Recently I had a post come across my Facebook feed about things humans do that dogs hate. My first thought was, who did this interview? And more importantly, how? I’ve talked to every dog I’ve ever had and none have said, “Hey. You know that head pat thing you do? Yea, I don’t like that.” Never. I just don’t understand how such an article can be written. It makes me wonder if all the dogs I’ve had over my life were, maybe, hmm what’s a nice way to say this, uhh unintelligent (that sounds so much better than dumb). Or maybe we’ve had breeds that don’t like sharing information or doing interviews. You know, the silent type. I’ll never know because my dogs don’t talk. At least not to me. I’m caring, understanding, a great listener, trusting but I get no conversations. Anyway, now that I’ve read a few articles (there’s thousands online) about the whole -human actions dogs don’t like- thing, I find myself a little jealous. Why have so many articles been written on that topic but none on what dogs do that humans don’t like? Oddly, some of the things are the same! The whole thing seems pretty one-sided so I decided to write about it. At least as it pertains to the dogs and humans in our house.
One human behavior that’s on many of the lists is staring. I get it. Dogs have an instinct to stare at their prey prior to pouncing but my dogs aren’t wild. Yes, they might do this to one another when they are playing. However, who sits and stares at their dog to the point of the subject needing to be on such lists? Sure I might have a “staring contest” with one of the dogs but it’s not like it’s part of my daily routine. It’s not on my To-Do list along with dusting and cleaning the tub. And, I’m putting this on my human hates list too because it freaks me out. I’m serious. Blaze does this all the time. At first it’s like he’s challenging me to a contest. Ok, fine I can do that. But he wins every single time because he doesn’t stop. And, if you look away, he won’t. I mean that’s staring contest etiquette; you look away when the other person gives in. Everyone knows this but no, he just keeps staring. I’m telling you it’s creepy. He randomly walks up to me, stands within a foot, and stares. It makes me very uncomfortable because I don’t know what he’s thinking! Is he sitting there imagining I’m a ham like in a cartoon? Is he mad because I bought a different flavor of treats? Does he want to tell me I’m fat? That my hair needs to be colored? I don’t know what he wants or why he does it but I don’t like it so it’s on my list.
Hugs. Apparently dogs don’t like hugs; it “annoys” them. Again, I’d love to know how someone knows the dog is annoyed. So, tight hugs = annoyed dogs. That’s completely understandable. I don’t want someone to hug the life out of me either. I have what must be a rare situation. Now, I haven’t gotten confirmation from him yet, still working on that, but I think I can safely assume that Jax loves hugs because he gives hugs. When you’re petting him he sometimes leans into your chest or on your shoulder. Other times he simply walks up and does it even without me initiating contact. I think with Jax this whole no hug thing is unfair because of him giving them. If he walks up and lays his head on my chest I’m not supposed to hug him back? I think that would be rude on my part so until he tells me otherwise, I’ll hug him back. An additional thought I have here is that I’m supposed to be aware of my dog not liking hugs but who is going to make my dogs aware that I don’t like when they sit on me? Jax sits on my lap pretty much no matter where I am and let me tell you, he’s heavy. But he’s clueless that his 170 pounds feels like 1,700 pounds. He does this lap sitting in the waiting room at the vet, in the back yard at the patio table, in the recliner, and he does it when I’m in my desk chair which has wheels. Yea you guessed it, the chair immediately slides if I’m not prepared for his sit. So besides feeling like an elephant just sat on me I’m trying to keep both of us from landing on the floor. I would gladly trade unwanted hugs with unwanted sittings. I suppose I’ll have a conversation with Jax about it. That is, as soon as I figure out how that whole dogs telling you how they feel thing works.
Dogs don’t like the sound of you yelling. They interpret it as an angry bark. I so need to meet these dogs that provided this information. Well guess what? I don’t like when they yell either. When Jax is playing he sounds like Chewbacca, a very loud Chewbacca. Ryder barks and barks when he plays. He makes me jump out of my chair because he always seems to bark when he’s in my personal space but, without me knowing. Zoey does too. It’s really unfunny! Everyone else in the house thinks it’s pretty freakin’ hilarious when I screech because of it. I don’t. So what I’d like to know now is who’s going to pass that bit of information on to them? Seriously though, isn’t the fact that dogs don’t like it when you yell a no-brainer? I’m thinking if you don’t know this, you probably shouldn’t own a dog or actually, any animal. Not even a hamster. Maybe one of those Chia Pets would be best but definitely nothing with a pulse. Just seems like it’d be a bad idea.
Dogs don’t like to be woken up abruptly. Who does? If someone scares a dog awake or jumps at the dog to wake them then the dog should be allowed to box them or I don’t know, pee on them or something just as stupid. Again, I need to have a family meeting with Jax, Crispie, and Ryder because they do this to me when I’m sleeping. There’s nothing like being in a deep sleep and having a watermelon sized head be nose-to-nose with you as you open your eyes. That’ll get your blood pumping. Or, you’re in a deep sleep and they lay on you. Yea. A king-sized bed, only me in it, and they lay on me. Oh wait. Here’s another one I hate. When I’m sleeping and all of a sudden a hundred pound dog jumps from the other side of the bed ON me for a short cut out of the room so they can go see who came home. Yes that is a fabulous way to be woken up. In reality, it’s ridiculous that people have to be told don’t scare the crap out of your dog. Oh and don’t yell in their ear, that’s another one. I feel like this “warning” is right up there with the “do not ingest” warning on hemorrhoid cream. If you’re dumb enough to do it, you deserve what you get.
