Things your dog hates


Pratishtha Malhotra
Dogs and humans have lived together for more than 20,000 years. Even though their friendship is known to be one of the best in the world, there are times when humans fail at understanding their furry buddies. There are many things that dogs dislike and it is us humans who have to adjust to their choices.
It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it
Dogs do not understand the language we talk in, so we need to have a lot of patience when it comes to talking to them. The accent doesn’t matter, only the tone matters the most. When angry with them, don’t yell, as this causes confusion and agitation. Be stern and firm without raising your voice. And when you want to applaud your little pooch, a light-hearted good boy/girl always works.
Abort the cuddles
Despite popular belief, a lot of dogs do not like being hugged. Imagine some stranger comes and squishes the life out of you? Not a pretty picture right? The same goes for dogs. They do not automatically love each and every human and clearly do not like anyone coming and hugging them. When your pet meets his friends, they don’t hug. So a lot of dogs don’t know how to hug.
Forced behaviour is undesirable and it leads to either a fearful or an aggressive response. Pet your pooch generously but when it comes to hugging them, do it only when they approve of it and don’t just assume. Consent is the key to everything.
Fragile – handle with care
Handling your pets with utmost care is the number one rule of pet parenting. No one really likes to be handled roughly as we all run after a little TLC! Strangers or even familiar people run to touch the dog’s face when they look at these adorable beings. Believe it or not, this causes a lot of stress and even intimi-dates them at times. This can be monitored. Regular grooming by the vet and handling them gently can help the situation, provided you start doing this when they are puppies.
Mumma says, ‘Don’t be talking to strangers’
Imagine, you’re walking on the road and a strange person is staring right in your eyes. Sheer creepiness! Isn’t it? Now think about the pooch in the same situation, all the time. Staring into a dog’s eyes to let them know you’re boss makes them extremely uneasy. Rather than intimidating their existence, you could use sound science which works much better with them. Empathise how dogs see the world and relate to other dogs.
Oh no! Don’t touch my face
Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not like being patted on their head or their face. They get uncomfortable and feel someone is intruding in their personal space. To show your affection, you should pet on their back or rub their rear end by the tail. Try this trick to befriend a lot more fur balls.
Don’t keep your enemies closer
Like humans, even dogs have their favourite friends and enemies and we should respect that. Many times, a lot of pet parents live in denial and force them to play with all the dogs in the park ignoring the fact if their pet actually likes the other dog. Humans push their dog into such social situations and they get awkward. We all know that a happy social behaviour is the key to balanced life. But when you force it upon your pet, it becomes a problematic situation. Understand the difference between encouraging them and forcing them for an interaction, and always respect what your pet decides.
Let me freeee!
We all love taking our pets for a long walks, but this is where we need to pay the most attention. Always make sure that your dog is not on a tight leash. By keeping the leash loose you let your pooch know that everything is fine as they sense all the stress you are going through the tightness of the leash. You keep it loose and they know everything is under control and they shouldn’t worry. You wouldn’t like to be pulled around and your dog feels the same. A dog who walks on a tight leash is more likely to bark or react aggressively even in the mildest of social situations. You need to work on a pleasant walking pattern with your pooch. Always remember, if you’re stressed, they’re stressed.
Say no to costume dressing
There was a time when dogs were just Guard Dogs. But with time, pet parenting has evolved a lot. A lot of pet parents dress up their pets in unbelievable pet outfits. Not talking about the usual light sweater during winters, but various costumes like – superman, hot dog, sailor, etc. You are making your pet so uncomfortable while doing this. Dogs don’t say anything to you when you do this because they love you. This doesn’t mean that they enjoy it.
They tend to get ogled and laughed at by strangers which may make them uncomfortable. A few may like the attention but most do not. When you don’t like strangers laughing at your fashion sense, similarly, dogs get confused and anxious when it happens to them. And do you realise how uncomfortable these outfits are to wear? So costume dressing gets a big NO.