If dogs could talk, what would they tell us? That they love us unconditionally? Hopefully. That we’re perfect, faultless companions with impeccable manners? Probably not. In fact, there’s a strong possibility that our annoying human habits would feature quite highly on a dog’s list of grievances! They’re the ones that get criticised for begging, barking etc, but actually it’s us humans that have a lot to answer for.
Ever noticed your dog giving you the sidelong glance of disappointment and wondered what you did to deserve it? Actually, you probably did plenty without realising it. Fortunately dogs are charitable creatures that don’t hold any of our faults against us, although some of our habits would surely drive even the most patient and understanding pooch up the wall.
- Eating a tasty meal in front of a hungry dog – and, let’s face it, dogs are always hungry – should surely be illegal. How cruel to feed yourself! No matter how nutritious your dog’s dry kibble is, it’s the human equivalent of eating a wholesome bowl of porridge every day – healthy, sure, but far from satisfying. Until human kibble becomes available, we can't blame the doe-eyed dog for sitting hopefully at our feet while we tuck into those sausages with gravy. If we were dogs, we’d take our chances too!
- Fake fetch is one of those activities that humans take great pride in – their ability to out-smart a dog. But, be honest, who is the bigger fool here? It’s teasing, confusing and probably incredibly frustrating for dogs who just want an honest game of ball! Go on, throw it, you might even enjoy yourself.
- Being snap-happy is part of being human. But dogs might not like having their selfies taken, no matter how photogenic they are! Maybe they’re feeling self-conscious and want to stay out of the limelight. If the flash is on, your dog is guaranteed to hate it, especially if the photo involves lots of people pushing for centre stage or if dressing up is required. ESPECIALLY if dressing up is required.
- It’s that time of year when we start cracking out the doggy jumpers and our dogs start wishing the same standards applied to them. Ever fancied wearing a collar and a lead? No? You surprise me! Fair enough if it’s Arctic temperatures and your dog is short-haired, but when it’s for the sake of festivity or a photograph, most dogs would probably rather bury them in the garden. The same goes for sparkly bow ties, fairy wings and other 'pretty' props!
- Going to work is a real bore to stay-at-home dogs. I mean, where's the fun in that? In fact, going anywhere that doesn't involve your dog's company is a bit of a kick in the teeth for the sociable pooch. Why can't I come to your meeting or go to the dentist with you? Life is so unfair!
- Barking is a dog's way of communicating, a bit like how we talk and talk...and talk. Surely, after listening to us chatting all day (on the phone, face to face, over the fence etc), it's only fair that dogs should be able to exercise their vocal chords at night. Isn't it double-standards otherwise?
- Being blamed for strange smells is unpleasant enough, without being accused when you're not responsible (for once)! Dogs might not be able to point the finger, but they can certainly tell when they're shouldering the blame for the real culprit. If you want to know who's really guilty, your dog is a good person to look to. Take note of that serious sidelong glance as he passes your husband and you know you have your man!
Fortunately for us, dogs love us in spite of all our annoying habits. We might drive them crazy, but they certainly hide it well! For any cat owners, read our similar article '6 things our cats do that drive us crazy (but secretly we love!)' If you have any points to add, please comment below or feel free to email me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org