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 our pets. One of the most frustrating is blowing in a dog's face. The impetus for doing such as thing is not always clear. Perhaps this is tempting because the dog has fur which gracefully quivers when we blow on it. Maybe we find the dog's reaction to be funny or cute. Unfortunately, the reactions we find endearing may be trying to tell you to stop this behavior, even if it is not obviously the case. Some dogs can be a little more obvious, even becoming aggressive if you persist in blowing on their face.
At AnimalWised, we discover why don't dogs like blowing in their face? We see why blowing on a dog's face is almost always not welcome and foster better communication with our dog.
Why do guardians blow on their dog's face?
If you know that dogs do not enjoy being blown on their face, you may find it difficult to answer this question. Although not all dogs will react in the same way, most will have a strong reaction. Unfortunately, this can play into the reasons why guardians blow on a dog's face:
- They find it funny: since a dog can have an exaggerated reaction when we blow on their face, it can appear quite amusing. They may look confused, try to evade the gust of wind or even become agitated. The more someone blows on the dog's face, the greater reaction. This can cause guardians to carry out this behavior persistently and regularly.
- Boredom: many guardians may be lying with their dog on the couch watching TV and then blow on their dog's face out of boredom. It is something people often do when they spend a lot of time with their dog resting.
- Show affection: although we shouldn't blow on a dog's face, not all guardians do it to tease. Many want to show how much their love their dog and think that blowing on them is a way of sharing an intimate moment. Unfortunately, its effect can be contrary to the one that is desired.
- Cool them down: if it is a very hot day, a guardian may try to cool their dog down by blowing on their face. It is possible the dog will enjoy this more, but it will depend on the dog and circumstances.
- Social media: unfortunately, there are trends on platforms such as TikTok which encourage users to blow on their dog's face and film their reaction. As with most content on TikTok, the more extreme the reaction, the more popular the post usually becomes.
Does blowing in a dog's face hurt them?
Blowing a little air on a dog's face will not cause them any significant physical harm. You are not hitting them or causing them physical trauma, but the agitation you cause can provide a negative experience. When you do it once or twice, the dog can become irritated. When we do it regularly it can become a trigger for emotional trauma.
When we see a dog become agitated by blowing on their face, it is a real emotion. The degree of the response will vary according to the individual. It is true that some dogs will not be very upset by the experience, but some can find it very uncomfortable. They may even feel threatened ans respond in an aggressive way. The reasons for such a strong reaction are explained in the sections below.
Look at our related article to learn about other things you should not do with your dog.
Why dogs don't enjoy blowing on their face
Blowing in the face of a dog affects three important organs the nose, the eyes and the ears. These are very sensitive areas. A dog's sense of smell is up to 100,000 times more acute than our own. For such acute smelling ability, their nose is very sensitive. When we consider this, we can see some of the reasons why dogs do not like air blown on their face.
Sensitivity to air
In the wild, dog's use their nose to pick up breezes and the scents which are carried upon them. This is very important for protecting themselves in their environment. When a guardian blows on the dog's nose, it can make the dog think something is wrong in their environment. This helps us to understand why blowing on their face is not appreciated.
Although a dog has a very strong sense of smell, blowing is something humans can do that dogs cannot. They can expel air, but the shape of a dog's snout and the nature of their lips means they cannot blow like we can. If we blow on a dog's face, they can become very confused. They may not even realize it is coming directly from us and they think that something is wrong in their environment.
Learn more about the sensitivity of a dog's nose with our article on why a dog has a cold nose.
Even when the dog knows it is their guardian blowing the air, it can cause them significant confusion. This is because they do not understand our reasons for doing so. If we find it funny, the dog does not understand they are being teased. Instead, the person who is their main reference and who provides security for them is doing something that causes agitation. This can be emotionally damaging to the dog.
If we want to show affection to our dog, then blowing on their face is not the way to go about it. We need to use language our dog will understand. Blowing on their face can be counterproductive in this regard and harm your bond in the long term.
Another reason why dogs do not like air being blown on their face is due to the smell from our breath. We may have a pleasant smell on our breath, especially if we have just eaten food. If the dog smells food, but then does not receive any, it can be confusing for them. Similarly, if we have an unpleasant smell on our breath, it can be upsetting for the dog due to their sensitive sense of smell. This may be the case if we are a smoker since dogs do not generally like cigarette smoke.
When a dog wants to play with another dog, it is common for them to grunt or make similar noises in a state of excitement. It is one of the ways dogs communicate with each other. If we do it to our dog, they may take it as a sign of initiating play. If we do not respond by providing a game session, it can cause the dog frustration.
Another reason dogs will grunt or expel air toward another dog is due to aggression. When a dog wants to fight another dog, grunting can be a sign they are wanting to challenge. When a guardian blows on the face of a dog, the dog may think they are turning aggressive. In these cases, the dog may respond with aggression. The guardian may think this is an overreaction, but it is actually their own fault since they provoked the dog.
Have respect for your dog
Even when the guardian's intentions are well meant, they can result in causing the dog considerable levels of stress. If it is a one off event and we gauge their reaction, the dog may be sufficiently gracious to forget about it. However, if we regularly blow on their face to elicit reactions, it is understandable the dog will become aggrieved. It is similar to insisting on hugging a dog or kissing them on their face, acts they often do not enjoy.
However we interact with our dog, it is vital we get to know their personality and their communication. Dogs communicate through body language, so we need to be able to read their facial expressions, body postures and behaviors. Doing so will not only show the dog the respect their deserve as part of the family, but it will help create a strong bond of understanding. This will avoid problems such as aggression and other behavioral issues.
Our dogs are so much fun to be with and they can find even the smallest acts endlessly entertaining. If we want to enjoy our dog's company, we should do activities that are mutually enjoyable. We set important boundaries for our dogs through education and training. It is only fair we respect their boundaries as well.
Learn how to understand what your dog is trying to say with our video on body language below:
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