Every dog deserves a warm and loving home. They come into our lives in many ways: through pet adoption, as a loyal service dog, foster dog turned furry family member, or taken in after being abandoned. Regardless of how a dog becomes family, you love every whisker on their face as well as all the irritating things they do that make you want to pull your hair out!
On the other hand, did you know there are a number of things you do that make your dog want to pull their fur out? That’s right, folks! Some of the things you do actually irritate your furry friends. They just cannot express in words how crazy, unreasonable or how confusing you are being. Let’s take a look at ten things dogs don’t like humans doing, then tally up how many of them you are guilty of — innocently, of course!
1. You Attempt to Communicate Through Words
Although dogs may understand a few key people words like treat, walk, pee-pee, ball, and dinner, what they don’t understand is the human language. The best way to communicate to your dog is by using body language, non-verbal cues, and as long as the words are not confusing him, go ahead and use a few words simultaneously.
2. Being the Potty Police
Don’t be so pushy on your dog to go potty! Think about it. Are you able to go to the bathroom on command? If you have ever had to pee in a cup at the doctor’s office, then you know how difficult it can be to have to urinate knowing the doctor is waiting for you nearby. By giving your doggie some time to sniff around and to find that perfect potty spot, there is no pressure on them to please your apparent lack of time to let them go potty. It’s either allow more than a few minutes outside or be prepared to have to take them out again very soon because they didn’t get to go the first time.
3. Sharing Your Nervousness
If you get tense or nervous around your dog, he or she will likely freak out. The Dog Whisperer taught us that when walking your dog, if you become tense and nervous, then your dog will be too. Your level of fear travels down the leash and into your dog. Same goes for merely being around your dog during tense situations. If someone you don’t like comes over, you get into a loud argument with your spouse or partner, or you are overwhelmed with work, all that negative energy being emanated from you is felt by your dog which could lead to aggression. Be as relaxed as possible, if not for you, then for the sake of your dog.
4. Rushing Through Walks
A walk to you has a totally different meaning to dogs. It may have been a long day and all you want to do is take the dog on a walk quickly so you can crash on the couch. However, dogs see walks as a time for exploring the outdoors, not as daily exercise. As long as he understands to not pull the leash, let Sparky sniff around, mark his territory, find that perfect pooping spot, and just enjoy his time out in the neighborhood with you.
5. Yelling Every Time They Bark
If you’re a pet parent who yells at the dogs for barking the moment a single bark comes out, stop it! Just as children will scream while playing, dogs will bark … because they’re dogs. It’s okay to let the dog bark for a little bit, or howl as a siren goes by, but not excessively – such as leaving them in the yard all day while you’re away at work. Barking is a dog’s way of communicating with other dogs or to sound the alert for possible danger.
6. Blaming the Dog for Your Flatulence
“How dare you blame your farts on me?!” said just about every dog at some point. You know darn well the dog didn’t do that, but here you are announcing to everyone in the room and the world that it was the dog who dealt it! If you’re going to blame that horrid smell on the dog, don’t shame him by calling him a bad dog for something you know he did not do. Bad human!
7. Leaning over a Puppy to “Assert Dominance”
It is often taught that humans need to assert their dominance over dogs to show them “who’s boss” in order to get them to behave. Doing this to a puppy can actually be upsetting or frightening. If you notice that your puppy or dog wets themselves when you lean over and talk in a low-voice this shows that the dog is trying to tell you they know you’re the boss and are scared. Older dogs may take this action as a threat and even become aggressive. It is best to give the dog space and to be firm and clear with your body language to convey dominance.
8. Asking Dogs for Kisses
While humans might think kisses are a sign of affection, to dogs lick to show other dogs they are submissive or not a threat. Asking Rover to lick your face and give “kisses” is actually asking your pup to accept your dominance in their minds. When you kiss your pup it could also signal to them that you are submissive, which just creates even more confusion! Stick to treats and belly rubs to show your love.
9. Talking in a high-pitched baby voice
Your kids hate when you speak to them like babies, and chances are your dog doesn’t love it either. When your voice gets high and squeaky, even whiny when you’re telling your fur baby how wonderful they are, they might think you are in distress. Remember, dogs don’t speak human, so no matter how loving the words, delivering them in a non-verbal manner is always way better.
10. Leaving dogs in crates when you’re away
You might think that if you don’t secure your pooch in their crate when you’re away that they’ll wreak havoc on your home, but doing so might be causing unnecessary stress to your pooch. Keeping a dog isolated in a crate with little stimulation and no interaction can make your best friend, well, depressed. Instead, try and dog-proof a room or area of your house, and be sure to leave toys or games for your dog to keep them occupied when you’re gone.
11. Vacuuming when your dog’s in the room
Dogs have a tendency to shed…a lot. So vacuuming is a necessity for most pet parents. But have you ever noticed that your dog jumps up and hides the second you flip on the vacuum switch? This could mean your doggy has a fear of vibrations. Dogs can sense vibration through their sensitive paw pads – ever notice how they can tell when a thunderstorm is coming? The vibration sends a signal that tells your dog danger is close. The best way to keep Spot happy is to simply make sure they’re out of the room you’re cleaning, or on a different floor if possible.
12. Loud sneezing
Yes, believe it or not, your sneezes annoy your dogs! Have you ever noticed when you have a cold your dogs will snuggle up with you on the couch, but the second you sneeze…they’re out of there! This is because in dog language, a sneeze sounds like a snort or a “tooth-snap” that typically signals a threat amongst canines, With every sneeze you could be telling your dog “look out!” So be sure to keep the sneezing quiet and to keep post-sneeze behavior calm to ensure your friend everything’s alright.