Dogs are family. They’re our loyal companions, our faithful sidekicks, our devoted therapists,
our very best friends. But, sometimes we show our love for them in ways that might actually
be making our furriest family members uncomfortable, confused or downright annoyed.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, but to maintain the very best relationship
with your dog, it’s best to avoid doing these 5 things humans do that might actually be really
annoying to dogs.
While a lot of dogs tolerate being hugged and some have been taught to hug back, the act of wrapping your arms around someone you love and squeezing them tight is a very foreign concept to dogs. In dog language and outside of a mutually beneficial play session, placing a paw on or pressing the body against the back of another dog can be regarded as a threat
While your dog may seem to love your cuddles, he may not respond so well to the advances of others offering the same embrace. Likewise, although you may be used to hugging your own dog, it is best not to assume that every other dog feels the same, even if their human owner encourages it. The human owner may not be reading their own dog correctly and put both you and their dog in a difficult situation. Best only to hug dogs that you know very well and that know you.
Instead of using hugs to show your affection, dogs enjoy a chest or back scratch. an ear massage or will readily give you a paw. Other dogs will prefer games such as fetch or tug which is a really excellent way to get to know any dog. A tasty treat can also start a good friendship but if it is not your dog and you have not met the dog before, check with the owner before offering food to an unknown dog.
As humans, it's in our nature to communicate through speech, so it is only natural that we communicate with our dogs in this way. The problem is dogs don't speak our language. We can teach dogs to recognise some of our words when we train them commands such as Sit, Stay, Come, Heel, etc. There is a language they understand much more and that is body language. This is how they understand other dogs and out of necessity as puppies, they learn this language very fast.
A dog's innate ability to understand body language is part of what makes them such amazing companions. They know if we are happy, under stress, afraid, sad, angry without us saying a word. Because dogs communicate with one another through their body language, it makes sense that the most effective way to communicate with dogs is the same. Instead of training your dog using voice commands alone, add hand signals and facial expressions. You will find that your dog responds much quicker and learns faster when you include body language into training.
Our dogs do a great job learning our body language. so it is important to learn theirs too. Have a think about your dog. What does her tail do when she is happy ? What does it do when she is nervous ? What can she tell you from the placement of her ears and feet and do her eyes change when she is happy, sad or nervous ? Some of the movements are very subtle so spend some time studying your dog and get to communicate better.
It's easy, after a long working day, to find our dog's daily walk a chore. When in this frame of mind, owners can find it annoying when, instead of walking, their dogs just want to stop and sniff everything. Owners of Springer Spaniels, Beagles, Jack Russell Terriers, amongst a few, will know what I mean. You must keep in mind that your dog has been indoors, waiting patiently for you to come home and present him with this moment which is likely to be the highlight of the day !!
Dogs see the world through their noses and some more than others. Sniffing is an exciting, interesting and important source of mental stimulation. It is also an innate need for many breeds and to deny a dog this natural outlet to explore could be considered cruel. If you have a very sniffy breed a slightly longer lead that allows your dog to get his head down without the annoying pull would be helpful. You can also train your dog to do a high-quality heel walk to the park where the reward for good lead walking is a whole lot of off-lead sniffing. You can train a "Go Sniff" command for coming way from a smell with the reward being allowed to return to sniff but you are in control of the sniffing time.
There are many ways around this issue and it is important to find the correct balance that suits you and your dog.
Perhaps one of the most annoying things we do to our dogs. Unlike human children, dogs like jobs. This doesn't mean putting your dog to work in a human sense. In your mind, substitute the word "job" with "game" or "activity" and what is does mean is giving him something to do that expends energy, provides mental stimulation and offers the opportunity to problem-solve. Whatever the job it will be breed dependent so make sure you do your homework on what your dog :
What can you make your dog WORK for ? It could as simple a sit for dinner or a treat. It could be working out how to get the peanut butter out of a kong or the tasty snacks from a treat ball. It could be learning tricks or going to an agility class. Anything that gets your dog moving, thinking and working can be considered a job and dogs love to work !
When your dog gets it right, he deserves an appropriate and timely reward. Timely rewards teach our dogs that they have offered the behaviour that you want. Too often we ignore good behaviour and pay more attention to our dogs when something goes wrong. Ignoring the good behaviour and focusing on the bad does nothing to help your dog to understand what is expected of him but reinforces the bad behaviour. Attention is attention and your dog really differentiates between good attention and bad unless you TEACH the difference, Often, our expectations are too high and we feel our dogs are failing us or ignoring us. You feel frustration and failure too. Just take a step back to the last point where both of you succeeded and move at a slower pace always ending on a positive note. This way expectations will be met on both sides.
Payment for dogs comes in 5 basic forms. In order of greatest value to most dogs (with some exceptions) they are:
Choose the payment that suits the difficulty of the job and always offer the lowest value reward that you think your dog will work for. Up the game for a more difficult job. If you offer a teenager £20 to clean their room instead of £5, you have set the bar too high for easy negotiation. For example, learning to sit should be rewarded by a smile and verbal praise FIRST before offering a treat whereas Recall should be rewarded with a high quality food treat or high value toy/game neatly packaged with your smile and verbal reward as Recall is harder to learn.
This is what makes a well-rounded, happy, bomb proof, well-behaved dog.
I can only accept dogs for walking that have had a Kennel Cough Vaccination.
I can provide dog treats that are gluten free for dogs with sensitive tummies.
I accept entire male dogs, bitches in season on group walks (subject to assessment)
My poo bags are biodegradeable.
All dogs, by law, should wear a collar and a tag bearing the name and address of its owner.
To Be Sure Your Dog Has Great Craic