5 Things That Confuse Your Dog

5 Things That Confuse Your Dog

Man’s Best Friend has many wonderful qualities. He’s loyal, loving, fun, athletic, cute, and playful, to name a few. He’s also very smart: the most intelligent of our canine friends can learn as many as 250 words! Although dogs are quite intelligent, there are some things that frequently stump them. In this article, River Valley Veterinary Hospital a vet serving the local area including Fox Chapel, PA lists five things that confuse Fido.

The Fake Throw

You’d think Fido would stop falling for this, but he hasn’t learned yet. It may be funny to pretend to throw something, just to watch your furry buddy go happily bounding off after what he thinks is a prize, but at the end of the day, you’re really just teasing your pooch.


Negative reinforcement doesn’t work well with our canine buddies, and, in fact, often backfires. This is because dogs don’t understand the concept of punishment, especially after the fact. If you catch your pooch doing something you shouldn’t, you can reprimand him in a firm tone of voice, but anything beyond that may just confuse your furry friend, and leave him feeling anxious, scared, or even aggressive. Use positive reinforcement instead, and reward good behavior with treats and praise.

Mixed Signals

It’s easy to confuse dogs by sending them conflicting messages. For instance, letting Fido get on an old loveseat, but telling him to stay off the new couch, isn’t going to make sense to your canine pal. Praising your pet in a grumpy tone, or reprimanding him in a soothing voice, will also leave your furry pal confused.


Our canine friends are such great companions that it can be easy to forget that dogs don’t think the same way we do. Hugs are one example of this. While Fido may not mind if you hug him, he may see a hug from a stranger as a sign of dominance, and could become uneasy.


Well, we can’t really blame Fido for this one. After all, cats are rather enigmatic little furballs. While dogs and cats don’t always get along, many households have both canine and feline furbabies living in relative harmony. Fido may not understand why Fluffy steals his bed or bats at his tail, however.

Do you have questions or concerns about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, River Valley Veterinary Hospital, your local area, including Fox Chapel, PA area today. We are here to help!

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