Bringing a dog into your life is not unlike bringing a new member into your family. Dogs enjoy intimate relationships with their owners, and after some time a deep bond of trust and understanding can form between them. However, some owners may yet wonder what is really going on in their dog’s mind at certain times. It may be surprising to discover that sometimes the behavior and actions of a dog owner and other humans can be very confusing and even upsetting to a dog.
Human Behaviors That Dogs Don’t Like
There are certain human behaviors that are quite clearly disliked by some dogs – for example, loud noises and sudden movements. However, there may be other, seemingly innocent human behaviors that confuse or upset dogs without their owner’s knowledge. Following are five specific human behaviors that most dogs don’t like:
Obviously, dogs do not speak the same language as their human owners, and therefore speaking to them excessively can translate to just a lot of noise. Many dog owners believe that their dogs are able to understand human speech after some time, but the absolute truth is that their dog is responding more to the body language they can see than to the words themselves. It’s true that some dogs may learn to recognize certain words that are repeated time and again, but their response to these words is normally based more on the body language they are seeing than on the actual sounds they are hearing.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with loving your dog. However, truly loving your dog means understanding them, and understanding that they are a pack animal that has very specific needs as regards their exercise and discipline. A dog that is entirely spoiled rotten with affection all the time but never gets to run, play and learn discipline may not be as entirely happy as a dog that is given the right balance of exercise, discipline and love.
Dogs were not bred to be layabouts – they were bred to work. Some were bred for hunting, others for tracking, but every dog has instinctual needs to perform some type of work. Dogs that are bored will often turn to aggression or destructive behavior out of pure frustration. It is important to find out what excites your dog, and give him a job to do. This can be as simple as giving him a scent to track in the backyard, or placing a pack on his back when you go on walks. Whatever job you give him, he will be much happier for it.
Dogs are pack animals, and as such they rely on a pack leader in order to survive well. In human-dog relationships, the pack leader is the human owner, or should be. However, if a human comes home and jumps right into play mode with an excited, jumpy dog, and then desires to simply “quit” the play at some time later, the dog can become confused. During the play, the human may not have exerted his leadership, but rather may have fallen completely into play mode. To then attempt to suddenly switch out of this mode can confuse the dog and make him wonder when and if he should follow that human’s directions.
Dogs read the emotions of humans around them, and will often respond to difficult emotions by duplicating them perfectly. What this means for an individual who becomes tense and nervous is that their dog may suddenly and inexplicably become tense and nervous too, perhaps even becoming aggressive toward other animals and people. It is therefore important for dog owners, and even other individuals who are around dogs, to remain calm and assertive.
- Trying to use words to communicate
- Treating a dog like a child
- Failing to give a dog a job to do
- Being just a playmate, instead of a pack leader
- Behaving tensely and nervously around the dog
Dogs can actually be quite simple to keep happy, if one is willing to truly listen to them and provide them with all of their basic needs. Understanding what they like, and what human behaviors bother them, is an important first step to a healthy, happy relationship with your canine companion.