If your dog moves away from you when you pet it, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about them.

So, why does my dog move away when I pet him? Possible reasons why your dog moves away from you when you pet it are intimidation, injury, depression, or something causing it to become anxious.

There are a number of reasons why your dog might have been doing it and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are a number of things you can do about it and there are some things you can consider to help figure out the main cause.

Reasons why your dog moves away when you pet it

Below are a number of possible causes and what would make each of them more likely to be the main reason.

Intimidation

The cause could be that it becomes intimidated when you try to pet it. The reason might be that you are petting it too hard, you approach it too boldly, or that your body language appears threatening. In this case, it would help to try to be calm with it and to pet it less firmly.

Injury

Another possible cause is that it has an injury and you have been hurting it by petting it. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being injured such as lowering its head constantly. In this case, it would help to take it to a vet.

Depression

Another possible reason is that something has been causing it to be depressed. This would be more likely if it started doing it since an even that might have caused it to become depressed such as another owner leaving and if it has been showing other signs of being depressed such as avoiding you for the rest of the day and not showing excitement. In this case, if the behavior does not begin to improve, it would help to get help from a vet.

Age

Another possible cause could be that it is still young. It is not uncommon for dogs to go through a more timid stage while they are puppies and it might be why yours has been backing away. If the behavior does not improve after a few weeks, it would also help to get help from a vet.

Anxiety

Another possible cause is that something has been causing it to become anxious. This would be more likely if it does it more when something might be causing it to be anxious such as a certain pet or person being around.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.

If your dog has always moved away

If your dog started doing it suddenly, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it. If it did start doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as if you started behaving differently around it yourself, something causing it to become depressed or something causing it to become anxious.

If your dog does not always move away

If your dog does not always move away, when you pet it, it would also help to consider what is different when it does not move away. For example, if it does not move away when a certain animal is not around, it could be the case that it is intimidated by that other animal.

What to do about your dog moving away when you pet it

Below are a number of things you can do about it.

Be calm

As mentioned above, it might be doing it due to something causing it to be intimidated. It would help to be calm with it and gentle when petting it.

Limit reasons why it might be anxious

It would also help to try to limit reasons why it might be being anxious such as by separating it from other pets that might be causing it to feel nervous.

Get help

If your dog has been doing it for a while now and you can’t get it to stop, it would help to consult with a vet. By doing so, you should be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog and to rule out the possibility of it being due to injury.

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I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.