We all pretty much know that dog ownership can be stressful at moments, but what about the times when your dog doesn’t even like you? Or, he stops loving you for good?
Well, believe it or not, dog love is not permanent.
Even though you probably won’t find a more loyal and devoted pet than a dog, their love fades with your bad decisions. Dogs react instinctively – they live in the moment and respond to your actions. But, they also remember negative behavioral patterns.
I don’t mean to scare you, as this read is not meant to judge, but to inform. If you don’t know what you’re doing wrong and you have been racking your brain with the “what if my dog doesn’t like me anymore” dilemma lately, be at ease – there’s a solution!
Here are some of the most common reasons why your dog might not like you and some tips on how to improve your relationship. Enjoy!
I Just Can’t Trust You
Sometimes, a dog just doesn’t trust you. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve been raising him wrong, although that’s the number one reason most of the time.
Puppies that didn’t go through proper upbringing can’t be expected to be as trustworthy as properly-raised dogs. This especially applies to canines whose needs have been neglected throughout their puppyhood.
Lack of a daily routine, inadequate training methods, and missing positive reinforcement – all these things affect canines in the long run.
If, however, you’re doing the job right, but you’re still having the same distrust problem with your dog – you may want to pay attention to your body language. Despite all the love you give them, your body language is sometimes too harsh for them.
Staring directly at them for too long or raising your hand in the attempt to fake hit is not a good idea, so I honestly advise you not to do it. Your doggo will reciprocate and exhibit the ultimate distrust in this regard.
According to Hasegawa et al., a lot can be said about dogs’ emotional states and moods based on their body language and facial expressions.
They might have their tail tucked between their legs, their ears erect, and their posture frozen. These three things indicate a state of extreme nervousness.
You’re Making A Point Way Too Ruff
Your dog might forgive you for hitting him, but harsh methods are not a good idea at all. Most of the time, they’re the reason why your dog doesn’t like you in the first place.
Many dog owners mistake being firm and decisive for being way too harsh and merciless with a dog. And, guess what? Those are exactly the owners whose dogs might not like them anymore.
Sure, our furry friends need a behavior lesson every now and then – but there’s a method for that, and it’s called dedicated work.
Discipline in dogs doesn’t come in a vacuum, nor does it go away that easily. If you must show your dog who the boss is, do it properly. These are the four things that you can try in order to discipline your puppy the right way:
- vocalizing commands
- using time-outs
- ignoring them
- denying them toys
Why Aren’t You Home All The Time?
Believe it or not, your dog might like you less just because you’re not there enough. Separation anxiety in each dog is manifested differently.
Some canines exhibit self-destructive behavior, some get extremely depressed and lethargic, while some ignore their owner in terms of everything.
If you already have a dog whose nature is a bit clingy, then try spending as much time with him as possible.
Not all dogs have the capacity to deal with their owners’ absence well. They need you. They crave your attention. But, when you’re not there, they need to adapt to new circumstances.
Dogs never truly learn how to get over solitude, but their actions towards you might be different… hence, less affective behavior.
It’s Not You, It’s Me
If you have the feeling that your doggo doesn’t like you from the start – don’t worry. It’s just who they are. Some independent dog breeds, such as Akita Inus or Shar Peis truly enjoy their time alone.
Unlike the aforementioned dogs that love being with you all the time, they prefer solitude and a more casual setting. But, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t love you.
On the other hand, some breeds bond with one person and one person only, which is why you might feel like your family dog isn’t quite interested in you.
Even though they genuinely love you, they love someone else more… period.
I’m Not Feeling Okay
Before you judge your furry companion, look into his overall condition. A dog that has started acting weird all of a sudden might be having some health issues.
For instance, puppies that cope with cancer might be lethargic during its early stage. They refuse to play with you, they don’t obey your commands, and they don’t get excited around a walk o’clock as much as they used to.
This is a strange area for them, too, which is why prior to taking a judgmental attitude, you need to make sure that everything’s okay with your canine.
In this regard, the best I can recommend is subjecting your dog to regular vet exams. That way, you will reduce the possibility of your pet getting into a progressed stage of some disease. And, you will reinforce a healthy habit.
Is There Someone Else, Hooman?
