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3 Things Humans Do That Dogs Do NOT Enjoy | Pupford

June 8th, 2023

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While we often like to think that our dogs love everything we do, there are some common human behaviors that dogs do NOT enjoy.

And while these things may not be “make or break” for your relationship with your dog, it’s important to try and keep your interactions with your pup as positive as possible.

Another note. If you are currently doing any of these 3 things, that is okay! My main goal is to just help you be aware that it may potentially be something your dog doesn’t enjoy.

Every dog is different. Every human is different. Every situation is different.

So, that may mean your dog doesn’t mind some of these things… great!

Either way, let’s dive into 3 things humans do that dogs do NOT enjoy (usually).


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While the temptation to give our dogs a big bear hug can be strong, it may not be the best decision.

Many dogs can be uncomfortable about having people in their personal space. Especially when that involves people being near and around their face.

So going up to a dog and giving them a hug around the neck/chest area can be concerning for them, especially if they feel trapped.

When a dog gets put into a situation where they don’t feel in control of their ability to move, it can lead to very negative situations.

If you’re still wanting to hug your dog, be very aware of their body language:

  • Is your dog trying to pull away?
  • Is your dog moving their head away from yours?
  • Is your dog licking their lips?
  • Is your dog giving you whale eye (or side-eye)?
  • Is your dog stiffening up, especially on his/her tail?

All of those dog body language signals can be signs that your dog is uncomfortable with the current situation.


Think of your favorite store to go for some leisurely shopping (Nordstrom Rack anyone?)...

You’re excited to see what’s on sale, what is available in your size, and you’ve been hoping to find some nice dress shoes.

As you round the corner and see a nice pair of heels, you tell your friend you’re with, ‘Oh, I’d love to check those out!’.

You both walk close and as you flip them over to check out the price, your friend yanks you away from the beloved shoes.

Now, repeat that about 57 times.

I can imagine you’d very quickly want your friend to leave so you could enjoy some shopping.

Are you doing that to your dog?

When we go on walks with our pups it’s an opportunity to not only let them go potty but also to sniff and explore the world!

Going out for a walk is a lot like you heading to your favorite department store to shop. There are a lot of items they’re looking to check out, but if they get yanked away as soon as they’re checking it out they’ll probably get frustrated!

It’s like letting them look at a nice pair of shoes but not check out the price tag.

And while there are times that our walks are more rushed, try your best to give your dog ample opportunities to sniff and take in the world around them.

Our dog’s noses are how they learn and explore. Let them shop! ;)


While we do have articles on our site about costume ideas for your dog, that doesn’t mean every dog will love it!

Some dogs truly hate the experience of being dressed up.

That can include jackets, costumes, booties, hats, and any other arrangement of human-concocted accessories.

For some dogs, the feeling of being constricted in a jacket or booties can be a serious mental hangup for them.

So, just like with all things that may be uncomfortable for your pup, start slow!

Work on desensitizing your pup to any clothes you may want them to wear. And if your dog gets uncomfortable, don’t continue.

Again, keep an eye on your pup’s body language and look out for things like yawning, lip licking, moving their body away from yours, etc.


While some dogs don’t mind hugs, others will feel very uncomfortable having someone that close to his/her face.

While sometimes you can’t let your dog sniff forever, be careful to not always be pulling them away from how they explore the world (sniffing)!

And while it may seem necessary for your next Instagram post, keep in mind that many dogs do not like being dressed up.

As with all things, you know your dog best! So, take cues from their body language and follow accordingly.

What are some other things you do that your dog probably doesn’t like?! Let me know in the comments!


Devin: This is the Perfect Pup podcast, helping you build a better relationship with your pup, presented by Pupford. Hello pup parents, and welcome to today's episode of the Perfect Pup podcast. My name is Devon. Today is going to be a good one. We're going to talk about three things that you might do that actually drive your dog crazy. And truthfully, I don't think we think about these types of things enough. Sometimes as humans, we just think what we're doing is okay, because we're humans and we're smart, but generally speaking, there are some things that we might be doing to/around our dogs that actually they don't enjoy. So let's get right to it.

First things first, if you do some of these things, that's okay. We all have done things that probably make our dogs a little bit unhappier or maybe bother them. And you know what? You might hear these things and think I'm going to keep doing them anyways. And that's okay, that's your decision, but it's good to know that these things can cause our dogs issues and just make them uncomfortable basically. So very first thing, I might get push back on this one because some people think, no, I do this and I know my dog loves it, but many dogs do not like being hugged. The act of you coming up, putting your arm around your dogs and it can be very uncomfortable for them because they can feel constricted. You think for yourself, if someone were to come up to you and just start kind of hanging onto you and you couldn't feel like you could get away or that you didn't know where you could go, it might be a little uneasy for you.

And for our dogs, it's the same, especially just generally getting around and being in their personal space, especially near their face is something that can be frustrating for them. And it can make them uncomfortable and can lead to things like bites or them getting reactive or just generally feeling uncomfortable. So hugging your dog while you may love it, they might not. So it's important to keep an eye on their body language. If they're trying to turn their head away or their whole body away, or they start licking their lips or kind of giving you the side eye, those can be signs that they're uncomfortable and you will want to stop.

