We love the company of our dogs – that is certainly why we keep them! And, we want to show them our love and gratitude consistently, yet, we turn out confusing or agitating our fellow companions, despite our intentions! Consecutively, we too, sometimes end up confused; obviously we want to avoid this feeling!
Here, we want to show you 15 of the worst ways you could be expressing your love to your dog:
Showering your dog with hugs!
Hugging is the best way for us humans to express love and gratitude in-between each other, but it is not the case with our fellow dogs! For them, hugging is a sign of dominance! Although, you are the dominant force in your house and in the relationship between you and your dog, still it is not something you want to keep flaunting in your dog’s face all the time! Hugging brings feelings of confusion and irritation for your dog – clearly, they will not understand nor enjoy it!
By understanding this, try to avoid hugging your dog whenever possible, if not always! Your dog does tolerate you, because you are his owner and you are dominant, but it will never be a pleasant experience! Strangers should stay further away from this practice as the dog can show signs of unsettlement, and even aggression!
Neglecting body language!
Dogs are the experts at reading our thoughts and feelings before we even organize and express them! Therefore, the best method of communicating to your dog is by adjusting your body language and posture before pronouncing a single word! Coordinate your words with your posture, otherwise, you may be sending mixed signals to your dog! Instead of understanding your command, you rather confuse the dog and make them act even worse than in the beginning!
Try practicing body language for a full day, by not speaking a word when communicating with your dog! See if they understand you better!
Focusing only on their heads!
Tapping your dog on the head is another wrong way of showing affection towards them! Although, it may seem a natural, it is one form of interaction that brings uncomfortable feelings in dogs! Dogs will be dogs, they are not babies – keep in mind!
A pet here and there will not hurt anyone, but do not keep your focus only on their heads!
Chaos vs. Structure
It may seem like dogs enjoy running around in a frenzy and throw their toys all around the house, but, they still need structure! They need to know when it is a good time to run, play, and mess around with their toys and when is a good time to calm down and be more attentive! They must have a day schedule and and they need to have you as a leader show them the rules and regulations so that they can properly respect them! As soon as you develop a structure, you will notice your dog being extremely happy with it and adjusting accordingly! Dogs need rules! Likewise, children and all humans do strive in structured schedules and restrictions.
Predictability and organization is the ground of calmness for both, you and your loving dog! Additionally, your relationship will be trustworthy!
Reward your dog positively for respecting boundaries and rules whenever you notice and be consistent to follow the same rules in order to not confuse your dog!
Long Eye Contact!
Staring at your dog for too long is a no, no – especially, with stranger dogs! Eye contact between dogs is the way by which they set their roles and dominance within the pack. At often times, eye contact turns fatal – be it a dog fight for position or simply connoting aggression! Therefore, eye contact may confuse your dog! Although, they will tolerate you as an owner, do not practice it often! When it comes to stranger dogs, remind yourself to avoid it altogether as you never know what kind of reaction you might trigger!
Forceful playtime and socialization!
Whenever you notice your dog not playing or socializing much – make sure you handle the situation with care by taking baby steps into making your dog feel more relaxed and social – but do not ever force your dog into such situations as, in contrary, it may only leave him traumatized and more avoidant than before! For happy and calm behavior always reward your dog. It will help him become more socially involved and balanced!
Walking but not smelling!
It may be a nerve wrecking experience for you to stop and allow your dog to carefully smell the bushes or the sidewalk grass, when you have already planned the location you want to take the dog as well as the time you are going to spend outside! Although, your dog really needs a walk and a play-around at the park, it is also very important for them to stop and smell whatever they choose to stop and smell while on the way to the destination! For your dog, this is quality time, where they check out who has been around! Also, it gives them a better understanding of their surroundings! They gather information, knowledge and they explore the world through their noses! Rephrase: through smelling!
A tight Leash!
When walking your dog, the leash is a means of communication between you! It is a means of transmitting energy, and your dog will react accordingly, depending on whether you are keeping them at a tight or a loose leash! It may seem unimportant how you put and maintain the leash on your dog, but it does make all the difference! The mood that will surround us during the walks depends on it! A tight leash means tension, stress, frustration, alertness! And, a dog that walks on a tight leash is more prone to barking and making extreme reactions!
It is hard sometimes as you may get aggravated by your dog pulling you! But, it is important to teach your dog to walk calmly from an early age so that keeping a tight leash is not a necessity!
When you walk your dog on a loose leash, you will be sending your dog messages of calmness, not tension! Your dog will feel you have everything under control! Therefore, their walking will be easier for you to handle and no need to tighten things up!
Tense vs. bored mood!
Whenever you are feeling tense or bored, keep in mind your dog is going to go through the same mood and feelings! We never enjoy having such feelings – dogs likewise! If you notice your dog seeming bored or tense, just make sure you check with yourself first as your dog is mostly mirroring your feelings! Having busy schedules, when usually we just want to relax and unwind when we get home, but this is the most boring and irritating thing you could do for your dog! They need your attention, some fun time and obviously a walk around the park! No wonder your dog will start engaging in destructive behavior!
A loud tone of voice, fireworks, loud ambient and everything loud will be a great amount of disturbance for your dog! Next time you feel like you are about to yell at your dog, think twice! They surely will not understand a word you say, and you will only cause them trauma, followed by a great cloud of confusion! Adjust your body language to your command and see the difference! Keep your tone firm, but not loud and always maintain the appropriate body posture! You will have a great bond and understanding with your dog! Also, try to spare them from various celebrations, as much as you can!
Even though this one does not need much examining and explaining as it is self-explanatory, still it is worth mentioning just in case you find teasing funny – your dog really doesn’t!
Barking after your dog, waving, pulling their tails, and other similar things are not the best options, just as teasing them with a toy or food and never letting the dog have it is not right! You may also leave your dog with behavioral problems!
And the Unavoidable…
For dogs, being left home alone for long is a devastating practice! They need their leaders around in order to feel more secure! When home alone, at first they start feeling bored, then boredom turns into stress, and finally stress turns into deep anxiety or depression! Especially for dogs like Labradors, Retrievers and Terriers, it is the worst thing that could happen! They will need their leader around for almost 24/7. And generally, being pack animals, dogs need the company of their family throughout the day!
Giving your dog the baby treatment is incredibly irritating! While you may be tempted to hug your dog and carry them up in the air out of admiration, your dog will have no clue what the occasion is and will be further irritated! They do not understand such treatment and they certainly do not like it!
Another very upsetting thing for dogs is a stroller! Do not get them into one while perfectly fine and capable to walk! Walking and sniffing are one of the deepest instincts in dogs, and you will prevent them from experiencing their essence! If you carry your dog around in a stroller, just like a baby, you are depriving him of his ultimate pleasure! They need walking and smelling just as much as they need exercise!
Baths are a very uncomfortable experience for your dog! Dogs do not think of hopping in the shower and getting themselves clean! They do not enjoy the splashes of water on their skin, and they do not enjoy the noise of the running water! To achieve a calmer reaction from your dog when you want to bathe them, you should start by using lots of praise and rewards and being very patient so that they do not get traumatized! Be sensitive when handling your dog’s fearfulness!
Playing dress-up is a foreign concept in the dog world! They may sometimes tolerate it out of politeness but do not over-indulge them in this type of activity as it is zero fun for them! However, it may be okay to dress your lovely dog in order to get a fast cute picture, but be alert towards their reaction and remove the clothing as soon as you notice irritation surfacing! You will surely see your dog tearing the costumes off if not supervised!