If your dog does not seem to like you, this post will show you a number of possible reasons why and what you can do about them.

So, why does my dog not like me? Likely reasons why your dog does not like you are that it is naturally aloof, illness or injury, not enough exercise, something causing it to be fearful or anxious, or inadvertently rewarding the behavior.

There are many reasons why your dog might not seem to like you and it could be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.

Why does my dog not like me?

Below are likely reasons why your dog does not seem to like you and what would make them more likely.

It does actually like you

It is likely that your dog does actually like 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. It might be the case that your dog does not show its affection overtly.

Nature

It could also be the case that your dog is naturally aloof. This would be more likely if your dog has always behaved that way and it does show interest in you sometimes.

Not enough exercise

The reason why your dog seems to not like 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.

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.

Not enough training or a problem with the training

The cause could also be that there is a problem with the way you have been training your dog. If you have not been giving your dog any training, it will behave the way it feels like behaving in which case, it would help to start giving your dog training. If you have been giving it training, it could also be the case that the way you have been training it has been ineffective in which case it would help to change the training method.

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.

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.

Encouraging the behavior

It might also be the case that your dog has learned that behaving like it does not like you results in it getting rewards. If you tend to give your dog things such as toys, treats or extra attention, when it behaves like it does not like you, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.

Alternatively, you might be giving it things it does not want when it does do what you want. If you give your dog things it does not want, when it does what you say, it will likely stop doing it. An example of this would be tapping on the food bowl to get it to come inside when it is not time for food.

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 to help figure out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.

If your dog has always not liked you

If your dog did not always behave like it does not like you, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started behaving that way. If your dog started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as a change in its environment, illness, injury, or a change in the way you have been interacting with it.

What is different when your dog does show you affection

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.

If it is aggressive

It would help to consider if your dog does not like 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.

Your dog might be showing you affection in ways you are not noticing

It might be the case that your dog has actually been showing you affection but you have not been noticing it.

Examples of ways that your dog be showing you affection would be if:

  • It keeps pace with you when out on a walk
  • Comes to you when you call it
  • It follows you around
  • It noses you which is where it sniffs you with its nose a lot
  • It doesn’t like it when you leave
  • It licks you
  • It jumps up at you
  • It leans on you

What to do about your dog not liking you

Below are some options you have when getting your dog to like you more.

Give it 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.

Training

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 encouraging it

As mentioned above, it might be the case that your dog has learned that behaving like it does not like you is rewarded. Instead, it would help to reward your dog when it behaves the way you want it to and to avoid rewarding it when it does not. Conversely, it might be the case that you have been inadvertently punishing it when it behaves the way you want. Instead, it would help to make sure not to punish it when it does behave the way you want and to reward it instead.

Get 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.

Why does my dog not like me anymore?

If your dog has stopped liking you suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as a change in its environment, a change in its diet, a change in how you interact with it, depression, illness or injury.

Why does my dog not like me at night?

If your dog does not like you at night, the cause could be that there is something that is causing it to get anxious at night. It might also be the case that your dog has some separation anxiety.

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Author

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.