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 Meg Marrs, a dog behavior expert and senior editor at K9 of Mine. 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.” Understanding the reasons behind your dog’s weird behavior might be the difference in curbing bad habits.
Patting their head
You can pat your dog on her head, but that’s only because she loves you and recognizes you as the one in charge. For the most part, dogs really dislike being patted on the head, Marrs says. 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.