1. Hugging your dog
You might love wrapping your arms around a furry canine friend but the fact is most dogs hate hugs. We as primates think hugs are awesome and express support, love, joy and other emotions through hugs. It’s totally normal to us to wrap our arms around something and squeeze, and it only means good things. But dogs did not evolve this way. Canines don’t have arms and they don’t hug. Rather than camaraderie, if a dog places a foreleg or paw on the back of another dog, this is considered an act of dominance. No matter what intentions you have with hugging, but a dog is hardwired to view the act of hugging as you exerting your dominance. So try to avoid hugging your dog - if you can!
2. Looking into dog's eyes
We all know how powerful eye contact is. While we view steady eye contact as as a sign of trustworthiness or focus, we have to also be aware that eye contact can feel unnerving, uncomfortable and domineering. It is creepy when a stranger looks us in the eye without breaking contact, especially as they are approaching. When you look a stranger dog right in the eye, unblinking, you might be smiling and trying to warm up to them, but the dog is probably reading it as an act of dominance or even aggression. They might display a submissive response — looking away, doing a little wiggle for pets, rolling over onto their backs — or they might start backing up and barking.
3. Getting Into Their Personal Space
We love stroking a dogs face and head because they are just so cute! However, this can be seen as a threatening behaviour. Rushing up to them and towering over them could come across as a provocative behaviour which is what you don’t want. It is best to approach a dog slowly and let them come to you, and not the other way round.
4. Forcing Your Dog To Interact With Dogs or Humans
Just like so many other social species, dogs have their favourite friends and their enemies. It is easy to see what other dogs — and people, for that matter — that a dog wants to hang out with, and those with whom she would rather not associate. Yet, there are a lot of dog owners who go into denial about this or simply fail to read the cues their dog is giving them. It is common for overly enthusiastic owners to push their dog into social situations at dog parks, when their dog rather just go home. Another situation could be that they allow strangers to pet their dog even when she is showing clear signs of wanting to be left alone. Taking small steps to encourage them out of their comfort zone and giving them rewards for any amount of calm, happy social behavior is important to helping them live a balanced life.