If you own a dog or know families that raise one, you probably already know that this is the most loving and faithful animal on the planet, and it can't be disputed. Dogs will be by your side through thick and thin, to protect and love you from the moment they step foot in your home.
Our special relationship with dogs and the mutual need that develops over time sometimes make us feel as though dogs are little humans in their own right, but in fact, there are a number of behaviors we have adopted that make our dogs angry and irritated without being aware of it. Therefore, if you want to raise a happy dog that cooperates and is as predictable as possible, it is important that you avoid the following 8 things. The sooner you do this the sooner you’ll notice a significant and positive change in your best friend’s behavior.
While most people enjoy embracing, curling up and feeling close by touch, it turns out that dogs are satisfied with petting and nothing more. A recent study in the New York Times showed that 82 percent of dogs randomly selected from online images showed signs of distress when the photographed person hugged them. The reason for this is probably the inability of the dog to escape in the event that it feels threatened since the human hands around it certainly make it difficult to do so, which may lead to an increase in anxiety levels for our good friend and may even end in a bite.
The good news is that even if you are not a professional you’ll be able to see for yourself whether your dog feels threatened by excessive love. This is because signs of stress and anxiety in dogs are visible, and are usually expressed by the dog turning its head away from what is bothering it, or just closing its eyes, at least in part. Alternatively, if the dog's ears suddenly drop at the side of the head or it starts licking the person's lips or face, this may be another sign of anxiety, and sometimes you will notice a white "half-moon" that appears at the bottom of its eye. These signs are easy to spot and you can decide whether your dog is suffering by observing its behavior in real-time or by photographing a long hug. In the meantime, try showing affection through petting, a good word, or a favorite snack.
Usually, using words is a great thing, especially when it comes to healthy and pleasant personal interaction, but using too many words and talking with your dog will only leave it confused and irritated from lack of understanding. Dogs respond to a soothing, pleasant voice, but they can’t understand words of praise or reproach when they come in words alone. This means that you have to make sure to change your tone and add gestures such as a caress or a snack (without the hug) to help it understand that it is doing a good job. If you want to convey to them that they did something wrong speak firmly and authoritatively.
First of all, you have to understand that happy dogs are tired dogs and that many behavioral problems can be solved once your dog exerts enough energy every day. Therefore, you should treat each walk not as a potty break and time to mark territory, but as fun quality time during which you help them let out all the energy stored while sitting or sleeping most of the day.
If you think about it, your dog is home most of the time, idle and bored, and this may be the reason why they chew at the sofa, tear your pillows, or eat everything in sight. Be sure to take your dog for a walk outside of the house at least twice a day, each trip lasting at least 40 minutes, except in cases where you’re genuinely in a rush to get home, and it won’t be long before you notice a fundamental change in your dog ’s behavior.
As we mentioned earlier, dogs love the people in their lives in an unusual way, so it is hard for them to bear the fact that they are ignored for long. There is no doubt that there are many moments when you just aren’t free to play fetch with your dog, but if you put some effort in you can certainly take a break from everyday activities to play with them or give them a bone which will be a good time for them.
Also, as in the previous section, ignoring your dog and focusing exclusively on work or something else may make them feel lonely and bored, which can lead them to develop bad habits such as tearing newspapers, living room cushions, and so forth.
Many people treat their dogs as babies and believe they need touch and warmth to develop properly and healthy. But like a human baby that has to learn to be independent, older puppies and dogs should be allowed to run around comfortably and naturally on their own four legs.
If you choose to pick them up, take into account that they will grow up spoiled, dependent and even obsessed with you, which will undoubtedly impair their ability to build healthy relationships with other animals and people they don’t know. If you’ve recently adopted a puppy or your dog is small enough to carry, you can pick it up from time to time but not too often. Remember, it is important to do this for the dog's benefit as well as for your own.
No animal likes to be teased, from the smallest to the biggest and the most threatening. Therefore, when you play with your dog and stimulate them with a favorite snack that spurs them to complete the task, the worst thing you could do would be to not give them the snack when they’re done. In addition, tug-o-war games should be played to the right extent by making the rules clear and making sure that your dog isn’t too aggressive.
Let your dog win every once in a while so that they understand it’s a game and not a punishment. In light of these findings, you should teach your dog a number of commands such as giving a paw, turning around or any other command, which you can reward them with a snack for and help them understand that they are making you happy. Click here to learn 5 commands that you can teach your dog easily.
Like humans, dogs also have their favorite groups and friends, and they prefer to spend time with them and stay away from dogs that they are not interested in or are even threatened by. If your dog is indifferent to another dog, it may simply prefer another company, and you should allow it to make its own decisions. This means that you should avoid forcing it to make contact with different dogs, since this can make them aggressive and frustrated. You will notice a change in your dog's behavior when it actually enjoys playing with another dog.
The dogs we own are very attentive to us; they can feel many things that we are not aware of at all, and they know when you are stressed and anxious. The problem is that a dog can’t offer you tea or share words of wisdom that will calm your soul, and once they feel the negative energies and tensions in the air that come from you, it will choose to escape, fight or attack. So, the next time a family member or friend comes to your home and brings with him/her negative energy and unpleasant tension, try to provide your dog with a picture of a happy and harmonious relationship, or simply do your best to avoid meeting people who don’t make you feel good.