Dogs have some quite flexible behavior, they can stay home, put up with crowded places and go with us to the cafe at the weekend without misconducting or making any troubles.
However, there are things evolution has not provided dogs with as they have to learn how to cope with the challenges of living with humans.
These are some behaviors we do that get our dogs puzzled and really give hard time understanding.
1. We often leave them alone
Dogs, as born socialites, are very interactive animals and can make friends so easily. Young puppies are usually intensively excited to spend time around people, other dogs and basically any other animals interested in socializing and interacting with them. They like to play, relax and explore places and stuff with company, but yet, we very often leave our pets in places alone: at home, in kennel clubs or in a vet clinic.
In such situations, loyal and naive dogs cannot even be sure whether we’ll ever get back to them. Only after some time and seeing so much of it are they likely to get used to it, and even then, each experience may still be different.
At home, many dog owners try to establish no-dog zones. In response, some dogs would protest. How are they supposed to stay with their human companions when they’re being kept behind impassable barriers? This explain why dogs would always want so much to come inside when their human pack is all gathered in there, and also why those dogs with loneliness-linked distress often find some consolation in being let inside.
2. We are visually driven
We, humans, live in a mainly visual world whereas dogs in an olfactory one. So, if TVs provide us with some amusement, beaches and parks do make an olfactory feast for dogs.
Another challenge is that dogs are constantly moving while exploring places, while for us, we usually just sit still. Also, they may not find pleasure, like we do, in sitting inactively in front of flashing TVs and Computers.
3. We continuously change smell and shape
Bags, suitcases, shoes and hats: infinite smells stick to these things as we go to malls, workplaces and transportation means, then back home with our pets. Hygienic products like shampoos, soaps, deodorants and perfumes also alter the odors our dogs got used to.
Towels, head-scarves, beards and hair cuts keep changing our shapes. And when we put on new coats and dresses, our altered visual outfit may surprise our dogs.
Dogs usually change their coat twice a year at most. On the other hand, our visual outline changes every day. That means the scents we release vary way more than our dogs have actually evolved to deal with.
It must be confusing for dogs, in an olfactory world, to deal with our continuously changing odors, particularly for a specie that counts so much on its nose to recognize family members from strangers.
4. We like hugging
How we use our front legs differs totally with how our dogs do. We use our forelimbs to carry and hold things a dog would basically have to drag, but to hug each other as well and express love.
Dogs hold each other in a loose way when grappling, mating or on a fight, and being hold tightly by another pet is a sign of a no-easy escape. How young dogs would to know then what a hug from owner means, when that gesture is considered by dogs to be a possible threat?
5. We don’t like to be bitten
Many puppies enjoy play-fighting with other pets as it helps them socialize and bond with each other. But then, they have to observe the other dogs’ conduct while play-wrestling and learn when they’ve unreasonably put their little, razor-edged teeth to use.
Humans are far more sensitive to pain from the jaws of a fight-playing puppy than other dogs actually do, so we are more likely to react negatively to our dogs attempt to play-wrestle with us.
About most of the time, dogs use their snout to interact with objects. To feed, they use their teeth, jaws and tongue.
Pups also use their mouths while interacting with other dogs to express their love and also to communicate anything like “more of it” to “No!” to “stop it!”. So, by nature, dogs are basically using their mouths to communicate with us, and they must be confused by how we sometimes react offensively.
6. We do not eat food from wherever
Like most animals, dogs are opportunistic by nature and will take food from wherever they find it. On the other hand, we provide them with meals in dishes of their own.
Pups must be perplexed by how we react when we spot them eating stuff from park benches, tables and bins. We should not be surprised when our puppies excavate any house stocked food if it is accessible to them.
7. We share territories with each other
We trespass into other dogs’ territories, get their scent stuck on us, and let strangers and unknown pets come into our dogs’ place. Dogs did not evolve to take and put up with such encroachments and menaces to their safety and interests.
With that in mind, we should not be surprised by how our dogs deal with hostility and wariness with visitors, or when they are treated with unfriendliness when they come to the houses of others.
8. We use our hands a lot
We use our hands to perform so many tasks: deliver food, toys, treats and scratches. Other times, we use them to restrict access, arrange objects, cut nails, administer ointments and scrub with combs and brushes.
No wonder some pups are very vigilant to human hands as they move around them. We can get dogs to feel more relaxed with different hand movements and activities by training them to collaborate with rewards.
Humans may sometimes misinterpret dogs’ fear and even meet it with unfriendliness which will exacerbate the problem. Some hand-shy doggies can easily get offensive and end up in canine shelters where their life span is basically much shorter.
Generally, dogs are some of the most sociable animals and are amazingly able to adapt to different life situations and puzzles. Their relational and behavioral adaptiveness provides us with lessons in flexibility and how to tackle life challenges positively. Our task is to realize the absence of ruse and malignancy in everything they do.