21 Things Your Dog Hates When You Do

Let’s face it: dogs are pretty much perfect. Okay, that’s a bit exaggerated. Our dogs are perfect in our eyes. No matter how many socks they rip, trash cans they get in to, or messes they make in the house, we continue to love them no matter what. However, just like humans, there are some things your dog dislikes. No, I’m not talking about treat preferences or dog beds! Have you ever noticed the uncomfortable looks they give when you hug them? The sad eyes when you pull them on a tight leash?

Dogs have certain things that make them uncomfortable, just like their owners. But sometimes, these actions have negative effects on your pup that can affect their behavior and overall demeanor while they’re around you. Every dog is different, but it’s always important to pay attention to your pet to make sure they’re never put in a situation that may cause them distress.

Here are 21 things your dog may dislike:

1. Hugging

While hugging is a way for humans to bond, dogs are strongly averse to having arms conceal their bodies. Why? Have you ever been in a very, very crowded room? Did you ever feel claustrophobic? That’s what hugging feels like to dogs. Not only do they feel trapped, but your hugging them may also come off as a sign of dominance. Now, every dog is different. Overly affectionate dogs may love hugs, some may tolerate it out of their love for you (it still means they may not like it), and others may become violent. If you attempt to hug your dog and notice that their ears are pinned back, their posture is stiff, or their expression is tense, refrain from hugs. Tip: make sure visitors or strangers know this as well. It’s better to be safe and to respect your dog’s boundaries.

2. Yelling

When did yelling ever solve anything? I’m sure you’ve never appreciated it when someone yelled at you—it’s the same with your pet. Yelling at them will make them anxious and scared (or they may not pay attention at all), and they most likely won’t even understand what you’re yelling about! Try positive reinforcement instead when they do something right as opposed to raising your voice when they do something wrong.

things your dog hates3. Wordy Commands

Although dogs can be very smart, they aren’t scholars. By all means, talk to your dog! They may not understand what you’re saying, but it definitely helps you two bond. However, when it comes to commands, it’s best to make it short and simple. Use key words such as “sit”, “walk”, “good”, “toy”, etc., tone, and positive body language. You’ll have a better chance of getting your message across!

4. Lack of Structure

While we humans crave spontaneity from the regular routine of everyday life, our dogs couldn’t love it more! Routine is a comfort for them, so try to make sure that you feed them, take them out, and walk them around the same time every day. Additionally, the exercise and regular schedule keeps them from acting out!

5. Face Petting

Just like hugging, every dog will have a different reaction to your hands on their face. While some love the touch, others may only tolerate it. It also goes without saying that if you do pet your dog’s face, make sure to be gentle. But, to be safe, stay in safe zones such as the neck, shoulders, or chest (especially with new dogs)!

6. Eye Contact

We love to look at our dogs, especially in the eyes, to convey our love for them. However, it’s best to avoid this with dogs you don’t know. Direct eye contact can be interpreted as a challenge or even a threat!

things your dog hates7. Stopping the Sniff Fest

If you’ve ever taken your dog on a walk, you know how much your dog likes to sniff! It may be annoying to you, but for them, it’s a chance to see who’s been around their neighborhood. Don’t pull them away or berate them for sniffing. This is their version of social media. Imagine if you were on your phone and someone took it from you. That’s what it feels like to dogs when you pull them away from their sniffing spots!

8. Making Them Play Dress Up

It may be cute to dress your dog up in different outfits or old clothes you’ve had for years, but most dogs tolerate it and don’t really enjoy it. There may be exceptions, such as dog-specific jackets or coats during the winter to keep them warm. Nevertheless, silly costumes that you dress them up in for fun and giggles is not okay. While they’re being laughed at and seen by you and other humans, they may feel confused or anxious at the attention and reactions. Again, every dog is different, so they may love the attention. But pay attention to their expression and moods to make sure they aren’t uncomfortable.

9. Scary Situations

There are going to be things that your dog won’t like such as vacuums, the vet, or other specific things (for example, my dog hates when my brother plays his trumpet)! While some things can be counterproductive, there are ways that you can positively introduce your pup to these new and exciting stimuli. The best option is to do it gradually over time, at a distance. You can reward them for being calm and then slowly keep moving them towards the object or person until they become comfortable with it.

