If you could interview your dog, you might be surprised to learn what human behaviors they dislike. Of course, they can’t tell you these things but assume that what dogs dislike isn’t what humans dislike. If you’re curious about what you’re doing, that’s driving your treasured pets crazy. Check out this list of human behaviors most dogs hate.
12 Human Behaviors That Your Dog Can’t Stand
Your pets don’t have the language to tell you, so take this feedback to heart.
1 – Human behaviors are hurried, but dogs hate you not letting them sniff around
A human’s definition of a walk is to keep moving. Your dog’s definition of taking a walk is to walk a few feet and then stop to sniff the ground, the grass, or the sidewalk. It’s a chance for a dog to explore the world of smells. Rushing your dog through their walk is unacceptable to your pup, maybe even offensive to them. Of course, your dog won’t tell you this to your face. They’ll tolerate your human behavior.
The American Kennel Club explains that the nose is the primary tool canines use to interpret the world around them. They explain:
“Just as we use vision as our main sense for understanding our environment, dogs use their noses. The way something smells gives dogs more information than the way something looks, feels, sounds, or tastes.”
So, the next time you’re out for a walk, stop and allow your dog to sniff their little heart out. They’ll love you for it.
2 – Not having rules
Dogs need rules. They need to know when they’re going to eat or when it’s time for a walk. If your dog acts out, it could be they’re trying to tell you to pull it together and get yourself organized. Keeping a routine provides peace for your dog. They like to know what to expect each day. After a few days of maintaining a habit, you’ll notice your dog is happier. Plus, they’ll stop filling out wanted ads for a new owner, which will make you happy.
3 – Hugs are human behaviors, but pets might not love them
Why do humans think dogs like to hug? It looks cute in photos, but dogs most hate this human behavior. Some dog owners insist their pup loves the contact. This may be the case for certain dogs. But generally, it’s good to skip the hugging. When you put your arms around your dog’s neck or body, they feel restrained and threatened.
Of course, pets put up with this behavior with only an eye roll. If you want to show your dog some love, it’s best to pet them on the back or give them a little tummy rub. Be aware of your dog’s body language. If they’re giving you a stink eye, there’s a good chance they hate this human behavior. Besides a stink eye, dogs show their displeasure in other ways, such as:
- Licking their lips
- Looking worried.
- Moving away
- Leaning away
- Not looking at you
- Looking downright uncomfortable
The American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) warns:
“…many dogs don’t like to be hugged. While the person thinks this will be a pleasant event for both, the dog is actually unhappy or stressed about it.”
4 – Dressing your dog in clothes
Dogs hate this human behavior as much as they hate getting hugged. They wish humans knew that wearing clothes is scary and threatening. When you put your pet in a bunny outfit, they feel intimidated. If they could use words, they’d probably cuss at you.
If you must put clothes on your dog, choose a loose sweater for the cold weather or a rain jacket that won’t restrict their movements but keeps them dry on a rainy day. Watch your dog’s body language. If they look afraid or upset, take off their clothing.. they should get wet than cuss you out all day.
5 – Putting your face too close
Dogs put up with a lot from their humans. They know humans are lovely, but act strange sometimes. Getting into your dog’s face is human behavior dogs find threatening. No, they’re not threatened because of your burrito breath from last night’s dinner. Dogs interpret putting your face too close to theirs as aggressive behavior. Even the sweetest dog may back off and growl as a warning. Be gentle with your dog, keep your face away, and show affection by petting or scratching them behind the ears.
6 – Fits of yelling are uniquely human behaviors that your pets don’t understand
No dog wants a yelling human in their life. It scares them. Coming down hard on your dog won’t change their behavior. It confuses them and erodes their trust in you. Use a normal inside voice even if your dog does something wrong. Never hit your dog or threaten them. Dogs are loyal, loving pets. They need your respect even when they’re naughty.
7 – Being too rough
No matter how big or small your dog is, they don’t like aggressive handling. Roughly shoving them or pushing them with your hands is too harsh. Instead, give them gentle but firm instructions. Most dogs are motivated by food, not force, so they use treats. If your dog gator rolls when you clip their nails, find a special treat to convince them it’s not all that bad. Almost all dogs need lots of coaxing with sweet words and treats in these situations, such as:
- Nail clipping or nail grinding
- Vet visits
8 – Too tight a leash
A tight leash is a sign you’re a stressed-out owner. Keeping the leash slack allows your dog to sniff the grass as you walk. They feel relaxed and happy to be outside. Your dog senses your nervousness, and this stresses them out. If your dog could talk, they’d probably tell you to take a yoga class. Try to keep calm control over your dog without a chokehold on them. Use a leash that allows you control with pulling them. Many dog owners use a harness or leader that is a halter around their face. Like a horse’s halter, this gives you control without pulling on their neck. Whatever you use, enjoy a pleasant walk with a slack leash for a relaxed dog.
9 – Being bored
Dogs love to stay active. If your pets do not partake in an activity, they can get bored quickly. And a bored dog is a dog who gets into trouble. They’ll tear up your yard or furniture just for something interesting to do. Of course, some breeds don’t need tons of exercise. Here is a list of dog breeds that require less exercise.
- French bulldogs
- Shih Tzu
These dogs still need to go outside for exercise and bathroom breaks, but you won’t need to throw the frisbee to keep them entertained on Saturday afternoon. All dogs need mental stimulation, so giving your dog some interactive toys to entertain is always a good idea.
10 – Too strong of a scent
Dogs have a good sense of smell. One human behavior that dogs hate is smelly perfume, stinky candles, or strong-smelling lotion. Strong fragrances bother dogs. It irritates their nose and eyes. Of course, never spray your pets with any perfume or spray, even if it’s labeled “all-natural” or “organic.”
11 – Being lonely
Dogs get lonely when they’re left alone too much. If you work long hours or travel a lot, you may consider getting another dog or having a dog sitter stay at your house to watch your dog. How do you know if your dog is lonely? Here are some behaviors that indicate your puppy is feeling lonesome and blue.
- Not eating: If your dog isn’t eating, it’s not good. Dogs are usually hungry. So, take note if you see this behavior.
- Not drinking: Your dog must drink water. Take them to the vet if this goes on more than a day.
- Less playful: If they act tired and don’t get excited about going outside.
- Lethargic: Doesn’t want to come when you call or play with you.
- Clingy: Needs to be beside you all the time. Stand at the door when you leave the house.
- Acting needy: wanting to be petted all the time
- Destructive: If your dog tears up stuff they never did before, they could be lonely.
Seeing your lonely dog can break your heart. If you work full time away from home, spend fun time with your dog, especially on the weekends. Have a neighbor, friend, or a hired dog sitter stop in and walk your dog at least once a day, twice if they seem really out of sorts. If you travel, take your dog with you.
12 – Scary situations
Dogs don’t like being scared. They don’t like it when their humans force them into something they hate. If you put your dog in a fearful situation, they will not like it. They’ll fight you. Whether you’re trying to get your pooch into the bathtub or inside the door of your vet, don’t force your dog. Ease them into the situation. Let them sniff around the vet’s door, give them treats and tell them they’re doing a great job. Keep moving them towards the door slowly and without force. It may take a while, but eventually, with gentle words and lots of treats, your pooch will get inside.