Here’s one you probably don’t know, dogs don’t like to be teased. Really? Wow. I’m shocked at this bit of trivia. I love being teased. Ok, yes that’s like five sentences of sarcasm (you’re counting the sentences aren’t you?) but again, come on! Some of the articles make a direct reference to kids doing this. They talk about kids pulling on tails and ears, barking at the dog, and jumping at the dog and yelling (we already know they don’t like that). I’m sitting here thinking, if your kid jumps at a dog, yells at them, or pulls on their ears and tail, the kid needs to be leashed and kenneled not the dog. Teach your kid dog manners. Why aren’t they respectful of the dog in the first place? They know not to pull on a humans ears (and tail if that applies). They should know not to pull on a dog too; even if they don’t have one at home. For the parents, I’m thinking the hemorrhoid analogy applies here too.
Dogs don’t like when you’re tense. Neither does Marc but it still happens. I don’t know if this is supposed to be for all breeds but it definitely doesn’t apply to most of our dogs with the exception of Blaze. Blaze is a very tense dog no matter what. Can you say Xanax? Yea that’s him. Of course they all get tense when someone they don’t know comes in the house. Or when they hear a sound they don’t recognize. They all get tense when dinner is late but so do I. Now, if I’m being totally honest here, I’ll admit that I might be considered a tense person, maybe a little, like once in a while or maybe every day for most of the day and I might be a 10 on the “tense scale” but our dogs don’t lose any sleep over it, literally. I don’t see them mimicking tension. Hell, half the time they cause it (please don’t tell them I said that), because of the whole waking me abruptly, barking while in my bubble, sitting on me, stepping on me. All that stuff. I’m not saying they never know what I’m feeling. I’m just saying that none of them have come up and asked if I need to talk, is there anything they can do, told me they know how I’m feeling, or said that I just need to relax. Now maybe if the people who have done all these dog interviews worked with our dogs a bit, they would ask and tell me those things. Which would actually be really cool but as of now, nothing.
All though I feel like this too is a duh for pet owners I find it kind of interest at the same time. Dogs don’t like it if you’re boring. They don’t want to just lay around with you and watch Jerry Springer (is that still on?) all day. They aren’t super excited about a five hour “nap.” They also don’t want to be alone while you’re gone for 10, 12, 14 hours or when you’re on vacation. They’re like children or even partners, they basically want you to spend quality time with them. They want to run around the yard with you (this likely doesn’t pertain to your partner). Go to the dog park or for a walk or both. Obviously they want to interact rather than lay around. So don’t be boring. By the way, if your dog thinks you’re boring it’s quite possible that your people do too. Could be something to spend some quality thinking time on. I’m just trying to help you out. Consider it my public service announcement. I’ll even write one for you…
“Do you take long naps? Does your 95-year-old grandmother go out more often than you do? Do you watch an abundance of ‘no IQ needed’ television and even DVR them? Does the simple thought of getting out of your Barcalounger make you tired? Do you use disposable kitchen ware simply so you don’t have to wash dishes (even in the dishwasher)? Do you bathe in the swimming pool in the summer and rarely take a shower in the winter? If you suffer from one or more of these symptoms YOU’RE BORING! Ask your dog, family (if they haven’t moved and forgotten to give you a forwarding address), partner (if they haven’t left yet), friends (if you have any), coworkers (who likely don’t even know your name or care what it is), Facebook ‘friends’ (that is, you’re game-only friends because everyone else has deleted you), and even the deaf, blind neighbor and they’ll agree. You’re the extreme end of the boring scale. Your picture is in Webster’s Dictionary as the definition of boring. Fix it. You can do this. Break those nasty, lazy, boring habits. Live! Now get out of that recliner and go outside; get some Vitamin D. Play ball with your dog. Do something exciting that you can share with all those people who can’t stand your boringness. And for the love of God, please get in the damn shower!”
Wow, I just amazed myself and I’m sure, you as well. I mean how could I not have? I’m really good at those. I should be writing PSAs for television and on the internet. I’m going to look into it.
Let’s recap what we’ve learned: I don’t like being sat on and dogs don’t like hugs. Which truly is a double standard because I say that if they give you hugs it’s ok to reciprocate. If I’m tense, even if the dogs made me tense, my dogs are then tense. Teasing a dog and pulling on a dog = child/adult in a kennel with hemorrhoid warning. Some people would do best with a Chia Pet. My yelling is similar to Ryder and Zoey standing stealthily near my ear and barking so loud I kind of scream (I so don’t agree that those are equal). I don’t like being woken abruptly and that it scares dogs to do the same. Again, if you do this then you get the hemorrhoid warning. If you’re boring no one will like you but most importantly your dog may not; refer to PSA above. That I write amazing PSAs. Lastly we’ve learned that dogs have been holding out on us, at least ours have been. I mean dogs give interviews, answer questions, allow their answers to be published and by strangers no less. Who knew this? I think we’ve all learned quite a bit here. The most troublesome information for me though is that my dogs can talk but don’t. I’m not gonna lie, my feelings are hurt but be assured, Nutro stock is about to sky rocket because I’ll be bribing them with peanut butter treats like you can’t imagine. And when I hear that first word I’ll be sure to let you know.