We love our dogs and they love us back. How simple is that. But despite this unconditional affection and love, we humans can unknowingly annoy the hell out of your dogs. Like I said, our intentional behavior with the best of our intent can irritate our dogs so much because our dogs are not humans. We are friends, companions and mates but we are not the same.  Just like we are unable to grasp many things that dogs do, even dogs find it hard to relate to a lot of our annoying habits. Let’s talk about few of our habits that get the dog’s goat and to be honest; even I am guilty of few of these. None the less, lets discuss those.


Loud yells, screeching sounds and aggressive tones are interpreted by your pooch as barking. Dogs are pretty simple in many ways, they either judge you as a leader, subordinate or a threat. Yelling makes you more of a threat than an authority. Most of the times we humans do not understand the right tone to use while disciplining our dogs and then wonder why are our dogs being defiant and sometimes aggressive. When we shout and yell, exude a tensed energy and dogs pick on it. Far from listening to you, the dogs actually start react either by being submissive or aggressive. Either way, it is not a pleasant experience for your pooch.

Always use low and stable tone while disciplining your dog. Be calm because when the dogs understand the tone, he or she takes you as a dominant pack leader and listens to you without complaining. Reinforce good behavior with treats. Dogs associate behavior with rewards and punishment and consistent association will help him understand what is right and what is wrong.

Hugging and Groping

We humans are very selective and particular about our physical space and are quite vocal about it. Some of us love to hug close people, some of us love to hug strangers and some of us are very particular and do not like to be hugged. There are millions of people in this world and we are all unique. However when it comes to our dogs, we try little to understand what they like. Like humans, even some dogs love to be hugged while others don’t. While some dogs are vocal about it, some don’t and thus it leads to other behavior problems. In many instances kids and strangers have no idea how much pressure to put while hugging a dog and end up hurting him or her. We need to be very observant about how a dog responds to touches. Old dogs are often crankier and do not like to be touched that much. Either way, we need to use our own discretion. If a dog doesn’t like to be touched, respect that.

Staring into their eyes

Dogs see staring into their eyes as threat and domination. In the wild, dogs and wolves stare into their eyes to show who the boss is. When meeting new dogs, try to look away and the dog will not see you as a threat. Many take it personally when dogs aren’t friendly with them and stare at them to be more aggressive. This wont work if you want the dog to leave you alone. Doesn’t hurt to leave your ego aside.


In our most playful mood, we can violate the personal space of our dogs with our reckless behavior. While some people are plain evil, sometimes we annoy our dogs by teasing them. Children need to be told not to imitate them, touch them aggressively, chasing them with things that they don’t like and repeatedly doing something that stresses out your dogs.

Do not try to playfully take away your dog’s food while he is having his meal.  Dogs are at their aggressive best when they are having their food and anything or anyone that comes in their way is a threat.

Respect the beast, just like you would want to be respected by someone else and life is pretty easy.

Leaving your dog alone for too long

Whether humans or dogs, no one likes to be alone for too long. Many of us are working people and we have our obligations. If you have a dog then does make sure that your dog is not left alone in the house for more than 2 hours. Separation anxiety and depression in dogs lead to many behavior issues and can be quite painful for the dogs to be confined to a small space for too long without any other interaction

 I am sure there is a solution. Many keep domestic helps to take care of them while many book them in day care. Many keep more than one dog so that they keep each other busy. You need to choose and have the solution.

Interrupting their sleep

Dogs need their sleep. For them sleep is a fountain of health. They heal, they digest their food and they de-stress in their sleep. Interrupting their snooze time can actually annoy them sometimes. Some dogs can actually get grumpy and aggressive when poked and prodded while they are sleeping. Old dogs sleep a lot as well and do need a lot of sleep to recuperate from the draining social schedules. Like they say, let the sleeping dogs lie. You must let them.

Taking them to crowded locations

Many dogs get annoyed or defensive when thrown into a park filled with too many strange dogs.  The same goes for doggie daycares. If your dog is sociable, she should get along with six or seven other dogs provided the space is large enough and the dogs well mannered. But increase the numbers or reduce the space and you’ll almost certainly see stress like pinned back ears, low tail carriage, yawning, avoidance, and even the occasional fight.

If your dog is sociable, she should get along with six or seven other dogs provided the space is large enough and the dogs well mannered. But increase the numbers or reduce the space and you’ll almost certainly see stress like pinned back ears, low tail carriage, yawning, avoidance, and even the occasional fight. Unexpected visit by other dogs can also stress the dogs. In any situation, introduce your dog to crowd gradually and monitor his or her reaction every moment to avoid unfortunate incidents.

Inconsistent expectations

This is one of the most common mistakes we make while dealing with our pets. Dogs are a creature of habit and association. While humans understand our inconsistent moods, for dogs it can be stressing when we praise them for something at one moment and punish them for the same thing in the other. One of the most common instances is feeding scraps from table. Dogs always beg for food if they know that they have been fed off the table before. If you are happy and didn’t mind giving your dog a piece of chicken one day then does not get angry when the dog begs for it every day. You have to be very clear and consistent with the way you react with your dogs and any change leaves your dog confused.

Keeping a dog is like keeping a child who will never grow up. We grown ups can ignore the feelings sometimes but that doesn’t mean that they don’t get hurt. Some people are naturally sensitive towards canine reactions while others learn with practice. All you need is a little patience and keen observation for you and your pooch to live happily without any heart aches.



Priyanka Lahiri


A marketing and communications specialist by qualification and an abstract artist by design – with over a decade’s experience in both fields – Priyanka Lahiri has had a lifelong association with pets in general and dogs in particular. At present, she and her husband share their home with Loki and Stella, three-year-old Beagles that they dote on.