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East Valley K9 Services


Have You Ever Wondered About What Your Dog Thinks?

Forcing us to accept a pat on the head could also lead to an unwanted bite due to our discomfort or stress!

Have You Ever Wondered About What Your Dog Thinks?

Table of Contents

Adorable Puppy Displaying Whale Eyes

Have you ever wondered about what your dog thinks? Are there days you wish your dog could tell you exactly what they’re thinking? Especially when it comes to the things WE do that our dogs hate!  While we can’t reveal our sources, we have it on good authority that our dogs want us to STOP doing the four things below!


You Made the Rules, So Stop Breaking Them!

Little Chihuahua Dressed for Cinco de Mayo
Little Dog Dressed Up for Cinco de Mayo (From East Valley K9 Services)

We know you wonder what your dogs thinks. Since you asked, we need you to be consistent! When you’re not consistent with us, we get confused and worse! We even get blamed for doing something you don’t want us to do today, but just last week you wanted us to do it.

Sorry, we don’t read memos, so we need you to be consistent in your expectations, boundaries and rules. We’ll both be much happier, we promise when you better understand how we canines communicate!

For example:

  • Feed us at the same time every day.
  • Take us out to potty at the same time every day (or at least get a dog walker to help).
  • Decide whether you want us on the couch or bed.
  • Train the entire family to follow the same rules too.
  • Feed me the correct diet and amount so I don’t get obese and sick. (Did you know that the VCA Animal Hospital says up to 30% of American dogs are obese? Please don’t hurt me with too much dog or people food!)


VIDEO: “9 Things Your Dog Wants You to STOP Doing!”


Stop Petting the Top of My Head!

Happy Cattle Dog Looking Up at the Camera
Happy Puppy Looking Up at the Camera (From East Valley K9 Services)

Not every dog feels the same about this action, but most of us would agree it’s a better idea to pet us under our chin. It’s safer for you and makes us feel much less vulnerable especially if we’re already anxious or fearful! When someone leans over us to pet our head, there’s a good chance we may interpret that behavior as overbearing, overwhelming or even threatening and react badly.

Remember, you wanted to know what your dog thinks!

Forcing us to accept a pat on the head could also lead to an unwanted bite due to our discomfort or stress! You see, some dogs become overstimulated or overexcited which, in turn, could lead to unpredictable and negative behaviors.

Please, never pet a dog on the head that you don’t know very, very well. Instead, gently pet us:

  • Under the chin.
  • At the base of the neck.
  • Or along their chest, shoulders and back!

By doing this, you can prevent us from becoming head shy and reactive.


VIDEO: “14 Things You Must Stop Doing to Your Dog!”


Respect the Toes!

Chocolate Lab Sitting Outside on a Bench and Smiling
Hazel the Chocolate Lab (From East Valley K9 Services)

Speaking of feeling vulnerable, dear humans, we love you so much, but STOP expecting us to enjoy having our paws touched and handled! Take the time to slowly show us that you mean no harm. Yes, this is what your dog thinks about!

Do you realize that our paws are some of the most sensitive and intimate parts of our body? So, when people grab our paws without a proper introduction (and preferably a treat or two), we may feel scared, awkward, confused and vulnerable. That could lead to a negative reaction from us especially during grooming.

Just like your feet, the sensitive nerve endings in our paws can lead to uncomfortable tickling we don’t always enjoy right away! Do you?

Also, in our world, touching our paws is usually interpreted as a sign of dominance and a potential threat. Please take it slow and gentle when it comes to our paws and we promise we’ll learn to enjoy having our paws handled (and don’t forget the treats!).

VIDEO: “14 Things You Must Stop Doing to Your Dog!”


Yellow Labrador Puppy Licking His Lips
Archie the Yellow Retriever Puppy (From East Valley K9 Services)

Finally, What Your Dog Thinks; Stop Hugging Me!

Unless you know me really well, please don’t hug me and never let a stranger hug me either! Why?

If you’ve watched other dogs interact, you’ve seen the more assertive dogs tend to wrap their front legs around another canine in a show of domination. So, when a human tries to hug us, especially if we are not well-acquainted, we feel vulnerable which can make us go into our natural protective mode of flight or fight. It’s just a “nature” thing, so please don’t take it personally human!


What behaviors does YOUR dog not like and wishes you would stop? Tell us in the comments below for a chance to be entered into our next drawing!



Schnauzer in Therapy Training
Schnauzer in Therapy Training

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