Why Don't Dogs like Blowing in their Face?

By Amy McCready, Animal rights journalist. June 14, 2017
Why Don't Dogs like Blowing in their Face?

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Some actions that may seem amusing to humans are incredibly irritating for your pet. Have you ever blown in your dog's face or ears? Surely you have noticed their discomfort when you do this, they even may get a little defensive and on the violent side.

If you have ever asked yourself "why don't dogs like blowing in their face?", this AnimalWised article will explain exactly why. We want to elaborate on how your dog feels when you do this and convince you to give up the teasing! Keep reading, we're here to help.

You may also be interested in: Are There Animals That Don't Sleep?

Does blowing in a dog's face hurt them?

Blowing air into a dog's face may just seem like some mindless fun, but dogs hate it. If you think about it, do you ever blow another person's face for fun? Even when you try to tease a baby with this they will be irritated.

Although this won't necessarily hurt them, the shock of the sensation is not pleasant to them. With this in mind, and knowing that sometimes your dog may attack as a response - there is no need to keep doing it! There are two reasons why your dog is angry that you're doing this: the effect it has on their senses and the discomfort that this produces.

Why Don't Dogs like Blowing in their Face? - Does blowing in a dog's face hurt them?

Blowing a dog's face is not fun for them

Blowing in the face of a dog affects three important organs: the nose, the eyes and the ears.

First of all, you must remember that your dog's nose is one of their most developed senses. Thanks to their wet nose and the millions of sensors that reside in it, the dog can detect odors from far distances. This gives them a relatively accurate idea of ​​what surrounds them.

When you blow their face their nose dries, so the dog may feel puzzled as they lose the view they had around them. Unsurprisingly, it is common for them to become violent after this sensation. Similarly, when blowing their face this can temporarily dry their eyeballs. In all honesty, who likes to receive a stream of direct air in the eyes?

Consider these two factors:

Unexpected air

Dogs are incapable of blowing air out of their mouths like we can, so this sensation in their face is unusual and completely unexpected. When something is foreign to them they tend to instinctively react with a growl or a snap to the air. This is them warning you to stop as it is incredibly unpleasant for them. However, it is not rare for them to end up biting the person - so avoid it!

Too close for comfort

Imagine someone coming up close to your face, then suddenly blowing air on you. Generally, most people would hate this. And the fact dogs do not know whats coming means they will hate it even moreso. They could feel uncomfortable with the direct stare also. You should never shove your face too close to your dog too often, it is irritating and could result in a bite to the face. This doesn't mean your dog is aggressive, but your pestering will spark that kind of "violent" reaction in them.

Because their senses are much more developed than that of humans, what they perceive will be very loud and annoying. Much more than what we would personally experience.

Why Don't Dogs like Blowing in their Face? - Blowing a dog's face is not fun for them

Have respect for your dog

All in all, the most important thing to understand is, if your dog has shown discomfort from this act, you should not continue to do so. As much as we like to have fun with our pets and tease them, as soon as they show the slightest aggression or frustration towards us, we should stop.

Dogs are sensitive and loving animals who remain loyal to their owners, creating a strong bond with them. The relationship between both should be based on mutual respect. This includes respecting their personal space and identifying when your behavior could be deemed irritating.

In the same way that you strive to correct unpleasant behaviors in your dog, you must rectify your own to achieve a harmonious and happy coexistence.

Why Don't Dogs like Blowing in their Face? - Have respect for your dog

If you enjoyed this article, you may be interested in why do cats hate water? and why does my dog smell everything on the street?

If you want to read similar articles to Why Don't Dogs like Blowing in their Face?, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.

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I've had to blow on a dogs face to get him to drop something he shouldn't have had. It was a reflex and the only thing to get it from him. He has powerful jaws and if you try to something from him he starts to tug. Everyone is very critical at what the best course of action. Since I said no then did it he responded. Would something like this be frowned on? He's over 90 lbs and physically taking things from him is nearly impossible.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Cherie,

The problem is that annoying the dog by blowing on them is a form of negative reinforcement. Since they ar annoyed and, potentially stressed, it can cause further behavioral problems. It will be different with every dog, but the best thing you can do is provide more education and training through positive reinforcement so they drop the item on command.
Thank you for the response. The only problem is this is what everyone says whom I've asked, and give no suggestions on what a positive reinforcement to use. He's not allowed treats due to diet restrictions, and I've tried distracting him with a toy that works part of the time. If he has something or another animal in his jaws, how do I safely remove it or save that animal? I know training him is part of it which I'm working on but what do I do with the time in between if something happens and no one is around to help?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Cherie,

We know it is tricky, but there are ways around it. All dogs will need to eat, even if they have dietary problems. The two options here are to find a treat (or a homemade recipe) which will work with their diet or to simply save a little of their main feed and use it as a treat.

If you don't think the dog is safe until they have more training, you will also need to limit their interaction until they can be properly socialized. Finally, here is a link with more info on positive reinforcement which we hope you find useful:
Thank you so much for this article, I am looking after a friend's dog and initially found this amusing and thought she found it playful.

She then began to react a bit harsher than expected as she is a very kind, loyal and loving French Bulldog

I mentioned it to my Mom and she said that dogs may well not like this and after reading this it makes complete sense, and gave me a little bit of a guilty feeling too!!!
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Brockney,

We are glad we could help and thank you for sharing. It's hard to convey to a dog that we are being kind and playful sometimes, even if our itnentions are good.
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