Things humans do that could irritate dogs

August 22, 2019

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There are plenty of things that dogs can do to irritate us, but do we ever stop and consider what we could be doing that irritates them? Now that I've really narrowed in on this topic, a lot of these things, if not all, are things I can say noticeably annoy my dog. 

Hugging

Now this is not to say that there isn't dogs out there that love a good cuddle from their human, because I'm sure there is plenty! But in a general sense, dogs don't normally enjoy this kind of interaction. Dogs naturally have a complete different way of communicating and interpreting. Body language plays a huge role in that process, and being smothered with limbs may come across as an exertion of dominance. Which can especially be uncomfortable for you pooch when it's coming from a stranger. 

Now this may be the case for some dogs, as you'll notice if they become increasingly uncomfortable. So a good rub on the belly, or a nice pat on the back is more than enough affection.

But for others, they may love a nice gentle cuddle from their favourite human. 

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Being left alone

Dogs are social beings, and separation anxiety is a huge health problem. As much as we wish we could, we can't be with our dogs all day everyday. So it's more just being conscious of how long you're leaving your dog alone. Click here to read more about separation anxiety in dogs

Not allowing them to sniff their surroundings

Come on, all walk and no play?! Dogs primarily explore their surroundings through scent. So going for a walk in the big wide world and not getting to sniff all the new smells would be incredibly irritating!

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Staring

This one may be more directed towards dogs you are unfamiliar with. As you can understand, much like humans, staring at one another can make anyone feel uncomfortable. Staring to dogs is a similar experience, except could instinctively be read aggressively. 

Waking them up

I mean who doesn't hate being woken up! Dogs need a lot more sleep than we do, and you may be at risk of startling them if they're in a deep sleep, especially older dogs. So as the saying goes 'best to let sleeping dogs lie'...

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Inconsistency in rules

Although this is a bit of a no brainer, we are all guilty of giving our dog what we think is a treat. Whether it's letting them up on the couch for a cuddle, or sneaking them a little bit of your dinner under the table. It's important to be consistent with the rules for you dog. Now I'm definitely not saying these 'treat' occasions is what could be annoying to your dog. It's if they're getting told off to do the same thing you told them was okay, next time. It could be incredibly confusing for your dog, so a sense of consistency in the rules is crucial. 

Yelling at them

Now this is a big one because there is often a misconception that being as loud as you can is the only way to translate negative behaviour. Your dog may sense your anger but more often or not, will not understand what you're yelling at. Especially if what you're angry about, your dog did hours ago. 

Instead of yelling use an authoritative tone if necessary, by deepening your voice and remaining calm. But remember, positive reinforcement will always be more effective!

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