When you bring home a puppy, it’s instant love. Over the years, you do your best to give your dog a great life. You puppy proof your home to keep him safe, buy the best dog food, spend quality time playing with your dog, and find ways to keep him busy when you’re away. You might even get a second dog as a playmate.
But without realizing it, you might be doing things that your dog wishes you didn’t. That’s because we humans tend to forget that dogs cannot understand language and signals like us.
In this article, we’ll talk about some behaviors that your dog probably hates. Don’t worry if you’ve been using some of these unwelcome signals or behaviors. The first step in making amends is becoming more aware. Awareness will help you communicate better with your beloved pooch. Luckily, dogs are very forgiving and will reward you with unconditional love.
Here are some of the things your dog probably hates or gets stressed over.
Chewing, barking, digging, sniffing, stealing table scraps… these are all natural behaviors for dogs. Remember, your dog does not know the value of your new rug. So, if she has an accident and urinates on it, there’s no point in losing your cool and yelling. This does not mean your dog can have a free run and create chaos in your home. Training can help minimize many undesirable behaviors.
It’s also worth noting that certain breeds are more prone to certain behaviors depending on the purpose for which their ancestors were bred. For example, Beagles and Yorkshire Terriers tend to bark a lot. Labradors are retrievers and are used to having something in their mouth, so they are prone to chewing things around the home. If there’s some doggy behavior that is absolutely a deal breaker for you, choose the breed carefully.
Even the most intelligent dogs cannot keep up if you send them mixed or inconsistent signals. Dogs thrive on routine and consistency. So, if you allow your puppy to sit on the couch one day and then scold him the next day for the same behavior, it is going to leave him feeling confused. Expert dog trainers advise that you create rules and boundaries and enforce them without exceptions.
Keep in mind that some dog breeds are people pleasers and will obey your commands simply to make you happy. But most dogs obey commands in exchange for a reward. That’s how reward-based training works. You say sit and your dog expects a treat. So, if you want consistent behavior, be sure to practice consistent rewarding.
The same goes for using multiple verbal cues for the same behavior. For example, if you want your dog to stop barking, don’t use various words like “shh,” “stop it,” “shut up,” and “quiet.” Choose one word and use it consistently every time you want your dog to quit barking.
Studies have shown that pointing or shaking a finger at a dog causes a great deal of stress for the pooch. This gesture is usually done in anger or frustration by humans. It is often accompanied by a stern tone or threatening stance. Dogs pick up these signals and it makes them upset and anxious.
What’s more, finger pointing can send confusing signals to your dog. For instance, you might also point a finger to a bowl of food when it’s dinnertime. Or you might point a finger at a ball that you’re playing fetch with your dog. Therefore, when you use a pointed finger to show displeasure or reprimand your dog for disobedience, it can be confusing.
If you choose to use finger pointing as a way to show displeasure, go ahead and do so. But avoid using the same gesture for other messages.
Dogs need regular physical exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy, some breeds more than others. If you don’t take your dog out for playtime or walks and you don’t provide mental stimulation when indoors, you’re going to end up with a bored and dissatisfied dog. This can lead to undesirable behaviors like digging and chewing. You might punish the dog for these behaviors, which can further worsen the problem.
Avoid getting into a vicious cycle of lack of exercise and mental stimulation, bad behavior, reprimands, and more bad behavior. Make sure your dog gets enough physical activity outdoors to burn energy. Buy some interactive toys or play with your dog every day to ensure her mental health. Remember, your dog can’t switch on Netflix or browse the internet to entertain herself.
We hope you found these tips helpful. The goal is to help you understand how some of your language, signals, and behaviors might be misunderstood or confuse your dog. Knowing some of the things that your dog hates or finds stressful is a great way to start course correcting.
If you’re in the market for a new puppy, check out listings of verified breeders on Puppy Hero. We have a zero-tolerance policy toward puppy mills. All our breeders are personally verified, so that you can be sure you’re bringing home a happy, healthy puppy. Click on your state and see all available puppies in your location. Or if you know which breed you want, find breeders for that breed in your area.22 August, 2022