I am going to take a break from writing about separation anxiety in dogs and tell you about three things that most dogs HATE about humans! There are so many things that you guys do to us dogs that are so RUDE and I bet you don’t even realize it!
1. Hugs may make you feel good but boy are they RUDE in dog language!
Ok, I know you guys are primates and all but we are NOT. In fact you will probably notice that most dogs (especially fearful and anxious ones) will lean away from you or look away when you attempt go give them hugs. If your dog lets you give im or her hugs then count yourself lucky but chances are that they are only letting you do this because you feed them and give them a home… inside they are so annoyed that they are thinking about how they can annoy you just as much as you are annoying them. Maybe putting your shoes into the toilet or humping the leg of the next visitor that comes to your house?
Be conscious of how your dog reacts to your “affection”. Yes we like to be pet but we’d prefer that you pet us under our chin or on the shoulder that is next to you rather than having you reach over top of our heads.
2. Staring a dog in the eyes or bending over top of a dog are not friendly gestures!
Every time a new person meets a dog they always bend over top of us and look us straight into our eyes. This is by far the most confrontational and rude behavior! For a dog that is the equivalent of another human coming right up to you and trying to push you around to start a fight! It’s one thing to let our owners hug us and be rude but now we are expected to let total strangers stare us down and challenge us without even barking or growling? That’s not very nice!
Dogs prefer to be approached from the side and if you want to pet us then crouch down and don’t look us directly in the face! If you meet a fearful dog you might even have to put your back to him or her and let her come up to you while totally avoiding eye contact!
3. Every time we find a delicious scent to roll around in you give us a bath!
What the heck?! We finally find something to make us smell fabulous and roll around it it so we can smell GREAT for days to come and that very same day you ALWAYS decide to give us a bath in the stinkiest smelling soap you can find?! It’s bad enough that we have to live around you humans that wear that stinky stuff every day but do you REALLY have to bathe us in it too?
I hope you humans find this educational and informative! Maybe your dogs will write me letters thanking me for informing their owners of how they really feel about those hugs!
Manchego the Anxious Dog
OMG! It’s a miracle any dog lets me even approach them!
I remember someone once told me that they were stuck in a room with a really mean dog and she was told to “always look a dog in the eye to show dominance”. She stared the dog down until someone came home because she honestly thought if she took her eyes off him he would bite her! Now I know she was probably just annoying him more and more. I use to practice the “look the dog in the eye” but I definitely won’t now.
Great post…it’s amazing how unaware we are of these things! Isn’t it true that you are supposed to let a new dog sniff your hand when you first meet? I was always told that and I practice it frequently! Dogs seem to appreciate it…I don’t go right up to them and pet them until I let them sniff me out!
Yep, sniffing is a great thing! I usually crouch down (as long as I know it’s safe) and put my back or side to the dog and let them approach me and sniff… then let them tell you if they want to be pet!
Paul Rally says
I was looking for this kind of review for about 1 hour.. i’m glad i found it. Great piece of work, continue it. Best Regards.
Peter Dobias says
I absolutely love your posts. They are fun and so true. While dogs are amazing, they have very different set of rules than humans do and then we are surprised that they react.
IT is so important to teach people true “Canine”
Dr. Peter Dobias
My name is dolly and I am a 14 month beautiful Great Dane. My owners love me and take me to the dog park 4 times a week and they walk me on the days we don’t go to the dog park. I even have a wonderful German Shepherd that I grew up with to play with. But when my owners go to work (3 days a week) I chew things up. Big expensive things. I know I am loved and exercised a lot but those 3 days when they are gone I just can’t help myself. My owners try giant bones to keep me busy and toys a plenty but I really like spa covers (2) and digging, trees, sprinkles and anything I can get my mouth around. I know I am costing my owners a lot of money and they are getting frustrated with me. They never spank me they just tell me I have been a bad girl. I love my home and owners so how can they help me stop chewing? Is it ok for me to have some medication on those darn work days? And how long will it keep me calm? Thank you for caring about me to answer my questions. We are really a great family and do lots of things together. My mom tells me I am the prettiest and sweetest dog ever except for that one thing. Oh and will this stop as I get older? Thank you again, Dolly
Hi Dr. Dobias,
I feel that there would be a whole lot less dog bite incidents if more people understood dog language! I just want to do my part to help educate the public on behalf of our four-legged friends!
I also find an alarming amount of people that do not realize that onions are poisonous to dogs!
I love your work, keep spreading the knowledge!
I also have destroyed things and gotten into dangerous stuff when my owners left me at home! Don’t worry, you can get better! It sounds like you are chewing things up outside… do your owners leave you outside when they go to work? I think that would make me even more scared than if they left me inside. (I don’t really get too scared any more). My owners stuff Kong’s full of yummy things and then they freeze them so it takes me a really long time to eat the insides out. They also play some calming music and put other food toys around to keep me busy. I am VERY food motivated! When I used to have really bad Separation Anxiety my owners would always give me Rescue Remedy and spray Dog Appeasing Pheromone around the area where I was going to be hanging out while they were gone. One of our other friends who reads our blog also had success with a lavender spray to help stay calm. If you fill out my contact form my owner will email you about links to the products if you are interested! They are also in some of my blog posts and on the ‘Dog Separation Anxiety Tools’ page!
I also think that you are young so hopefully with age you will learn to relax. My owner says to tell your mom that she should put you in a contained safe place like an exercise pen with a bed and some water to keep you away from things that you can destroy! This will help to keep you from getting in trouble and help you feel safe!
Remember to email us if you have more questions and we hope you feel better soon!