It is early in the morning and you wake up feeling congested. You go into the kitchen to get some allergy medication and your dog is laying there on her bed. As you are getting out the medicine and a glass of water, you begin to sneeze profusely. Your dog immediately shoots up and rushes over to you. She begins to whimper, lick, and circle you. It is as if someone has attacked you and your dog needs to make sure you are okay. Although this love and attention can be nice, it is best to know why our dogs rush to us when we sneeze.
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The Root of the Behavior
When we sneeze, it usually comes out of nowhere. We may feel it coming a few seconds before, but to everyone around us, we are sneezing abruptly. People around us can get startled and we will usually receive a comment about our sneeze. As humans, we know a sneeze is a sneeze and although it may seem startling, we are not too surprised. Dogs, on the other hand, do not understand this. Canines are sensitive and empathetic creatures who adore humans. A sneeze to them is a scary thing to witness. Your dog is watching you make an odd face before you sneeze and they are watching you have an odd reaction where air, noise, and from their perspective, pain, come out of your nose and mouth. When you sneeze, your dog will hop up and look to see if you are okay because they fear that you truly are in pain or have been hurt by something. Sometimes, your dog will rush over to you because they are unsure if you truly are okay. Their licks, their comfort, and their worry are all because they want to be your healer. It is a similar reaction that a dog would have in the wild if their pack leader was hurt. Once your dog realizes a sneeze is just a sneeze, he also may interpret your sneeze as something else. When you sneeze, your noise will draw your dog’s attention. To a dog, that noise can be worrisome and it can also be quite exciting. If your dog sees you sneezing, they may run over because they feel like your sneeze is an invitation to come out and play. You may notice that your dog barks, jumps on you, and gets overly excited. Regardless of why your dog runs to you when you sneeze, he is still coming over because he has the utmost respect for you and wants to love you.
Encouraging the Behavior
Canines are empathetic creatures. If you sneeze, cry, or jump up and down with joy, your dog is going to react because they adore you and know your every move. They want to experience life with you. You are their leader that provides them with everything from love to food. Due to this, you should allow your dog to care for you and run over to you when you sneeze. It is a part of their nature to react this way. Dogs can get excited and worried by the smallest of things. This is a completely normal part of having a dog. If your dog reacts in a very concerning way, you can reassure your dog that you are alright. You may need to do it a few times, but once your dog gets adjusted to what sneezing is, they won’t react in such an extreme way. They may still come over to you and comfort you or they may get excited, wanting to play. It is suggested to comfort your dog in times like this and even play with them if you wish. It is also important to make sure that you adjust your dog to what sneezing is and the different human characteristics that you hold. This can make your relationship with your dog flow easier and life can become more enjoyable. Although having your dog care for you once in a while with extreme love can’t hurt.
Other Solutions and Considerations
If your dog is extremely worried and reactive when you sneeze, you may want to train your dog not to react when you sneeze. If you sneeze once and they react, you can mimic your sneeze a few times to show your dog that you are alright. You can also sit with them when you sneeze to show them that you are safe. This can dull down their reaction if it feels extreme. Yet, it is important to know that you may not be able to truly get rid of it because your dog is an empathetic creature who cares for you and adores you. Their love for you fortunately is never going to go away.
As pet owners, there are some things that we just cannot avoid. One of those things is the love our animals have for us. Whether we are excited, sick, or upset, our dog will run to us with love and attention. Knowing this, we just must accept and embrace it. And why wouldn't we? Everyone loves to be loved.