For many of us, our dogs are not pets; they are our kids, babies, and family members.
You love your dog to the moon and back and can’t imagine life without them, but humans don’t always understand what they’re thinking or feeling.
There are certain human behaviors that we unknowingly or unconsciously do that dogs hate. Dogs often tolerate these behaviors because they are loyal, easy-going, and want to please their owners.
Understanding and correcting behavior and habits that may confuse or frustrate your dog will result in a stronger relationship and a happier dog.
24 Things Dogs Hate and Wish You Wouldn’t Do
1. Not Being Consistent with Rules
Some people don’t mind dogs on the furniture and hanging out. Others prefer the canine members of the family stay off the sofa and the bed.
Your dog loves you either way! The important thing to remember is to be consistent with boundaries.
Dog’s feel safe and secure when they understand the rules. Confusion and anxiety occur when your dog is allowed to do something one day and then scolded the next. Don’t make exceptions to the rules.
So either let your pooch sprawl on the couch with their tongue hanging out, or don’t. Either way, your dog is happy knowing what is expected of them.
2. Using Several Commands for One Desired Behavior
When you want your dog to do something, choose one command, and stick to it.
In a house with multiple people, confusion sets in when one person uses the here command, and another uses come.
Everyone who is interacting with Fido needs to agree on training commands. Decide what commands are going to be used, and everyone must be consistent.
Consistent commands will reduce stress for everyone and speed up the training process.
3. Not Letting Your Dog Be A Dog
You may refer to your dog as your baby but let your dog be a dog and do dog things.
Dog’s like to smell trees and bushes, sniff other dogs butts, chase balls, roll in the grass, run through puddles, lay in mud, etc.
You may not like or understand these behaviors, but don’t prevent or discourage your dog from doing things that make them a dog.
4. Forgetting Dogs and Puppies Need to Chew
Chewing helps pups when they are teething and is an instinct for dogs of all ages.
A puppy doesn’t understand why you get upset when they chew on your favorite shoes or Grandma’s cozy blanket. To a puppy, these things seem like great chews! They smell like their favorite people and feel good too.
Supply a puppy with appropriate items to chew and remove the temptation of non approved belongings by putting things out of reach, in closets, or behind closed doors.
5. Leaving Your Dog Alone for Long Periods
Dogs are social pack animals. They need and want companionship and stimulation from their owners.
Regularly leaving a dog home alone for ten or more hours a day can lead to behavioral and psychological issues like separation anxiety, destructive behavior, excessive barking, digging, or escaping.
If you work long hours, look into a dog walker, a family member or friend checking in on them, or doggy daycare.
6. Forcing Your Dog to Socialize
Socializing a puppy is one of the most important things you can do. It exposes them to new people, places, and things and instills confidence.
Even though dogs are pack animals, it doesn’t mean that every dog is as social or friendly as the next.
Some dogs are more reserved or shy and don’t care to associate outside their known pack members.
If your dog shows no interest in meeting or playing with another dog, don’t force them.
If your dog is aggressive towards another dog or certain dogs, forcing them to socialize with the hope of them warming up to each other is a bad idea.
7. Excluding Your Dog When Company is Over
For the most part, dogs are social creatures.
Putting your dog in the backyard or locking them in a room when company is over will feel like punishment.
Allowing your dog to hang with guests will let them socialize and learn how to behave themselves with new people in their surroundings.
Valid reasons to exclude your dog from a social gathering? If you don’t trust your dog around new people or guests who are allergic or scared of your dog.
Although many people are okay hugging those they love, this type of affection is unnatural to your dog.
Dogs need freedom of movement and will look for escape routes when they feel cornered or their space invaded.
Hugging your dog or pup can be uncomfortable and stressful for a lot of dogs. Some dogs are perfectly fine with hugs and snuggles from their favorite humans.
The key is to watch your dog’s body language. If your dog is resistant to being hugged or held closely, they will move their body away from yours as far as they can and may turn their head to the side.
Back off the hugs and show your dog affection by petting them and giving belly rubs.
9. Using Aggression to Correct Behavior
Aggressive postures, tones, and punishments have the same effect on dogs as it does children. It frightens them and stresses them out.
You might think the look on your dog’s face is guilt when it’s actually confusion, stress, or fear.
Figuring out why your dog acts out or doesn’t listen and implementing new strategies will be more productive than intimidating your dog with aggressive methods.
10. Being Scolded and Punished and Not Understanding Why
When you discover your dog has done something naughty, it’s not uncommon to overreact, scold, or punish your dog.
However, if you don’t catch your dog in the middle of the naughty act, your dog won’t connect the punishment to their behavior and actions.
Scolding and punishing your dog after the fact only creates stress and confusion.
Let your dog watch you clean up their mess and try to figure out what caused your dog to engage in unwanted behavior so that you can address the problem. Is your dog lonely, bored, anxious, left alone too long without a bathroom break?
Use positive reinforcement to reward behaviors you want and ignore behavior you don’t want.
11. Not Enough Exercise
Not giving your dog the amount of physical stimulation and exercise they need can cause your dog to be overweight, bored, and destructive.
Different breeds require different amounts of exercise, so it’s important to know how much your dog or pup needs to stay happy and healthy.
In general, dogs with short legs require less exercise than their longer-legged friends, and puppies don’t have as much stamina as adult dogs.
