With their enthusiasm and unwavering loyalty, it’s no wonder that dogs have earned their place in our hearts as (wo)man’s best friend. Indeed, there are very few friendships in life that will ever reach the same level of devotion as the one you have with your pet. Still, as in any friendship, there are bound to be several habits or tendencies that one of you possesses that always drive the other one barking mad. (We are looking at you.)
Here are six things we do that drive our dogs bonkers.
1. Hugging the stuffing out of them
I know. I know. You love your pooch. You love him so much that all you want to do is hug and squeeze him all day long but dogs are aren’t stuffed animals and excessive hugging is bound to annoy our little friends. After all, when was the last time you saw two dogs hugging. It’s OK. I’ll wait. Try and picture it.
Related: Bored Dog? Give Him One of These 5 Toys to Keep Him Busy
If you’re having a hard time, it’s because you probably have never seen it. Hugging isn’t part of the dog world and that type of gesture isn’t the loving behavior we consider it to be. When dogs put their paw over another or confine them in some way it’s a sign of dominance.
If you really want to show Fido how much you care, just give him/her some gentle rubs on his/her back or chest.
2. Treating them like an accessory
What could be more fashionable than toting around your FBFF (four-legged best friend) in a Louis Vuitton purse? I hate to break it to you, but your pooch does not appreciate dangling from your arm like this season’s latest accessory. It denies them the chance to stretch their legs, socialize and fully explore their surroundings. It also prevents them from getting healthy exercise and could result in having tubby puppy as she ages. This being said, there are times when carrying your pooch is appropriate such as busy parking lots or over hot pavement. If you want your pet to see you as her bestie rather her frenemy, leave the designer doggie bags to Elle Woods and simply let them enjoy a good romp outdoors.
Related: The Paris Hilton Syndrome: The Dangers of Carrying Your Little Dog Everywhere
3. Speaking to them like a toddler
Does wittle puppy wuppy want something from her mama? Yes, actually. Your precious puppy wuppy would kindly appreciate it if you would refrain from speaking to her in that cutesy, high-pitched tone of voice. When dogs hear you cooing over them in that squeaky, babyish manner, they interpret it as cry for help, making them question your abilities as a pack leader. Instead, speak to them in a calm but assertive manner to let them know that they’re safe and you’ve got everything under control.
4. Playing dress up with them
OK, I’ll admit it. Those Pinterest shots of dogs in Halloween costumes are pretty adorable. But while the idea of seeing your dog dressed up like Abraham Lincoln may amuse you, I can assure you that Fluffy is shuddering at the thought of having to don one those restrictive garments, as it often makes it difficult to move and see. So the next time you get the urge to send a Christmas card with your pet in a reindeer costume, do him a favor and keep the photo shoot brief. The sooner they can get out of that ridiculous outfit, the happier they’ll be.
5. Turning bathroom breaks into a ace
Imagine trying to use the restroom with someone incessantly banging the door as she tries to rush you out of the stall. Not a pleasant situation, right? Yet that is precisely what we end up doing to our poor pooches as they attempt to relieve themselves. Rather than hurrying your dog to pee, allow him to do his business at his own pace. This spares you unnecessary embarrassment later on, when your dog relieves herself on Aunt Gwendolyn’s new rug because she wasn’t able to properly relieve herself the first time around.
6. Terrifying them with the vacuum cleaner
From its earth-shaking rumble to its strange appearance, the vacuum cleaner can present a rather imposing figure to your otherwise, playful pet. The reason they fear the gadget that cleans up all their fur is often dogs were never exposed to this loud stimuli during formative stages, plus, the super loud noise, sucking action and erratic thrusts doesn’t exactly help.
However, your dog needn’t continue to fear its presence. Transform vacuum cleaning from a traumatic experience to a rewarding one by providing your dog with little treats every time you use it. In time, Spot will stop seeing the vacuum as a scary monster but as a generous friend instead.
Related: The Bogeyman Syndrome: How to Overcome the 5 Most Common Dog Phobias