10. Strong Smells

Did you know that dogs have extremely sensitive noses? I mean, 10,000-100,000 times more sensitive than ours. That means extremely potent perfumes, cleaners, and products may have negative effects on your pooch’s nose. Try to keep these high-smelling items out of sniffing reach for your dog; they’ll thank you!

things your dog hates11. Alone Time

There comes a time when we have to go to work, go on a trip, or leave the house for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, we can’t always take our dogs with us. Our dogs live for us and want to spend time with us as much as possible. While there may be times you can’t control your schedule, try to find time to spend with your pup. If it’s extended time, maybe hire a sitter or take them to a dog daycare. That being said, nothing compares to spending time with their actual owner!

12. Bad Moods

Our dogs are highly empathetic, so whenever we’re stressed, sad, or upset our dog knows! However, if you remain in a bad mood for an extended period of time, it can also negatively affect your dog’s mood and may even cause them to become physically ill.

13. Forcing Interaction

If there are certain dogs or people you know your dog dislikes, do not try to force them to interact with one another. If your dog has already made it clear that he or she is uncomfortable or upset, take note of it and remove them from the situation. Sometimes it’s hard to pick up cues that your dog is upset, but look for obvious signs such as growling, ignoring, and avoidance. If you neglect these signs, it may lead to something much worse than growling. Also, your dog’s trust in you will fall a bit since they rely on you to help them out of uncomfortable situations!

things your dog hates14. Tight Leashes

When we put our dog on a leash, they tend to have a higher sensitivity to our emotions and worries! Keeping a tight lease conveys stress, frustration, and undiscernible excitement. There may be times when you want to keep them on a tight leash, but it’s better to try to keep it slack. Teaching them how to walk properly is key, and can save you both the hassle of a difficult walk. Keeping a clam, loose leach conveys relaxation and makes it a better walk for your dog!

15. Teasing

This one may be a little self-explanatory, but dogs hate teasing. Don’t pretend to throw their ball, don’t pull on their tail, don’t wave at them as they bark behind a window, and don’t bark at them from across the street. These are just a few examples, but if there’s anything you’re doing that you could consider to be teasing, it’s better to refrain from it.

16. Loud Environments

If you’re throwing a large party, celebrating with fireworks, or there’s just a lot of commotion going on around your house, your dog may feel anxious or worried and could act out if they feel threatened. It’s best to remove them from the situation and place them in a quieter, calmer area where they can feel safe and secure from the noise and crowds.

things your dog hates17. Baths

We love being clean, but our dogs would rather do without the need to bathe. That’s why it’s important to give them the utmost care, love, and support when we clean them. The sounds, smell, and splashing water is uncomfortable for them, so make sure to give them a lot of praise and treats!

18. Baby Treatment

They technically are our children, but pets aren’t babies. Some of them can even be older (in dog years) than we are! It may feel good to you to pick them up and cradle them, but it’s best to leave them on the stable ground where they know you won’t possibly drop them.

19. Kisses

We love kisses from our pups (well, some of us at least)! We see it as a sign of affection, but in reality, it’s them showing that they are submissive to us via their licking. When we give them kisses, they become confused because they only see it as a sign of submission. To remove this confusion, show your love for them by giving them a good, relaxing belly rub!

20. Leaning

Try not to lean over your pup since this asserts dominance in the wrong way and can make your dog fearful of you. If they give obvious signs of discomfort, they are trying to tell you to give them space. Be firm and have assertive body language to enforce dominance instead.

things your dog hates21. Being Bored

If you tend to be boring with your pets, they may have more reason to act out or do things they shouldn’t. They tend to go stir-crazy at home and when you don’t give them enough attention, they’ll be sure to let you know in a negative way. Don’t be a boring pet parent. Have fun with your fur-kids!

As I mentioned, every dog is different so you may not know if any of these things really have an impact or not. It’s important to pay attention if you ever find yourself in one of these situations with your dog. Our pups mean the world to us so it’s important to make sure they’re enjoying their time with you too! If you have other concerns, your vet can fill you in a bit more as well as give you helpful tips that may not have been mentioned here. Also, the internet is a wonderful place to ask other dog owners what bothers their pooch from time to time. The more you know, the better you can keep your pup happy and comfortable!

What have you noticed that your dog doesn’t like you doing? Leave a comment and let us know!

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