grumpy looking dog

Dogs make the best companions – they’re loyal, loveable, and mostly just adore being with us. But it may come as a surprise to many dog lovers that there are a variety of things we want them to do that they secretly (or overtly) despise. As a loving pet owner, you likely want to avoid anything that makes your best friend uncomfortable, or can even put them at risk

The team at Kings Trail Animal Hospital identified some of the most common mistakes made by dog owners and the things dogs hate. Let’s take a look.

Please, Don’t! 10 Things Dog Hate that May Surprise You

The last thing you want to do is annoy your fur pal or even put them in danger or distress. Yet, there are many behaviors done by pet owners that are no-gos for their furry loved ones. Here are some of the things that you should avoid doing around or to your Fido.

  1. Hugging your dog. I know, right? It is hard not to want to grab a hug from your adorable dog, but most dogs interpret this gesture as threatening or scary. In fact, many bites occur because kids or adults try and cozy up to a dog’s face or neck.
  2. Patting the head or face. This is another confusing thing to do to your pet. It may seem like a reward for being a “good boy/girl”, but it actually feels more like being hit, even the light taps. Instead, give a belly rub or a scratch above the tail.
  3. Keeping your dog from sniffing. What’s worse for a dog when they are on a stroll with you and find something interesting only to be pulled away? One of the main reasons dogs enjoy walks is a reward they get from their olfactory usage. This form of enrichment is important to a dog’s well-being, so stop and smell the roses already!
  4. Making eye contact. Looking directly into an animal’s eyes is perceived as threatening or a challenge. This is why dogs generally avert their eyes to dogs that seem bigger or more hierarchical than them. The same is true when humans make too much direct eye contact.
  5. Yelling at them. This form of punishment is never appreciated and in fact can make matters worse. Positive reward training relies on ignoring bad behavior and rewarding good behavior. Plus, dogs only react to the sound rather than the meaning, and yelling is scary for anyone. Lean more about this form of positive training by calling our team.
  6. Not having a routine. Believe it or not, pets thrive on a schedule or basic routine for daily living. This helps them feel safe and secure, knowing when they will eat, sleep, go for a walk, and expect you home after a long day at work. Without a routine, many pets act out and have problems with behavior, stress, and anxiety.
  7. Dressing your dog up. Not every dog is opposed to the occasional costume, or a cute dress or tracksuit, but if they seem uncomfortable, take the outfit off and find a cute collar or bandana instead. 
  8. Forcing your pet to interact. Not all dogs are social or like everyone or other dogs. When you force your dog to be “besties” with strange dogs or people, you can set them up for an injury or accident. Allow your pet to get to know others in a safe, supervised way, and remove them from the scene if there is tension or fear.
  9. Coddling your pet. Teaching your dog that they are king or queen of the castle can result in behavior challenges down the road. Give them great instruction for being a well behaved pup through training and socialization. Coddling or overreacting to any outside threat will instill fear and reduce your pet’s ability to be confident.
  10.  Teasing your dog. Whether it’s a game of “keep-away” or teasing with food or other rewards, this is a cruel form of amusement. Dogs don’t comprehend that a person is just playing around, and it can cause frustration and aggression at its worst. 

We get that some of these are things may not seem like a big deal, but chances are your dog doesn’t appreciate them. If you have any questions about things dogs hate, or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us.