Dogs do try hard to be our best friends, but boy do we make it hard for them at times, might you be guilty of a few?
In the canine world, starring often translates to a challenge. The next time your dog spots a rabbit or a squirrel just watch their level of fixation, it is not a friendly stare. The last thing you want to do is stare a dog down, plenty of dog owners think if they stare their dog out and the dog looks away it means they think you are top dog, this is wrong!
Though you may think your own dog does not have a problem (even though they do not like it), other dogs will and they will take it as a challenge. If you have visitors, ask them to only look into your dog’s eyes for a few seconds then look away and never look into a dog’s eyes that seem aggressive, worried or edgy!
Whilst it may seem irresistible to wrap our arms around our dogs, they hate it! Humans use hugs as a part of our emotions, it expresses love, joy, compassion, support and more. Dogs do not have arms, in-fact, when a dog puts their paws on another dog it is considered an attempt to dominate or control the other canine. A dog will not understand your intentions since they are hardwired to view the act of hugging as exerting your dominance over them.
Your own dog may tolerate it, which 99% of the time they do just for you, but take it from me, they hate it. They may not view the same act from strangers or children, this is one of the main reasons dogs bite smaller children.
- Petting On The Face Or Head
Would you enjoy someone’s petting you on the head? No! Having someone reach out and pet us on the head would be annoying and painful to watch, we also hate the touch of strangers hands on our faces or even reaching towards our face. Most humans think dogs like this, the reality is that many dogs do not enjoy it at all.
The next time you go to pet your dog on the head watch how they slightly lean away or even pull their heads right back, this is because they do not like it, many will actually put their paw onto our hand to “stop” it but we interpret this as them actually wanting more! Oh how wrong we are… this is one of the reasons children are taught to pat the dog on the rear or the back, dogs have personal space to you know.
- Rules & Structure
Dogs want, need and absolutely love rules. Humans can all agree that having rules in life makes life very boring, but for your dog this is very different. Your pooch really wants to know what is what in the world and especially wants to know their owners. Think of children, they love constant attention and thrive when they have a consistent set of rules to follow, yet they fare less in environments where it is a free-for-all, the same is true in dogs.
Think of those polite, well-balanced kids you know and then think of the spoilt ones that run amok, lack social skills and throw temper tantrums when things are not going their way. Which set of kids are the ones with consistent enforced rules? And which set of kids tend to be the most happiest? Dogs are pretty much the same. Rules are in place to make life less stressful for the dog, more predictable, less confusing which equals a happy pooch.
Speaking of consistency, let’s look at it like this. Dogs do not understand they can jump on you when you have your old clothes on but cannot when you have work clothes on. They do not understand they can go on the couch after a bath but can’t when they come in from a walk all muddy. Like I said, set the boundaries and keep to them, don’t confuse your dog.
- Going For Walks Without Exploring
There is walking and then there is walking your dog! Though dogs do have eyes, their noses are there eyes. Dogs place much more importance in their nose as us humans do when interpreting the world through our eyes. Whilst we appreciate a nice sunset, dogs absolutely love a good tree trunk or a bush. They hate not being able to take in the world in their own way, even if it is only for 30 minutes a day. We are all guilty of taking our dogs on walks for the sole purpose of exercise and for potty breaks, we use the same routes without any variations and in way too much of a hurry to get home.
Do your pooch a favour, dedicate 10-15 minutes of your time per day and take him/her on a nice “smell walk” – go slow and let your dog take in the surrounding and let them smell, it does not matter if they are there for a while smelling the same thing it means they like it. Try going somewhere new where they have never been, if you can find somewhere where there will be no other dogs this would be perfect as you can teach your dog what a leisure walk is compared to a normal walk, this also means they will know when to be obedient and stick beside you compared to when they can walk off a little and explore.
- New Leash On Life – A fantastic prison scheme running to save the lives of at-risk shelter dogs by training prison inmates to care for, and socialize them to enhance their adoptability.
- Dog Bite Statistics – The statistics in the USA & Canada for dog bites between 1982-2014.
- Animal Welfare Act – The current animal welfare act, law, rules and regulations.
Author Byline: Vom Issam Haus, wrote this article to outline and make people aware of what dogs think of our own behaviors. Vom Issam Haus was an ex-Police Officer protecting Canadian communities for ten years, he now not only trains german shepherd puppies, he also breeds them. He is also a registered CKC (Canadian Kennel Club) member.