5 ways you might be unintentionally annoying your dog

Hiedi Hutchinson


January 5, 2016

Sometimes we can make life a little tough for our canine companions when we’re actually just trying to show a little love. Here are 5 bad habits that you need to kick to make sure your best friend loves you as much as you love them…

Patting them on the head

Do you like being patted on the head? No? Most dogs don’t either! Dogs will brace themselves for the unpleasant feeling of someone bringing their palm down to the top of their head – notice they’ll squint or close their eyes. Dogs tolerate this behavior, but they don’t like it, so be a pal and don’t do it.

Shouting every time they bark

Dogs bark because they’re dogs and it’s their way of communicating with other dogs and to alert their pack (you) to possible danger. It’s wrong of you to shout at them every time they bark and yes, your dog will find it annoying. Think of it as the equivalent of your dog shouting at you every time you speak.

Communicating through words alone

Guess what? Dogs can’t speak! While your four-legged friend might understand a handful of words (it’s actually the sound they respond to) they can’t understand you nattering on. That’s not to say you shouldn’t speak to them – dogs actually find their owners voices soothing. It’s to say that you shouldn’t expect them to understand you. Dogs read us on a deeper level, through our body language and this is how you can communicate effectively with your dog.

Hugging them

We give hugs to express affection, but sadly dogs don’t like receiving them. As dogs don’t have arms they aren’t built for hugging, so our embrace is interpreted as us exerting our dominance over them – sad but true. The answer: A good ‘old fuss session or a belly rub instead!

Squashing their inner explorer

While it’s important to have an obedient dog that walks well on a lead, it’s important for us pet parents to provide our dogs with the opportunity to explore and smell while we’re out on walks. Dogs see with their noses and place as much importance on smell as we do on sight. When you’re out with your dog try not to be solely focused on exercise and instead let your dog have freedom to explore their surroundings and have a good sniff about. Mixing your walks up and introducing new places will keep it extra interesting for your dog.

Have you kicked any bad pet parent habits? We’d love to hear your stories!

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