Your dog does something that irritates you to your core. Maybe they accidentally made a mess by tracking in dirt from the backyard or got drool all over your favorite pillow.
Being the loving owner you are, you decide to keep your cool and not scream at your dog for innocent little mistakes. But you still need to let out your frustration, so you flip your dog the bird!
We don’t expect our dogs to react to things like the middle finger insult. That’s an exclusively human gesture, so why would they? But to your surprise, your dog gets upset.
Your canine companion may hang its head in shame, turn its back on you like it’s scared, or even try to attack your finger! What gives? Is it reading your mind?
If that situation sounds familiar to you, you’re not alone. There are countless videos on the web of people giving the middle finger to their dog only to realize that it causes a strong reaction.
It makes you wonder what’s really going on in your pup’s head. Why does it seem that dogs hate the middle finger so much?
Reading Between the Lines
Here’s what you have to understand about dogs. They don’t understand the meaning of your words or actions. But they certainly understand the change in your mood.
They know how to identify emotions, and aggressive behavior from the human they love most is not something they can ignore.
When you flip your dog the bird, you’re not just extending the middle finger. You’re likely changing your entire demeanor.
Your face might change as your brow furrows, and your mouth snarls into a frown. Then, your posture changes from relaxed and easy-going to firm and upset.
Those are the signs that your dog picks up on. Your finger is the least of their worries. It’s everything else that’s causing concern!
The Dog Sees You’re Upset
Your pup can clearly see that you’re upset. But here’s the thing: Your dog doesn’t know why. When that middle finger comes out of nowhere, it’s a confusing sign leading to anxiety. Your pup doesn’t know how to react or what to do.
They might fear it, thinking that you’re on the verge of scolding. Alternatively, they might feel that your finger is causing you distress, resulting in an all-out bite!
Either way, it’s not something they like to see. Your dog wants nothing more than to be by your side, feel your love, and be your best friend.
Dogs take scoldings seriously, and any form of anger or hostility directed towards them from the one they love most is a big deal.
Simply put, your unpleasant gesture hurts! Dogs don’t understand the true meaning behind that middle finger flip. But they know that you’re not happy, and that hurts!
Why You Should Avoid Pointing Your Middle Finger at Your Dog
It’s bad enough that the change in your attitude warrants a response from your dog. But this gesture can be more damaging than you think.
It sends mixed signals that only confuse your dog. All of the other physical signs that you’re not happy are there. But what’s not there is actual discipline.
If your dog did something wrong, you have to address it. Simple mistakes are one thing, but when you start resorting to the middle finger to avoid real training and behavioral modification, issues will creep up.
Dogs don’t know what that middle finger means. To them, it’s a random act of foreign aggression that makes them feel uneasy.
So flipping the bird instead of correcting the behavior provides nothing to your dog. They can’t connect your action to what they did. All that happens is that they get scared of you!
The Finger Bite
Some dogs may react instinctively, attempting to bite your finger. What then? You must address the bite, but it can be impossible because you initiated the behavior first!
Your goal should never be to upset your dog, and that’s what flipping your middle finger does. That change in emotion that you deliver serves no real purpose.
Whether you did it as a joke or because they misbehaved, it does nothing but makes your dog confused and feel awful.
There are better ways to address accidents and misbehavior through training. But you should avoid throwing up your middle finger in frustration.
Your dog’s reaction to your middle finger can come as a surprise. It’s as if they understand what you’re trying to say. But in reality, they have no idea what that gesture means.
What dogs truly respond to is everything else you don’t realize you do. That sudden change from a loving owner to a scary angry monster is what triggers your dog.
It’s all fun and jokes at the moment. But to your dog, that experience is something that sticks. Do you and your pup a favor and leave the middle finger gesture to humans! When you need to discipline your dog, explore your training options or go to a professional.
Keep the love strong, maintain positive vibes, and let your dog live a carefree life without fear of your middle finger!
Also read: Why do Dogs Stretch So Much?