I'm a Veterinarian and These Are the 10 Things You're Doing That Your Dog Hates

Strengthen your bond by sidestepping these common mistakes.

You and your dog are thick as thieves, but let's face it: There's also a language barrier. Without the advantage of being able to communicate with words, there are plenty of opportunities for dogs and their owners to misunderstand one another. Adam Christman, DVM, MBA, a veterinarian and content creator, says that oftentimes this results in us doing the very things our dogs dislike. Wondering what you're getting wrong in the eyes of your furry friend? These are the top 10 things you're doing that your dog hates, according to the vet.

RELATED: Top 5 Most Difficult Dog Breeds to Potty Train, Veterinarian Says.

1
They hate when you rush them to do their business.

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Christman shared in a recent TikTok post that when you take your dog out for a potty break, you should be sure to budget enough time for them to go at a leisurely pace. Pulling on their leash or ordering them around won't go over well.

"They hate when you rush them to go pee and poop. How would you like it if someone said, 'hurry, hurry, hurry, let's go!'" he says.

2
They hate when you walk them in terrible weather.

Frenchie dog in a vest going for a walk in the winter in the snow
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Just as you don't want to walk in inclement weather, your dog probably doesn't either. "Don't take them when it's way too hot or way too cold," Christman advises.

Instead, take a look at the weather forecast before your day's schedule is set in motion, so you can plan your walks for the most temperate time of day.

3
They hate when you stop them from sniffing.

Jack Russell Terrier puppy sniffing the grass in a sunny garden.
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Dogs have an incredibly powerful sense of smell, and they gather a ton of information by sniffing their surroundings. That's why Christman says that your dog hates it when you pull on their leash as they take it all in.

"Remember, this is their walk—don't rush them. Sniffing gives them purpose," the vet says.

RELATED: I'm a Dog Trainer and I'd Never Own These 5 Breeds "Unless My Life Depended on It."

4
They hate when you forget to build a routine.

Young woman gives a bowl with dry food for her white dog at home. Concept of healthy and balanced nutrition for pets
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Many dogs thrive in a more structured environment and love having a routine they can expect. This means feeding them, walking them, and playing with them on a somewhat predictable schedule.

"They hate when you don't have a routine," the veterinarian says. "Be consistent. It'll make for a better dog."

5
They hate when you take the same walk every day.

Couple walking dog in autumn
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Though many dogs love a good routine, that doesn't mean they want to take the same exact walk every day, Christman says. In fact, the vet argues that they hate "not changing up their walk."

"Go different ways. Make them explore. They need to smell different things," he says.

6
They hate when you keep them in a too-tight collar.

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An overly tight collar can make your dog uncomfortable and agitated. By keeping your dog's collar slightly looser and taking their collar off when they're safely at home, you can avoid irritating your dog needlessly.

"You should be able to get two fingers underneath their collar," Christman notes.

7
They hate when you forget to trim their nails.

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Your dog relies on you to keep their nails short to avoid painful splitting, chipping, and pressure on the nail bed. The average dog will need to have their nails clipped every three to four weeks, or any time the nail starts touching the ground while they stand, according to PetMD.

"They hate overgrown nails. They slip, fall, and they can't get traction," Christman notes.

RELATED: I'm a Veterinarian and These Are the Top 5 Neediest Dog Breeds.

8
They hate when you leave them alone for too long.

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Your dog hates feeling lonely when you're gone all day, which is why the veterinarian recommends building in some extra opportunities to socialize.

"They hate when you desert or isolate them. Doggy daycare or having someone check on them like grandma can keep them engaged," Christman suggests.

9
They hate when you make them "apologize."

Dog Eating Roll of Toilet Paper
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When your dog does something wrong, your instinct as an owner may be to try to elicit contrition. But Christman says they hate feeling shamed and would likely benefit more from positive reinforcement when they do something right.

"They hate when you have them say 'I'm sorry.' They don't know," the vet points out.

10
They hate when you forget to play with them.

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Finally, your dog lives to play, and they hate when you forget to prioritize fun. Whether it's tossing a ball, wrestling with a rope toy, or racing one another at the park, playing together deepens your bond and makes them feel loved.

"Get on the floor and have a good time with them. They love it!" Christman says.

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Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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