17 Things your dog hates


Are you inadvertently upsetting your dog? Our four-legged friends are so loyal and eager to please that sometimes it’s hard to tell when something has caused them distress.

If a dog resists doing something you may want to think twice about insisting they do it – unless of course, it’s for a totally necessary reason.

Some of the things your dog hates will truly surprise you. Of course, no two dogs are alike and some may not be phased by these things in the slightest – but many are.

1. Being alone or bored

Dogs are naturally sociable animals and dislike being alone. Many are OK if there’s another dog in the home but some just want human company as often as possible.

If you have to go out to work, or leave your dog alone all day for any other reason, try to find someone to pop in halfway through the day to walk it or keep it company for a while.

When you’ve been out, make sure you give your dog lots of fuss. Take it for a walk, have a play session, and generally spend time nearby to make up for your absence.

Even if you’re home, your dog may get bored if you are ignoring it and a bored dog might misbehave or even chew up your home. Make sure your dog has a selection of toys so it doesn’t get fed up and that you give it attention every so often to keep it happy.

Things your dog hates: lonely, sad-eyed dog

2. Personal space invasion

People often assume dogs don’t mind people getting up close and personal but quite often it is quite intimidating for them to have someone rushing over, bending over them from above and suddenly petting them.

There will be times when you have to get up close and personal of course. If you have to invade a dog’s personal space, do it slowly and gently.

Give a dog time to accept any”intrusion” and back off if it shows signs of disliking the approach. Use praise and a healthy treat to reward your dog when it accepts the attention.

3. Being stared at

A dog’s natural instinct is to avoid eye contact with other dogs as this is perceived as a challenging activity in the canine world. Staring is downright rude.

In the same vein, dogs will avert their eyes from us unless they are genuinely challenging us. If you attempt to hold eye contact with your dog you will most likely make it feel uncomfortable and even threatened.

4. Big hugs

We all assume our dogs love hugs and love to give the cuddle or affectionate squeeze. The truth is, many are uncomfortable with it. They graciously let us do it but often look stiff and worried. To many dogs, this is not a sign of affection but a feeling of being restricted or threatened.

Of course, some dogs are fine with this type of contact but you should try to establish if yours really likes it or is secretly stressed. Many dogs prefer a stroke, a belly rub, or a little tickle rather than full-on bear hugs.

5. Being petted on their face or head

Things your dog hates: being patted on the head

Another thing we’re all guilty of is touching dogs on their heads or faces. A dog will generally see you reaching for its face as an aggressive action. He may appear OK with it but might try to pull away. Always allow him to and maybe ruffle his ears or the back of his head instead.

We pat our dogs on the head in praise or as a greeting but they really find it uncomfortable and somewhat confusing. It can feel like be admonished as opposed to a kind action. Your do may even see a pat as a threat.

6. Shouting

Dog’s hate raised voices, whether aimed at them or others. If you are unhappy with something your dog has done, yelling will not make him understand. It will scare him though.

A firm voice of a certain tone is a far better way to express your displeasure with a dog than shouting and hollering.

7. Smacks

You should never physically punish a dog by smacking or hurting it in any other way. The majority of dogs will not react well to such treatment. You’ll either scare your dog or provoke it and it will quickly lose its trust in you.

8. Hurried walks

Things dogs hate: A dog being hurried on its walk

Dogs love walks and enjoy exploring as they do so. If you’re distracted and rushing along, your dog will not be able to do all the things it naturally enjoys: sniff, explore and scent mark.

Of course, occasionally you’ll have less time than others. In these cases, it’s better to cover less ground and let your dog have a sniff about than it is to try to get around your usual route in half the time.

9. Lack of routine

Where dogs are concerned, a routine is best to prevent behavioral issues. Try to have a structure to each day which includes:

  • Breakfast at the same time
  • Walks at regular times
  • Meals in the same place
  • Garden time at set times during the day
  • Being put in a crate (if necessary) at the same time each day

10. Baths

Things dogs hate: 2 dogs not enjoying a bath

Show a dog a muddy puddle or a stagnant pond and in he’ll go with relish. A clean bath of water, however, will send him running for the hills.

The majority of dogs hate being bathed because it feels strange and takes away their natural odor. Obviously, it is sometimes necessary and then you should make it as stress-free as possible.

11. Wearing clothes

Things dogs hate: 2 dogs dressed up

Why do people dress up their dogs? They really don’t like it. Costumes can feel tight and weird and generally restrict a dog’s natural movements.

You may think your dog is OK with wearing a silly outfit because it tolerates it. Remember, most dogs will do anything to please their human. Don’t take advantage of this fact.

12. Strong scents

Dogs have an extremely sensitive sense of smell: at least one thousand times more sensitive than ours. Therefore, strong fragrances such as perfume, air fresheners, and cleaning products can play havoc with their olfactory senses so you should avoid spraying these when your dog is in the room.

Essential oils and scented candles can have the same effect so be careful how you use these around your dog.

Check out which fragrances can actually be toxic to dogs hereOpens in a new tab..

13. You being upset or ill

Dogs are extremely sensitive to human moods and hate it when their owners are ill, upset, or depressed. If you are feeling low, this can rub off on your dog and make him feel depressed too.

14. Lack of boundaries

Dogs thrive on knowing their boundaries. Decide what is and isn’t allowed and be firm. If you let them sit on the sofa one day and decide they are not allowed the next you will cause confusion.

The earlier you introduce the rules, the better.

15. Poor communication

If you are not the only human in your dog’s life make sure everyone involved uses the same commands and tone of voice. Nothing is more confusing (and unfair) to a dog than mixed messages.

16. You choosing his friends

Dog owners often choose to meet up with friends and their dogs to have a sociable walk. The trouble is, your dog may not like their dog.

Dogs can be fussy about other dogs and you just have to let them come around to the idea – and accept that sometimes they might not.

17. Being pulled around by children

Things dogs hate: Dog being hugged by a child

Most dogs are so patient and tolerant of children. They put up with a lot of nonsense from them such as being pulled around, clambered on, kissed, and stroked the wrong way.

They are stressed by these behaviors and it’ not fair to allow them to be tested in this way. Teach children from an early age how to treat dogs gently to prevent any problems from arising.

Things your dog hates: Conclusion

Dogs love their humans and will do all they can to please them. Make sure you return the compliment by avoiding the things they often secretly hate.

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Jane

I'm Jane Pettitt, co-owner of Pets Knowledge Base with my husband, Matt. I have a grand total of 50 years’ experience as a pet owner. It all started with a guinea pig called Percy when I was 5 years old and since then I’ve lived with two more guinea pigs, a hamster, mice, a rabbit, a tortoise, a dog, and 11 cats. I’ve learned so much about pet care during this time and many of my articles are based on my personal experiences plus those of my family and friends.

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