11 things humans do that dogs hate

11 things humans do that dogs hate

I read this story with interest and knew that I had to share it. I’m certainly guilty of some of things, like hugging my dog (he did pull away in the beginning and is still not crazy about hugs). I don’t know why parents teach their kids to reach for the head of a dog they haven’t been introduced to (yes most dogs do hate it, and it’s just plain bad manners).

On the other hand, I’ve made instant friends when I give a good (but gentle) scratch to the spot on the back where tail joins the body. A dog can just about reach that spot to bite it, but they cannot scratch it. Try it and you’ll see doggy gratitude in their eyes!

Dogs try to be our best friends, but boy do we ever make it difficult sometimes.

Here are some of the things we do that might make dogs question whether they want to remain best buds or cut ties completely.

Using words more than body language

We’re a vocal species. We love to chatter away, even at our pets, who can’t understand the vast majority of what we’re saying. Dogs might be able to deduce what a few key words mean — walk, treat, toy, off — and maybe even learn hundreds of words as some border collies have done. But they can’t understand human language.

What they rely on to figure out what we mean is our body language. Dogs have evolved to be expert readers of the human body and can figure out what you’re thinking and feeling before you even realize you’re thinking and feeling it. But we can easily send mixed signals if we are only paying attention to what our mouths are saying and not what our bodies are saying.


Listening but confused
Listening but confused (Photo Flickr Commons)

If you go to any beginning dog training class, you’ll see plenty of people saying one thing, doing another, and a confused dog trying to figure out what in the world is wanted of them. For instance, telling a dog to “stay” while leaning forward toward the dog and holding out a hand like a traffic cop is, in body language, actually inviting the dog to come toward you. But when the dog does, she gets reprimanded for breaking her stay command. It’s all so confusing!
A great experiment (and something that will probably have your dog sighing with relief) is to try to spend a whole day not saying a word to your dog, but communicating only with your body.
You’ll realize just how much you “talk” with your body without realizing it, how to use your movements and body position to get the response you need from your dog during training, and how involved a conversation can be without emitting a single sound.

Petting a dog’s face or patting her head

Do you like to be patted on the head? My guess is no. Having someone reach out and tap us on the head, no matter how lovingly, is not something most of us enjoy. It’s annoying at best and painful at worst. And we really don’t want the hands of strangers reaching toward our face.
If someone were to reach their hand toward your face, I’m guessing your reaction would be to pull your head back and lean away, and get a little tense about the invasion of personal space.
Featured image photo credit: carterse Flickr Commons

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