The 12 Biggest Misunderstandings Between Dogs and Humans

The dog is considered to be man’s best friend. And yet we don’t always get it right. Some misinterpretations of dog behavior have become ingrained in many dog owners. Here you will find the 12 most common misunderstandings.

Dog owners often interpret the behavior of their four-legged friends in a completely different way than the dog itself. Even experienced dog owners have had many a misconception in their heads. We clarify the 12 most common misunderstandings – for a harmonious human-dog relationship.

Big ears mean aggression

Flat ears are by no means always a threatening gesture in dogs. It really depends on the context. One must pay attention to the form in which they are laid back (e.g. pressed close to the head or slightly rotated) and what the usual body language is.

Let yourself be pressed

Big hugs are among the 10 things every dog hates. If we want to do something good for our dogs, we should stroke them very gently, in places where they are obviously enjoying it. Gentle scratching of the neck or stomach, for example, is very popular.

Wags show joy

Tail wagging is an expression of excitement. And that can be both positive and negative. Again, context matters. If a dog sees its arch-rival from afar, it expresses its “annoyance” by swiftly moving its tail. If, on the other hand, he greets his people by wagging his tail, he is of course happy.

Dogs that pant sweat

Panting can also be a sign of stress in dogs. Stress panting can be recognized by the fact that the lips are pulled far back and the tongue appears stiff. If the dog is just hot, the dog’s lips and tongue will be more relaxed.

But he has to hear/see/smell that!

Dogs have excellent senses, but even they cannot do everything at once. If the dog is busy sniffing, it may be that he is inaccessible to everything else. He will not notice any calls in this mode. If we accuse him of disobedience because of this, we are actually doing him an injustice.

Whoever attacks is dominant

When a dog attacks, it is usually scared and has no other way out. It has been proven that dogs have four strategies in a conflict situation, the 4 Fs:

  • flight
  • flirt
  • Freeze
  • fight

Most dogs choose to escape. If that is not possible, it can also be the attack, depending on the character and experience. In the event of aggression towards other dogs, the dog owner must keep a cool head and react correctly.

If the dog licks its lips, it is thirsty

A dog licking its lips is feeling uncomfortable. Licking the lips is considered a calming signal and the dog shows that it is very insecure and anxious at the moment. Instead of a bowl of water, he now needs rest.

Just don’t look into the eyes!

Just don’t look the dog in the eye is a very general statement. Of course, staring from a dog’s point of view is a provocation – especially towards strange dogs. But there are also dogs that seek eye contact with their owner while cuddling and stroking. In this case, looking the dog in the eye can even strengthen the bond.

Barking is aggressive

Just as with body language, the overall situation must also be considered with spoken language. High, fast barking is usually an expression of joy and excitement. High pitched barks are more in the direction of fear/excitement, low pitched barks are more in the direction of warning. Short, sharp barks usually mean something like: Go away!

He has a bad conscience

Dogs feel no remorse, experts agree relatively. Nevertheless, many dog owners are convinced that their dog has a bad conscience when it has left something. But no, say the experts. The dog senses its owner’s anger and responds with reassurance. He doesn’t feel sorry, especially not for things he did in our absence.

Yawning means tiredness

Yawning in dogs can have many triggers. It can definitely indicate tiredness, but it can also be a stress reaction. Yawning is therefore an important body signal that can reveal a lot about the condition of the dog.

Puppy protection myth

Unfortunately, the famous puppy protection is not far away. Puppies from your own social group are okay, but strangers? They are only welcome if they behave well. Of course, not every adult dog will go after a puppy. His reaction depends on the situation and character. But according to new findings, there is no general protection for puppies in dogs.

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