Dogs and humans usually get along great! But sometimes we can do things that our furry friends don't like. When this happens, our dogs can get uncomfortable. And while every dog is different, there are some things that most dogs don't like. Here's our top 7 list of things dogs hate, and what we can do as pet parents to avoid them.
1. Not Respecting Boundaries
Many dogs like a good snuggle. But dogs have boundaries just like we do. And sometimes we ignore those boundaries! This happens a lot with little dogs. Dogs like Chihuahuas, Yorkshire Terriers, and other small breeds are very cute. We love to pick them up and hug them! But they don't always like that. As a result, they often bark, growl, or even snap. It gives them an unfair reputation for being mean. But they aren't trying to be mean. They only want to have their space respected. Instead of picking up your little dog whenever you want, watch their body language. Hold out your arms or pat your lap while seated to ask them if they want to be held.
2. Tight Hugs
Another type of touch that many dogs don't like is being hugged tightly. Unlike humans, dogs don't naturally embrace each other. Tight hugs can make them anxious or uncomfortable. They may see it as a form of dominance or control. Dogs like personal space, and a tight hug may be overwhelming. Opting for gentle, brief embraces allows them to feel secure and respected. It helps you bond without causing unnecessary stress.
3. Loud Noises
Dogs don't like loud noises because their hearing is much more sensitive than ours. When loud sounds occur, like thunder, fireworks, or even a vacuum cleaner, it can be overwhelming for them. The noise is not just irritating; it can be painful and frightening. Dogs rely on their hearing to understand the world around them. Sudden loud noises disrupt their sense of security and can lead to anxiety or stress. Providing a quiet, safe space during noisy times helps dogs feel more comfortable and secure in their environment. Try having somebody else take your dog on a walk when you're vacuuming, or give them a puzzle toy to distract them.
4. Forced Eye Contact
We know, it's hard not to stare into your dog's soulful eyes! But dogs don't usually like that. In dog communication, direct eye contact is often a sign of aggression or challenge. Avoiding long eye contact respects their social cues. It makes them feel more at ease. When it comes to eye contact, it's important to acknowledge their comfort zone. This builds trust and positive interactions.
5. Ignoring Them or Leaving Them Alone
Dogs hate being left alone or ignored because they thrive on social interaction! Dogs are pack animals and they need companionship. Being ignored or left alone makes them feel anxious and stressed. This impacts their emotional health and can lead to unwanted, destructive behaviors. To avoid this, play with your dog! Give them regular interaction, walks, and playtime. Time spent together is important for a secure, happy pup. Are you away for most of the day? Consider hiring a dog walker or getting somebody to come over and play with your pup. That way they won't feel so lonely.
6. Disturbing Them While Eating
Dogs don't like sharing food while eating. Teasing them by taking their food away will upset them, and can lead to bites. Keep your dog happy by letting them eat in peace. Don't disturb them, and never act like you're going to pull their bowl away. Remember, they don't know that you're only playing. When you take your dog's food away while they're eating, they will think you're being aggressive. After all, taking food is one of the ways their wild ancestors show dominance.
7. Strange People, Strange Places
Have you ever had someone new over and your usually sweet dog gets shy or starts growling? Dogs are often friendly with strangers when they meet them outside. But when you bring a stranger home, dogs don't always like that. It feels like an intrusion into their territory. The same is true when you take your dog somewhere new for the first time.
New faces and unfamiliar spots can make them uneasy. Strange places may feel threatening, causing stress. Meeting new folks can be intimidating; they need time to feel safe. To keep your dog comfortable, introduce them gradually. This helps build their trust and confidence.
While some of these things might be habits for us, it's important to be mindful. Our dogs do so much for us, so we should try to be kind to them. Think about how these things affect your dog. Try to do things they like- like playing with them, petting them, and taking them for walks in a safe, comfortable harness. And check out the Joyride Blog to find out more about what dogs love!