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7 things your dog hates

From a dog’s point of view, humans can be confusing. Convinced that our dogs appreciate the same loving gestures that we do, we kiss them, hug them, buy (and have them wear) little hats and dresses. It’s not too far-fetched to say that if given a choice, they would pass many of these things on.

Things you do that your dog hates

Here are some things on most dogs’ “no thanks” lists – things they wish we wouldn’t.

1. Pat them on the head.

It’s a gesture designed to convey affection, and many people love to do it. But they don’t like patting our dogs on the head. Most of them don’t like it and will move away to avoid it. They usually enjoy having their heads – including their ears and the sides of their face – gently caressed, which is more likely to make them happy, keep them close, and make them lean in for more.

2. Hug her.

Anytime a dog trainer or dog behaviorist mentions that dogs in general don’t like to be hugged, the pushback is incredible. Everyone is sure that their dog loves to be hugged, even if most dogs don’t, and they suspect that most dogs actually love it. Primates (the order we belong to) are hugs, but canids, including dogs, do not naturally behave that way. While I sometimes feel like a wicked witch when I point this out to people, observation suggests that it is true. Dogs that are hugged often show signs of stress, including tongue movements, a tightly closed mouth, pulled back ears, stiff facial muscles, and / or a frown. Putting your arms around your dog’s neck and shoulders may make you feel like love, but not so much for dogs.

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3. Hoard the ball during a game of fetch.

Many of us tend to pick up and hold the ball while praising or petting our dog. We think we’re playing fetch, but our dogs think we’re hoarding the ball. They want it back, and they want it back now. Many dogs lose interest in fetching or fail to learn how fun it can be because humans tend to hold onto the ball instead of throwing it right away. They want us to throw the ball as soon as they drop it anywhere near us. That sounds easy, but it can be a struggle for many people.

4. Kiss her.

Humans express love and affection with kisses, but kisses have no special meaning to dogs. It’s not a natural part of their repertoire. Dogs lick each other and also lick people, and although we often call these “dog kisses,” they are different from human kisses. Putting your face right next to a dog’s face can be perceived by the dog as threatening behavior. Some dogs find it scary; others find it just annoying. It is common for dogs that are kissed to try to get away. hold back their ears; or showing signs of discomfort, such as: B. tongue flicking, yawning, lowering the tail or displaying facial and body tension. Some dogs will frown or even scurry away after being released – another sign that no matter how much they love you, they don’t love to be kissed.

5. Keep one of your paws, especially a hind paw, standing.

Dogs that have been consistently aggravated by shaking or high five may feel good when you touch or hold their paws. However, this usually only applies to brief contact while sitting. I’m talking about grabbing a dog’s paw while standing and then holding it for a while. For most dogs, this cannot go well. It can make them feel unstable, and that’s not fun, or they can associate it with cutting nails (not fun either) or wiping their muddy paws (not terrible, but not a favorite either). Holding a dog’s hind paw is often particularly poorly received. Most behaviorists agree that male dogs are generally more likely to make exceptions to holding a paw than female dogs.

6. Use citrus-scented products.

Most dogs don’t like the smell of oranges, lemons, tangerines, and grapefruit. That’s why these fragrances are used in products designed to keep dogs from chewing on things that we’d rather leave alone. Because the smell repulses dogs, products with the smell should be avoided, including lotion, shampoo, air freshener, or candles. However, a small percentage of dogs are not averse to these smells. Find out if your dog belongs to this group by peeling a juicy orange so your hands are covered in a sticky mess, then offering your hands to your dog. When she turns or pulls away, she (like most dogs) doesn’t care about the smell of citrus fruits. If she licks your fingers, another story.

7. Put them on.

The joy people take in dressing up their dogs is often in direct conflict with dogs’ aversion to the experience. Yes, dogs look adorable in almost any outfit under the sun, but very few dogs enjoy being tucked into clothes and costumes. Many dogs tense up and display facial expressions and body language that clearly indicate their discomfort. Wearing clothing, especially awkward and restrictive costumes, is a misery for many dogs. Through a careful conditioning process, dogs can be taught to adopt costumes or other clothing, and we can make it easier for them by choosing the least restrictive and lightest options, but almost all dogs would choose to avoid this altogether. Lots of people (including me!) Can love the looks of dogs dressed to the nines, but most of the time it’s better not to treat dogs like dolls.

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