There are many things that humans and dog owners do that annoy their dog. Below are just 10 ways that we won’t have thought of that can cause them huge irritation and undue stress.
Cuddling Them Too Tightly
Perhaps one of the most annoying things that humans regularly do to dogs is to hug or cuddle them. As a species, they are not that at ease with having their personal space invaded which is definitely what hugging them does. As a tolerant and people pleasing animal, they will allow it, but it can actually cause them undue stress owing to the freedom it inhibits them from having. By hugging them, you are stopping them from looking out for danger and stop their ability to run from it as well. Additionally, while you are well-meaning, wrapping your arms around them is, to them, a sign of dominance which they will not enjoy. Some dogs may even take it as a threat.
Getting Too Close To Their Face
It can be so tempting to kiss our dogs and get down to their level to talk to them. However, some dogs can find having a human’s face in theirs, incredibly annoying as well as stressful. This is the same if an owner or friend puts their hands near their faces – to a dog, it impedes their ability to see and hears danger. It is also incredibly intimidating for them as we will always be coming down to them from a level that is so much higher than their faces. That being said, it is good to get your dog used to have his or her face handled so that you can regularly brush their teeth or check their ears for wax. It’s a gentle balance to find, but with enough care and patience, it can be achieved.
Not Allowing Them Freedom On A Walk
For a dog, not being able to sniff all the interesting odors and fragrances that they can smell when out on a walk is one of the most frustrating things that can happen to them. They spend the majority of their time indoors in the same rooms and so being outside is a great freedom and enjoyment for them. When a dog’s owner is constantly pulling them along stopping them from smelling what they want to, it is annoying to them to say the very least. Owners can stop doing this by setting aside enough time for a walk that allows their dog a quality outing that enables them to sniff and smell to their heart’s desire.
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Not Having Any Routine
This is quite easy to forget, given our busy lives, but dogs prefer to have routine over no routine at all. This also lends itself to general boundaries and rules within the home. They find it much less stressful and will be better behaved as a consequence. This is particularly true of when you feed them every day. By giving them their kibble at regular times of the day, any anxiety that they suffer from will be minimized. It also means they are less likely to whine, which is additionally the case for walking them at similar times every day. They will know when they are usually taken out and will expect to go out at that time. This expectation means that they are less likely to act out or annoy their owner until their owner gives in and takes them outside.
Being Told Off
In the past, dogs were trained through trial and error – when they made an error they would then be reprimanded in a variety of ways. Either by being shouted out or, in some cases, hit. It should come as no surprise that dogs found this not only annoying but incredibly upsetting. As a breed that lives to please their owners, they would find being told off very stressful. Nowadays, dog trainers advocate using positive reinforcement as the way to train dog tricks and enforce good behavior. Anything else means that their actions are led simply by fear of their owner, which is not the relationship that any owner wants to build with their dog. When using positive reinforcement, dogs and their owners will have a much strong bond built on love and trust.
Putting Them In Fancy Dress
Owners are far too often guilty of this well meaning annoyance to dogs. However cute and funny our pooches may look when dressed up as Rudolph or as a Pumpkin at Halloween, we should be aware of just how annoying they can find it. In fact, it has been known for dogs in fancy dress to suffer from stress and anxiety whilst dressed up. This is because it is often not only uncomfortable for them but also it can impede their ability to walk, hear or even go to the bathroom in some outfits. As they are so well meaning towards their owners, dogs will often tolerate being dressed up, but that is as far as their enjoyment of the episode will go. Given the stress it can cause, this is an easy annoyance we can give up for our dogs’ wellbeing.
We often forget that dogs have a much much stronger sense of smell that we do. As such, smells like cologne and perfume can literally get up their noses and irritate them. The same can be the case with strong chemical smells in cleaning products. This can manifest itself in some negative behaviour on their part, so be aware that it could be smells that cause them to act out. If possible, try to ventilate your house as well as possible when you are cleaning it, or try to ensure that your dog is not with you when you are spraying a fragrance on yourself. As a general rule, endeavor to use products around the house that are not toxic to dogs either.
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Being Left Alone In The House For Too Long
Most of us are aware that our dogs don’t like it when we leave them in the house on their own. They are incredibly social creatures and are devoted animals, especially to their owners. Even a very relaxed dog can suffer from separation anxiety. Good ways to circumvent this anxiety is to build up a routine with them so that they have a vague idea of how long you will be gone for so they do not get the fear that when you go out, you will never come back. Other ways to ease any anxiety they have, is to leave them with plenty of mentally and physically stimulating toys to play with when you leave. That way they will start to associate you leaving the house with good situations too – like getting their favorite squeak toy to play with or to chew on a delicious piece of rawhide.
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Taking Them Places They Don’t Like
Even the most chilled out of dogs can find new situations a little stressful. Dogs that are timid and suffer a little from anxiety can be caused unnecessary stress therefore if we take them to places we know they don’t like. This is made even worse if we do so repeatedly. Common examples of places and situations that dogs will not like are being taken to the groomers, or simply into your bathroom for a bath, or the vets. While it can be annoying to us as owners as our usually well-behaved dog is suddenly acting out, it is important to put ourselves in their shoes and realize that they cannot reason stressful situations out. If you do have to take your dog back to places they don’t enjoy, like the vets, for example, remember to try to use some positive reinforcement training and try to ease them into a situation too – don’t just throw them in at the deep end.
Being Too Stressed To Go Out
One of the reasons that dogs are so commonly prescribed by doctors to help ease depression in humans is that they force their owners to be responsible and take their dogs out for walks. This level of routine as well as having to care for another being that returns the favour with unconditional love is known to be helpful to those suffering from depression. However, sometimes even owners not suffering from depression are prone to high levels of stress. This stress means that we are likely to forego our daily walks with our dogs when really they are very thing that we should keep doing to help relieve our stress. Plus, not going out for a walk is really annoying to our pets and manifests itself in excitable behavior in the house that is likely to stress you out even more.