Did you know there are things you do to drive your dog crazy? Here are a few seemingly innocent things that could be irritating your dog.
1. Hugging your dog.
Hugging innately seems like one of the best ways to show your dog you care. There is no denying that some dogs may love, or at least tolerate this form of physical affection. However, on the whole, well…not so much. Hugging is not a mechanism dogs use to bond or socialize, so you wrapping your arms around him is a foreign concept. To them, having arms wrapped tightly around them can be interpreted as an attack. In fact, in cases of canine aggression towards children, many of the cases stemmed from children not understanding the dog’s personal space.
If you are one of millions of dog owners who is convinced their pup loves hugs, pay attention to their body language. Do they stiffen up? Look away from you or lick their chops? These are all signs that they are not comfortable and should be released.
2. Being a coach potato.
There are definitely some lazy pups out there, but most dogs do not enjoy sitting around the house all day. If you leave them alone while you are at work all day or decide you are too tired to take them for a long walk, dogs will retaliate by entertaining themselves in the form of shoe destruction, garbage picking, and even having the occasional accident. You may lead a busy human life, but it’s important to make time to stimulate and exercise your dog. Think about when you had to run errands with your parents as a child and all you wanted to do was anything but that. That is how your dog feels when you simply let them hang around the house with no other stimulation.
3. Being sick.
Whenever you have a cold, one of the best remedies is to stay in, have some soup, and snuggle with your dog. Unfortunately, that is not something your dog enjoys. Coughs and sneezes can have a similar sound to a “tooth-snap” in a dog or wolf, which is a sound used to communicate threat and danger. If you find your dog whimpering or acting up when you sneeze, know that they want you to get better. ASAP.
4. Communicating solely through words.
Although dogs may understand a few words and phrases (namely “treat!”), they don’t understand much else. Dogs primarily use body language to see what we are communicating. This can be frustrating for an owner who is saying one thing and their body is saying another. For example, if you tell your dog to stay but then lean forward, they take this as a welcome to walk towards you. If you find the line of communication between you and your dog is warped, consider the physical actions you take when you speak.
5. Using baby talk.
We are all guilty of using baby talk to our pups every once in a while – after all, they are so cute! That baby voice you are using, however, is not so cute to your dog. When you speak in a high pitched whiny voice, dogs can interpret that as you being distressed. If you argue, “Well, my dog comes to me any time I use a baby voice!” it’s because they want to make sure you’re OK! Imagine if your significant other cried wolf every time they wanted affection. That is what you are doing with baby talk with your pup. It also signals that you are not in charge, and they need you to be their pack master.
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