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19 Dec 2016 11:07
Things Humans Do That Dogs Don't Like 
If dogs could talk. What would they say to us about how we treat them? For those situations of abuse, its pretty obvious. But what about when with all good intentions we do things our dogs dislike?

According to many pet advice websites, there are certain things that humans do (or don't, as the case may be with #4) that annoy, irritate or simply are not good for your pet.

1. Hugging - seems innocent. We hug each other, our children, why not our dogs? Some dogs simply don't like it because it is a sign of dominance and might make them feel trapped while restrained. Some dogs tolerate hugs from those they've grown to trust. But its good advice to refrain from hugging unless you have a good connection and understand the dog's personality.

Watch the dogs body language: pinned ears, stiff posture, tense expression, even bared teeth are all signs that hugs aren't in your dog's nature.

2. Giving commands containing too many words. - Keep it simple. Eliminate confusion. And enforce the command. If you want your dog to learn to sit on command, if he fails to respond on the first command, don't repeat - physically make the dog sit. Also, select key words: sit, down, heal, off, etc. Avoid 'conversations' with your pet: "I'll give you a treat if you're good." What the dog hears and understands is 'treat' and 'good.' The conditions you connected to those two words mean nothing.

3. Much like humans, yelling doesn't really help get what you want. Yes, dogs (and humans, for that matter) need to learn limits. However, encouraging good behaviors rather than scolding angrily achieves more. Depending on the breed, owners should seriously consider obedience and behavior training. In my experience, the trainer provides training more for the owner than the pet. Once you know the language for your pet, obedience follows (as long as you are consistent) .

4. Lacking structure - As mentioned, dogs need limits. Structure provides discipline and obedience but is also comforting. This includes feeding, walks and opportunity "to do their business" at the same time each day. It also means keeping them out of trouble - no playing in the garbage or chewing up your clothes. What puppies do to make us laugh tends to become very upsetting when the pup is now full grown.

5. Touching their faces - depending on the breed and personality, some dogs enjoy human fingers stroking their face but many merely tolerate it with annoyance. When approaching a dog unknown to you, the safest area is the neck, shoulders or chest. Consider approaching an unknown dog with your palm turned up. Many rescue dogs suffered abuse. An overhand approach could trigger a reflex from the dog that you intend to hit or hurt him.

6. Eye contact - If you don't know the dog, avoid eye contact. Staring into the eyes of a dog indicates dominance. The dog might respond aggressively as protection.

7. Dressing them up. - While they might tolerate it, most dogs don't enjoy dress up. Something we might not consider is how the extra attention makes the dog feel. When our friends laugh and ogle our pet in costumes, it can make them feel anxious and confused.

8. Leaving your dog alone too much. - We forget that dogs are 'pack' animals. They are very social and prefer to live and play with their pack. For the most part, you are now your dog's pack. If you spend hours away from your dog and ignore him once you return, he will be very sad, depressed and might even find was to be vindictive.

As mentioned, there are many groups posting on the Web that provide information about what our pets look for in their humans. Here are links for two articles I used to compile this information plus a cute video demonstrating some of these 'don'ts.'

A final concern. Dogs or cats, and all pets of all stripes, don't like being surrendered to a shelter. As mentioned, dogs are pack animals by nature, regardless of breed. Being taken from their pack-family can leave them heartbroken, depressed and confused. If you bring an animal into your home - baring threatening behavior issues - that animal becomes a member of your family as much as that dog adopts you as his pack.

by Kay Lantow (pet sitter for Loving Pet Care)

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