Several Things Humans Do That Dogs Hate

What kind of sick individual would think this is funny?

There is an article making the rounds on Facebook called “Eleven Things Humans Do That Dogs Hate.”

My Royal Consort and I have owned two dogs. Both Miss Fern and Allie were well adjusted, low maintenance canine companions. They never seemed to hold grudges, and judging by their luxuriant coats and friendly dispositions, they appeared to be thriving under our care. The idea that I might have done things that my dogs secretly hated never crossed my mind, so I was dismayed by my failure of imagination when I stumbled upon the article.

Before reading Eleven Things Humans Do That Dogs Hate, I assumed that one of the eleven things that we do that dogs hate is play Do You (feel like I do) from Frampton Comes Alive loudly in our cars.

Loud music was not on the list, but hugging was, which made my heart sink. For as long as I can remember, I have been offending dogs by hugging them. Not only have I offended my own dogs, I have really ticked off a lot of other dogs with my inappropriate displays of affection. You see, dogs don’t have arms because they are dogs, but because we are descended from primates, we do have arms, and arms are for hugging.

Dogs really hate this kind of anthropomorphic activity

This is not OK. A dog is a dog and should never be dressed like a human.

When we hug a dog with our primate arms, the dog thinks to himself, Goddamn this clueless primate! If I weren’t such an empathic dog, I would bite her stupid primate arms off with my sharp canine teeth!

Hugging dogs is pleasant and satisfying enough, but what I really enjoy is kissing them all over their adorable dog faces. I also like to pull on their floppy dog ears and take liberties with their intriguing upper lip. I very much enjoy tugging on their whiskers, inspecting their teeth and scrunching up the extra skin on their skull above their eyes to make a funny dog face. While I am manhandling their faces I like to utter a steady stream of nonsensical endearments while gazing directly into their beautiful dog eyes.

The hugging is bad enough, but the face touching that I engaged in is “annoying at best and painful at worst.” The author points out that as humans, we would not like it if someone touched our face, therefore the same can be said for a dog. It’s a personal space issue. If you want to please a dog, “give them a rub on its rear end right near its tail.”

I have been talking about getting a dog and each time I bring up the subject of puppies, My Royal Consort reminds me that we love to travel. He has a point and the fact that I cannot get a new dog makes me sad, yet the prospect of raising a dog and depriving myself of face touching feels like too much of a sacrifice. As much as I enjoy rubbing a dog’s rear end, at the end of the day, I am a dog face girl.

As I read the article, I had a nagging worry that the author was going to bring up toilet paper. I always put the toilet paper roll on the holder with the paper flowing downward from the top. I had heard that dogs can get really irritated when the paper isn’t flowing from the bottom, and even though I knew better, I routinely offended Miss Fern and Allie with my insensitivity.

Happily, toilet paper orientation was not one of the eleven things on the list of things dogs hate, but being boring was. Dogs absolutely hate boring people. The military buff who holds you hostage at a dinner party? He should never be allowed anywhere near a dog. The narcissistic D-bag who can only talk about himself? He deserves to have his face bitten off.

Primate arms at work.

Neeko (my grandpuppy) demonstrates through his body language that primate arms are not something he will tolerate.

I had to ask myself: Was I ever boring to Miss Fern and Allie? I like to think that I was always an engaging and satisfying companion to both of them, but I don’t really know.

While trying to remember if I was ever boring in the presence of Miss Fern or Allie, I had to concede that there was a distinct possibility that I was. Miss Fern was in her dotage right around the time when Oldest and Youngest were very little. It is possible that I might have overlooked some of her needs while trying to meet the needs of my two children. I have to concede that I was probably boring in words as well as in deeds. New parents love to talk about their children, and that is about as boring as it gets. Again, I

This dog has reached a perfect pitch of boredom, but is pretending to be engaged.

This dog has reached a perfect pitch of boredom, but is stoically pretending to be engaged by the tedious human interlocutor.

can only hope for Miss Fern and Allie’s forbearance.

Unfortunately for Allie, she had to endure a lot of tension that emanated directly from me. Dogs hate tense people, and truth be told, there were times when I was tense. The fact that I exhibited a great deal of tension during the prolonged illness leading to my mother’s death, and then the inevitable tension that followed after I lost my job as senior designer at a multi-national company, is something I am not proud of. A more sensitive dog owner would have tried to bark less and wag more. It was not pretty for Allie and I am truly regretful.

I did not see the ninth item on the list coming, and I was very gratified to learn that it was not something that I was guilty of. Apparently, dogs hate it when we say “carmel” instead of “caramel”. Likewise the words “realator” and “halapeeno” are known to put dogs into a state of silent, stoic suffering that can actually lead to ulcers and other digestive problems. While I might not have always had control of my emotions, grammar and vocabulary have long been well within my purview, so I am confident that neither one of my dogs was ever offended by mispronunciation or malapropism.

One thing that I routinely did to Allie was on her birthday I would make her stand against a wall and place a measuring stick on her head. Once she was standing as tall as she could, I would draw a line on the wall and record her growth. I thought I was doing a good thing by including her in this human ritual, but I learned from the article that birthdays are painful to dogs because of the whole dog years/human years calculus.

Like any human, my initial reaction to learning that I had done things that dogs hate was to get defensive. The hugging part really rankled. The idea that I would put up with a home-wrecking puppy and not get to hug it pissed me off. Why on earth would anyone agree to this kind of arrangement?

The author highlighted the exquisite sensibilities of dogs and how we humans routinely trample upon these sensibilities, yet she failed to mention canine butt licking, carrion eating, dry humping, chewing, spontaneous vomiting or halitosis—six things that dogs do that humans hate.

The silent menace.

Cat on dog violence, both physical and emotional, is more common than most dog owners think.

In the interest of fairness, I think the author should also have taken cats to task for their outrageous trespasses against dogs. There should be more awareness of everyday cat on dog violence in the home. I am referring to the hissing, swatting and scratching that many dogs silently endure when they attempt to communicate with a cat via the cat’s butt. Often times, the emotional abuse meted out to dogs by cats in the form of insufferable loftiness often goes unrecognized by humans, yet causes the dog unimaginable pain.

Trapped in an endless cycle of cat on dog emotional abuse.

Trapped in an endless cycle of cat on dog emotional abuse.

If I am lucky enough to be entrusted with the awesome responsibility of owning a dog ever again, I promise to act more like a dog myself, forsaking my arms while creating a cat-free yet stimulating environment free of tension. I will use my culinary skills to create vegan dog food, and I will bring my dog everywhere I go so that his needs are always front and center and top of mind for everyone at all times.

Related post: Five Dachshunds, Two Dogs and One Bitch


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  1. Peter says:

    A proper dog will run away from home, possibly going as far west as Wyoming (RI) if he or she hears the word “awesome” uttered in his/her adoptive household.

    1. admin says:

      Most dogs have had awesome sensitivity bred out of them–it’s a survival instinct.

  2. susan saunders says:

    bravo, lavie! love it!

  3. Katy says:

    Dogs really hate it when people say nucular instead of nuclear.

    1. admin says:

      And “hopefully”

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