The Mother Nature Network recently published a list of the top 11 things humans do that dogs hate.
Here's their list:
1. Using words more than body language: we're a vocal species, so we're inclined to use verbal commands. But dogs pay a lot more attention to our body language. Try not using any verbal commands for a whole day with your dog, and just rely on body language.
2. Hugging them: some dogs seem this as an act of dominance. Not all dogs do... some love a good cuddle! But you have to watch their body language.
3. Patting them on the head: some dogs love a good head scratch from those they love and trust. But when meeting a new dog, that can be considered personal space, and patting their head can feel like an intrusion.
4. Direct eye contact with a dog you don't know: would you make direct eye contact with a stranger while talking toward them? No, because it would make them uncomfortable. So you shouldn't do it with a dog.
5. Not providing structure and rules: just like children, dogs thrive in environments with clear rules and standards.
6. Forcing your dog to interact with people/other dogs that they don't like: when dogs are forced into uncomfortable social situations, they can lash out and bite. Read your dog's body language to see if they're comfortable.
7. Going for walks without opportunity to smell or explore: for a dog, smell is their most valuable sense. They see the world through their noses. A walk without time to stop and smell is like walking around blind for them.
8. Too tight leash: teaching your dog to walk with a slack leash shows them that you're calm and in control, and helps them stay calm too. And comfortable.
9. Being tense: dogs can sense your tension and moods, and can start to copy them. And no one likes to be in a bad mood!
10. Being boring: remember, as a kid, how boring it was when your parents just ran grown-up errands every weekend? They never seemed to have time for fun... Make time for fun with your dog!
11. Teasing: this should be obvious, but since dogs really hate being teased, it's worth repeating. Don't ever pull your dog's tail, or bark at a strange dog, or anything that could be perceived by the dog as teasing. It's cruel.
[thumbnail photo credit to Getty Images]