Dog Owners, What do Your Behaviors Say to Your Pet?
We’ve discussed in numerous posts the effect that human behavior can have in causing or reducing dog bite occurrences. The fact of the matter is that there are many behaviors we as dog owners have that seem completely innocent to us, but oftentimes are disliked, or even feared, by our canine companions. Why nobody can tell you exactly what your dog is thinking, dog trainers and canine experts alike agree that most dogs are not too fond of the following actions.
Your dog’s animal instinct tells them that when another being, whether it be human or canine, restricts their movement by enveloping them in a hug or pinning them down some other way, this is a sign of dominance. Many canines do tolerate this behavior with grace, however it’s vital to understand how important body language is to them. They may be “telling” you they don’t want to be hugged without you knowing it.
Be aware of actions such as tensing up, leaning their head away from the hugger, avoiding eye contact, or pulling their ears back. These are all signs that the behavior is undesirable. While most people hug with the best intentions, they don’t always realize they are putting their face right next to a set of teeth on an animal that may be startled or uncomfortable.
Maintaining Eye Contact
Do you ever notice when you look at your dog, they often quickly look away, like they don’t want you to know they were staring? While many of us view this as a cute behavior, the dog is actually saying they are submissive. This is a good thing, right? Well, it can turn out badly; eye contact is another sign of aggression and dominance to an instinctive dog. Most of the time, the dog will simply look away or roll over to show you they’re submissive. However, if they start backing away from you and/or barking, chances are they took your eye contact as a challenge, and it’s best for you to break that eye contact and back off from the situation.
Keeping the Dog on a Short Leash
When you walk your dog, this is a time for them to smell and explore. Dogs essentially “see” with their nose, and by restricting that access by constantly keeping your dog on a short leash, you could be unintentionally building up their tension and stress. This often causes inappropriate behavior at home or in social situations, as they have pent up energy that has to be released somehow.
Above are just a few common human behaviors that dog may actually not like at all. It’s always important to read your dog’s reaction to particular stimuli to ensure that they are comfortable with the situation. Doing so could significantly reduce dog bite claims.
In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches or causing them to fall. Injuries to other animals are also included. Please contact us today for more information at (855) 534-6495.