Did you know that dogs can get jealous, too? Well, according to Harris and Prouvost , dogs are quite capable of “snapping” once their “natural right to their owner” is put in jeopardy.
This especially goes for lap dogs who are naturally used to spending tons of time with you.
They are not actually thrilled by the very idea of “getting a sibling”, as their own cuddling time is then affected. In a way, by getting less affectionate, they resent their owner for not giving them enough attention anymore.
So, think twice before you get a second dog!
Why Are You Changing Our Routine All Of A Sudden?
The truth is that all dogs need a well-prepared routine during every stage of their life. That’s just the way things go with these four-legged beauties!
Sure, you can happen to miss their walk or their feeding time once or twice, but the third time will already be doggostrophic.
They’re not used to sudden changes in their routine, especially when it comes to feeding. If you’re usually feeding them early in the morning and the last thing in the evening – why not keep it that way.
Speaking of hyperactive dog breeds – you may not want to mess up their daily activities out of the blue.
Dogs like Huskies or German Shepherds will need a good explanation for why you are suddenly denying them their birth rights to frolic around for about an hour a day. If you fail to elaborate – they will know how to ignore you.
How To Make Your Pet Like You Again
Don’t pack it in yet! As much as it is hard to read that your loved companion has stopped liking you the way you’re used to, there’s so much more that you can do to change that!
These are the five proven recipes to regaining the love of your dog in no time. Let’s check them out one by one.
#1 Never Back Down From A Routine
Well, isn’t this not a surprise! As I already mentioned before, it is not odd for dogs to start ignoring us once we ignore their daily routine. For the sake of preventing that from happening, my friendly advice would be to never neglect your dogs’ daily needs!
I’m sorry, but it’s just facts. Dogs are creatures of habit that totally rely on repetition. Set up their meals, activities, off-time, and training time and stick to it.
#2 Daily Walks And Games Are “You Time”
If you feel like your dog’s interest in you is decreasing, you better do something about it. First of all, revise your current parenting methods and see if there’s something you can do to boost your dog’s interests.
Daily walks and games initiated with interactive toys are an excellent and effective idea in this regard. Most dogs love being challenged and engaged in various activities. Why not try it?
#3 Acknowledge Their Good Behavior
There is no harm in acknowledging that your dog is doing something right. This especially refers to training, when it is absolutely necessary to give your dog some credit.
Instead of teaching your dog tricks in a sterile, orthodox way – try implementing positive reinforcement. Reward. Praise. Pet. And, then repeat. That way, you will boost your dog’s self-confidence and directly impact your relationship with him.
#4 Stop Pushing It
Some dog breeds, such as aggressive ones, just don’t like being forced to do something they don’t like. So, don’t push it.
If your dog isn’t the type that loves being petted by strangers, or he simply doesn’t want to be bothered at the moment, don’t test his nerves.
Many people think that it is the most harmless thing to bother a dog with constant hugging, pulling his tail, or hanging around his neck, but it’s not. Instead of letting you do all these things all the time, your dog is more likely to back off.
#5 Avoid Stressful Situations
Some dogs can be naturally phobic or have an aversion to some things. Instead of pushing a shy dog breed into big crowds or taking a ride with a dog that is naturally scared of cars, take care of their needs in the first place.
Fear and anxiety in dogs are a real thing, which is why you should never take them for granted. Dogs that have irrational fears towards something are much more likely to back off and start hiding from you then to adapt.
Having a dog comes with certain responsibilities, but altogether, it is definitely worth it. In order to identify the reasons why your dog doesn’t like you, you need to get to know him first. And, in order to do that, you need to be patient, devoted, and persistent.
Dogs’ emotions, as strong and unique as they are, are not a permanent thing. They change over time, they evolve, and they adapt to circumstances. That’s why it is not the smartest idea to take your dog’s love for granted, ever.
Instead – reward, pet, and hang out with them as much as possible. Your doggo will definitely know how to appreciate it!
 Hasegawa, M., Ohtani, N., and Ohta, M. (2014). Dogs’ Body Language Relevant to Learning Achievement. Azabu University School of Veterinary Medicine, 1-17-71.
 Harris, C.R. and Prouvost, C. (2014). Jealousy in dogs. National Library of Medicine. DOI