. For others, wrapping them in your arms may be interpreted as a sign of dominance, or make them feel trapped. Some will tolerate hugs from those they love and trust, but it doesn’t mean they like it. In the end, it really depends on their personality.
Observe his body language: pinned ears, stiff posture, and a tense expression means the dog is not enjoying the embrace. It is also VERY important to teach children not to run up and hug dogs that they don’t know. This lesson could prevent serious injuries!
Bottom line: you know your dog best. If he gets nervous when he feels trapped or is weary about getting hugs from strangers, make sure visitors know!
2. Dogs Dislike Commands With Too Many Words
We all chat with our dogs – and that’s okay! But we form such close bonds with our dogs, sometimes it’s easy to forget that they don’t understand most of what we’re saying! They’re smart creatures, but it’s easy to see why dogs dislike complex commands. For instance, trying to reason with them (“I’ll give you a treat if you’re good!”) is a futile effort. They may pick up on the words “treat” and “good,” then wonder why you haven’t tossed a snack their way!
To eliminate confusion, keep it simple and in the present when giving commands or directives. Use key words he knows (good, treat, walk, play etc.), tone, and body language, and you’ll have a better chance at getting the message across.
3. Please, No Yelling
Yes, dogs need limits–but you’ll be more successful by encouraging good behaviors rather than scolding them when they’re bad. We all know dogs dislike loud noises of any kind – vacuum cleaners, thunder, motorcycles. Yelling will make them anxious or scared, or maybe even completely desensitized to it. Most of the time, they won’t even know what you’re saying.
An example of positive reinforcement: when your dog steals your socks, rather than scolding her, instruct her to drop it, then reward her once she does. (Your patience will earn you a better behaved pup in the long run!)
4. When Their Lives Are Lacking Structure
As mentioned above, your dog needs limits. This structure is comforting to them, as animals thrive in a routine, like eating meals, going to the bathroom, and going on walks around the same time each day. You might crave a little spontaneity in your day, and your dog may enjoy the occastional suprise trip to the park, but most dogs dislike not knowing when to expect meals, or when he’ll get to go outside again.
To that, regular exercise is imperative to prevent dogs from acting out. How would you feel if you were housebound all day?