The second thing that people, humans, us pup parents do that are dogs do not enjoy and probably thoroughly hate is not letting them sniff. I've talked about this before. I understand that as a pup parent, you have a lot going on and you're busy. And sometimes the part of your day where you're taking your dog out for a walk, you might be in a rush. And you know what? That happens. That is totally no normal. We're all humans with busy schedules, but too often, I see people getting frustrated at their dogs for wanting to sniff or wanting to stop and explore certain parts on their walk or just wanting to explore. And at the end of the day, if you're going to take the time to take your dog out on a walk, wouldn't you want to let them sniff? Wouldn't you want to let them take in their surroundings and have a thorough, enjoyable, enriching experience?

Taking your dog on a walk and not letting them sniff is kind of like going into shopping store, pick your favorite store to go shopping. And someone's there pulling your arm along the whole time and you stop. You say, oh, I really like that shirt. I want to check it out. See if they have my size, see if it fits and they're just pulling you along. And you get a look at everything and you get to see it and kind of get glimpses of the things that you would like to understand and explore. But then someone's just dragging you away from those items that you want to check out. That's really kind of what we do to our dogs sometimes. And the problem with it is not only is your dog going to get frustrated and potentially be more likely to pull you on leash because you're not giving them any freedom or any opportunity to explore, but it also just devalues the walk.

A walk is a great time, not only for physical exercise and to go to the bathroom, but also to just work their nose. We've talked about it before enrichment, sniffing, smelling the world around them. It's so, so important. Our dog's sense of smell is up to 10,000 times stronger than ours. And they gain in information and understand things about their world around them through their nose and through sniffing. So try to let your dog sniff more. I promise it'll help them mentally. The third thing that us pup parents do that dogs don't like often, and don't tell my wife I'm going to say this, but dressing them up. I know that we have had blogs on the pup website, even about costume ideas for your dogs. And you see it on social media. And here's the thing.

Just like with these three things that I'm talking about, like every other topic I've covered, it might not apply to you directly. It might not be the case for you and your dog, but generally speaking, unless you very, very carefully and very slowly and effectively introduce getting dressed up to your dog, there's a high probability that they actually don't like it. I know people want to get cute pictures and post on Instagram or TikTok or whatever it is, or just have cute pictures for themselves. But I think you have to ask yourself, is it worth it? Is it worth it if my dog is uncomfortable? Because again, especially with things like costumes or putting even boots on your dog or shoes or any of those types of things, your dog might be fine with it and not care, but for some dogs it's very threatening for them, especially like the costumes where you have to put it over their head. That act for many dogs can be very concerning.

Just like why you're supposed to warm your dog up to putting a collar on or a harness on, it's the same thing for dressing them up. And sometimes I see dogs that get dressed up in costumes or jackets or shoes, and you can tell that they're visibly not enjoying it and uncomfortable. And you got to do what's best for your dog. And you know, for example, if you think your dog really needs boots because of the climate that you're in or whatever, great. But if you're just doing it for the looks and your dog doesn't enjoy it, is it really worth it? Is it really, really worth doing that for your dog? Again, some signs to look out for, my dogs I've noticed, like if they're in a situation where a jacket or something like they'll kind of go stiff, their body can get a little more rigid.

Their tail might go more kind of flat and rigid as well. Licking their lips, turning their head away from you, trying to paw off whatever it is. Those can be signs that your dog is uncomfortable. And at the end of the day, like I said, if you do these things, it's your decision and that's okay. But I think it's important as pup parents to remember that I think in my personal opinion, it's more important for our dogs to feel comfortable and feel safe then for us to get appeasement from them wearing shoes or a hat or some type of costume or a jacket or whatever it is. Right? So know your dog and most importantly, pay attention to the signs that they're giving you with their body language. They'll let you know if they're uncomfortable.

So take it slowly. And if they're uncomfortable, you don't have to keep going. You can stop and work again through that. We have plenty of articles on the Pupford website about desensitization and counterconditioning. So you can look those up, but I hope you enjoyed this episode. I don't mean for it to come across as too negative. And again, if you've done these things or do these things, it's okay. It's just some food for thought as to thinking of how do we keep our dogs feeling more comfortable and more at ease and less in situations that might make them uncomfortable because when your dog's already in an uncomfortable situation, and then you add in more potential bad things for them, you can get what's trigger stacking where it just builds and builds and builds and builds and there's too much.

And then they might snap and they might snap like literally snap at another dog or a human or bite. There are things that when they add up and they get stacked on top of each other, sometimes it can be too much for our dogs to handle. So hope you enjoy this episode. I hope that you find value in this podcast. If you have, please share it with friends. Thank you for everyone who's leaving reviews. If you have not, please leave review on Apple podcasts. And other than that, we will catch you on the next episode.


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