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Why does my dog hate me?

If your dog seems to hate you this post will show you a number of possible reasons why and what you can do about it.

So, why does my dog hate me? Possible reasons why your dog hates you are that it is ill, fearful, previous owners might have mistreated it, depression, or it might not hate you and it might be showing affection in ways that you are not noticing.

There are actually a number of reasons why your dog might seem to hate you. However, there are also a number of things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason. Once you have a good idea of the cause, it should become a lot easier to get it to stop.

Why your dog hates you

Each of the different reasons why it seems to hate you will likely come with some clues. Below are a number of possible causes and what would make them more likely.

It doesn’t actually hate you

It is likely that your dog does not actually hate you. Some dogs will like being petted and hugged but others will not. If your dog doesn’t like it when you try to pet it but you try to pet it a lot, it could be causing it to avoid you (source). It might be the case that your dog does not show its affection overtly.

Previous owners

It might be the case that previous owners mistreated it and it now does not show as much affection. This would be more likely if you adopted it from a shelter.

In this case, it might begin to improve over the course of a few weeks as it gets more comfortable in its new environment. If it does not begin to improve then consider getting the help of a dog behaviorist in your area.

Illness or injury

The cause might be that it has gotten an illness or injury. This would be more likely if your dog has started acting differently suddenly and if it has been showing signs of being ill or injured. If it does seem like it might be ill or injured the best option would be to take it to a vet.

Fear

The reason why your dog has been doing it might be that something has been causing it to be fearful. This would be more likely if it starts acting differently when something might be scaring it. Things that could frighten it could include fireworks, construction works or someone being around that it does not like.

Boredom

The reason why it seems to hate you might actually be that it is bored. This would be more likely if your dog is a breed that is meant to get a lot of exercise on a daily basis but it has not been getting much exercise. In this case, it would help to make sure that it is able to get the recommended amount of exercise for its breed on a daily basis.

Related: Why is my dog hyper in the morning?

Lack of socialization as a puppy

The cause could be that it was not able to socialize much as a puppy. When dogs are puppies they develope many of their characteristics. If a puppy does not get many opportunities to interact with people, it will not have as many chances to learn to be interested in them.

Depression

It could be the case that your dog has not been showing much affection towards you because something has been causing it to be depressed. This would be more likely if it started acting differently after an event such as an owner leaving home or another pet dying.

In this case, it might begin to improve over the course of a few weeks. It would help to give it lots of training, exercise and to play with it. If it does not begin to improve then it would help to seek the guidance of a vet.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider when trying to understand why it seems to hate you.

If it is aggressive

It would help to consider if your dog seems to hate you in an aggressive way.

If your dog becomes aggressive towards you then the best option would be to get help from a certified dog trainer in your area so that you can see how to train it safely.

When your dog first started hating you

It would also help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it started hating you suddenly then it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start doing it.

If it has only recently started to behave that way then it would make it more likely that it is due to things such as:

When and where your dog seems to do it

It would also help to consider whether or not there is a certain time that it tends to do it more.

If you notice that it changes its behavior before and after getting exercise then it might be a sign that it needs more exercise. Whereas, if it does it more after being fed then it might be a sign that there is an issue with its diet or it could be ill.

How to get your dog to like you more

Below are some options you have when getting your dog to stop hating you.

Positive reinforcement

Positive reinforcement training involves getting your dog to behave in a certain way by rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving that way.

If you want to get your dog to be more affectionate then you would reward it with a treat when it does things that show signs of being nicer to you. For example, you might reward it with a treat for coming and sitting with you.

Avoid negative reinforcement

Negative reinforcement is where you train your dog to behave in a way that you don’t want by giving it things that it wants when it behaves that way. If you have been rewarding your dog when it hates you then you might have been encouraging the behavior. Instead, it would help to reward it when it shows signs of being affectionate.

Avoid punishing it

If you punish your dog for hating you or not being affectionate then it would help to avoid doing so. The reason for this is that it is unlikely to know why you’re punishing it and it could cause it to develop feelings of resentment it could also be making it hate you more.

Instead, it would help to interact with your dog in a calm manner and to use positive reinforcement training to get it to behave the way that you want it to.

Give it lots of exercise

When dogs don’t get enough exercise it can cause them to develop behavioral issues and it could be why yours seems like it hates you. It would help to make sure your dog is able to get the right amount of exercise daily by walking it yourself or by getting a dog walker to do it for you when you cannot.

Get expert help

If you cannot figure out why your dog seems to hate you then it would help to get the advice of a certified dog behaviorist in your area. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog.