Patting their head
You can pat your dog on her head, but that’s only because she loves you and recognises you as the one in charge. For the most part, dogs really dislike being patted on the head, says Meg Marrs, a dog behaviour expert and senior editor at K9 of Mine. This is doubly true for anyone who’s not you. “To a dog, a head pat is a somewhat rude and threatening gesture, especially when the human stands over the dog, as most do,” she explains. Instead? Dogs prefer it if you crouch down to their level and let them come to you. And if you are petting another dog, opt for chin or chest scratches instead of head pats.
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Forcing them to “make friends” with everyone
This may be hard to hear but your chill, friendly pup may not be as into street meet-and-greets as you think he is. “While your dog may adore your affections, he may not be so keen when it comes to others,” says Marrs. He may do it to please you, but if he shows any signs of discomfort, don’t push it. “It’s important to respect a dog’s wishes and give them space if they don’t seem interested in saying ‘hi’ to strange people or dogs.”
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Being a clean freak
No one wants to smell like their dog (we assume) but the opposite is definitely not true. Your dog takes a great deal of comfort in your scent and the stinkier, the better, Marrs says. You may prefer the scent of freshly washed sheets and clothing, but your dog prefers your natural scent. Indulge them by giving them one of your sweaty shirts to snuggle with while you give everything else a good wash, she says.
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