There might be some things we dog lovers do with the best intentions without even knowing that it makes our furry ones uncomfortable and confused…
1.Waking Them Up Suddenly
Just like you and likely most people you know, dog’s don’t like to be woken up suddenly. It startles and bothers them. So if you have friends or family over, especially children, make sure they won’t touch your dog when he sleeps and if you have to wake up your canine companion, do it slowly, quietly, and gently. To make the wake up call less sudden, it also helps to call their name from a distance before approaching.
Even if you love your dog, likely at some point or the other, you raised your voice. Maybe he peed in your bed, ate your shoes or didn’t stop barking and you got so mad, you couldn’t help it. Try to not do it again, it has no positive effect at all. Your pup will not understand but rather end up scared, confused or agitated. I know some people will argue that dogs, just like children, have to be yelled at in order to teach them discipline. However, yelling at your kids has been shown to have long-term effects, like anxiety, low self-esteem, and increased aggression. Also, you will end up feeling so guilty and just like your yelling, your furry companion won’t understand your apology either…
Looking too long into your dog’s eyes will make him feel uncomfortable, but he will likely tolerate it. Just watch your dog when he spots a bird or a cat—his level of fixation isn’t friendly interest and you should avoid looking intensively into the eyes of a dog who seems worried, edgy or aggressive – he could bite.
Unlike primates, canines have no history of grasping each other to show affection. Quite the opposite: when dogs put their paws or body onto another dog, it is usually an attempt at domination or control.And while your dog might tolerate your hug, he might get bothered by a strangers hug, just like you might. It is therefore especially important to explain to children, that they should not hug your (or anyone’s) dog.
5. Keeping the Leash Tense
I know it sounds strange, I mean they are the ones pulling right? Nevertheless, it is our job to teach our canine companions leash manners. This takes time, and rather than using a short cut like prone or e-collars, you can use positive training methods that don’t threathen your dogs relationship with you and with others. Dogs feel frustrated and experience stress when straining at a leash and as we get annoyed it just gets worse. A stressed dog, just like a stressed person, is likely to react poorly in social situations with other dogs and people. Take that extra time and invest in a lifetime full of enjoyable, stress-free walks.
Sometimes you love it when your dog jumps on you as a greeting but the next day he does the same to your friend and you yell at him. One day he’s a very bad boy for begging at the table, but the next day you throw him a piece of chicken from your Ceasar Salad. Make up your mind already. Discrepancy confuses dogs, who can’t figure out what you want them to do. To avoid this, decide exactly on what you do and don’t want your dog to do and stick to it.
7. Leaving Them Alone Too Much
Most people (sadly) can’t bring their dog to work with them and a lot of dogs spend their day mostly lying around, waiting for their owners to return. Your dog loves to be with you, so if you have to leave him alone for 8+ hours and can’t manage to have someone take him out mid-day, make sure you take a nice morning walk and to leave him some entertainment (challenging toys, a frozen Kong etc.). Dogs left alone for ten or more hours each day can develop a number of behavioural and psychological issues like separation anxiety, excessive barking or digging, destructive behaviour, or escaping. When you come back home from work, try to give your dog the attention he deserves: play, walk, train, cuddle and don’t just make yourself food and fall asleep on the Sofa.