January 11, 2021
8 Normal Things Humans Do That Confuse Dogs
Shop Team K9
Dogs have the most flexible behavior of any pet. That’s why it’s easy to keep them in our homes and take them to shops on the weekend. Regardless, it still doesn’t change the fact that dogs aren’t entirely equipped for the challenges of our lives. At an early age, dogs must learn to cope with the challenges of living in our world. If they do, they’ll be just fine. Here are 8 things we don’t even notice, but they struggle to understand.
1. We like to hug
The way we use our arms and hands differentiates largely from how dogs use their paws. We may use them to carry objects around whereas dogs would have to drag them. We also use them to grab a hold of each other and express affection. Dogs grab a hold of each other when they wrestle, and also when mating or fighting. How are puppies supposed to know what a hug from a human means when the same behavior from another dog might be threatening?
2. We share territories
We visit other dogs’ territories and most of the time bring back their scents to our own home where our dogs live. We also let other unfamiliar humans and dogs enter our home which can throw dogs off. Dogs haven’t evolved to accept intrusions like this where their safety and resources are jeopardized. We shouldn’t be surprised when our dogs treat visitors with suspicion or when dogs are treated with hostility when we bring them to the homes of others.
3. We change our shape and smell
From the clothes we wear to the different scents we put on, our dogs can have a hard time distinguishing from who’s who. Countless smells cling to our clothes after we take them into shops or work. Then when we bring them back to our dogs, it’s different from what they’re used to. The same goes for scents. Different cleaning products, soaps, deodorants, and shampoos can make our dogs unaware of who we are. Towels, hats, and bags can change our shape and confuse our dogs. We are changing far more than our dogs are.
4. We don’t like to be bitten
Play fighting is fun for most puppies and it helps them bond with other dogs. However, they must keep an eye on the behavior of other dogs in play fights to make sure they don’t use their teeth excessively. Humans are much more sensitive to pain from playful puppy jaws than other dogs are, so sometimes we can react negatively to their attempts to play with us. This can confuse your dog and cause them to be less outgoing and playful around you.
5. We leave them alone
As natural socialites, dogs make new friends easily. Puppies are interested in spending time with other dogs, people, and frankly any species that is willing to interact with them. Yet we often leave dogs alone in our home, kennels, at the vet, and other places. In these situations, many dogs will think that we’ll never return to see them. Only once they have experienced this they will begin to expect a reunion with us.
6. We are visually driven
Dogs live in a world where they heavily rely on their sense of smell, while ours is mainly visual. So, while TVs may offer entertainment for humans, parks and the great outdoors are an olfactory heaven for dogs.
7. We don’t eat food from the trash
Dogs will usually eat food anywhere they find it. In contrast, we present them with food in dishes of their own. Puppies must be surprised by our reactions when we find them snacking from park benches and tables or from the kitchen trash. We should not be surprised when dogs discover food we left somewhere that’s accessible to them.
8. We use our hands a lot
Sometimes our hands deliver food, scratches, massages, and toys. Other times, they trim nails, apply ointment or medicine, and groom with brushes or combs. It’s no wonder that some dogs develop a fear of the human hand as it moves around them. We can make it easier for our dogs to get accustomed to us using our hands if we train them to cooperate with rewards.
To wrap it up, dogs do show a remarkable ability to adapt to the puzzles we throw at them. Most things we do won’t overly confuse our dogs, but a few of our behaviors will and it shows because they haven’t been trained to accept them.
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