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 you 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 you 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 the 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 you truly hate your pet, he can certainly tell.
Akiko Takaoka of Kyoto University has stated that dogs 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 the 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?
I can only assume that you would not take this lightly. I know that I wouldn’t.
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.
If you want to maintain a happy home, and a pleasant relationship with your pet, you must bridge the gap between you. Learn to love your pooch again, and he will love you in return.
Why Is My Dog So Annoying?
The first thing to do in re-establishing a loving relationship with your pet is to understand why you find him so annoying.
If your pooch is displaying habits that displease you, it is up to you to change the situation. You are the one who is in charge, after all, and it should be you who trains your pup, not the other way around.
If you tolerate certain annoying behaviors, then your pup will never see the error of his ways, and the behaviors will continue.
It is important to remember that your pup is not acting out of malice – he doesn’t hate 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 the four-legged member of your family.
Dogs will, it seems, be dogs. Some canine behaviors are simply instinctual, and if you find them to be annoying, it is up to you to deal with the situation.
It may require a bit of time and attention, but behaviors can be changed to meet your expectations. You can best accomplish this transition by rewarding positive changes and withholding attention to negative ones.
But remember to make sure that your pet’s problem behaviors are not caused by some underlying physical condition. A trip to the vet is warranted to eliminate this possibility.
How Do I Stop Hating My Dog?
So, just how do you stop hating your pooch?
Simply by removing the things that have engendered this feeling.
Let’s face it – it may be hard to love a continuously misbehaving pet.
But, on the flip side, it’s difficult not to love a well-behaved one. So, if you want to fall in love with your four-legged friend all over again, help him be the animal you cared for in the first place.
To do this will involve an investment in time and patience, but you will be well rewarded with the return of a deep affection and trust between you and your pet.
Start by ignoring his annoying behavior. This does not apply if his behavior is destructive, such as chewing on shoes or other things, but can work if he is simply annoyingly begging for attention.
Refuse to pet him, nor show affection, until he complies with your wishes. If he jumps up on you, ignore him. Do not reward his barking with a friendly pat on the head.
Once again, don’t give in to your pup, but make him comply with your wishes.
Refuse to walk him, or play with him, when he is insistent, but rather when it meets your needs. You are the one training him, remember?
If your canine companion misbehaves during an activity, discontinue it immediately. Does your puppy nip at your fingers trying to get the ball you’re tossing around with him? Stop!
Is your large canine companion dislocating your shoulder while pulling you around the park? End the walk.
If you don’t, your pooch will come to accept these behaviors as acceptable ones, when they are exactly the opposite.
Moreover, you must always be consistent with your expectations. Don’t let your pet slide on the weekend and toe the line on weekdays. Our canine buddies don’t understand calendars, and you are simply undermining yourself.
Also, make sure that everyone in the household is familiar with your training techniques. If you are being firm and consistent, but someone else in the house is being indulgent, all your hard work will come to naught.
You can also try to figure out what your furry friend is trying to achieve with his behavior, and substitute a more acceptable way for him to achieve his goal. For example, if your furry friend tends to bark for his dinner, lead him to his bowl and refuse to feed him until he sits quietly.
Some of your pet’s behavioral problems may simply be signs of boredom. Make sure he has activities to keep him busy. Provide him with chewy toys that take a bit of time to chew through, or give him an old sock filled with treats to work his way through. You can even him yo help with chores in the garden.
Just like a toddler, your four-legged friend needs attention, structure, and activity. And, just like a toddler, your pooch will thrive on play and exercise.
Take him for long walks or arrange playdates at home or at the local park. He will need multiple sessions to keep him occupied, so arrange to walk him 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 between you and your pet.
Additionally, a tired pet is a happy one. And always remember to reward him for good behavior. It’s not enough to discourage his bad actions, but you must offer a positive reaction to his accomplishments.
This doesn’t necessarily mean drowning him in tasty treats.
A kind word and an affectionate pat on the head is enough to do the trick. Your 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 his behavior does.
You will probably have to involve others in this program to improve your relationship with your canine companion. If others are unaware of the problem, they may inadvertently undermine your progress.
You may also want to engage a professional trainer to help. A pet 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 your vet if a bad behavior arises suddenly, without warning, to rule out any underlying causes.
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 in the end. You and your pet may have to work at it a bit, but it will be well worth it in the end.