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Ten Annoying Dog Behaviors

My mutt is not perfect, even though he has a perfect owner. OK, I guess if I were truly perfect, my mutt would be perfect too. Unfortunately, he’s not.

Here are, in my opinion, some of the most annoying dog behaviors. I’m not including biting, mauling and attacking people in this list.

I think that would be a little beyond annoying. My mutt is guilty of at least half of these and probably all of them at one time or another.

1. When the dog has endless energy

Most dogs in the United States do not get the exercise they need, my mutt included.

But I also notice a big difference in his behavior if he has had a long workout, a short walk, or no exercise at all. I like him a lot more when he’s tired! Probably all nine of the following behaviors could be eliminated if people would just walk or run with their dogs.

An hour a day is really not too much to ask, considering most people could use the exercise anyway.

2. When the dog barges through the door first

Most dogs want to be first. My mutt will barge through the door, up the stairs, out of the room or out of the car before me if I don’t stop him. But he has gotten a lot better at this one, because I do not tolerate it.

No dog will push his way past me. It really tests my patience.

I would consider it rude from a person, so it’s not OK for my mutt to act like that. I have older relatives who could get seriously hurt if my mutt decided to push them out of the way, just to be first.

The same goes with young kids. So, Ace sits and waits for me to go through the door, then he is invited. He is always last. Period.

3. Dogs that beg

How annoying is it when you can’t even enjoy a meal without those big, dumb eyes staring at you?

Then the drooling starts and maybe even a nudge, saying, “Hey! I’m here! I’ll take some of that!”

Or, the dog actually goes beyond the begging and takes your food. Because of his begging skills, my mutt is now required to sit in the other room while I eat, or at least several feet away.

4. Pulling on the leash

Every dog owner knows the feeling of being pulled down the street. It makes the walk very unpleasant.

Various collars can help with this problem, but usually the dog is still pulling, just not as hard or as noticeable.

After a year of practice, my mutt will still pull, especially if he’s just wearing his regular, buckle collar. It’s as though every walk is a race! It’s the most embarrassing when someone else tries to walk him.

Actually, I’ve had some success limiting his pulling, but Ace still wants to walk ahead. He heals when I tell him, then seconds later he starts creeping slowly ahead. First his nose in front, then his shoulder, then half his body.

5. When the dog is overly friendly

This can be done in many ways: barking, wining, pawing, nudging, following, putting toys in your lap, jumping, knocking you over.

It’s all annoying! And most guests don’t appreciate it! The best way I deal with this is by telling my mutt to lie down and stay on his bed when he can’t relax. It helps when he wears his leash if he is more excited than usual.

6. When the dog does not come when called

We’ve all screamed at our dogs to come inside, only to be totally ignored. And even worse, the screaming doesn’t help. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a dog that comes when called 100 percent of the time?

7. When the dog takes over the furniture

I have friends and family members who don’t mind if their dogs are on the furniture. I guess that’s their opinion and they can do what they want in their own homes. Well, maybe.

As a guest in someone’s home, I don’t like it when a little dog is climbing all over me. I also don’t want to share the couch with a Great Dane or a lab.

When a dog claims the couch as her own, she is showing her dominance through territory. Setting rules as simple as not allowing her on the furniture can help with other behavioral problems.

At least make the dog wait until she is invited onto the bed or couch on your terms.

8. The dog chews on things

If only dogs knew that if they didn’t chew our stuff when we’re gone, they would get more freedom. I would let my mutt have the run of the place every time I’m gone if I knew I could trust him.

Unfortunately, there are times when I can’t trust him. A bored dog is a destructive dog, or a noisy dog.

9. The dog barks in his kennel

The first month that I had my mutt, he cried for at least ten minutes every time he went in his kennel. With time, he has learned that crying will not help his situation. He gets to come out after he’s quiet.

Now, the only time he cries is if new people or dogs are visiting and he wants to be out with them. The only thing I can do is make sure not to invite him out until he is quiet. That way he learns never to bark in the kennel.

10. The dog barks unnecessarily

No one wants to be the owner of that dog in the neighborhood that everyone hates because it won’t shut up! Some dogs are more vocal or territorial than others, but a long walk will help with this one. Most dogs bark when they are bored or frustrated and a walk will help them get rid of extra energy.

Of course, most of these annoying dog behaviors are directly related to annoying owner behaviors, starting with not setting limitations. If owners could be more consistent in training their dogs, most of these problems could be eliminated.

As imperfect as Ace is, I have had friends comment on how well behaved he is. They say I just got lucky and I have such an easy dog to train. Well, I’m not that lucky.

I spent months searching for the best dog for my lifestyle, and I spend hours every week working on enforcing good behavior. This process will continue throughout Ace’s entire life. Training is ongoing.

There will never be a perfect dog or a perfect human, but there can always be a better dog or a better human.

1 Million in 365 Days

Wednesday 20th of February 2008

Well no matter how annoying a dog can be, those are the same reasons you actually love your dog for. You could change the title to "10 things I like about my dog":)


Tuesday 19th of February 2008

People have seen the Dog Whisperer on TV, they always blame the owners. Something as simple as a walk once per day can really make a difference in your dogs behavior and attitude. Good list!

Stuart - SecludedHabitat

Tuesday 19th of February 2008

Heya, You bring up some really interesting points here. However I have to say for me I love to have the dog acting overly friendly. However I know it does get annoying for guests.

And number 10... eeek my dog has been doing this more and more lately. I mean sometimes she barks with good reason, however most times it is just because she can.

And perhaps there is one that we can add to the list. When we take our dog out walking she gets really scared, if she walks over a manhole that moves slightly she will just stop and not budge... This is a REAL bummer (and embarassment).

I mean I feel sorry for the poor dog, but I cannot believe she gets scared out walking.

A good read, I am going to try your theory on number 10. Thanks Stuart