Although our canine friends love us unconditionally, there is a number of things you probably do that are driving your dog nuts. In order to keep Fido as your best friend, you need to know what these nasty and annoying habits are and try to get rid of them as quickly as possible.
1. Yelling At Him
We simply love talking to and about other people, sometimes even behind their backs, but we need to understand that our pets respond better to body language and physical manifest of emotions, than to verbal communication.
Dogs are able to figure out the meaning of some key words we use daily (words like sit, stay, walk, treat, toy, off…), but they are not capable of completely understanding human language and all the messages it conveys. What they are true experts at, hoever, is being able to read our body language and decipher exactly what you’re thinking and feeling just by reading your body.
So next time you want to yell come! at your dog, try leaning forward and summoning him with your hand instead. It will work like a charm.
2. Prolonged Eye Contact
Eye contact is quite a powerful means of interaction between two people, but it can be rather dangerous between you and your pooch, and even more risky with an unknown dog.
While we perceive prolonged, steady eye contact as soothing and a sign of trustworthiness, we need to understand that dogs tend to recognize eye contact as unnerving, uncomfortable and domineering.
Eye contact is generally seen as a way of establishing dominance among the canine species, so unless you really want to taunt Fido, or somebody else’s dog, make sure you avoid prolonged eye contact. Otherwise you two won’t exactly be seeing eye to eye.
The truth is that most dogs actually hate hugging. For us humans, and primates in general, hugs are awesome.
They express love and support, and are actually proven to have the ability to heal us physically. However, your dog doesn’t see them quite the way we do.
Even though your intentions are purely benevolent, your dog won’t like it one bit. Dogs are hardwired to see the act of hugging as a way of exerting one’s dominance. Some dogs may try and tolerate it, but you should probably find another way to show your pooch just how much you love him.
4. Forcing Playtime
You need to know the difference between positive encouragement with shy and timid dogs who need a little nudge in the right direction before playtime, and making your canine buddy go out of his comfort zone.
Make sure you have patience and take baby steps in order to encourage him to go out of his comfort zone.
Give him a reward for any amount of calm and happy social behavior. This will be rather helpful for him to establish and live a socially balanced life.
5. Patting or Tapping His Head
Even though your dog knows you love him and that your patting or tapping him on the head is out of affection, you need to know that he is not actually enjoying this PDA (public display of affection).
Yet most of us still think that dogs like being patted on their heads, but the reality is that they are actually giving their best to put up with this behavior of ours.
Your dog may tolerate this habit as you are his boss, but make sure you don’t overdo it, and definitely avoid patting the head of an unknown dog.
Petting is fine, patting – not really. One letter difference in spelling, huge difference in real life.
6. Hasty Walks
Just like you want your dog to behave, know how to walk obediently and stay on a leash, he also wants a master who will respect his own needs.
Make sure you understand how important it is to allow Fido to have some time to thoroughly explore his surroundings while you are out and about.
You need to know that canines practically see with their noses, and they place as much importance on their sense of smell as we humans place on our sense of vision.
Mutual respect is crucial. Since you are already a dog owner, make sure you do have a nose for being a dog owner.
7. Being A Boring Grown-Up
We all know that feeling of being stuck with someone who is completely boring and uninteresting, so make sure you never let your pooch perceive you as boring.
Don’t let your relationship become monotonous and turn into a mere, tedious ownership.
Every time you find yourself being a boring grown-up who doesn’t have time to play with his kids, drop whatever you are doing and take your pooch out for a walk or a playdate.
Just remember that dogs are just like kids (but without the constant wining), so, next time you realize your four-legged buddy is sad without a reason, think of the last time you took the poor thing out. Actually, don’t just think about it – take him out.
This is why we will take this opportunity to once again point out just how much our furry friends hate when we tease them for fun.
This goes for both Fido and unknown dogs. Especially unknown dogs. Don’t try to be funny and bark at some stray dog as you see one in the street. It might not end well.
Also, don’t tease your own pooch while you are playing fetch. Not only will you annoy your pet, you might just end up losing his trust. And we don’t want that to happen, now do we?
9. Leaving Them Home Alone
Canines are pack animals, which means they simply need a leader in order to feel secure. This is why they get afraid and start acting out when they are left home alone for too long.
They first start feeling bored, then they become stressed, and finally that stress turns into deep and serious anxiety or even depression.
Some dogs take it better than others, but there are certain breeds that are more affected by being left alone. If you happen to have a working breed like Labrador, Retriever or a Terrier, make sure you are around your pooch almost 24/7.
10. Leash Tension
In order to make your dog feel comfortable while taking him out for a walk, you need to make sure certain things are being done, and certain things avoided.
First, you need to realize that this takes time.
Start your walks with a calming energy and gradually pick up the pace, while stopping every time you feel tension on the leash. When you feel the tension, start over.
Also, make sure you increase the number of walks on a weekly basis. Don’t expect your pooch to walk calmly and nicely on a leash if he only gets walked every once in a while.