Dog is a man’s best friend, but are you being the best friend you can be to your furry pal? Here are five things we clueless humans do that annoy our dogs to no end.
- Hugging them– As primates, we use our arms to hug what we care about. However, dog bodies don’t work this way. When a dog puts his paws on another dog, it is a sign of dominance. Your dog is hardwired to interpret a hug as a sign of dominance, and may tolerate it coming from you, but it makes them feel uncomfortable. When the hug comes from a stranger, it can elicit a much more unpleasant reaction. In fact, most dog bites occur when a child grabs a dog to hug him. What is a better way to show your affection? Praise or a nice belly rub work much better than a hug.
- Being boring– Who wants to hang out with a friend who is a bore? Your dog looks forward to seeing you all day. While you have work, family, and friends, your dog only has you. You are the center of his world. So while you may want to come home after a long day of work, get some chores done and hit the sack, your dog wants to play and spend quality time with you. Be a fun friend to be around. Build your dog up to be the best he can be. Surprise him with treats. Teach him new tricks. A dog’s life is short when compared to ours, so make it as enjoyable as possible for your furry friend. Every day counts!
- Being a grouch– Dogs are very intuitive and your dog knows you better than anyone. He can pick up on your moods. He knows when you’re sad, stressed, or angry. And part of the beauty of having a dog is that they love us just as we are. Whether we’re moody, frumpy, or depressed, our furry friends will always be there with unconditional love to remind us that we are their heroes. So, it’s okay to have a bad day. But never take it out on your dog. Don’t overreact when he messes up, he already feels guilty enough. Be firm but fair. And remember your moods are contagious to your dog. When you’re stressed, he stresses too! So cheer up, relax, and enjoy quality time with your furry pal.
- Fast walk, tight leash– Your dog only gets to go out with you, so his daily walks are most likely the highlight of his day. Let him enjoy the outdoors and smell around a bit. Don’t rush it. Your dog’s sense of smell is their most powerful sense. He takes in the world through his nose and delights in all the different smells outside. Let him stop and smell the roses! Another thing when you’re walking: don’t keep a tight leash. This communicates tension to your dog, keeping him from enjoying his time outside. Instead, train your dog not to pull on the leash and get him used to walking by your side on a slack, relaxed leash.
- Forcing him to “be nice”– Dogs are social creatures just like us. As such, they come across people they love and people they hate. When your dog simply doesn’t like someone, don’t force them to “be nice” or allow people they don’t like to pet them. If pushed too far in an uncomfortable social situation, a dog can react negatively and even violently. Of course, it’s important to push your dog’s comfort zone in safe and respectful ways. You should encourage your dog to be social, and reward him for being friendly. But don’t force them to interact with people they don’t like. From our own experience, if your dog doesn’t like someone, you probably shouldn’t either!