14 Ways You Could Upset Dogs Without Realizing It

Wouldn’t you want to know if you were doing something to your dog that could be harmful without realizing it?

They are such loving animals, but sometimes we can do things that upset dogs without realizing it.

They are incredibly sensitive animals and can often pick up on our moods and emotions even when we don’t realize it.

In this article, we share 14 ways you could upset your dog without realizing it.

Punishing Or Laughing At Your Dog’s Fears

brown dog looking upset tot he camera

This type of response from an owner can only increase a dog’s fear, making them feel scared and isolated from their family.

Dogs already anxious about certain situations. 

Or objects may become even more scared and hesitant after being scolded for displaying fearful behavior.

Instead, it’s important to help dogs learn how to cope with their fears in a healthy manner.

By tolerating the fear and addressing it calmly, owners can slowly help their dog build up confidence in situations that normally cause anxiety.

Resulting in a strong bond between the pup and its family.

Scare Them When You Come Home

Coming home after a long day can often be an exciting experience, not just for you but also for your dog.

However, if you’re arriving with a lot of noise and commotion can often send dogs into a state of panic – especially if they’re already anxious. 

Dogs are finely tuned to their humans’ emotions, and even small changes can create reactions in them.

To avoid scaring your pet when you come home, it is best to enter quietly and calmly.

Assure your pup with verbal cues or touch, and then introduce some increased activity slowly.

This type of gradual introduction allows the dog to get accustomed and adjust better.


Dogs are social creatures that need regular attention and affection from their owners.

Ignoring a dog can cause it to feel lost, confused, anxious, and rejected.

Dogs seek approval from their owners when they behave well, so failure to do so can lead to frustration, insecurity, and aggressive or destructive behavior.

Setting clear boundaries and providing positive reinforcement helps dogs’ mental health.

little light brown dog on ground standing looking to he camera

Not Making Them Part Of The Family

It is important to remember that their emotional needs should be taken into account just as carefully as any other family member’s.

When dogs are not integrated as part of the family in practice they can become very upset.

This emotional distress can lead to destructive behaviors, such as excessive chewing or barking.

To prevent this, owners should make sure they set aside time daily to play with and cuddle their canine companions.

They should also include them in daily life as much as possible.

With a little understanding and attention, pet owners can ensure that their pup remains a joyful and beloved family member for many years.

Being Inconsistent With The Rules

It is important to be consistent when it comes to rules for dogs.

If a dog doesn’t understand the rules, it can lead to confusion and anxiety.

Occasionally enforcing a guideline might lead to destructive or clingy dogs.

Inconsistency can make dogs think they have more freedom than they do and frustrate them when they are penalized for something they did before without consequence.

This helps create trust in your connection and shows you’re reliable.

black brown white dog sitting in front of a fingert hat points on him

Yelling At Your Dog Or Other People Around

Yelling at dogs or other people can have serious consequences for our furry friends.

Anything from verbal cues to body language can affect a dog’s mood.

Research shows that yelling at a dog raises their stress levels and this causes aggression or withdrawal.

As pet owners, we must ensure our pet’s safety by avoiding hostility and escalating emotions.

Using Their Crate As A Punishment

Not only is there the possibility of causing behavioral problems, but it can also severely damage your relationship with your pup.

brown light dog laying on floor looking so sad

Using their crate as a punishment implies that they must enter the crate out of fear, not as a safe and comfortable place to rest or relax.

This can make the dog scared or anxious when you’re getting ready to store them in their crate, making training more difficult.

With time, patience, and positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, treats, and verbal cues, you can help your dog form lasting affirming associations with its cantine.

If a negative psychological association has already been made, consider transitioning your pup to a new space or changing up the environment inside the crate to help erase any prior connections.

Not Providing Enough Playtime

Dogs are active and playful by nature, and without adequate playtime, they can get bored and anxious.

This is a big problem for pet owners since their dogs may become destructive or even aggressive if this becomes an issue.

Ignoring the need for stimulation can lead to increased stress levels in dogs as well as behavioral issues such as excessive barking and chewing on things around the house.

It’s important for pet owners to provide plenty of play time for their furry companions so that they remain happy, healthy, and contented.

Engaging them with interactive games or bringing out toys that stimulate the mind will help provide necessary physical and emotional outlets – ultimately keeping pooch parents relaxed too.

Rubbing Their Nose In Their Poop

That is an outdated practice that should be avoided at all costs.

Doing so can upset the dog, which can cause them to become scared and anxious.

Not only this, but the action works to punish your dog for mistakes they may not even remember doing.

Rewarding good behavior is often a better option when it comes to potty training.

That way, you can successfully show your pup what it was you wanted them to do without further upsetting them.

Leave Them Alone For Too Long 

light brown dog looking through the window

Dogs are social animals who crave companionship and, when deprived of it, can become poorly behaved, anxious, and/or depressed.

Allowing your dog to suffer from loneliness also leaves them vulnerable to developing destructive habits, including excessive barking and chewing on furniture.

To keep your canine companion happy and healthy, you should minimize the amount of time that they’re left alone.

Also provide them with stimulating toys during periods of separation and make sure that they get plenty of exercise as well as mental stimulation.

So they know they don’t have to worry about being forgotten or abandoned.

Loud Noises

Loud noises can be a source of discomfort for dogs; in some cases, they can even cause them to become distressed.

Continuous exposure to loud noises such as explosions, sirens, and honking car horns can leave a dog feeling scared and confused.

This can lead to behaviors like restlessness, panting, hiding, drooling, shaking, lip-licking or barking.

In extreme situations where their fear becomes overwhelming, dogs can even try to escape or lash out at whoever is making the noise.

To keep your dog happy and safe around loud noises, it’s important to gradually help them become desensitized.

This means exposing them to the sound in an intentionally slow way in order for them to gradually build up their threshold for noise and eventually come to accept it as natural.

With patience and kindness, you can ensure that your dog stays calm when confronted with loud noises.

Not Enough Attention

Dogs are highly emotional creatures, and often, their behavior is a reflection of how they are feeling.

When a pup isn’t getting enough of the attention they desire, it will act out to draw attention away from other family members or activities.

This includes excessive barking, whining, jumping on people, stealing belongings, or pouting during family activities.

All dogs need and deserve affection, cuddles, and playing to feel special and valuable in their family.

little dog running on grass

Not Enough Exercises

Unspent energy may manifest as boredom, stress, or destructive behavior.

Inadequate activity can lead to a wide range of physical and mental ailments, from obesity to depression.

In addition, regular exercise helps to strengthen the bond between the dog and the owner.

Dogs are natural companion animals, and running, playing fetch, or any form of outdoor exploration gives them opportunities to explore the world around them.

Even on busy schedules, ensuring your dog gets adequate physical activity is important to ensure a healthy life.

Car Rides

Those can be scary for some dogs, so consider this before going on road trips.

Car rides can be a difficult experience for some dogs, as they are often uncomfortable and anxious.

Some dogs, for example, may start to pant, drool, or get antsy when they know they are going on a trip.

dark brown dog in a car

This can happen because a dog’s car ride can take them out of their usual area and into a place they don’t know well. This can make them feel less safe than usual.

To make sure your pup enjoys car trips as much as possible, you should start taking them out for drives as soon as possible.

Before You Go…

You now know the ways you upset your dog.

If you want to learn more, read the following article too!

Dimitra Kokologianni, DVM
Dimitra holds a Masters’s degree in public health and a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. She is a versatile professional with over 7 years of experience. Her passion for animal welfare and preventive medicine makes her an excellent resource for our readers.