Food, a home filled with love and outdoor time – these are the top three things that dogs need to be happy. For humans, happiness is so much more.
Often, to show their pets, especially dogs, how much they love them, people will go the extra mile, acting as if dogs are humans. Dogs may be your best friends, but they have rules of their own and an independent mind that shapes their rules.
Simply said, what may be reasonable for you may be stressful for them. Dogs are incredibly patient, and they are willing to tolerate human behavior for some time.
They will do so because they are loyal and easy-going. Plus, they are really excellent body language. However, there are certain things that people continuously do without knowing that dogs dislike it or barely tolerate it.
Here are some of the things, ten to be precise, people do that might make dogs question whether they want to remain our best friends or not.
10. Using Words More Than Body Language
Dogs are masters when it comes to body language. Ever since they joined humans in first fieldwork, they leader how to communicate with people.
Since the language barrier is definite, they had to observe and learn to communicate with people using signs and body movement.
With time dogs’ brain developed that it remember that the best way to communicate with people is through body language. Therefore, today dogs prefer body language over human language. Humans are vocal beings, and dogs aren’t.
Yes, dogs can understand some words, some basic commands, but they can’t understand at entire sentence. However, they know what you are trying to tell them by moving in a certain way.
Since they can’t understand human language, the best thing that you can do to communicate with them is to use your body language.
You have probably noticed that dogs don’t love sudden and aggressive moves toward them, right?
From their perspective, it means that you want to hurt them, and those moves are described as unarticulated, and dogs cannot understand them as anything but threatening.
Dogs have evolved to be experts when it comes to reading the human body, and you should use it to your advantage. If you want to communicate with your dog, you should keep it simple:
- Use one word always for one command
- Don’t send mixed signals and change the command word
- Harmonize your words and gestures
For example: if you tell your dog to ‘stay’ and place your hand like a traffic cop and leaning toward the dog, in body language you are actually inviting the dog to come to you.
So, when the dog does come toward you, you won’t reward him because he is breaking the rule – so confusing for doggos!
Recent research has shown that talking to your dog in a baby voice is actually a good thing because they like the sound and it reminds them on something familiar.
Still, if you really want to communicate with your dog and you are up for an experiment, here is what you should do:
Spend a whole day with your dog without saying a word to your dog. Communicate only through your body language. This is a great way to learn just how much you actually ‘talk’ by merely using your body language.
9. Getting In A Dog’s Face and Personal Space
Dogs are very territorial animals. They love their corner of the home or the yard, and if needed, they will protect it.
Just like you love your peace and rules, dogs love their own as well. You know how annoying it can be when you are into a grocery shop line, and a person behind you is stuck to you? That’s similar to how dogs feel when humans get in their faces.
Respect their space if you want to avoid any accidents! Even if it’s your dog. Better safe than sorry. Dogs love calm moves, so they can see clearly what your intentions are.
Don’t rush toward them, tower over the dog, or insist on putting your hands in a dog’s face.
This is especially important if the dog doesn’t know you well. Also, avoid these moves while the dog is in his crate or his blanket (in any area that he might see as his personal ownership).
Also, do not disturb a dog while eating, and don’t touch his bowls while he is around. This is something that you should teach your children as well.
If your dog, or any dog, shows any sign of fear or acts aggressively, take a long step back! It’s always better to prevent a dog bite, then to go through one.
8. Going For Walks Without Opportunity To Explore And Smell
There are walks, and there are walks. Nothing can make that tail wiggle as the word ‘walk’ can, but maybe ‘food.’
Dogs love being outside, especially when they get to explore the world with their favorite human or humans. That’s what the walk means to dogs – exploration. You may see the walk a toilet time for your dog, but he sees it differently.
Your canine sees walk as a time to explore the world, to investigate new smells, new sounds, and meet new people and dogs.
It’s important to have your dog on a leash when outside, especially if your dog has a strong prey drive like Norfolk Terrier.
A single squirrel can make a huge mess. Dogs see with their noses, and they place as much importance on their sense of smell as humans place on a sense of vision for interpreting the world around us. Do you appreciate a beautiful sunset? That’s how the smell affects dogs.
If you have time for only one long walk during the day, have different commands for a walk.
Keep it simple:
- Out – can mean a short, toilet walk
- Walk – could stand for a long walk, where your dog will get a chance to explore the walk
If you can’t get the dog to have a short walk, start associating food with walk time. Tell ‘food’ or ‘breakfast’ to hurry up and serve the dog food as soon as you enter the house.
This way, the dog will connect that he will be rewarded after this short walk. For longer walks, you probably won’t have to use treats at all. Your dog will be so happy that he had a chance to be outside for an extended period.
Don’t forget to serve a freshwater after the walk, and avoid long walks on a hot summer day to avoid heatstroke.
During the summer, walk earlier int he morning and later at night. Stay away from the hot road as much as possible, and search for greenery.
7. Keeping a Tight Leash
Walks should be enjoyable, both for dogs and humans. That being said, it’s important to know that too-tight leash can turn a walk into a nightmare.
It is not that dogs can read our body language, but they can read our tension levels even through the leash, which can affect them.
By keeping a tight leash on a dog, you’re raising the stress, frustration, and excitement for your dog. Moreover, this will even affect you.
