It’s early in the morning. The sun has barely risen as you go in search of coffee.
But the kitchen is not as you left it the night before. Trash is spread out over the floor like a carpet. Papers are chewed, food containers are nibbled, and your patience is shredded.
When you finally finish picking up the refuse, you sit down at the table and sip your strong brewed coffee while your dog sits in the corner assiduously licking his private parts.
He then calmly approaches and stretches to lick your face. God, you think, I hate my dog!
Can Dogs Sense If You Hate Them?
For a brief moment, you feel guilty . How can I hate the family pet? He’s only doing what dogs do, after all.
And besides, a pat on the head, and all will be forgotten, right?
You look into his childlike eyes, and wonder if he can sense that you hate him, if only for a moment. Does he know? And how will it affect your relationship?
It may come as a surprise, but most experts agree that he can, indeed, tell that you hate him.
Dogs are pack animals, and as such, have developed a sophisticated sense of social relationships. Their long history with human beings has extended this ability beyond simply their own kind.
They can easily pick up on human emotional cues, and if they are not wanted , they can certainly tell.
Akiko Takaoka of Kyoto University has stated that pups have a much more sophisticated intelligence than previously thought. And, it would seem, a much more sophisticated emotional life, as well.
Studies have shown that while they will spontaneously trust humans, this trust is quickly eroded if a human proves himself or herself unworthy of it. They will experience jealousy as well if a human pays attention to something other than themselves.
Many people believe that these feelings are not truly emotions, but studies seem to indicate otherwise.
After all, why would it be so hard to believe that animals, especially our canine buddies, who have lived beside us for many centuries, are incapable of higher emotions, and are capable of expressing them?
When you get right down to it , we, ourselves, are animals, and we have our more primitive animal ancestors to thank for our rich emotional lives.
How would we react if we were to believe that our primary caregiver, the person we look to for both physical and emotional sustenance, our authority figure, the leader of our pack, so to speak, hated us?
It could result in acting out. The animal may show signs of aggression and/or depression, leading to withdrawal from the family or even dangerous situations with younger children.
Why Is My Dog So Annoying?
The first thing to do in re-establishing a loving relationship with your pet is to understand why it seems annoying in the first place.
If your pooch is displaying bad habits, a certain amount of work will be required to change the situation.
If certain annoying behaviors are tolerated, then the pup will never see the error of its ways, and such behaviors will continue.
It is important to remember that your pup is not acting out of malice ; he doesn’t detest you , he didn’t pee in the living room to upset you!
He is simply acting canine while you may expect human. That old adage. “Boys will be boys,” can just as accurately be applied to an animal.
It’s lovely how some people humanize dogs but hounds will, it seems, be hounds.
It may require a bit of time and attention, but conducts can be changed to meet expectations. This transition is best accomplshed by rewarding positive changes and withholding attention to negative ones.
But remember to make sure that such a problem is not caused by some underlying physical condition. A vet visit is warranted to eliminate this possibility.
How Do I Stop Hating My Pup?
Simply by removing all things that have engendered this feeling.
Let’s face it – it may be hard to love a continuously misbehaving pet.
However, it’s difficult not to love a well-behaved one. Even if you don’t consider yourself one of those dog people who love hounds no matter what they do.
So, in order to fall in love with the four-legged family friend all over again, help him be the dog you cared for and brought home in the first place.
To do this will involve an investment in time and patience, but it will be well rewarded with a return of a deep affection and trust.
Start by ignoring annoying behaviors. This does not apply in some cases , such as chewing on shoes or other things, but can work if the matter is simply annoyingly begging for attention.
Refuse to play with him, nor show affection, until it complies with your wishes. Do not reward barking with a friendly pat on the head.
Once again, don’t give in.
Refuse to go on walks, or to play when he is insistent, but rather when it meets your needs. You are leading this training, remember?
If the canine misbehaves during an activity, discontinue it immediately. Does your puppy nip at your fingers trying to get a ball you’re tossing around ? Stop!
Is your large dog dislocating your shoulder while pulling it around the park? Dont just feel bad about it, end the walk instead !
If you don’t, a pooch will come to accept such conducts as acceptable ones, when they are not!
Moreover, consistency is key when it comes to expectations. Don’t let it slide on weekends and toe the line on weekdays. Our canine buddies don’t understand calendars, and this is simply a way of undermining yourself.
Also, make sure that everyone in the household & other family members is familiar with such training techniques. Being firm and consistent on your part isn’t enough if someone else is being indulgent, all hard work will come to naught.
Also, try to figure out what your furry friend is trying to achieve , and substitute a more acceptable way for it to achieve it. For example, if your furry friend tends to bark for dinner, lead him to his bowl and refuse to give any food until he sits quietly.
Some kinds of behavioral problems may simply be signs of boredom. Make sure he has a list of activities to keep busy. Provide chewy toys that take a bit of time to chew through, or an old sock filled with treats to work its way through.
Just like a toddler, your four-legged friend needs attention, structure, and activity. And, just like a toddler, a pooch will thrive on play and exercise.
Go out for long walks or arrange playdates at home or at local parks. Multiple sessions may be needed to keep him occupied, so arrange a walk in the morning before you go to work as well as in the evening.
These times together are an excellent chance for additional training sessions, and to rebuild that bond of affection .
Additionally, a tired pet is a happy one. And always remember to reward when something good happens. It’s not enough to discourage bad actions, but offering a positive reaction to accomplishments will also help.
This doesn’t necessarily mean drowning him in tasty treats.
A kind word and an affectionate pat is enough to do tricks. The animal will bask in your approval, and struggle to gain more of it.
It’s much easier to love a well-behaved pooch than an irascible one and your relationship can only improve as the behavior does. In addition, coming home will be more rewarding.
You will probably have to involve others in this program as well. If others are unaware of this problem, they may inadvertently undermine any progress.
Engage a professional trainer to help as well seems to be beneficial. A home sitter is advisable if you will be away for an extended period to prevent your companion from indulging in adverse behaviors without any feedback.
And it is always advisable to consult a vet if something arises suddenly, without warning, to rule out any underlying causes.
And remember not to look at this process as a high maintenance task, instead see it for what it is, a rewarding investment because a good pup will easily earn your affection, and return it in kind.
Just like people, dogs come in many varieties. Some are harder to love than others, but almost all can prove lovable eventually.
So, before deciding that owning a dog isn’t worth it and heading up to an animal shelter to make a donation, work at it a bit, it will be well worth it.