Why Dogs Dislike When You Blow On Them

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Do you recall the first time you blew in your dog’s face? Maybe it was when they were a puppy, or perhaps it happened when they were already grown. Regardless, it likely made them uneasy and triggered their natural instinct to avoid perceived threats. Dogs, you see, hate it when you blow in their faces for several reasons, all of which can be attributed to their sensitive noses. In this article, we’ll delve into why dogs react negatively to being blown on and explore everything you need to know about this behavior.

The Root of Their Dislike: 3 Reasons

There are multiple explanations as to why dogs dislike having air blown in their faces. However, upon closer examination, we can identify the underlying cause. Blowing in a dog’s face is a common gesture among us owners, often used to express affection, much like a kiss. But for dogs, this gesture can be confusing and even threatening at times. This is why your dog might react negatively—not because they don’t appreciate the affection, but because they perceive it differently.

Let’s delve deeper into the top three reasons why dogs dislike having air blown in their faces:

1 – Not Comfortable With It

You may wonder why a dog would feel uncomfortable with something as commonplace as having air blown in their face. After all, they should be accustomed to it. Some dogs even get used to the scent of their owners’ breath. While this is true, dogs, like humans, have their comfort boundaries. Being too close to their faces can be incredibly uncomfortable for them. When you blow in their faces, you are usually in close proximity to them, and some dogs simply don’t feel at ease with that.

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2 – Because of the Scent

Dogs don’t just possess a keen sense of smell; they have an extraordinary sense of smell. They have approximately 40 times as many olfactory cells as humans, enabling them to detect even the faintest scents. This exceptional sense of smell makes them excellent hunters and trackers.

When you blow in a dog’s face, you are also blowing into their nose. This is why they react negatively—they can smell your odor when you blow in their face, and it’s overpowering for them. Imagine someone blowing in your face with a strong smell—you wouldn’t appreciate it. Now consider that dogs have a sense of smell 40 times more potent than ours. Therefore, blowing in their faces can be quite unpleasant for them.

Fun Fact About Their Sense of Smell: Dogs produce a distinct scent called canine odor. This scent, a combination of pheromones and other substances secreted by glands in their cheeks, is unique to dogs. It permeates the air, surfaces, and even their coats. That’s why dogs often notice the presence of other canines and perceive them as threats.

3 – They Perceive It as Aggression

The first reason is that dogs view blowing in their faces as an act of aggression. They may even associate it with aggression from humans or other animals. Consequently, they perceive blowing in their faces as a threat and react negatively.

FAQs

Why Do People Blow on Dogs’ Faces?

There are many reasons why people blow on dogs’ faces. One reason is that blowing helps release excess energy in dogs and makes them feel more relaxed. Others view it as a gesture of affection, similar to petting or rewarding the dog with a treat. People often blow on dogs’ faces to calm themselves down in tense or uncomfortable situations or to show affection.

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Why Shouldn’t I Blow in a Dog’s Face?

There are several reasons why you shouldn’t blow in a dog’s face, all of which stem from the fact that dogs have sensitive noses. To a dog, blowing in their face is perceived as a threat, leading to a negative reaction. While your dog may be confused by this action, it’s also likely that they’re scared. And what do dogs do when they’re scared? They may emit high-pitched whines, lick themselves for comfort, or attempt to hide. So, when you blow in your dog’s face, they may react by hiding or licking themselves to soothe their anxiety. To minimize this behavior, it’s best to avoid blowing in your dog’s face altogether. If you catch yourself doing it unintentionally, make an effort to stop.

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Does Blowing on a Dog’s Nose Hurt Them?

Blowing air in a dog’s face inevitably means blowing air into their nose. Try taking a deep breath and blowing across your hands without constricting your cheeks to form a vacuum— you’ll immediately realize how challenging it is to avoid blowing air into your dog’s nose. Since dogs primarily breathe through their noses, it’s nearly impossible to blow air on their faces without also blowing air into their noses.

Dogs don’t possess a conscious understanding of where their nose ends and your hands begin, so they can’t actively avoid it. As a result, they may try to avoid your hands when eating or lying around, waiting for your attention. Dogs possess a primal instinct to steer clear of potential threats, making a simple blow of air seem threatening to them if they’re sensitive about the matter.

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Bottom Line

Dogs have highly sensitive noses, so blowing air in their faces is typically meant to demonstrate affection. If a dog is scared or in pain, they may react by trying to avoid being exposed to the source of distress. The sound of air blowing across your hand can trigger this automatic response, as it resembles the noise they hear in their noses. Rest assured that there’s no need to worry about causing harm to your dog, as they instinctively know to be wary of things like fire and people attempting to smell them.

References:

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