Is your dog pulling you when in the walk? If so, you should think bout training schools for new dog owners, because it’s evident that your dog believes that he is the pack leader.
These classes will help you learn more about dogs, how their mind works, and it will teach you how to walk your dog on a slack leash. You may see simply a leash, but the truth is that this strip of leather or canvas enables a huge amount of energy to be transmitted between you and your dog.
So what does a slack leash says? It says that you are calm and that you have everything under control.
On the other hand, by keeping a tight leash, you send a different message to your dog.
You are telling your dog that you are nervous, tense, alert, and ready to fight. As expected, your dog responds in kind.
A dog that walks on a tight leash is more prone to aggression and unexpected moves in the mildest of social situations.
This may sound difficult to master, but it’s simple and just takes time.
6. Lack of Routine and Rules
You may not be a fan of rules or a fan of habits, but dogs are. They love order, structure, and they adore routine. That’s just how they work. Moreover, dogs love to work. They love to be busy doing something, so when you have a task (routine), they are happy.
Through routine, you teach your puppy to be a well-behaved dog. To provide a structure in a dog’s life, you must start with training. As you know, early training and socialization are two mandatory steps for a well-behaved dog.
Always have in mind that your dog actually has an internal clock. So, try to feed your dog at the same time each day, and establish an exercise routine if possible.
Dogs are easy-going, and they will quickly adapt to a new routine after only a few days. Moreover, after only a few days of well-defined routine and rules, you will notice that your dog is happier. Routine means that a dog can predict things, and it can actually boost his confidence.
5. Forcing Your Dog To Interact With Dogs Or People
Do you like it when you are forced to meet someone or hang out with someone that you rather wouldn’t? Probably not. The same philosophy applies to dogs. They don’t like to be forced to do things, nor should they be.
If your dog wants to meet a new human or another dog, he will approach them and say ‘hi’ by wagging his tail. Otherwise, he would simply keep his distance.
So, don’t force your dog to make friends if he isn’t up for it. New and overly enthusiastic owners assume that their calm and friendly dog wants to be friends with everyone. Don’t force a dog into social situations.
If you notice that your dog isn’t interesting, her really isn’t. Don’t force him to approach strangers, and don’t let any stranger pet your dog if you know that your dog is not a fan of sudden moves.
Always read the dog’s body language, and don’t force meeting other individuals.
4. Being Boring
Dogs love to please their owners. They are always ready for a walk or a fast game of fetch. Still, they love to have time for themselves.
Sometimes they would rather be a real couch potato than a wilderness explorer, and their choice should be respected. Yes, there is another thing that you should know about dogs and boredom, and that’s that they really hate being bored.
The truth is that dogs love action and vibrant life, and as such, they will demand from you to show some dynamic in their lives.
Teach your dog a new trick, upgrade old tricks, have interesting walks, play a game, find new ways on how to keep your dog entertained indoors, and use a walk as a chance to work on urban agility.
Remember: a walk is a great way to stimulate both your dog’s mind and body. An hour of training is worth a couple of hours playing a repetitive game of fetch in terms of wearing a dog out.
Even just a 15-minutes long training session a day can do wonders for your dog’s mental health.
3. Hugging Your Dog
The most important thing that you should know about hugs and dogs is that they can tolerate it, but they don’t like it. Again, humans and dogs don’t show love in the same way.
As humans and primates, we believe that hugs are a great way to support a love for someone.
So, for people, it’s reasonable to wrap our hands around someone and squeeze to show how much we love someone. However, dogs didn’t evolve this way.
Dogs don’t have arms – therefore, they do not hug. Furthermore, it’s important to know the dog’s physiology. In a canine world, placing a foreleg or paw on the back of another dog is considered an act of dominance.
So, you may hug your dog from the best attention ever, but the truth is that your dog won’t see it as such. Many dogs will tolerate it, while others won’t hesitate to attack. They may feel fearful and threatened, which is why the majority of bites occur.
Also remember: the same dog that enjoys one person’s hug might react entirely differently with another family member who tries the same thing. And it’s almost mission impossible to find a dog who really enjoys hugs, or demands such.
This is so obvious that we shouldn’t spend too much time on it. However, it’s worth pointing out because a huge number of people still think it’s funny.
When you or someone from your circle of people, see a dog on the street, don’t let them:
- Sudden approach and pat the dog – always ask the dog owner if it’s ok to pat the dog
- Pull on a dog’s tail
- Bark at a dog
This list can go on and on, but in short, don’t do something you know that makes a dog a mad just because you think that it’s funny.
Any action that can lead to a serious anxiety attacks, accidents, and severe behavioral problems shouldn’t be conducted.
1. Yelling and Harsh Punishment
Last, but not least is how you treat your dog. Dogs are sensitive beings, and they love to make us happy. When you yell at them, they experience fear and sadness, just like humans do.
Don’t forget that dogs can’t understand humans, but they can feel your emotion. To conclude: dogs shouldn’t be yelled at or harshly punished. Plus, yelling and harsh punishment can’t help your dog in the long run.
Always use positive reinforcement. This is the most effective type of training.
If you need to correct unwanted behavior, you should train your dog commands such as ‘leave it’ or ‘drop it.’ If you need more help, think about hiring a professional trainer.