It’s surprising that dogs are known as “man’s best friend”, in spite of all we do to drive them crazy. Consider the following eight things humans do that might cause dogs to rebel to against their owners someday:
Not Letting Him Smell and Explore Things During a Walk
Liken a dog’s nose to a person’s eye. A dog’s sense of smell lets them interpret the world, no differently than our vision does for us. Dogs appreciate the smell of grass the way we find beauty in the sunset. They only get to go out for a short duration each day, so every minute of the walk you take them on is precious. They look forward to experiencing the world, and taking that away from them right after they poop or pee is just plain mean.
Make your dog’s walk memorable by not rushing them. Let them smell whatever they want during their walk. Let their nose take everything in. How would you like it if you never got to see the sun shining, or a rainbow, or a flock of birds flying away? Give your dog new things to smell by letting them explore new areas. You don’t have to spend all day pampering them – a few minutes to a dog is like an hour for us. Stimulate your dog’s senses and let them experience the beauty of life.
A dog not only needs guidelines, it wants them. Obeying rules might sound like a terrible life for a human, but for a dog, it’s paradise. Rules and guidelines give the dog meaning. It teaches them what’s right and wrong, and makes them more evolved. A life without rules makes a dog confused and stressed out.
That being said, stick to the rules you impose on the dog. Making exceptions to rules is only going to baffle and frustrate the animal. How are they supposed to know that they’re allowed to pounce on you when you have sweats on, but not when you’re wearing a suit? Can you blame them for not knowing that it’s okay to lie on the bed after a shower, but not after they’ve rolled around in the mud?
A dog is most happy when they know what their boundaries and limits are. When you reward the dog for respecting boundaries, you’re establishing a structure they can flourish and prosper in.
Patting a Dog’s Head or Petting a Dog’s Face
Most people don’t like to be patted on the head. It’s demeaning and humiliating. If we don’t like it, why do we expect dogs to? Dogs put up with it from people they trust, but for the most part, you’ll notice dogs tend to lean in the other direction when your hand approaches them for a caress. You’re invading a dog’s personal space. If you must pet your dog, one area they do like to be rubbed in is near their tails, specifically, the butt. Surprisingly, they’ll interpret this as a sign of affection.
Looking a Dog in the Eye While Approaching Them
Eye contact is a powerful thing. It is suggestive of trust and a sign of focus. Eye contact can also be intimidating, and can make people feel uncomfortable. For many, eye contact is an establishment of dominance. It shouldn’t surprise you to hear that when you look a dog in the eyes without blinking, they’ll think you’re provoking them. They’ll think you – a stranger, are trying to tame them. Their reaction could go either way – the dog will exhibit signs of submission (showing their belly, looking away, etc.), or they might back up and bark at you, ready for a fight.
When greeting a dog you don’t know, approach them with your body slightly angled (as opposed to having your shoulders squared toward the dog), slightly avert your eyes, and speak to them in a soft tone. You might not win the dog over, but you certainly won’t push its buttons and trigger an aggressive reaction.
Forcing Your Dog to Interact With People or Pets It Doesn’t Care For
Much like people, dogs have enemies and friends. Just like you, a dog has a list of who they want to hang out with, and whom they’d rather avoid. Some owners forget this and force their pets to socialize with others at parks and other public spaces, even when the dog is giving them signs that they’d rather just go home. You didn’t like that when your parents did that to you, so why do you think your dog enjoys forced interaction? Some dogs don’t even want to hang out with humans unfamiliar to them. Watch for cues that your dog wants to bail. Dogs might lash out and bark or even bite another dog when overly pushed into social situations. You’re also breaking their trust when you don’t respect their limits. Never force your dog into a situation they don’t want to be in – pay attention to their body language.
Talking Instead of Using Body Language
Dogs may be able to interpret some words they hear often (treat, toy, sit, walk, etc.), but they hardly understand language of any kind. They rely body language to gauge what we’re trying to tell them. Dogs are smart enough to read the human body, so much so that they can deduce your thoughts based on your facial expressions. They know what you’re feeling and thinking before you do, at times. That is why we can confuse them if we say one thing verbally but contradict it with our physical actions. If you to tell a dog to “stay” while motioning for it to come towards you, the dog is likely to walk in your direction. You can imagine the dog’s confusion if you reprimand the animal for not doing as you commanded. In such instances, it’s you, the owner, who should be reprimanded by your pet!
Giving Your Dog a Hug
You love hugging your dog, right? Guess what? Dogs hate it when you hug them! As primates, we hug another as an expression of love. Dogs don’t have the same mentality. A dog’s placement of a paw or foreleg on the back of another dog is considered an act of domination. The dog is conditioned to believe that such a gesture is disciplinary. When you hug your dog, they will tolerate it, but you’re actually breaking the animal’s heart. They’ll wonder what they did wrong to make you treat them with such superiority. This is why dogs sometimes bite children – dogs hate hugs, and getting one from someone their size will naturally result in physical retaliation.
Teasing a dog isn’t cute, funny or entertaining – it’s cruel. Don’t wave at a dog barking at you behind a window. It can’t get out to play with you. Don’t pull on a dog’s tail – how would you like it if someone pulled your hair? Don’t do anything to a dog if they can’t reciprocate in some way. Playing with a dog is one thing, but taunting it can develop behavioral problems for the animal. Teasing a dog is heartbreaking.