We love our dogs, so it only makes sense that we want them to love us back. And while surely your dog thinks you are the bee’s knees, there are plenty of human behaviors that may irk or confuse him. Erin Askeland, a Training and Behavior Expert at Camp Bow Wow, shared with us these five particular human peculiarities that may be causing your pet more stress than happiness.
While we may think it’s sweet and comforting, dogs often feel trapped and scared during hugs, particularly when humans pull them into their faces.
Who likes being jolted out of sleep? As dogs age, they can sleep more heavily, and can be startled and react poorly if woken up abruptly.
Dogs appreciate routine, and it’s difficult for them to have abrupt schedule changes (for example, the differences between a weekday and weekend schedule). Change can cause stress, which can lead to behavior problems like chewing, barking, digging, and other destructive behaviors. To prevent some of these challenges, try to keep your dog’s schedule consistent: Wake up at the same time to take them out, feed them at the same times with the same diet, and keep their exercise routine consistent. Routine helps humans out, too!
Often, humans don’t realize they are giving dogs mixed and confusing signals about appropriate behavior. If you don’t want your dog to jump on you, then you should never pet them when they do so. Humans forget this, and greet their dogs when they jump during certain instances (such as coming home from work), but reprimand them during other instances.
It can be scary to a dog to have strangers enter their household (their safe zone), so introductions should be done outside the house in neutral territory. Slow, calm introductions will help facilitate positive meet and greets! Follow the dog’s comfort level and don’t force any interactions.
You’d probably never purposely annoy your dog, but being aware of the nuances that may cause him distress can go a long way towards curbing bad behavior and maintaining a harmonious human/canine relationship.