12. Too Much Exercise
Fit people who go for daily runs or bike rides often take their dogs with them for company. But extended runs can be hard or harmful for certain breeds or senior dogs.
For instance, short-nosed breeds like pugs and bulldogs have respiratory issues that are not good for running long distances.
A dog that is eight is considered a senior dog, so exercise should be modified and appropriate.
13. Summer Heat
Dogs don’t sweat and tolerate high temperatures as well as humans do.
Dogs have sweat glands in their paws, but their primary cooling mechanism is through panting.
Dogs cannot regulate their body temperature the same way humans do, which makes them susceptible to overheating.
Exercise your dog early in the morning or late evening when temperatures are not as high. If your dog starts to overheat, wet them down with water, which can help reduce their body temperature by up to ten degrees.
During hot summer months, always provide shade and water when your dog is outdoors for an extended period, and air conditioning helps keep everyone cool and comfortable.
14. Loud Noises
A dog’s sense of hearing is four times greater compared to humans. What humans hear from twenty feet away, our dogs hear from 80 feet away, and they hear twice as many frequencies.
Loud noises that bother dogs are things like fireworks, gunfire, sirens, cars backfiring, motorcycles, car alarms, yard equipment, household appliances, etc.
Think about your dog when listening to music or watching action-packed movies. How loud is it? If it’s loud to you, it’s really, really loud to your dog.
If you feel like cranking up some Metallica in the car, hold off on that urge if you have your dog with you.
15. The Same Food Over and Over
Owners are guilty of feeding their dogs the same food day after day, week after week, year after year.
Your dog eats what you put in front of them, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t bored with their food.
You don’t need to change your dog’s food on a daily basis or cook them gourmet meals. A little variety here and there will keep your dog looking forward to mealtime.
Supplement their food with healthy vegetables, a little rice, a little broth, or a little bit of meat from time to time.
16. Dinnertime Interruptions
When it’s time for your dog to eat, place their bowl in a low traffic area and leave them alone.
Someone touching you, bumping you, or moving your food would annoy you, and the same is true for your dog.
17. Teasing Your Dog with Treats
Teasing your dog with treats may be fun for you, but it’s frustrating for your dog.
You are teaching your dog not to trust you when it comes to treats and rewards. Teasing will result in your dog lunging for the treat in your hand instead of taking treats gently.
18. Changing Your Smell
Dogs use their noses to identify people and other dogs.
The area of a dog’s brain that processes smell is 40 times larger than the corresponding region in a human brain. This is why dogs can be trained to identify low blood sugar in people with diabetes or find lost people.
Soaps, deodorants, body sprays, and perfumes can create confusion for a dog.
If you are sweaty from a workout or squeaky clean from a shower and your dog is sniffing you over, they are just double checking you are still you.
19. Changing Your Dog’s Smell
Dogs groom and clean themselves through licking.
Overbathing your dog when they aren’t dirty or smelly can deplete natural oils in their skin and coat.
Dog’s like to smell like themselves. Their body scent is a signal to communicate with other dogs and animals.
Have you ever bathed your dog to find them rolling around in or on the stinkiest thing they can find immediately after? This is because they want to smell like their old self instead of your lavender oatmeal shampoo.
20. Ignoring Your Dog After You Have a Baby
A new baby comes home, and suddenly, your dog is no longer the center of attention.
A new baby is an adjustment for everyone in the house, including your dog.
Your dog will be curious about the newest member of the family, so let your dog meet and greet their human sibling.
Give your dog some daily quality attention like belly rubs or playing, even if it’s only a few minutes at a time.
Don’t ignore your dog when the baby is around or awake, and don’t ban your dog from new baby routines like feedings, baths, etc.
21. Unsupervised Children
Children and dogs should not be left unsupervised regardless of who the dog or kids belong to.
Children need to be taught how to behave around a dog or puppy. It’s not uncommon for children to poke at a dog, try to hug a dog, pull a dog’s tail, or try to ride a large breed dog.
Some dogs will tolerate a child’s annoying behavior, but some dogs won’t.
22. Arguing in Front of Your Dog
Imagine you are arguing with a significant other and things get heated, one person is angry, and the other person begins to cry.
It’s easy to forget your dog is watching and easy to forget upsetting events trickle down to our dogs.
Dogs can sense when something is wrong and are affected by emotions or hostile situations.
Due to the stress or tension in the room, your dog might try to stop an argument through distraction. Examples would be barking, bringing a toy to you, getting between you and your partner, or engaging in unwanted behavior to get your focus on them.
23. Bouts of Depression
Life is full of ups and downs, and most things blow over in a reasonable amount of time.
However, long term stress or depression will affect your dog. Dogs often mirror the emotions and energy of their owners.
For your dog’s health and well-being, don’t neglect their physical needs. Force yourself to keep your dog on a routine for meals and exercise.
Staying focused on caring for your dog will benefit both of you.
24. Giving Up on Your Dog
Dog ownership is a responsibility that should be weighed and taken seriously before you get a dog.
There are circumstances when a dog needs to be re-homed, but too many owners simply give up and abandon dogs in shelters.
Dogs and puppies need socialization, attention, and training. Unwanted behaviors like digging, chewing, excessive barking, separation anxiety, pulling on leash, jumping, going potty in the house, etc., can be corrected with proper training.
Instead of putting a dog’s life in jeopardy in a shelter, live up to your commitment, and become a responsible pet parent.