Dogs enjoy physical affection
Do you show your love for your dog through hugs and cuddles? Your pup may not like it! ‘Dogs have not evolved to give each other a squeeze, so when they are embraced by humans, many find this uncomfortable or threatening,’ says Melissa.
Dogs don’t need to get out as much if you have a big yard
While we’re stuck at the office, our playful pups are in the yard, where everything is familiar and a little dull. ‘The size of a yard is far less important to dogs than what happens in it,’ says Melissa. ‘Dogs truly thrive on play and they prefer to do it in a novel environment outside of their yard.’
Dogs that disobey are wilfully defiant
Naughty dogs may not understand your command or they’re having trouble focusing. ‘Dogs are not great at generalising,’ explains Paul. ‘Just because they sit nicely when asked to in the kitchen when you have treats, doesn’t mean they automatically know what ‘sit’ means when they are at the off-leash dog park. And asking them to sit when visitors are at the door might be like asking a child to sit still at an amusement park.’
Dogs approach when they want to play
Ever had a dog approach you or your pet only to growl or snap? They may have just been approaching to gather information. ‘Some may like strangers in principle, but nevertheless become anxious and overwhelmed. If you are seeing this pattern, call your dog away after a couple of seconds,’ recommends Paul.
Barking and growling is always aggressive
According to Melissa, this is ‘distance-increasing behaviour’ used by dogs to buy some space so they feel safer. ‘They usually try subtler signaling first, but many dogs learn that it doesn’t work and go straight for shouting.’
Your pooch is likely giving off lots of signs that it is uncomfortable before it escalates to growls and snaps. Avoiding eye contact with whatever it is that’s worrying them, licking lips, brow furrows, lifting a paw and tightening muscles in their face are all indications of an anxious dog. If you notice this behaviour, move them away from the concern.