Are you doing something very annoying to your dog without even realizing it? As pet parents we think we know what’s best for our dogs. Unfortunately that’s not always true. Dogs often tolerate many of our behavior just because they love and trust us. And there are certain things we do to our dogs that are not just annoying, but they secretly hate them.
While few things are unavoidable like bathing, grooming, or vet visits, there are some human behavior we can change to take it easy on our dogs. Here are 4 things you shouldn’t do to your dog.
1. Hugging or Getting in Your Dog’s Face
Much to your dislike, most dogs don’t like hugs. While some affectionate dogs may still like it, for most being wrapped in your arms is often a sign of dominance. Besides, they may feel trapped and threatened, especially if it is coming from strangers. However, most dogs can tolerate gentle hugs if they are coming from humans they trust; therefore it is very important to teach children as well as to not allow strangers to run up and hug your dog.
Observe your pooch’s body language. If he is showing signs like stiff posture, pinned ears, licks his lips, yawns, averts his eyes, has a worried look or a tense expression, or shows other appeasement gestures, then it is not enjoying the hugs as much as you are. It is best to let your pooch cuddle on his own terms. For strangers, it is advisable to pet the dog along the back and on his chest, if you want to, but hugging is off limit.
Similar to hugging, dogs don’t really appreciate humans getting in their faces. So don’t put your hands in a dog’s face, unless you are the dog owner (or groomer) and need to do stuff like ear cleaning and tooth brushing etc. But even then be gentle and go slowly. You may also praise and reward your dog with treats when you are poking and prodding your dog for his own good, but if he exhibits any kind of appeasement gestures or acts aggressive, it is better to back off instead of trying to apply force.
2. Leaving Him Alone in the Car
This is big no-no for all pet parents, irrespective of where you park your car. In summer, your car is likely to become a greenhouse of sorts very fact and leaving your car attended in a closed car can cause your dog become overheated, extremely lethargic, and sick. A dog can even die if left alone for far too long. This can even happen when the weather is relatively cool.
The risk is equally high in winter months. Your car freezes in the winter months and can as a refrigerator. Leaving your dog alone in the car in the winter months can also have fatal consequences. And irrespective of the weather or season, leaving your dog alone in a car makes him a good target for thieves. Would you really like to take the risk of never seeing your pooch ever again?
3. Make Your Pooch Live Outside
How could anyone even think of something? For your dog, you are his world, your family is his “pack” and dogs are pack animal. While dogs need to have access to the outdoors and you can let your dog be in the yard under supervision for a period of time in good, sunny day, never force your furry-family member to live outside year round.
Dogs, irrespective of their breeds and sizes, need human interaction and stimulation. Being left outside makes him feel unwanted, bored, and unhappy. Besides, it is not only unfair but a crime to let your dog freeze out in the cold winter months or getting uncomfortable in the hot summer months, while you enjoy the best of everything within your four-walls.
Additionally, don’t force your dog to live his life on a chain. Just like human interaction and stimulation, your dog also needs a measure of freedom. Chaining your dog and leaving him outdoor is as good as abandoning him and is simply cruel.
4. Yelling or Hitting a Dog
Of course it is essential to set limit for your pooch, but yelling at them or using physical punishment is completely off-limit. Yelling is mostly likely to scare them, making them anxious, and stressed out. Yelling at them too frequently will make them completely desensitized to it, besides, they are less likely to understand what you’re saying.
Hitting your dog or using physical punishment is equally wrong. When you hit a dog, you are actually harming your relationship with this, in turn, prevent proper training. Putting your hands on him means breaking his trust and weakening his confidence. Your dog, as a result, may feel insecure and is more likely to lash out in aggressive displays.
According to Doggie Daycare South Tampa, you can better manage a stressful situation by encouraging good behaviors, instead of yelling or hitting. For example, dogs are known for stealing your favorite stuffs and chewing them. But punishing them for it will do no good. According to Canine and Feline Behaviour Association, “Chewing, for a dog, is like a human opening a door and looking into a room. People are nosy, and so are dogs. But they investigate with their mouths, because they don’t have hands.”
So hitting someone for just being curious is not really a good idea. A better option is to use positive reinforcement like instructing him to drop the stuff and once he does it, reward him for the right behavior. This will teach him what is expected of him and at the same time will strengthen your bond, rather than harming it.
No two dogs are exactly the same. Therefore, things that they enjoy or hate may also vary. Being the pet parent, you are in the best position to judge what your dog likes or dislikes. However, there are a certain things you should never do to your dog. So what does your dog hate? Is it on the list? If not, do let our readers know in a comment below.
About the Author: George Conda is the owner of “Tampa Puppy Palace” – an all-inclusive dog boarding resort in Tampa, FL.